• WordNet 3.6
    • n hatter someone who makes and sells hats
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In the 19th century, craftsmen who made hats were known to be excitable and irrational, as well as to tremble with palsy and mix up their words. Such behavior gave rise to the familiar expression "mad as a hatter". The disorder, called hatter's shakes, was caused by chronic mercury poisoning from the solution used to treat the felt. Attacking the central nervous system, the toxin led to behavioral symptoms.
    • n Hatter One who makes or sells hats.
    • v. t Hatter To tire or worry; -- with out.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: More than 100 years ago, the felt hat makers of England used mercury to stabilize wool. Most of them eventually became poisoned by the fumes, as demonstrated by the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. Breathing mercury's fumes over a long period of time will cause erethism, a disorder characterized by nervousness, irritability, and strange personality changes.
    • n hatter A maker or seller of hats.
    • n hatter In mining, a miner who works alone, or “under his own hat.” He differs from a fossicker, who rifles old workings, or spends his time in trying abandoned wash-dirt. The hatter nearly always holds a claim under the by-laws. R. Brough Smyth. [Australia.]
    • n hatter Violently angry.
    • hatter To gather in a heap; collect in a crowd.
    • hatter To entangle.
    • hatter To expose to danger; harass; trouble; weary; wear out.
    • hatter To shatter; batter.
    • hatter To speak with thick and confused utterance.
    • n hatter A state of confusion.
    • n hatter A confused heap.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Hatter one who makes or sells hats: a miner who works by himself
    • v.t Hatter hat′ėr to trouble, annoy: to batter.
    • ***


As mad as a hatter - This simile means that someone is crazy or behaves very strangely. In the past many people who made hats went insane because they had a lot of contact with mercury.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Prov. E., to entangle; cf. LG. verhaddern, verheddern, verhiddern,


In literature:

The weaver, the carpenter, the hatter, the cobbler, the miller, lived and worked on the same premises.
"The New Education" by Scott Nearing
I'm mad as a hatter, too.
"The Pagan Madonna" by Harold MacGrath
Sergeant Wilson, to the naked eye as sane as any man, was mad; mad as a hatter.
"McClure's Magazine, Vol. XXXI, No. 3, July 1908." by Various
You're mad as a hatter.
"The Kopje Garrison" by George Manville Fenn
Here, I feel as if I'm goin' as mad as a hatter.
"Fix Bay'nets" by George Manville Fenn
"Scottish Football Reminiscences and Sketches" by David Drummond Bone
The Hatter nodded his appreciation of the March Hare's compliment, and admitted him once more to his good graces.
"Alice in Blunderland" by John Kendrick Bangs
I expect he got the first cab visible and drove off to a hatter's a fair distance away, and then on to the bank.
"The Red Triangle" by Arthur Morrison
You really are as mad as a hatter.
"The Invader" by Margaret L. Woods
James Leary bore the palm in New York as the fashionable hatter, and his shop was on Broadway under the Astor House.
"As I Remember" by Marian Gouverneur

In poetry:

And such was he. A calm-browed lad,
Yet mad, at moments, as a hatter:
Why hatters as a race are mad
I never knew, nor does it matter.
"Gemini And Virgo" by Charles Stuart Calverley
the natural madness of the hatter.
And if the opera hats collapse
and crowns grow draughty, then, perhaps,
he thinks what might a miter matter?
"Exchanging Hats" by Elizabeth Bishop
You wheeze as a head-cold long-tonsilled Calliope,
But God! what a sight you ha' got o' our in'ards,
Mad as a hatter but surely no Myope,
Broad as all ocean and leanin' man-kin'ards.
"Mesmerism" by Ezra Pound

In news:

I loved both local venues for two vastly different reasons however: Southgate House's stability and the Mad Hatter 's volatility.
I've done some very stupid things within the Mad Hatter 's walls and I've seen even dumber things.
Chef Hermann's Cream of Morel Soup/ Hatter Royale Hopquila.
The Math Hatter and More.
Jerica the pirate princess mad hatter .
The tea party's Maddest Hatter .
I am a Pirate Princess mad hatter .
Northern Kentucky Norse at Stetson Hatters.
The Quays — born in Pennsylvania, based in London for 40 years— are late-Victorian artist-moralists trapped in a post-nuclear universe, Lewis Carrolls whose Mad Hatter would have done unspeakable things to Alice.
The Mad Hatter kept gambling.
Service Club of Chicago's Mad Hatter Luncheon.
Among the images on display at Cal State Northridge are, left, Muhammad Ali & Stokely Carmichael by Guy Crowder, and right, the Mad Hatters by Harry Adams.
Doing the Lobster Quadrille at The Mad Hatter's Ball.
Zulu Carnivals Mayors KreweAnnual Mad Hatters Champagne Brunch Sunday December 2nd.
NCAA Women's Basketball Conversation: Final statistics from the Bethune -Cookman Wildcats vs Stetson Hatters game played on November 20, 2012.