go hang

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go hang (third-person singular simple present goes hang, present participle going hang, simple past went hang, past participle gone hang)

  1. (intransitive, idiomatic) To be cursed; to be unworthy of notice or bother.
    • 1611, William Shakespeare, The Tempest, Act II, Scene II:
      For she had a tongue with a tang,
      Would cry to a sailor, 'Go hang!'
      She loved not the savour of tar nor of pitch,
      Yet a tailor might scratch her where'er she did itch.
      Then to sea, boys, and let her go hang!
    • 1898, Margaret Georgina Todd, Mona Maclean, Medical Student: A Novel[1], page 449:
      When Love is kind, cheerful, and free,
      Love's sure to find welcome from me;
      But when Love brings heartache and pang,
      Tears and such things, Love may go hang!
    • 1958, Macdonald Hastings, Cork in the Doghouse, page 97:
      "And your advice was to let the family go hang and to insure the dog heavily against accidents?"

Usage notes[edit]

Most frequently encountered used optatively or subjunctively through use of modal verbs such as can, may, or let. Inflected forms without modal verbs are rare in modern usage but can be seen in quotes like the following:

  • Wherever money comes in at the window, "discipline" flies out at the door, even if it be not quite the case that "wisdom goes hang." (1902)
  • It began, of course, as a temporary expedient, but was found so convenient that principles went hang and the Cosmans as a body became employers of labour. . . . (1913)