Baseball hat vs cap

Discussion in 'English Only' started by SwissJeremy, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. SwissJeremy Senior Member


    I was just wondering, what's the more common expression Baseball hat or cap?

    Are both used that way? Is there any difference between a hat and a cap?
  2. Egmont Senior Member

    Massachusetts, U.S.
    English - U.S.
    Baseball cap.

    If you do a Web search for "difference hat cap," without the quotes, you'll find many people's opinions on the difference. The pages I looked at seem to come down to a cap fitting the head closely and having at most a visor, while a hat is often larger and has a brim all around. I seldom wear either unless it's raining or I'll be out in the sun a long time, though, so I'm not the expert on this topic!
  3. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    The style of headwear worn by baseball players and many other males is a cap. Any head covering (not necessarily close-fitting) that doesn't have a brim all around but does have a visor at one side is called a cap in AE.
  4. Fabulist Banned

    Annandale, Virginia, USA
    American English
    There may be "hats" that only have bills, not all-around brims, but what baseball players wear isn't one of them. There are no baseball hats except in jest. Baseball players also wear helmets, which are the same shape as baseball caps but are a hard plastic that protects a batter'head from a thrown ball, which can approach at over 150 km/hour. At a distance, you can often tell a helmet from a cap by the flap that protects one side of the head (the side toward the pitcher).
  5. Packard

    Packard Senior Member

    USA, English
    Not surprisingly WIKI has an entry called "baseball caps", with a subtopic "history" and another that gives a description:

    A baseball cap is a type of soft cap with a long, stiff brim that may either be curved or flat. The front of the cap typically contains designs or logos of sports teams (namely baseball teams). The back of the cap may be "fitted" to the wearer's head size or it may have a plastic, Velcro, or elastic adjuster so that it can be quickly adjusted to fit different wearers.

    In 1860, the Brooklyn Excelsiors wore the ancestor of the modern rounded-top baseball cap, and by 1900, the "Brooklyn style" cap became popular...

    This site shows images of early baseball uniforms. As you can see the "caps" originally looked like painter's hats, or Kangol hats (or old fashioned golfing caps). So if you said "baseball cap" in 1880 you would have had a different one than we have in 2011.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2011

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