What is the meaning of the phrase ‘eat my hat’? , example, “If that is not going well, I will eat my hat”.

If somebody can explain with origin of this then that would be interesting.


Dear SS,

The speaker does not doubt that it will go well. He is prepared therefore to «eat his hat» if it does not go well.

The absurdity of the offer accords therefore with the absurdity of the possibility.

It is unusual to eat one's hat, I think. I have seen it in cartoons. Emotion: smile

Kind regards, Emotion: smile

I read that 'hatte' was some type of food. Maybe you could explore that further if you're interested in the origins.
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Sounds more like it originated in the '40s, when the majority of American men wore hats. Maybe the act of eating something that they couldn't part with adds to the oddness of the situation.
"eat my hat" origin idiom

"eat my hat" origin idiom
Actually Google wouldn't give good answers. This was used in literature first by Charles Dickens in "Pickw.ick Papers" (1837) : "If I knew as little of life as that, I'd eat my hat and swallow the buckle whole". The OED suggests the original form was "I'll eat an old Rowley's hat" but gives no further information.

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"Old Rowley" was a nickname of Charles II. It derived from the name of his favourite racehorse, according to Brewer (Dict. Phrase & Fable).