delay or be delayed in taking action or progressing
In the late 18th century, hang fire
was used to refer to the action of a firearm that was slow in communicating the fire through the vent to the charge and so did not go off immediately.
RELATED IDIOMS :
get the hang of something
learn how to operate or do something – informal
1990 - Roddy Doyle - The Snapper - He was pretending to time them because he couldn't get the hang of the stop-watch Bertie'd got him.
hang by a thread
be in a highly precarious state
hang a left = hang a right
make a left (or right) turn - US informal
refrain from taking anything too seriously - informal
hang of a = a hang of
to a very high degree
very great - South African informal
In this expression hang is probably being used as a euphemism for hell.
1945 - Frank Sargeson - When the Wind Blows – All this was because Charlie was hang of a funny to be with.
hang someone out to dry
leave someone in a difficult or vulnerable situation - informal
The image here is of hanging wet washing on a clothes line to dry. The idea of flapping uselessly or ineffectually like clothes drying in the wind is also behind the cricketing metaphor hanging your bat out to dry
which dates from the late 19th century and means holding your bat away from your body at an ineffectual angle.
1998 - Spectator - We point out that another MP has been hung out to dry for failing to declare what was (relative to this) a minuscule interest.
be or remain inflexible or firmly resolved - North American informal
1992 - Randall Kenan - Let the Dead Bury their Dead - Obviously, he intended to hang tough at first, but apparently Miss Jesse's psychic bullwhip lashed out and snap-crackled his brain.
hang up your boots
retire – informal
Boots are seen in this expression as part of a person's working clothes. A common Canadian variant is hang up your skates
1997 - Farmers Weekly - The hard fact is that all farmers, whether the pension scheme is attractive or not, are, mostly, reluctant to hang their boots up.
hang your hat
be resident - North American informal
2001 - Kevin Sampson - Outlaws - End of the day though it ain't the Royal and that is where I want to hang my hat.
let it all hang out
be uninhibited or relaxed – informal
not care a hang = not give a hang
not care at all – informal
Hang here is a late 19th-century euphemism for damn.
hang fire :
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