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15:19 Nov 20, 2008
English Old (ca.450-1100) to English translations [Non-PRO] Idioms / Maxims / Sayings
English Old (ca.450-1100) term or phrase:"take your hat off to someone"
Explanation: Not sure why this is in the Old English > English section, but never mind...From Nigel Rees' A Word in Your Shell-like:
The literal doffing or removing of a hat as a sign of respect is a traditional gesture. Metaphorically, too, the gesture is well-established. Punch (5 Jan 1856) defines a Quaker as 'a friend who, in the art of making inflammatory speeches, takes his hat off to no man'. The 'cap off' preceded the 'hat off' version. OED2 has it by 1565, as well as in such a linked expression as 'to come with cap in hand'. An anecdotal (but inaccurate) origin for the phrase can be found in Keith Hayhurst, The Pictorial History of Lancashire County Cricket Club: 'In 1884, the North of England team played the Australians on a poor wicket at Trend Bridge. Barlow scored a century and took 10 wickets in the match. Murdoch, the Australian captain was so impressed with Barlow's performance he approached him leaving the field and said, 'I take my cap off too you' and presented it to Barlow. It became headlines in the press and the saying 'I take my hat off to you' comes from this incident.'