At the drop of a hat

“I’d move at the drop of a hat, but my wife won’t,” laughs the 46-year old.

The above is from an article titled “Germany’s east-west divide still palpable 25 years on”
What does the expression “at the drop of a hat” mean? Does it mean “easily”?

without hesitation or good reason;
without delay or good reason

He can lose his temper at the drop of the hat.
I would take a job like that at the drop of a hat.

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Am I right in guessing that dropping a hat literally signifies the start of a game or something?

a sign that an opportunity arises

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It may well have evolved from being a signal that a fight was afoot or a race to be started.

I can imagine that if I were a chap dressed in my fineries and you insulted me dreadfully, I’d drop my hat so that it wouldn’t get damaged in the ensuing fight once I had hit you on the chin. This hat dropping would tell my opponent that he was about to get klonked. (This is pure speculation on my part and I clearly would never resort to physical violence these days).

At the drop of a hat = immediately.

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If you do something at the drop of a hat, you do it without planning and for no obvious reason - or with very little prompting.
For example, “he becomes angry at the drop of a hat.” In this example, it is something a person actually does.

If you would do something but haven’t yet, like in your example, “I’d move at the drop of a hat;” you already want to move and would be willing to do so without planning or thought if you had the opportunity.

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No, actually. Like Sanne said, “at the drop of a hat” = immediately.

Another example: “He thinks I can come over at the drop of a hat”. (The nuance is I’m put out/annoyed by someone who expects me to come and do something immediately for them, no matter how inconvenient etc.)

On the other hand, here’s another example: “Sing out if you need me, and I’ll come at the drop of a hat!” Translation: Call me/yell out/let me know - and I’ll come to help you immediately. ^^

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I like your simple words, easy to recall: Call me/ yell out/ let me know.

This is my all time favorite idiom, I never say quick or instantly, rather I would like to use, this idiom at the drop of a hat.
Anyone can learn more about it at at the drop of a hat meaning, origin, example sentence, definition, synonym

No need for the long winded explanations. It simply means ‘right away’ or ‘immediately’ in this context.