Throw one’s hat in the ring or toss one’s hat in the ring

  • Throw one’s hat in the ring or toss one’s hat in the ring is an idiom. An idiom is a commonly used word, group of words, or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. Often using descriptive imagery or metaphors, common idioms are words and phrases used in the English language in order to convey a concise idea, and are often spoken or are considered informal or conversational. English idioms can illustrate emotion more quickly than a phrase that has a literal meaning, even when the etymology or origin of the idiomatic expression is lost. An idiom is a metaphorical figure of speech, and it is understood that it is not a use of literal language. Figures of speech like an often-used metaphor have definitions and connotations that go beyond the literal meaning of the words. Mastery of the turn of phrase of an idiom, which may use slang words or other parts of speech common in American slang or British slang, is essential for the English learner. Many English as a Second Language students do not understand idiomatic expressions and idiomatic language such as hit the sack, spill the beans, let the cat out of the bag, silver lining, back to the drawing board, barking up the wrong tree, kick the bucket, hit the nail on the head, face the music, under the weather, piece of cake, when pigs fly, and raining cats and dogs, because they attempt to translate them word for word, which yields only the literal meaning. English phrases that are idioms should not be taken literally. In addition to learning vocabulary and grammar, one must understand the phrasing of the figurative language of idiomatic phrases in order to know English like a native speaker; it is helpful to maintain a list of phrases, common expressions, colloquial terms, and popular expressions to memorize that are used figuratively or idiomatically. We will examine the meaning of the common idiom throw one’s hat in the ring or toss one’s hat in the ring, where it came from, and some examples of its idiomatic usage in sentences.


    Throw one’s hat in the ring or toss one’s hat in the ring means to accept a challenge, to express one’s willingness to compete, to announce one’s participation in a contest. The expression throw one’s hat in the ring or toss one’s hat in the ring is most often used to mean that one is running for political office or that one is applying for a job; however, the term is also used in many other situations. The expression throw one’s hat in the ring or toss one’s hat in the ring comes from the sport of boxing, which was originally conducted in a round ring. Anyone who wished to accept the challenge for a bout threw his hat into the ring. The term came into use at the turn of the nineteenth century. Related phrases are threw one’s hat in the ring, thrown one’s hat in the ring, throws one’s hat in the ring, throwing one’s hat in the ring, tosses one’s hat in the ring, tossed one’s hat in the ring, tossing one’s hat in the ring.



    At Wednesday’s Harrietstown Republican caucus, former town supervisor Bob Bevilacqua threw his hat in the ring again, making the race for the town’s top spot a contested one. (Adirondack Daily Enterprise)

    Earning over a quarter of a million dollars between Wednesday and Saturday nights, Overton threw his hat in the ring as the hottest racer in America, next to fellow Georgian Jonathan Davenport. (Chattanoogan)

    Political newcomer Dee Jones has tossed his hat in the ring to vie with incumbent Mayor Holly Daines for Logan’s top elected post. (Cache Valley Daily)

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