Hang derives from Old English and means to be attached from above without support below. This is one of the core meanings, as shown in the sentence: The picture hangs on the wall.
However, there are several other related uses, for example:
- To let droop or fall – hang your head in shame.
- To fall in a certain way – this costume hangs well.
- To pay attention to – I hang on your every word.
- To hold on tightly – My daughter is hanging onto my skirt.
- A way of doing something – She couldn’t get the hang of it.
- To be oppressive – a cloud of gloom hangs over him.
The regular past tense of hang is hung, which would be used in all the examples listed above. However, there is one difference when it comes to hanging someone by the neck. In this case the past tense is hanged which means killed by hanging.
Here are some quotations from the newspapers:
… before American forces chased him from his capital city and captured him in a filthy pit near his hometown, was hanged just before dawn Saturday during the morning call to prayer. … (www.nytimes.com)
… Secrets,” he printed the pieces of personal data on sheets of paper using a special liquid solution. The sheets were hung in neat rows and columns on a wall. Museumgoers could only see the data under a special light source, and key … (www.nytimes.com)
… Met Breuer in 2016-2017.After it was acquired for McCormick Square, the painting hung in the hallway of the convention center for years with very little protection, making it liable to theft or damage, … (www.nytimes.com)