Hang One's Head

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Also: Hang one's head in shame

Meaning of Idiom 'Hang One's Head'

To hang (your, his, her) head means to express shame, contrition, or embarrassment; to appear embarrassed or ashamed. 1,2


"Nobody should be hanging their head," said the coach. "We're all winners here."

"The student hung his head in shame after failing the quiz."


Used since the 1200's, this idiom alludes to physically lowering one's head as an expression of embarrassment, shame, contrition, or remorse.

1. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
2. Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth M. The Wordsworth Dictionary of Idioms. Ware: Wordsworth, 1995.

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