Hang out with - what is the origin of this?

Curious about Language

Senior Member
Australia, English
Although extremely common in English, this phrasal verb's origin is not immediately obvious. If I had to guess I would say it relates to some reference to being hung (executed) with some one, and this obviously being a bad thing, hanging out with someone had a negative connotation which has disappeared over the years. However, I haven't been able to find any etymology for this idiom - if anyone out there has any idea, it would be much appreciated!
  • Loob

    Senior Member
    English UK
    I don't think there's any particular reason to link it with "hang" = "execute": there are many other expressions (hang about/around, hang on etc) where "hang" = "spend time".