Posted by R. Berg on November 20, 2007
In Reply to: In your hat posted by Smokey Stover on November 20, 2007
: : In some of the movies in the 30's (one does not come to mind now) the poor oaf would say to someone of prestige or money...."in your hat" What does it mean?
: It has been a long time since I've heard this, but I'd guess something like "like hell, you say!" But I haven't seen any movies from the '30s recently. I suspect the expression conveys either defiance or skepticism. Does it work with "Screw you"?
Eric Partridge, "A Dictionary of Catch Phrases," translates "In your hat!" as "Nothing doing! I shall certainly do no such thing." U.S., c. 1920-40. Partridge quotes two catchphrase experts whose opinions of its origin differed. One said it meant "You can put that in your hat and _wear_ it!" The other said it "is, rather, an elision of 'Go shit in your hat!'" ~rb