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A Dictionary of the Older Scottish Tongue (up to 1700)

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First published 1963 (DOST Vol. III).
This entry has not been updated but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

Hang, v. Also: hange, hayng. P.t. hangit, -yt, etc. [e.m.E., ME. hang, ME. hang-, honge(n, -ie(n, OE. hangian intr., ON. hanga.As in the north. Eng. dialects, the weak verb hang is in Sc. largely restricted to the special transitive sense 1 below, the general verb ‘to hang’ being Hing v. (strong and weak).]

1. tr. To hang up, suspend, esp. to put to death, by hanging (also, by crucifixion). Also reflex.Common with various complements, as be the craig, be the hals, to the dede, etc., and in the formulae for pronouncing sentence.(1) 1375 Barb. i. 218; Ib. 278, etc.
Gud knychtis … Thai hangyt be the nekbane
a1400 Leg. S. vii. 145.
That Jhesus, quham one the tre, Before-tyme we hangit
c1420 Wynt. vii. 2371.
Set thai suld hang hym be the hals
?1438 Alex. ii. 9850.
The folk [sal be] … Outher brint or hangit be the chin
c1475 Wall. vi. 479.
Sum bad byrn him, sum hang him in a cord
a1508 Kennedy Flyt. 439.
Abyde … And help to hang the pece for half a frank
1515 Fife Sheriff Ct. 15.
That the said Walter suld be … hangyt quhil he war ded
1560 Rolland Seven S. 5574.
Will ȝe ȝour sone gar hang Ȝe salbe blyith
1596 Dalr. I. 97/31; Ib. 278/9, etc.
All ar tane and in thair gold chains hangt
1602 Shetland Sheriff Ct. 33.
To be tane and hangit be the crage quhill thay die
a1605 Birrel 26.
The king's folks … hangit them … betwix the girth crosse and the abbay gaite
c1650 Spalding II. 354.
Ane of the … soldiouris … is hangit to the death
fig. 1560 Rolland Seven S. 8818.
Ȝe hir beheld sa verray feruentlie, … That ȝe thairwith is hangit in hir lufe
absol. 1375 Barb. iv. 322.
He … said, gyrnand, ‘hangis & drawis’
c1420 Wynt. vii. 98 (W).
Thare he put him in his will To hang or heid
1535 Stewart 49474.
Girnand for ire he bad baith hang and draw
(b) c 1600 Misc. Spald. C. II. 41.
Johne Ewyne … was conwickytt for false coynȝe and hayngitt
Ib. 61.
A pair of gallowse … Mordatheus thairon to hayng [: layng, = long]
(2) a1400 Leg. S. ii. 1141.
He a stalowart gyrne can ma To hang hym-self with be the hals
1501 Doug. Pal. Hon. i. 155.
Up be the swire Myself I hangit
(3) a1400 Leg. S. xii. 288.
& resone wald that his throte ware Vith a snar cord hangyt ful sare
Ib. xxxiii. 779.
Thane gert he men ... Hang hyre hey vpe be the hare
a1578 Pitsc. II. 127/5.
[All died] except Lord James ... quha was hangit be the heillis be the metsouneris to caus the poysone to drop out

2. intr. a. To be suspended (on a cross or gallows); to suffer death by hanging. a1400 Leg. S. iii. 701.
Andro, that thar hangyt
Ib. v. 14.
Quhene Criste hangit one the tre
Ib. xii. 290. a1500 Henr. Fab. 2113.
Than said the uolf, Now God nor that I hang
c1475 Wall. vii. 34.
I may nocht se thaim hang
c1500-c1512 Dunb. Flyt. 149.
For hennis thus will ye hang

b. To be suspended (in the air). a1400 Leg. S. xix. 573.
Thare arrois … In-to the ayre sa hangit all, That nane hyme twechit

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"Hang v.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 3 Feb 2023 <>



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