I rarely wear hats these days though I have got myself a lovely woollen one for winter now. Looking in a more recent dictionary this word’s not in it. There were times when to be bonetted or unbonneted was part of the etiquette and may still be in some cultures. Women at ascot on women’s day without a hat? Culturally unheard of. We live in a huge mix of society and cultures but if you are from a particular culture and find you self ‘unbonneted’ or it’s equivalent that can be very unnerving.
There have been times in my culture when I was ‘unbonneted’. Usually because I had no idea what the etiquette was and if you don’t think you need to ask, people sometimes forget to tell you. That can lead to some unfortunate, though humorous (with hindsight) images. One where I didn’t know I had to say grace when invited to lunch at the home of a bishop… Another when I wore my best red top for a church service that I was supposed to wear white at.. hmm I would have liked to be in the audience for that one!
What does unbonneted now mean to me?
Unbonneted is how you can find yourself when your Dad brings you up, through your teens, on his own. He did a great job of bringing up a very independent, unconventional, brightly dressed woman, with a lot of brilliant, hilarious (with hindsight) memories!
‘Wearing no bonnet or cap; bareheaded.’
‘head covering usually tied under the chin with strings or ribbons, by women and children.’
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