hang, noun and interjection

Forms:
Also heng.
Origin:
English, New Zealand EnglishShow more Euphemism for English hell, from New Zealand English; apparently obsolescent elsewhere.
slang
Especially in the language of children:
A. noun In the intensive phr. hang of, hang of a:
a. adjectival phrase Very big, great.
1960 J. Taylor Ballad of the Southern Suburbs’. (lyrics)Ag, sis, Deddy, if we can’t graft to bioscope, or go off to Durban, life’s a hang of a bore.
1970 M.J. Matulovich Informant, KwaZulu-NatalThose two jammies that we were dicing had a hang-of-a prang on the corner.
1974 Blossom in Darling 8 May 91My boet gives a hang of a cackle. (He does it all the time now he’s voice is starting to break...)
1984 Frontline May 39The SABC got a hang of a skrik from all the stories about how Bop was buying the best shows from abroad.
1991 D. Boswell Informant, Giyani (N. Tvl)We had a hang of a lot of homework.
b. adverbial phrase Very, extremely. Cf. hell of (a), see hell sense 1.
1970 V. Jacques Informant, PietersburgHang of a. Very, eg. He’s hang of a nice.
1988 A.M. Smith in SA in Poësie/SA in Poetry 632He’s hang of a skraal and, His hair’s only short, hey.
1991 D. Boswell Informant, Giyani (N. Tvl)We had to walk a hang of a long way. We had a hang of a lot of homework.
B. interjection An exclamation expressing strong feeling, such as enthusiasm, frustration, resentment, or anger, equivalent to ‘damn (it)’. Cf. jislaaik.
1965 S. Dederick Tickey 2Ag, come off it, man, Tickey,’ said Ella. ‘I knew you were there. Hang, but your hands are cold, hey?’
1965 S. Dederick Tickey 3Oh, hang — there’s the bell.
1965 S. Dederick Tickey 105The first thing I saw was Table Mountain. Hang, but it’s big!
1966 L.G. Berger Where’s Madam 182‘Heng ma,’ he shuddered, ‘I think you’re bats staying out here in the bundu without even burglar bars.’
1974 Blossom in Darling 8 May 91All this fuss they making in the papers about streaking — hang, you’d think it was something new. When meantime my ouma was already streaking 20 years ago.
1976 Blossom in Darling 4 Feb. 87 [see woes].
1975 Blossom in Darling 9 Oct. 95 [see ou n. sense 1 a].
1989 J. Hobbs Thoughts in Makeshift Mortuary 173Hang, but I loved those soldiers!
Very big, great.
Very, extremely.
An exclamation expressing strong feeling, such as enthusiasm, frustration, resentment, or anger, equivalent to ‘damn (it)’.

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