I am old
My (possibly faulty) memory tells me that when I commuted from Winchester to Waterloo in 1972 I was one of the few males not wearing a bowler. When I briefly commuted again in 1981, there were very few bowlers to be seen.How times change! In my London days every City man wore a bowler hat
on the fringes.
I think people use "Beg someone for money/forgiveness" with exaggeration to express the idea these days.