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Keep your hair on

Posted by Smokey Stover on August 03, 2006

In Reply to: Keep your hair on posted by Hilary on August 02, 2006

: Hi

: Does anyone know the origin of the phrase "Keep your hair on" meaning don't get annoyed?

I have not personally heard the phrase, but one Wesite (alas, I've forgotte which) defines it."Keep your hair on is advice telling someone to keep calm and not to over-react or get angry." A phrase that I've frequently heard is "Okay, okay, keep your shirt on." (I added "Okay, okay" just to illustrate a typical use.) It means approximately what "keep your hair on" is said above to mean. But in my experience, "Keep your shirt on" is also often used to say, "Have a little patience," as in "I'm coming, I'm coming, I'll be right there!" It can also mean, "Stay cool, let's not have a confrontation." Or "let's not get carried away."