A hat tip is an act of tipping or (especially in British English) doffing one's hat as a cultural expression of recognition, respect, gratitude, greeting, or simple salutation and acknowledgement between two persons.
In Western societies of the 19th and early 20th centuries, a hat tip was a common non-verbal greeting between friends or acquaintances while walking on a sidewalk or meeting at a social gathering. Typically, two men (female hat tipping was rare) would lift or tip their hats to each other, rather than exchange words of greeting. Where the ritual was used to emphasize social distance, the subordinate was obliged to make the more elaborate gesture, for example fully removing his hat while the superior merely touched his. The military hand salute is thought to have originated as a stylized hat tip.
In the 2000s, the term "hat tip" (often abbreviated to "HT" or "h/t") rose to prominence in the blogosphere to acknowledge someone who has made a significant contribution toward an effort, or someone who drew attention to something new or interesting. It is considered good netiquette when sharing a link or news item to give a hat tip to the person from whom you learned of the item. The on-line versions of the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times regularly give hat tips to users who bring ideas for articles to their attention.
- Hat tip defined at Urban Dictionary.com
- How to tip your hat to someone at Wikihow.com
- An example of a Wall Street Journal article with a hat tip noted to a user
- New York Times sports writer Dave Anderson tips his hat to admirable people in sports
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