Green’s Dictionary of Slang

hang up one’s... v.

[image of hanging up on a peg the item required for the job]

[mid-19C+] used in a variety of phrs., usu. linked to the occupation in question, meaning to retire; thus fig. to die.

In phrases

hang up one’s fiddle (v.) [mid-19C–1930s] (US)

1. to stop what one is doing.

2. to retire.

3. to die.

hang up one’s gloves (v.) (also hang up the gloves) [orig. prize-fighting jargon] [1920s+] (US)

1. to retire from one’s profession; ad hoc vars. occur.

2. to give up.

3. to die.

hang up one’s harness (v.) (also hang up one’s iron, ...tackle) [late 19C–1910s]

1. (also drop one’s harness) to retire.

2. to die.

hang up one’s hat (v.) [mid-19C+]

1. to die.

2. to have a place to live.

3. to retire.

hang up one’s hat to (v.)

[1900s–10s] (Aus.) to make advances to.