Where did the phrase “keep it under your hat” come from?


The phrase “keep it under your hat” means to keep a secret, meaning keep the information in your head, not on your lips.

An early example is found in P. G. Wodehouse’s Inimitable Jeeves, written in 1923:

“It made such a hit with her when she found that I loved her for herself alone, despite her humble station, that she kept it under her hat. She meant to spring it on me later.”

Entire citation can be found at www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/under-your-hat.html

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