\ ˈflat-ˌhat How to pronounce flat-hat (audio) \
flat-hatted; flat-hatting; flat-hats

Definition of flat-hat

intransitive verb

: to fly low in an airplane in a reckless manner : hedgehop

Other Words from flat-hat

flat-hatter \ ˈflat-​ˌha-​tər How to pronounce flat-hat (audio) \ noun

Did you know?

Legend has it that the term flat-hat originated with an incident back in the days of barnstormers in which a pedestrian's hat was crushed by a low-flying airplane. According to one version of the tale, the reckless pilot was subsequently required to purchase a new hat for the hapless pedestrian. It seems unlikely that such an event actually took place, but we can well imagine how fear of having one's hat smashed flat by a passing airplane might have given rise to such a vivid verb. Flat-hat is first known to have appeared in English in 1940. Another word for flying low to the ground, the verb hedgehop, debuted at least 14 years earlier (and its related gerund hedgehopping is known to be a bit older still).

First Known Use of flat-hat

1940, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for flat-hat

from an alleged incident in which a pedestrian's hat was crushed by a low-flying plane

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The first known use of flat-hat was in 1940

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flat grain beetle



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Cite this Entry

“Flat-hat.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/flat-hat. Accessed 17 Aug. 2022.

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