Annals of nouning: hang

From Dennis Preston, this item from Ann Arbor:

And we’d be surprised if some of the hiccups we encountered don’t get taken care of before our next visit. In the meantime, the Wurst is a really fun place for a hang and a nice addition to Ypsilanti’s food-and-drink landscape. (link)

Yes, a nouning of the intransitive slang verb hang ‘hang out (with)’. New to Dennis (and to me), but not to the world in general.

A few more cites:

mac is a more suitable venue for a festival than the CBSO Centre (much as I love the latter venue) as it has various different sized rooms, a good bar, a cafe with a range of food and it is, both inside and outside, a nice place for a hang. (link)

just had a great hang with my West High School combo students. leftovers galore. (link)

Good hangs with dougie today, top lad. (link)

Good Hangs Near Tips and Howlin Wolf

I’m coming with a large group for JazzFest and am looking for places for dinner/drinks before the shows. (link)

(In a separate development, the computer verb hang ‘hang up, freeze’ has been nouned:

I have no idea whether this would be a problem with your use of PHP, but it seems the most likely place for a hang if things are stopping after “htmerge: Sorting…”. (link) )

The verb background. First, the verb hang out, from OED Additions for June 2003:

v. intr.  slang (in early use chiefly U.S.), to spend or pass time, esp. habitually, idly, or at leisure, usually at a specified place or with specified company; to socialize informally, esp. as part of a peer group; (of two or more people) to associate, spend time together; freq. with at, with, etc. [cites from 1846 on]

Older slang than you might have thought. Then to the mid-20th century with hang (more June 2003 Additions):

orig. and chiefly U.S. slang. To pass time idly or aimlessly; to associate or socialize informally with (esp. as part of a peer group). Cf. earlier hang out vb. at Additions.

The full set of cites:

1941   New Yorker 26 Apr. 22   To hang,..means to loiter. ‘I used to hang in Forty-sixth Street, front of Variety,’ a small bookmaker may say.

1969   Playboy Dec. 100/1   When I’m not on a football field, I hang with whoever I want to hang with.

1988   D. Waters Heathers (film script) 86   Do you think, do you really think, if Betty Finn’s fairy godmother made her Cool, she’d still act nice and hang with her dweebette friends?

2001   C. Glazebrook Madolescents 207   We could listen to some music, phone for a pizza. I dunno..just hang.

After that 1941 cite, what we have is youth slang, so Heathers was probably inevitable. But the verb and the noun hang seem to be aging along with their speakers.


One Response to “Annals of nouning: hang

  1. Rick Sprague Says:

    I picked up the verb hang “socialize informally” from my young friends within the last ten years or so, but don’t recall hearing it nouned in that sense. However, I’m pretty sure I used the computer-related noun hang back when I was a systems programmer/analyst, at least 20 years ago. Never occurred to me that it was an extended usage at the time, but then I wasn’t following linguistics blogs back then either.

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