talk through one's hat
Attested from the late 19th century in the United States in the sense of “bluff”; the sense “speak without authority or knowledge” developed later. Although some people speculate a connection to a former requirement that British Members of Parliament wear hats, the connection is implausible.
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- (idiomatic) To speak lacking expertise, authority, or knowledge; to invent or fabricate facts.
- (idiomatic) To assert something as true or valid; to bluff.
- 1905, “The Norsk Nightingale”, in Popular Mechanics, page 478:
- No, sir, she yust standing pat, / And vonce more she tal her father, / “Yu ban talking tru yure hat!”
- 1922, P. G. Wodehouse, chapter 14, in Right Ho, Jeeves:
- He's conceited and opinionative and argues all the time, even when he knows perfectly well that he's talking through his hat.
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