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How Germans use hats in popular idioms

Dagmar Breitenbach
September 14, 2022

Fired? Grab your hat. While hats and caps are no longer part of people's everyday wardrobe, Germans use idioms involving hats all the time.

Women wearing designer hats taking a selfie.

You can tip your hat, toss your hat in the ring, pass a hat or even wear several of them. Occasionally, someone will have a bee in their bonnet, or maybe a feather in their cap.

In English, people might say in utter surprise, I'll eat my hat (In German, the same idiom involves eating a broom).

Not too long ago, people in Germany, men in particular, wore hats to protect them from the elements when they left the house. Today, hats aren't a must — but there are still plenty of phrases and idioms involving headwear.  

You'll find more from Meet the Germans on YouTube, Instagram or at dw.com/MeettheGermans.