keep under one's hat

Idioms & Phrases

keep under one's hat

Preserve the secrecy of something, as in I'll tell you about it if you promise to keep it under your hat. This usage alludes to hiding a secret in one's head, covered by a hat. [Late 1800s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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