phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

What did they mean by this?

Posted by JAM on March 01, 2004

In Reply to: What did they mean by this? posted by ESC on March 01, 2004

: : : Hi. I just found this site and really like it! I have a question: I was talking to a friend that I made promise not to repeat something I said. When I asked her if she did, she said no and that she was not about to tip her hat. Instead of asking what that means, I just said OK. Now it's bugging me. What does that mean in this context?

: : To 'tip' is to give inside information - to tip the hat sounds like an old use - if you hid something eg. "keep this under your hat" - then tipping the hat would show it. I think it probably came from 'keep this [only] in mind' - i.e. do not record it anywhere. it may even come from thieves' cant - perhaps a hat gesture was a give away?

: : underworld slang is always interesting - devised as it was to confuse the law-abiding or enforcement officers.

: Another possibility: could she have said "tip her hand"?

She could have. If so, what does that mean? I also thought it might mean something like she's not going to blow her source by repeating things I tell her....thoughts?