Tag Archives: hat tipping

A Tip of the Brim

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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