Expression idiomatique en anglais: At the drop of a hat

At the drop of a hat


  • at the slightest signal
  • immediately, without delay
  • without any hesitation
  • without any planning and for no obvious reason


  • We now have a situation where laws are bent at the drop of a hat.
  • Dustin was always ready to go fishing at the drop of a hat.
  • If you need help, just call on Mike. He can come at the drop of a hat.
  • I can't go rushing off to Edinburgh at the drop of a hat.
  • She'd purchase her expensive jewelry at the drop of a hat and worry about how she would pay for it later.
  • We're expected to just do it at the drop of a hat - no notice or anything. It's disgraceful.
  • People will file lawsuits at the drop of a hat these days.
  • I'd quit my job at the drop of a hat if I didn't have a family to support.
  • That girl is so emotional; she'll start crying at the drop of a hat.


This phrase probably alludes to signalling the start of a race, fight or other contest by dropping a hat (late 1800s).

The earliest reference could be found from a hearing on a bankruptcy law from an 1837 Register of Debates in Congress, see this snap shot below:

drop a hat

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