Origin of hang-up
verb (used with object), hung or especially for 4, 5, 20, hanged; hang·ing.
- to exhibit (a painting or group of paintings): The gallery hung his paintings in a small corner.
- to put the paintings of (an art exhibition) on the wall of a gallery: They hung the show that morning.
verb (used without object), hung or especially for 24, hanged; hang·ing.
- to be exhibited: His works hang in most major museums.
- to have one's works on display: Rembrandt hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
- loss of way due to adverse wind or current.
- a rake, as of a mast.
- to spend time in a certain place or in certain company: He hangs around with an older crowd.
- to linger about; loiter: They had stopped working and were just hanging around to talk.
- to be reluctant to proceed or move forward: The older pupils went straight to the podium, but the younger ones hung back out of shyness.
- to refrain from taking action; hesitate: A forward pass would have been the best call, but the quarterback hung back because his last pass had been intercepted.
- to hold fast; cling to.
- to continue with effort; persevere: If you can hang on for a month longer, you will be eligible for the bonus.
- to be sustained to the point of danger, tedium, etc.: coughs that hang on for months.
- to keep a telephone line open: Hang on, I'll see if she's here.
- to wait briefly; keep calm.
- to lean or be suspended through an opening.
- Informal.to frequent a particular place, especially in idling away one's free time: to hang out in a bar.
- Informal.to loiter in public places: nothing to do on Saturday night but hang out.
- Informal.to consort or appear in public with: Who's she been hanging out with?
- Slang.to calm down: Hang out, Mom, I'm OK.
- to wait, especially briefly: Hang out a minute while I get my backpack.
- to suspend in open view; display: to hang out the flag.
- to remain to be settled; be postponed: They will probably let the final decision hang over until next year.
- to be imminent or foreboding; threaten: Economic ruin hangs over the town.
- to suspend by placing on a hook, peg, or hanger.
- to cause or encounter delay; suspend or slow the progress of: The accident hung up the traffic for several hours.
- to break a telephone connection by replacing the receiver on the hook: She received an anonymous call, but the party hung up when she threatened to call the police.
- to cause a hang-up or hang-ups in: The experience hung her up for years.
Origin of hang
Related Words for hang upcraziness, fascination, lunacy, rage, passion, frenzy, craze, enthusiasm, dementia, obsession, craving, fad, infatuation, concentration, phobia, delusion, mania, compulsion, preoccupation, restriction
noun hang-up informal
verb hangs, hanging or hung (hʌŋ)
- to be delayed
- to procrastinateSee also fire (def. 16)
- to understand the technique of doing something
- to perceive the meaning or significance of
Word Origin for hang
verbal phrase, c.1300; telephone sense by 1911. Noun hang-up "psychological fixation" is first attested 1959, from notion of being suspended in one place.
a fusion of Old English hon "suspend" (transitive, class VII strong verb; past tense heng, past participle hangen), and Old English hangian (weak, intransitive, past tense hangode) "be suspended;" also probably influenced by Old Norse hengja "suspend," and hanga "be suspended." All from Proto-Germanic *khang- (cf. Old Frisian hangia, Dutch hangen, German hängen), from PIE *kank- "to hang" (cf. Gothic hahan, Hittite gang- "to hang," Sanskrit sankate "wavers," Latin cunctari "to delay;" see also second element in Stonehenge). As a method of execution, in late Old English (but originally specifically of crucifixion).
Hung emerged as past participle 16c. in northern England dialect, and hanged endured only in legal language (which tends to be conservative) and metaphors extended from it (I'll be hanged). Teen slang sense of "spend time" first recorded 1951; hang around "idle, loiter" is from 1830, and hang out (v.) is from 1811. Hang fire (1781) was originally used of guns that were slow in communicating the fire through the vent to the charge. To let it all hang out "be relaxed and uninhibited" is from 1967.
late 15c., "a sling," from hang (v.). Meaning "a curtain" is from c.1500; that of "the way cloth hangs" is from 1797. To get the hang of (something) "become capable" is from 1834, American English. Perhaps originally in reference to a certain tool or feat, but, if so, its origin has been forgotten. It doesn't seem to have been originally associated with drapery or any other special use of hang.
'To get the hang of a thing,' is to get the knack, or habitual facility of doing it well. A low expression frequently heard among us. In the Craven Dialect of England is the word hank, a habit; from which this word hang may perhaps be derived. [John Russell Bartlett, "Dictionary of Americanisms," New York, 1848]
Suspend on a hook or hanger, as in Let me hang up your coat for you. [c. 1300]
Also, hang up on. Replace a telephone receiver in its cradle; end a phone conversation. For example, She hung up the phone, or He hung up on her. [Early 1900s]
Delay or hinder; also, become halted or snagged, as in Budget problems hung up the project for months, or Traffic was hung up for miles. [Second half of 1800s]
Have or cause to have emotional difficulties, as in Being robbed at gunpoint can hang one up for years to come. [Slang; early 1900s]
hung up on. Obsessed with, as in For years the FBI was hung up on Communist spies. [First half of 1900s]
hang up one's sword or gloves or fiddle. Quit, retire, as in He's hanging up his sword next year and moving to Florida. The noun in these expressions refers to the profession one is leaving—sword for the military, gloves for boxing, and fiddle for music—but they all are used quite loosely as well, as in the example.
hang up one's hat. Settle somewhere, reside, as in “Eight hundred a year, and as nice a house as any gentleman could wish to hang up his hat in” (Anthony Trollope, The Warden, 1855).