A Tip of the Brim


What’s up? A very exciting thing happened to me this morning when I went on my walk.  Well, this is as exciting as things get in my world. To you, this may be a dull and boring start to your day, but try to be kind and share my joy.

Tip of the day: As I walked along the waterfront in my early morning brain fog, noodling about the things that go on in my head at that time of day, a gentleman of a certain age did something, no man has done to me for a very long time. (Get a grip!) He tipped his hat to me as he walked by. In return, I gave him the biggest smile I could muster.  What a beautiful vintage greeting for a Victoria Day weekend.     

Let’s be clear: This lost art of  “hat tipping” is not to be confused with hair tipping, waiter tipping, tipping the scales, the tip of an object, giving someone a hot tip, the tipping point, tipping one’s hand, the tip of a pitched baseball, things on the tip of your tongue, bringing rubbish to the tip, or the tipping of an unsuspecting cow. I’m talking about the tipping of a hat.

It’s in the bones: This cultural expression of respect and greeting, says so much in a simple tip of the brim. It doesn’t have to be a fancy hat with pomp and plumage. It can be a simple Blue Jays baseball cap. It’s the manner in which it’s being tipped that counts. And I promise you, there will always be a real old-fashioned gentleman underneath it. 

Without words: The message that this small gesture conveyed to me, was – nice to see you, it’s a beautiful morning, enjoy your walk, I respect you, I hope you have a good day, you’re the most beautiful woman I’ve ever met…okay, maybe I made up that last part, but you get my drift.

Back then: In the late 19th/early 20th century, this gesture was used as a non-verbal greeting, mostly done by males. It was rare for females to partake in the custom. It was also a ritual used to emphasize status and social distance. For example, a subordinate would remove his hat, while a superior merely touched it.

Right now: Today, we’ve taken things to a whole new level. We may not find many hat tippers out there, like I did this morning. But the blogosphere has developed a modern day hat tip by using the letters HT or h/t, to thank someone, or acknowledge a contribution to something new or interesting. It’s a nice thing to do and considered good netiquette.

Well, that’s it from me to you for today. H/T to you all and happy Victoria Day.

Pat Skene

14 responses »

  1. And in reply to you – how many men do not take their hats/caps/whatever when they go into a restaurant. UGH.

    I would have been so happy to have that man tip his hat at me – you go girl.

    Mac always takes his cap off in the elevator even when it’s me there alone!!!!! We tried to teach our grandsons, but I think to no avail.

    Have a super w/e



  2. A hat tipper, how nice is that!
    In our small town, the standard greeting when meeting another vehicle on the narrow waterside road….is to raise the index finger of either hand or both, 2 inches above the steering wheel.
    This is an acknowledgement of hello, reminder to move over and share the road, and “maybe I know you”. It took us a while to figure this out after we moved here. Now we have it down pat.


    • It’s a good thing you caught on quickly to the “secret-finger-language.” Things could have gotten nasty. They should put a sign at the entrance to the town, giving everyone the finger-welcome. Thanks for your comment Britt Girl.


  3. Well that was a lovely gesture to start your morning with Pat. I also find when I’m strolling the streets that a smile or ‘g’day’ type of greeting puts an extra spring in my step. And I need all the extra springs I can get these days. So H/T for the story (did I use h/t correctly?) and you have a wonderful weekend too!!


  4. This one warmed the cockles of my heart! I, too, had a gentleman tip his hat (albeit it was a baseball cap) while walking on the waterfront last week. Makes you feel like you matter! Thanks for reminding us Pat.


  5. I disagree. Women have been looking for equality for years. You should be pleased to get a curt nod and a mumbled ‘h’lo such as is offered by most men when they meet one another. No hat tipping or pleasantries. Just yanking your chain…Great post!


  6. Hi Pat,
    I received your Hat-tipping information from one of the sweetest Earth Angels, Janice Birnie (from the cluster of Earth Angels who have entered my “energy circle”…many through the front door of Harmony House); and images of the most beautiful, humble men I have known are still running through my mind’s eye. Thank you for sharing your wonderful experience with the world through your blog; and may you always be soooooo blessed!
    Suzanne M. Harmony


    • Hey Rosy: Glad you found me and now I found you. Very funny post on your first week of retirement! Reminds me when I first retired and bought an ironing board and a crock pot. My family held an intervention. Couldn’t post a comment on your blog for some reason…wouldn’t accept it.


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