go-to-hell hat

Jesse Sheidlower jester at PANIX.COM
Thu Oct 31 04:41:35 UTC 2002

On Wed, Oct 30, 2002 at 11:17:53PM -0500, Herbert Stahlke wrote:
> I have a soft, floppy hat with about a two-inch brim that goes all the way
> around.  I've heard it referred to here in
> Central Indiana and in SW Ontario as a "go-to-hell hat".  I searched that
> phrase on Google and got 30 hits, several of which associated that style hat
> with the military, especially during the Gulf War.  There were also some
> soft floppy hats shown that didn't look like the same design.  How
> wide-spread is this term?  Any information on its origins?

HDAS has examples to 1921 in the sense 'an overseas or garrison cap'
(1918 in the form _go-to-hell cap_), and 1966 in the sense 'a wide-
brimmed jungle hat'. There are examples of _go-to-hell_ modifying
other articles of clothing thought to be 'jaunty, nonchalant, or
extreme in style' from 1937 onwards.

Jesse Sheidlower

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