hanged


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

(well,) I'll be hanged!

An expression of surprise or astonishment, especially regarding some recent revelation. Bob: "You know, if you run your washing machine at night you can save a lot of money on your electric bill." John: "I'll be hanged, I never knew that before!" Well, I'll be hanged! Who knew so many people would show up to see our concert?

I'll be hanged if I (do something)

I am determined not to do something. I'll be hanged if I let some young upstart like you take control of my company!
See also: hanged, if

(I'll be) hanged if I know!

I have absolutely no idea! A: "How are you supposed to turn on this newfangled computer?" B: "Hanged if I know!" I'll be hanged if I know how to fill out these tax forms!
See also: hanged, if

I'm hanged if I know!

I have absolutely no idea! I'm hanged if I know how to fill out these tax forms!
See also: hanged, if

hang by the eyelids

To have a loose grip on something. Can be used either literally or figuratively. For the tug-of-war, don't just hang by the eyelids, gentlemen! Really get a secure grip on the rope and keep a strong stance! I currently have a D in this class, but I'm just hanging by the eyelids—I really need to get a tutor.
See also: by, eyelid, hang

hang on (one's) sleeve

To be totally reliant on someone else. You're 30 years old, so stop hanging on your mother's sleeve and get a job already! I know my kids are too young to be self-sufficient, but sometimes I just need a night without anyone hanging on my sleeve.
See also: hang, on, sleeve

hang (up) (one's) hat

To live somewhere; to take up residence. I'm originally from the East Coast, but I hang my hat in San Francisco these days. I've been traveling around the world for so long that it feels strange to finally have a place to hang up my hat.
See also: hang, hat

hang up (one's) hatchet

1. To make peace with someone. It is most likely an earlier version of the phrase "bury the hatchet." Can you please hang up your hatchet and make up with your sister already? I can't take the constant fighting.
2. To take a break from work; to stop working. Hang up your hatchet, buddy, it's lunchtime! It's really time for me to hang up my hatchet and find a new job somewhere else.
See also: hang, hatchet, up

hang up (one's) boots

To retire from playing a sport. After suffering so many injuries on the field, I think it's time for him to hang up his boots.
See also: boot, hang, up

hang up (one's) fiddle

To retire from something. I've been at the company for 30 years, so it's time for me to hang up my fiddle.
See also: fiddle, hang, up

hang up (one's) spurs

To stop doing something; to retire from something. I've been at the company for 30 years, so it's time for me to hang up my spurs. You're an adult now, and you can't stay out all weekend—it's time to hang up your spurs and ditch the party scene.
See also: hang, spur, up

draw and quarter

1. To hang and dismember someone. This phrase can also be preceded by the word "hang," as in "hang, draw, and quarter." This criminal is to be drawn and quartered, so once they pull him from the gallows, he'll be dismembered.
2. To kill a prisoner by tying each limb to a horse and then sending each horse in a different direction. When he's drawn and quartered, the horses will pull his body apart in a gruesome scene.
3. By extension, to punish someone severely. This usage is hyperbolic. Oh, she'll be drawn and quartered when mom and dad find out that she ran off to New York.
See also: and, draw, quarter

might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb

One might as well commit a worse offense, since the punishment will remain the same. (In the past, theft of a sheep was punishable by death.) I've already blown most of my savings, so what's another $100? Might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb.
See also: hanged, lamb, might, sheep, well

hang in

To persist in a challenging situation. I know you're worried, but keep hanging in—the doctor will call soon.
See also: hang

If you're born to be hanged, then you'll never be drowned.

Prov. If you escape one disaster, it must be because you are destined for a different kind of disaster. (Sometimes used to warn someone who has escaped drowning against gloating over good luck.) When their ship was trapped in a terrible storm, Ellen told her husband that she feared they would die. "Don't worry," he replied with a yawn, "if you're born to be hanged, then you'll never be drowned."
See also: born, drown, if, never

Little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape.

Prov. Truly expert criminals are never caught. Everyone's making such a fuss because they convicted that bank robber, but he must not have been a very dangerous criminal. Little thieves are hanged, but great ones escape.
See also: but, escape, great, little, one, thief

draw and quarter

Punish severely, as in Mom'll draw and quarter me if even one scratch appears on her new car. This expression alludes to two brutal forms of execution practiced in the past. In one the victim was drawn by a horse to a gallows, hanged, and then cut into four pieces and scattered; in the other the victim was hanged, disemboweled while still alive ( drawn), and then beheaded and dismembered. In both the victim was said to be hanged, drawn, and quartered. Today the term is usually used hyperbolically.
See also: and, draw, quarter

hanged for a sheep as a lamb, might as well be

Might just as well be punished for a big misdeed as a small one. For example, I might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb and have a third piece of cake-I've gone off my diet anyhow . Already a proverb in John Ray's 1678 collection, this expression alludes to the old punishment for stealing sheep, which was hanging no matter what the age or size of the animal.
See also: hanged, might, sheep, well

hang in

Also, hang in there. Keep at something, persevere. For example, We decided to hang in until we had figured out why the experiment failed, or Hang in there! You'll soon catch on to the language. [Slang; mid-1900s]
See also: hang

I'll be hanged

1. I am very surprised, as in, Well, I'll be hanged; there's Susan.
2. I'll be hanged if I. Under no circumstances will I, as in I'll be hanged if I let you do that. Both of these hyperbolic colloquial usages allude to being executed by hanging.
See also: hanged

I might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb

or

I might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb

If someone says I might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb or I might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb, they mean that as they will suffer or be punished whatever they do, they are choosing to do something really bad. I knew I was going to get into trouble for being late as it was, so I figured I might as well be hanged for a sheep as a lamb. Note: For a long time in the past in England, the penalty for sheep stealing was death.
See also: hanged, lamb, might, sheep, well

(you, etc.) may/might as well be hanged/hung for a ˌsheep as (for) a ˈlamb

(saying) if you are going to be punished for doing something wrong, whether it is a big or small thing, you may as well do the big thing: I’m already late but I’ll stay and have another drink. May as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb.In the past, the punishment for stealing farm animals such as sheep was death by hanging.
See also: hanged, hung, lamb, may, might, sheep, well

hang in

v.
To persevere: The politician decided to hang in the campaign despite the negative comments in the press.
See also: hang

draw and quarter

1. To execute (a prisoner) by tying each limb to a horse and driving the horses in different directions.
2. To disembowel and dismember after hanging.
3. Informal To punish severely: The teenager was drawn and quartered for wrecking the family's only car.
See also: and, draw, quarter
References in periodicals archive ?
April 2007, Allyn Price, 21, hanged himself in Maesteg.
His friend Leigh Jenkins, 22, hanged himself in a friend's bedroom in June.
Earlier this month, 27-year-old Gareth Morgan, who knew Liam, was found hanged at his home in Bridgend.
Amjad was sent to gallows for killing 2 persons in 2002, Mohammad Bashir was hanged for killing one person in 1998 and Laeeq Shah was executed for murdering 2 persons in 2001.
Death convict Mohammad Farooq was hanged in District Jail Sargodha for killing Ehsan Ullah over an old enmity.
State television reported: "After legal procedures, 17 individuals were hanged on the charges of drug smuggling in Khorasan Razavi province this morning.
In a separate execution, four others were hanged in Shiraz, 800km south of Tehran.
In 166014 women and one man accused of witchcraft were hanged on Newcastle's Town Moor.
Jade Hughes, 14, was found hanged at a property in Landore, Swansea, on Saturday.
As many as 11 death convicts have been hanged so far since Eid ul Fitr.
Meanwhile, two death row convicts Fayaz and Qaisar were hanged at Sahiwal Central Jail.
Two condemned assassins, Abid Maqsood and Sanaullah were hanged at gallows in Sialkots District Jail at todays daybreak.
Mirwaiz Mirwaiz Umar Farooq in a media interview over phone from New Delhi said that he had been confined to his room since February 9, the day Afzal Guru was hanged.
New Delhi -- Alleged in Indian Parliament House attack Afzal Guru was hanged to death at Tihar Central Jail on Saturday morning.
Billy Bailey, the 49-year-old murderer of an elderly couple, climbed up onto a wooden gallows and was hanged early Thursday, becoming only the third convict to be executed this way since 1965.