Idioms: At the Drop of a Hat

idioms-hats

At the Drop of a Hat: Willing to act immediately

John told Nancy that if she ever felt ill again, he would be be by her side at the drop of a hat. 

From James Rogers’ Dictionary of Cliches: “In the 19th century it was occasionally the practice in the United States to signal the start of a fight or a race by dropping a hat or sweeping it downward while holding it in the hand. The quick response to the signal found its way into the language for any action that begins quickly without much need for prompting.”

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