This website shows a picture of a "Wideawake Hat" or a Quaker Hat. How on earth did a hat come to be named "Wideawake"?

closed as off-topic by Laurel, Jim, Drew, GoldenGremlin, Helmar Nov 14 '16 at 13:54

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    It's in the dictionary: "ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: punningly so named, because the hat does not have a nap." – Laurel Nov 14 '16 at 2:44

It is not clear why this jocular expression has been originally used to refer to a hat with a low crown and a very wide brim, the "World Wide Words" notes that:

  • The wide-awake was a soft felt hat with a broad brim and a low crown, said to have been jocularly named because it had no nap. It’s mentioned in Scouting for Boys by Robert Baden-Powell of 1908 and also here:
    • And lastly there was the wagoner himself, a lad, say, of eighteen summers, a fine, strong, healthy-looking young fellow, well clad, and wearing on his head a “raddidoo” or wide-awake hat, with perhaps a peacock’s feather or some other embellishment at the side.
    • The British Workman Past and Present, by The Reverend M C F Morris, 1928. Raddidoo defeats me completely, as it did the author, who remarked it was “used in the East Riding for the ordinary wide-awake hat commonly worn by the farm lads. The origin of this curious word I have never been able to discover”.

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