hang up one’s... v.
used in a variety of phrs., usu. linked to the occupation in question, meaning to retire; thus fig. to die.
|Indep. Rev. 18 May 6: I heard he had ‘finally hung up his coconuts’ in Western Samoa.|
|Get Your Cock Out 51: [of a rock star] He was never going to be able to hang up his leather strides.|
|Minder [TV script] 36: Well, your general anaesthetic, that goes wrong, you might as well hang up your boots.‘Get Daley!’|
1. to stop what one is doing.
|Major Downing (1834) 84: If this don’t carry it, you’ll have to hang up your fiddle till another year.|
|Dict. Americanisms 136: to hang up one’s fiddle, is to desist from any labor or project; a metaphor derived from a musician, who, when he ceases playing, is supposed to hang up his fiddle.|
|Wanderings of a Vagabond 464: The old fellow was very popular among the play-going portion of the community, and whenever his game fell off for want of patrons, all the rest in the city might hang up the fiddle.|
|Anglia VII 274: To hang up de fiddle en’ de bow = to cease from, to die.‘Negro English’ in|
|Murphy (1963) 62: My liver dried up [...] so I had to hang up my lyre.|
2. to retire.
|Hard Cash I 287: I swan to man I may just hang up my fiddle.|
3. to die.
|see def. 1.|
1. to retire from one’s profession; ad hoc vars. occur (see cit. 2000).
|No Beast So Fierce 35: ‘Man, I know you. You’re gonna rip off everything in town.’ ‘No, I’m hanging up the gloves.’.|
|Indep. on Sun. Culture 14 May 6: After his Hamlet at the RSC, he thought it was time to ‘hang up the tights’.|
2. to give up.
|(con. 1920s) Studs Lonigan (1936) 774: He was through. Studs Lonigan, hang up your glove.Judgement Day in|
3. to die.
|House of Slammers 58: I ain’t hardly ready to get dead [...] The Big Spook ain’t ready to hang up his gloves yet.|
1. (also drop one’s harness) to retire.
|Bulletin (Sydney) 29 Oct. 41/2: A veteran of the Inky Way [...] dropped his harness the other day after representing the Christchurch Press in the North Canterbury district for 51 years. He reckoned it was time he had a rest.|
2. to die.
|(con. 1900s) Shootist 115: They must have heard I was hanging up my irons for good.|
1. to die.
|N&Q X 203: He has hung up his hat. This sentence, which is sometimes used in reference to persons deceased, etc [F&H].|
|Amer. Thes. Sl. 132: Die, hang up one’s hat.|
2. to have a place to live.
|Leeds Times 22 June 4/6: [from N.Y.] Advertiser [...] says: ‘A widow (thirty-seven) owning beautiful home [...] would marry soon.’ She probably will [...] for the prospect of being able to go and hang one’s hat up without the necessity of having first to buy [...] the home is calculated to bring many replies.|
3. to retire.
|Down the Line 40: Hang up your hat, Buck, and gather the myrtle with Mary!|
(Aus.) to make advances to.
|Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 83: HANG UP YOUR HAT TO: that is, to make matrimonial overtures to a lady, is in common use.|