Idiom | At the Drop of a Hat

Idiom | At the Drop of a Hat

Idiom | At the Drop of a Hat

The idiom ‘at the drop of a hat’ means without hesitation; to do (something) immediately without thinking about it.

The phrase ‘at the drop of a hat’ is an American idiom that dates back to around 1837. During that time it was common to signal the beginning of a foot race, horse race, or fight by either dropping a hat or sweeping it in a rapid downward motion.

イディオム「at the drop of a hat」は躊躇なく、すなわち、考慮するまえにすばやく何かを行うことを意味します。


Usage 使い方

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Idiom: At the Drop of a Hat
A Man About to Drop a Hat (

This idiom can be used in the positive, negative, or question forms. It is very typical to hear this idiom in the negative form.

Generally, the idiom is not used on it’s own, although it can be. It is most often part of a longer, more complex sentence. “At the drop of the hat” is very flexible about where it can appear, so it can be in the beginning, middle, or end of a statement. See the examples below.


このイディオムのみで表現されることもなくはないのですが、一般的ではありません。長く複雑な文章の中に組み込まれて使用されることが多いです。「at the drop of a hat」が文章のどこに組み込まれるかはまちまちで、最初、真ん中、終りにあらわれることがありえます。下記例文をご参照ください。

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi, Learn Culture, Music, Sports, Movies, ESL; Free Newsletter & Practice Exercises

Examples 例文

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Idiom: At the Drop of a Hat
Woman Helping a Man (

My sister told me she would be here at the drop of a hat if we need her.


I can’t come over at the drop of a hat every time you need me to do something.


Can you be ready at the drop of a hat?   


You do everything for him at the drop of a hat but he doesn’t appreciate it.


Use mnemonic! ニーモニックテクニック

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi Idiom: At the Drop of a Hat
A Man Standing in the Mud While His Hat Drops (G. McGregor/

Imagine you have a really fancy hat. If you dropped it accidentally on the ground you would want to pick it up immediately before it gets dirty… or dirtier.

Of course, we always encourage you to create your own mnemonic device. It’s much more effect if you do that.

Check out our post on mnemonics basics to learn more.





Keep Studying

English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi
English Stripped Bare Culture Page (G. McGregor/

Don’t stop learning now. Check out one of our other lessons in the follow categories and keep studying.


English Stripped Bare - B. Bearington & Naomi
Ready Steady Travel Homepage (G. McGregor/

You can also check out our sister websites! Both are fully in English, so it’s a good opportunity to practice your reading skills!!!

If you want to improve your cooking or learn a new recipe, you should explore our cooking website and discover more about cooking.

If you like traveling, check out our travel page and read tips how to travel adventurously and safely.




Share This Lesson