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Posted by ESC on January 25, 2005

In Reply to: Hangover posted by Word Camel on January 24, 2005

: : I was just wondering on the origin of the term "Hangover" and came across the following...

: : Posted by Frankie on May 10, 2000
: : : "Hangover" --slang, describing the action of dangling over the commode (toilet bowl) the next morning . Simply put, hanging over the toilet to vomit the next morning.
: : As Richard Roundtree stated on 1/03/00 in
: : archive 3
: : "Verily, methinks the wench indeed hath quaffed of our finest ale; how apple-cheeked and lusty she doth appear!.....'til following morn when she hungeth over mine commode to rid herself of thine iniquities. (alright, I made up the last part.)

: :
: : But wondered (purely speculatively) if the term had anything to do with the habit of allowing prisoners drinks in all hostelries on the way to Tyburn to be Hanged...?

: : Anyone know the true origin

: It's doubtful. I looked it up and it was first seen in 1894 in the sense of something left over or an after-effect. It was first in the sense of the after-effect of alcohol sometime later in 1904. I'm guessing that if its origin was the one you suggest it would have been a term used earlier.

One source says it was used on 1912 to describe the morning after a drinking bout. This puts the date a few years earlier:

HANGOVER -- n. 1904. The unpleasant after-effects of drinking too much alcohol. Originally U.S., apparently a development of an earlier usage, "something or someone 'left over' from before." From "20th Century Words: The Story of New Words in English Over the Last 100 Years by John Ayto (Oxford University Press, New York, 1999).

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