Maybe I lack the knowledge of good sources for German etymology, but I haven't had much luck finding one for the word Hang, 'inclination; propensity; bias; a disposition, or liability towards something/someone'.

Is it related to the Low German verb hangen, '(intransitive, figuratively, with an) to be fond of, to feel strongly about'?

  • are you saying, you haven't got the hang of it?
    – vectory
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 21:31

1 Answer 1


It's derived from the precursors of the verb hängen ('to hang'), apparently during Late Middle High German times (15th century). Thus, it's also related to the Low German verb hangen which has been around since Middle Lower German (13th--16th century).

Duden says:

spätmittelhochdeutsch hanc = Neigung, zu hängen

Late Middle High German hanc = tendency to hang

DWDS has a extensive etymological entry for hängen, which has its roots in Old High German hāhan and hangēn (intransitive) ('to hang', both 8th century), and further gives this information for Hang:

‘Neigung, Geneigtsein, hängende Stellung (des Turners), abschüssige Stelle’ (15. Jh.)

Inclination, proneness, hanging pose (of a gymnast), precipitous location (15th century)

stating the same time of origin.

  • peek-a-boo. Incidence around the time the book press became public technology is rather biased evidence. The moon also doesn't really disappear once a month, just because you cannot see it.
    – vectory
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 21:34
  • I recommend to interpret the compiled evidence and its years as at least age of origin. Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 22:13

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