old rowley

Melodie Lamb has tragically fallen in love exactly four times in her nineteen years of life so far:

The first time was with a seven year old boy named Rowley Higginbotham who had freckles sprinkled across his nose, most people had said that they looked like dozens of tiny constellations, but to Melodie, the freckles reminded her of a hundreds of little fireflies of all tiny round tan brown things. She was in first grade and he in second grade. At the exact moment they’d met, a stark cold November afternoon, she’d fallen off the yellow-red merry-go-round during recess and scraped her pint-size blotched knee cap on the gravel. He brought her a purple bandage (her favorite color at the time, now it’s baby blue), (he carried a box of them where ever he went) and applied it ever so softly, tenderly to her knee and promised from that day forward to heal every boo-boo, big and small she ever got. “Even a broken heart?” She asked, eyes as big as flying saucers. “Especially a broken heart.” He replied with a grin like cotton candy. The next morning they found his poor body in a small lake quite far from the school playground. His lips pale, his entire pale as if it had been drained of blood and his eyes bottomless and lifeless and a terrible gash wound to the head that no bandage of any size could ever mend.

—  Nicole Moon || The Tragic Loves of Melodie Lamb (1 of 4)
"I'll eat my hat!"

The phrase is a display of confidence in a particular outcome; for example, ‘She’s always late. If she gets that train I’ll eat my hat’.

The Oxford English Dictionary also gives an earlier form - “I’ll eat Old Rowley’s hat”. This is never used now, and the lack of references to it in print seem to indicate that it never was commonplace.

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Old Rowley was the name of a favourite horse of Charles II, and the name later transferred to Charles himself. The source of the mocking nickname appears to be the king’s reputation with the ladies. This piece was printed in The Biographical History of England, 1775:

In some of the State Poems, Charles II, is ridiculed under the nick-name of Old Rowley, which was an ill-favoured stallion kept in the Mews, that was remarkable for getting fine colts - Mrs. Holford, a young lady much admired by Charles was sitting in her apartment, and singing a satirical ballad upon “Old Rowley the King,” when he knocked at her door. Upon her asking who was there? he with his usual good humour replied, “Old Rowley himself, madam.”

It isn’t entirely clear why Charles’ hat should have been singled out for consumption, although it’s possibly an allusion to the large, florid headgear favoured by the king and his courtiers, which would have been especially difficult to eat.