Why is it rude to wear a hat at the dinner table?

I know that it IS rude, and I never do it. But i was talking about it with a friend the other day and neither of us could figure out where that gesture came from. For that matter, why does taking your hat of in front of a lady show respect?

14 Answers

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  • N
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I believe it dates back to the court days when men--coming from battle to meet the noble ladies--wore helmets. It was considered impolite and unchivalrous to not allow the women to see the face of the knights, so they were removed.

    I have no source for that, btw, I just remember reading it somewhere. It's entirely possible that I'm wrong.

  • 1 decade ago

    Basically, hats are removed when going indoors as a measure of respect. Therefore, caps and hats should be removed when entering a home (which includes while eating at the table), when entering a place of religion, or when going to a restaurant. When entering a store or other "public area" like a train station, the hat or cap may remain on. This applies to baseball caps worn by men or women. Hats and caps are always removed for the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I travel alot and am always charmed when men "doff" their caps. It's such a lovely, civil gesture. The theory of how it started is in the days of soldiers/knights, who would lift the visor of their helmets to show they were kinsmen, and friendly.

    Today, removing your cap is simply a sign of respect. I always think that when people are wearing a hat they are ready to leave and go outdoors. Perhaps there is a connection there as well.

    I hope hats go mainstream again. There is nothing more appealing than a man in a suit with a fedora! :)

  • Wearing a hat inside or at the dinner table was considered rude because it used to be the barrier between a man's head and whatever chamber pot might be emptied as he walked under a window. Imagine someone walking into your house wearing something covered with human excrement, and then sitting at you table, still wearing it.

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  • Kuji
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Taking off your hat for dinner shows respect for your dinnermates, the same as taking it off for a lady, the flag or in church. It comes from the knightly custom of raising the visor to show friendliness.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I don't know why, but I'm a server in an upscale Italian restaurant, and it's pretty offensive when people leave their hats on. Guys who refuse to take their baseball caps off are the worst. I feel like they're hiding from me. I'm a person talking to you! Let me see your face!

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    As generations pass (and depending on the culture - in Texas hats never come off!) this gesture has been slowly forgotten, and rudeness is perceived differently to different people.

    WHY is it rude? - it's one of those old wives tales, kind of like the one that says you will catch cold if you don't put socks on...

    The best reason I have heard is that hats cover up any vulnerability you may possess, but taking the hat off shows respect because you are prepared to show your vulnerability.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Your head should be uncovered inside unless there is religious or medical reasons. Hats are to keep the sun off your face. You don't have to be too bright to see that the sun is outside.

  • 1 decade ago

    because in the eyes of the girl you don't show respect and that's not only the reason why...because the girl's parents also said that a man should take of his hat to show respect to a girl...

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    I don't think it's rude...just an old tradition that probably had some type of reason that has long passed...

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