Mad As A Hatter

By Jabo
@jaboUK (64956)
United Kingdom
March 14, 2021 5:40pm CST
You might think the phrase 'mad as a hatter' stems from Alice In Wonderland but I looked it up and it dates from 17th century French hat-makers. It seems they used mercury in the felt-making process and it gradually poisoned them. This caused them to act irrationally, and they also developed tremors, giving the impression that they were mad. I thought that was interesting enough to pass on to you.
36 people like this
35 responses
@Juliaacv (65532)
• Canada
14 Mar 21
That is interesting, and it makes good sense too doesn't it? Now I've got to log off and go and throw out all of my really old hats.
7 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar 21
Probably a wise thing to do
3 people like this
@Juliaacv (65532)
• Canada
14 Mar 21
@jaboUK And I suspect that you are doing the same, we don't want to be accused of going mad do we?
2 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar 21
@Juliaacv That wouldn't do at all!
3 people like this
@kaylachan (32896)
• Daytona Beach, Florida
15 Mar 21
Alice in Wonderland was one huge poem that just didn't make sense, and was never meant to. But, you can probably guess where the author got the idea from.
4 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
True.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (274941)
• Rockingham, Australia
15 Mar 21
Thanks and that is interesting. I guess there were a few such occupations that had repercussions from chemicals.
3 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
Yes, people dealing with asbestos paid the price later on in life but the danger wasn't known at the time.
2 people like this
@JudyEv (274941)
• Rockingham, Australia
15 Mar 21
@jaboUK They are renovating a bank in town and have found asbestos. It's certainly bad news as a disease.
1 person likes this
@rakski (103069)
• Philippines
15 Mar 21
good thing I do not like wearing hats
2 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
Neither do I
1 person likes this
@rakski (103069)
• Philippines
15 Mar 21
1 person likes this
@rebelann (97461)
• El Paso, Texas
15 Mar 21
Oh wow, I never would have guessed that. Thank heavens people don't use mercury anymore, well, not like that anyway.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
It's surprising that that's where the saying comes from, isn't it?
1 person likes this
@rebelann (97461)
• El Paso, Texas
15 Mar 21
Yes it is but then how many people today knows anything about hats and how they're made.
1 person likes this
• Midland, Michigan
14 Mar 21
My hands shake mostly in the mornings but sometimes more. I don't know if that's similar to tenors or not but I hope no one thinks I'm mad, as in crazy mad.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
What - you mad?? I don't think so Marsha (unless you've been swigging on the mercury)
1 person likes this
• Midland, Michigan
15 Mar 21
@jaboUK other things can make one crazy but I think I'm fine for now.
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (47670)
• United States
14 Mar 21
You have taught me something new. Thanks
2 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar 21
My pleasure Marie
1 person likes this
@Tampa_girl7 (47670)
• United States
15 Mar 21
1 person likes this
@CarolDM (182010)
• United States
14 Mar 21
Oh my, I never knew this. You always have knowledge to share.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar 21
I doo like to look up the origins of phrases, some are quite surprising.
1 person likes this
@CarolDM (182010)
• United States
14 Mar 21
@jaboUK I do as well. I also enjoy the backstories of songs.
1 person likes this
@TheHorse (153102)
• Walnut Creek, California
15 Mar 21
Were the effects irreversible?
2 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
Probably they were in those days, but I'm not sure. My research didn't throw up the answer to that.
@spiderdust (11592)
• San Jose, California
15 Mar 21
I've heard about that! I have an annotated copy of Alice in Wonderland, and it mentions that the phrase "mad as a March hare" comes from the strange behavior that people observed in hares during their breeding season, the peak of it being in March.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
I've heard of the March hare one too, and have in fact seen hares 'boxing' each other in the fields.
@sol_cee (31491)
• Philippines
15 Mar 21
Interesting! I always think of Alice in Wonderland when I hear that expression
2 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
It's the natural thing to do.
@Dena91 (17714)
• United States
14 Mar 21
I have read about that before. It is interesting how the phrase came to be.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
It was new to me, but interesting to know.
1 person likes this
@allknowing (102894)
• India
14 Mar 21
These idioms and phrases do date back to ancient times. I am not surprised. Thanks for that.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
Some sayings do have origins that it would be impossible to guess at.
1 person likes this
@AmbiePam (58858)
• United States
14 Mar 21
I had no idea. That IS interesting.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar 21
Thanks, I'm pleased that you found it interesting. I like finding out these little snippets of information.
1 person likes this
@DianneN (243866)
• United States
14 Mar 21
That is interesting and makes sense unlike my car emissions testing.
2 people like this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
14 Mar 21
Yes it does make sense. Did you reply to me on your post about the emissions? Must go and have a look.
@nela13 (49896)
• Portugal
20 Mar 21
I like hats but I don't use it often.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
20 Mar 21
I never wear one myself.
1 person likes this
@nela13 (49896)
• Portugal
21 Mar 21
@jaboUK Really?! Not even during winter or under the sun?
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
21 Mar 21
@nela13 No, but I have a hooded jacket for the winter.
1 person likes this
@just4him (265356)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
15 Mar 21
That's very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
It's good that you thought it interesting, thank you.
1 person likes this
@just4him (265356)
• Green Bay, Wisconsin
16 Mar 21
@jaboUK I enjoy learning about phrases I've heard all my life.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
17 Mar 21
@just4him So do I.
1 person likes this
@lazydaizee (3836)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
Thanks for the information. Has mercury been banned now? I know that it was used to make barometers in the past and that is why you should not lay a barometer down in case the mercury leaks. I also think it was used in the making of mirrors.
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
I think mercury has been phased out in the making of batteries and barometers but I'm not sure what else it's used for.
1 person likes this
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
@jaboUK Was it also used for fillings at the dentist, or was that lead?
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
@lazydaizee That I don't know - surely either of them would be poisonous in the mouth?
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (386562)
• Switzerland
15 Mar 21
I knew that the mercury used by hat makers caused them to act irrationally, thus the character in Alice in Wonderland. I never heard in French "aussi fou qu'un chapelier" (as mad as a hatter).
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
Do you think that Mr Dodgson knew that when he wrote Alice?
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (386562)
• Switzerland
15 Mar 21
@jaboUK I think so, mercury was used in England by hatters since 1750, so I believe that the "Mad-Hatter Disease" was well known when Mr Dodgson wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in 1865.
1 person likes this
@Rashnag (28158)
• Surat, India
15 Mar 21
That is interesting. Thanks for sharing. Take care
1 person likes this
@jaboUK (64956)
• United Kingdom
15 Mar 21
I'm happy that you found it interesting, thank you.
1 person likes this
@Rashnag (28158)
• Surat, India
15 Mar 21
@jaboUK your welcome dear
1 person likes this