"tinfoil hat brigade"

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Wed Feb 1 01:20:21 UTC 2006

>TIN HAT BRIGADE--313 Google hits
>TINFOIL HAT BRIGADE--11,100 Google hits\
>  ...
>The "tinfoil hat brigade" just came up. Anyone have anything on this? OED
>has no hits for "hat brigade."
>I don't think these are synonymous. "Tin hat" suggests mock or play
>soldiers, but "tinfoil hat" I think usually is meant to allude to paranoia
>(a reference to the foil's capacity to ward off endangering rays of some
>sort). The contexts should either support or refute this view.

I agree. "Tinfoil hat", also "aluminum foil hat" would probably refer to
either a mental disorder or an eccentric belief. The hat would supposedly
be designed to prevent either the remote control or the reading of the
wearer's mind, or perhaps brain damage from cosmic rays, UFO weapons,
cell-phone emanations, or the like.

-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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