Hold Onto Your Hats
"Hold onto your hats!"
"Get ready for this exciting / difficult development."
People use this expression to warn others to prepare themselves.
Phil: “Oh, my God! Here comes the next drop!”
Bobby: “Hold onto your hats!”
1. Literature Reference: Author Brendan Mathews uses this expression in a 2009 short story for The Cincinnati Review ("My Last Attempt to Explain What Happened
with the Lion Tamer") to have a character introduce a death-defying circus act of another character: "Ladies and gentlemen! I present to you the aerialist, who dances on the high wire and works magic on the trapeze. The flying girl, the acrobat of the air. Thrill to her breathtaking feats! Gape in amazement as she flirts with death, because folks -hold on to your hats- there's nothing between her and the ground but the force of gravity! That's right; she does it all without a net!"
2. Media Reference #1: Journalist Sydney Ember uses this expression in an October 16th, 2014 article for The New York Times ("Morning Agenda: AbbVie’s Cold Feet") to describe stock market volatility: "Hold onto your hats. It looks as if we are heading for another down day in stocks." (https://dealbook.nytimes.com/2014/10/16/morning-agenda-abbvies-cold-feet)
3. Media Reference #2: Journalist Nina Totenberg uses this expression in a June 27th, 2018 NPR piece ("Supreme Court To Lose Its Swing Voter: Justice Anthony Kennedy To Retire") to describe her fears of a conservative Supreme Court: "So hold onto your hats; we're in for a hell of a ride." (https://www.npr.org/transcripts/533997482) (At 3 minutes and 43 seconds into the broadcast.)
4. Media Reference #3: Anne Ramsey's character of "Mama Fratelli" uses this expression in the 1985 film The Goonies to tell her sons to prepare themselves for a police chase: "Ah, trust in your old mother boys! Throw it into four wheel drive and hold onto your hats!" (At 5 minutes and 4 seconds into the film.)