Some hats appear to be tuxedos, martinis, or glasses:

Retro Fan

Retro Fan

...and yet these are called hats, instead of say some broader category such as "party wear" or "novelty disguise" or something.


  • 4
    Asking about semantics is a fair question honestly; and yet this is downvoted heavily. – Panda Dec 15 '18 at 11:27
  • You could also ask why a tux and martini are hats... the glasses at least go on your head ;) – Catija Dec 15 '18 at 17:07
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    @Panda don't read too much into the downvotes. Here they were probably just because people thought this didn't merit a question. Votes on meta are loosely defined and are not always signatures of post quality. – M.A.R. Dec 15 '18 at 21:29
  • This question is so pedantic I cannot tell if it is trolling – New Alexandria Dec 20 '18 at 14:40

"Hats" were always loosely defined. See this comment posted by hairboat 5 years ago during Winter Bash 2013:

A "hat" is a loosely defined term for any of a number of items you can wear on your avatar. They are certainly not just hats.

If there are hats why not goggles, or ties or t-shirts?


"Hat" here is a synecdoche:

Synecdoche (AKA Metonymy): A part of something is often used for the whole, as when people refer to "head" of cattle or assistants are referred to as "hands".

...synecdoches usually are shorter and sound better; hat's simpler to say than party wear or head gear, et al.

  • That is not synedoche. That's just using a word for a phrase, not a part -> whole relationship – Anthony Pham Dec 15 '18 at 18:14
  • @AnthonyPham, Well, in my view party wear would be considered as the whole class of winter bash wearables, (hats, glasses, bowties, etc.), and hat is part of that whole. So the usage of hat as referring to party wear is the synecdoche. – agc Dec 16 '18 at 5:11

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