The Texas Ten Gallon Hat

Why did cowboy hats come in "gallon" sizes? I assume that a "10 gallon hat" wouldn't hold 10 gallons of water. What gives? --Mike "Elvis" Karnowski

SDSTAFF JillGat replies:

"Ten-gallon hat" is the result of a linguistic mix-up. "Galón" is the Spanish word for "braid." Some vaqueros wore as many as ten braided hatbands on their sombreros, and those were called "ten galón hats." English speakers heard gallon. Real cowboy hats came to Texas from the Spanish via Mexico (unless you want to go all the way back to Genghis Khan and the Mongolian horsemen, who apparently wore something similar).

--SDSTAFF JillGat
Straight Dope Science Advisory Board





To HiddenMysteries Internet Book Store





Notice: TGS HiddenMysteries and/or the donor of this material may or may not agree with all the data or conclusions of this data. It is presented here 'as is' for your benefit and research. Material for these pages are sent from around the world. If by chance there is a copyrighted article posted which the author does not want read, email the webmaster and it will be removed. If proper credit for authorship is not noted please email the webmaster for corrections to be posted.