We all know and recognize the famous ten gallon hats from our younger years, sitting back with a bowl of popcorn, watching old westerns. The popular image of the cowboy wouldn’t be what it is today without the famous image of the ten gallon hat.
Do you ever wonder, though, how the “ten gallon hat” got its strange name?
The easy, common-sense explanation is that it is in reference to roughly how much liquid could be stored inside of the hat. I mean, of course this is an obvious exaggeration, for even the largest of cowboy hats could only hold a few quarts of water. However, there was even once a Stetson Company ad where a cowboy gave his horse a drink from the inside of the hat. So, hmm…
Another theory is that, it comes from down south, in Mexico. On Mexican sombreros, they wore these braided hatbands, called “galóns,” but their hats were only large enough to hold one, so a “ten galón” hat would be large enough to hold around ten, which the cowboys’ hats were.
Yet another similarly spanish related theory comes from a corrupted and narcissistic translation of “tan galán,” meaning “really handsome,” or “very gallant.”
There is no absolute answer, just fun theories. So choose whichever theory you like the most, and tell your friends that’s it’s true!