verb (past and past participle hung /hʌŋ/ except in sense 2)
exclamationSouth African & NZ dated
Old English hangian (intransitive verb), of West Germanic origin, related to Dutch and German hangen, reinforced by the Old Norse transitive verb hanga
In modern English hang has two past tense and past participle forms: hanged and hung. Hung is the normal form in most general uses, e.g. they hung out the washing; she hung around for a few minutes; he had hung the picture over the fireplace, but hanged is the form normally used in reference to execution by hanging: the prisoner was hanged. The reason for this distinction is a complex historical one: hanged, the earlier form, was superseded by hung sometime after the 16th century; it is likely that the retention of hanged for the execution sense may have to do with the tendency of archaic forms to remain in the legal language of the courts.