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- (idiomatic) Something with which one is very familiar; something very common, hackneyed or out of date. [from 20th c.]
- 1946 November 11, “New Plays in Manhattan”, in Time:
- Coward is such an old hand at this kind of thing that he makes it seem old hat.
- 1987 May 8, Elaine Sciolino, “Washington Talk: The Hart Story Grips the Capital”, in New York Times:
- It is old hat for a sex scandal to bring down a politician.
- 2007 May 4, Fredrick Kunkle and Paul Duggan, Straining for a Glimpse of Royalty:
- Based on the size of the crowd, perhaps the queen is old hat.
- (now rare, archaic) The vulva; (by extension) sexual intercourse.
- 1723, Charles Walker, Memoirs of Sally Salisbury, letter XI:
- Upon which she very pertly reply'd, She had done that not with a Design to affront but to convince me of the Value she had for my Present; for that if the Pedantick Blockhead should come, he should only have a little bit of Old-Hat to stay his Stomach, till he got to some Harlot of his own Puritanical Flock […]
- 1980, Erica Jong, Fanny:
- 'Tis a Nest, a Niche, an Old Hat, an Omnibus, an Oyster, a Palace o' Pleasure.
- old-hat (adjective)