three points, goals, etc. scored by the same player in a particular match or game; three successes achieved by one person to score a hat-trick Culture The expression was first used in cricket. A bowler who took three wickets in three balls was traditionally given a new hat by his club. Word Origin late 19th cent.: originally referring to the club presentation of a new hat (or some equivalent) to a bowler who took three wickets successively in cricket.