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    #1

    at a drop of a hat

    Dear teachers,

    Would you be kind enough to tell me whether I am right with my interpretation of the expression in bold in the following sentence?

    ..Everyone used to say, dear, you’d cry at the drop of a hat. (O.Neill’s “Long Day’s Journey into Night”, act 3)

    at a drop of a hat = immediately, without delay,

    Thank you for your efforts.

    Regards,

    V

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    #2

    Re: at a drop of a hat

    No.

    'You'd cry for the most trivial of reasons'.

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    #3

    Re: at a drop of a hat

    Hi Rover KE,

    I apologize to you for my proverbial intrusiveness bringing the following my determinations to your notice..

    At the Drop of a Hat: Information from Answers.com

    Everyone used to say, dear, you’d cry at the drop of a hat.

    cry at the drop of a hat = cry immediately/without delay = cry apropos of nothing = cry for the most trivial of reasons

    Thank you for your never failing kindness.

    Regards,

    V.

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    #4

    Re: at a drop of a hat

    I think it depends on context. In normal terms, I would say that it means "without thinking about it/without any delay/for no apparent reason" or something similar, but

    I would give up my job at the drop of a hat. (Instantly)
    She'll burst into tears at the drop of a hat. (With very little reason)
    He would sell that car at the drop of a hat. (Given the right circumstances, he would get rid of it quite happily)

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