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What is 'an old hat'?



 
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What is 'an old hat'? #1 (permalink) Mon Jul 26, 2010 15:25 pm   What is 'an old hat'?
 

English Language Proficiency Tests, Advanced Level

ESL/EFL Test #543 "English Slang Idioms (144)", question 2

"Don't get discouraged, Son. Of course Mr. Weatherby is superior at refinishing tables compared to you. He is an old ......... at this and has been working the trade for thirty years," his father told him.

(a) foot
(b) practitioner
(c) hat
(d) executor

English Language Proficiency Tests, Advanced Level

ESL/EFL Test #543 "English Slang Idioms (144)", answer 2

"Don't get discouraged, Son. Of course Mr. Weatherby is superior at refinishing tables compared to you. He is an old hat at this and has been working the trade for thirty years," his father told him.

Correct answer: (c) hat

Your answer was: correct
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I knew that "old hat" means out of date, but I used it because I was familiar with this expression. But in the text its meaning can be else.
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What is 'an old hat'? #2 (permalink) Mon Jul 26, 2010 15:34 pm   What is 'an old hat'?
 

I've heard it used to describe a person who is very experienced in a field; a traditional person/not trendy....
Does anyone else have any ideas about this?
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What is 'an old hat'? #3 (permalink) Mon Jul 26, 2010 16:44 pm   What is 'an old hat'?
 

I agree, Linda.
'old hat' - 2 similar meanings: 'old fashioned' as well as 'out of date'.
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What is 'an old hat'? #4 (permalink) Mon Jul 26, 2010 17:33 pm   What is 'an old hat'?
 

Hi,

'Old hat' to me doesn't mean
Quote:
very experienced in a field
. Surely, that's 'old hand'.

Alan
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What is 'an old hat'? #5 (permalink) Mon Jul 26, 2010 17:44 pm   What is 'an old hat'?
 

Hi Alan and Beesnees,
Would you say "He's an old hat in this trade/field?"
That's how I would use it but I may be mistaken.
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What is 'an old hat'? #6 (permalink) Mon Jul 26, 2010 17:49 pm   What is 'an old hat'?
 

I would agree that 'old hand' sounds a far better alternative in this context. I would describe the person as 'an old hand' and the work as 'old hat'

He's an old hand at this - he's very experienced at this sort of work.

This kind of work is old hat to him - he's experienced enough to find this work easy to undertake.
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What is 'an old hat'? #7 (permalink) Mon Jul 26, 2010 17:56 pm   What is 'an old hat'?
 

I think that sounds better too.
We'll make the changes to this question right away.
Cheers!
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