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Bowler hats – a type of titfer – on sale at the Portobello Road Market in London, England, UK

Short for tit for tat.[1]



titfer (plural titfers)

  1. (Cockney rhyming slang) A hat. [from 1930s]
    • [2012, David Chance, “Back to Canada”, in Around the World in 80 Years, [Bloomington, Ind.]: Xlibris, →ISBN, page 562:
      On this trip I heard him say something that I had not heard for a long time. He always called his hat a Titfer, and I know this is part of the cockney slang phrase "Tit for Tat." This slang is where the last syllable [tat], rhymes with the word that is being talked about, in this case, it's the word hat. The slang has been around for many years.]
    • 2016, Alan Moore, “Hark! The Glad Sound!”, in Jerusalem: A Novel, New York, N.Y.; London: Liveright Publishing Corporation, →ISBN, page 330:
      Tommy remembered Uncle Johnny standing up from his chair in the snug and settling his titfer on his head, what made him look as if he were a bookie.





  1. ^ Geoff Tibballs (2008), “Tit for tat”, in The Ultimate Cockney Geezer’s Guide to Rhyming Slang, London: Ebury Press, Ebury Publishing, →ISBN, page 182:

    Tit for tat hat / The phrase ‘tit for tat[] emerged as a rhyme for ‘hat’ in the late nineteenth century and was subsequently condensed to ‘titfer’ around 1930, in which form it enjoyed unparalleled success at a time when virtually everyone wore a hat.