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Hangers on

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on January 22, 2007

In Reply to: Hangers on posted by WILLIAM LOMBARD on January 22, 2007

: What is the origin of the English phrase "hangers on" please

Since the Middle Ages one of the meanings of the verb "to hang" has has been "to attach oneself for support; to cling". The word "hanger-on", meaning a follower or dependent who attaches himself to someone richer or more powerful, is first recorded in 1549.