Men's Caps
February 9, 2004 11:21 AM   Subscribe

Is there a universally recogized name for the kind of men's hat that's kind of shapeless, sits low on your head, and the "bowl" part kind of attaches (snaps?) to the brim? I thought, maybe "newsboy" cap, but that does not appear to be dispositive. For instance, here they're just called "caps." And although googling for "newsboy cap" brings up this, it also brings up this, which is not the same thing. And J Peterman is no help at all, except to illustrate the lack of an accepted name. ("Handsome Thug Hat"???) How is it that the English language made it through the 1920s and 1930s without leaving us a standard word for this kind of hat? I mean, back then, EVERY MAN wore them.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (22 answers total)
i'm not really sure what they're called, but i bought an awesome one for $6.00, not too long ago.

i've always called them newsboy caps...
posted by lotsofno at 11:27 AM on February 9, 2004

I've always thought they were called Poorboy caps.
posted by dobbs at 11:39 AM on February 9, 2004

I always called it a "gatsby".
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:42 AM on February 9, 2004

According to the Hat Dictionary, it's a newsboy. [via, of course, languagehat]
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:48 AM on February 9, 2004

Scally caps.

at least that's what we call them in boston.
posted by jerseygirl at 12:00 PM on February 9, 2004

In the Commonwealth, I think they're called "flat caps". At least, that's what the English side of the family call them.

I strongly suspect the reason there's no common term for them from the early 20th century is that they were the most common style of cap. You don't need a special term for the ordinary.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:32 PM on February 9, 2004

If I'm being polled for some sort of linguistic atlas....I'd also respond "Gatsby". Skillet or frying pan? Casserole or hot dish?
posted by gimonca at 12:52 PM on February 9, 2004

I call mine an ivy, but perhaps you're thinking of a newsboy (also on that page)?
posted by Sangre Azul at 12:52 PM on February 9, 2004

t' flat cap
posted by seanyboy at 12:53 PM on February 9, 2004

I've always called them watch caps.
posted by silusGROK at 12:59 PM on February 9, 2004

Watch caps are something else. Other names for this hat:
- Cabbie hat
- Driving cap
- Snap brim
posted by adamgreenfield at 1:19 PM on February 9, 2004

Flatcap, I'd say...
posted by Orange Goblin at 1:33 PM on February 9, 2004

Another vote for flat cap. Very old fashioned hat, Yorkshire miners with racing pigeons and whippets come to mind. They appear to be quite fashionable these days though...
posted by derbs at 1:44 PM on February 9, 2004

Second the "cabbie" cap...
posted by jalexei at 1:46 PM on February 9, 2004

We called them apple caps.
posted by joaquim at 1:54 PM on February 9, 2004

The one and only languagehat has indirectly spoken. A better man or woman could not have more effecting presence in this thread, yet the lot of you continue your banter. What foul mockeries are these?
posted by The God Complex at 1:54 PM on February 9, 2004

We used to call 'em stoker caps last time they were popular waaaay back in '88 or so...
posted by keswick at 2:07 PM on February 9, 2004

I heard them called hack caps.
posted by Snyder at 3:46 PM on February 9, 2004

Hack = cabbie
posted by adamgreenfield at 3:47 PM on February 9, 2004

There seems to be an infinite variety. I've thought of them as Irish or English... called newboys or ivy caps

Here's a bunch
posted by Slagman at 4:25 PM on February 9, 2004

I think of them as newsboy caps, but there's obviously a wide variety in nomenclature, as there is for a surprising number of hats. There's a very popular women's cap/hat (round, with a little upturned brim all around) that doesn't seem to have a name—I actually stopped a woman on the street and asked her "What kind of hat is that you're wearing?" She: "I don't know... it's just a hat."

The God Complex: Thank you, my son. Your faith shall be rewarded. Set your hats outside in the hall tonight and they shall be cleaned and blocked.
posted by languagehat at 6:03 PM on February 9, 2004

Flat cap or driving cap is what they would be called here. If you wanted a definitive answer to the question, you should have restricted it at least to one country.
posted by dg at 10:25 PM on February 9, 2004

« Older Do people ever go from born-again to, uh, not...   |   Unused clothes hangers - what happens to them? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.