Recent Examples of hangnail from the Web
Next to the headphone jack, the microUSB port is hidden beneath a push-to-open plastic slot that’s just begging to get ripped off like a hangnail.
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Did You Know?
Hangnail is altered by folk etymology from angnail or agnail, which originally did not correspond to what we now know as “hangnail.” In Old English angnægl meant “corn on the foot,” with the element nægl referring not to a fingernail but rather the nail we drive in with a hammer, with the head of an iron nail being likened to a hard corn. By the 16th century, the association of -nail with the body’s nails led to a new sense, “an inflammation around a finger- or toenail.” The first element, ang- or ag-, which is akin to Old English enge, “painful,” was no longer understandable. Some speakers altered it to hang-, so that the dominant sense of both hangnail and agnail came to be “loose skin at the root of a fingernail.”
Origin and Etymology of hangnail
HANGNAIL Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of hangnail for English Language Learners
: a small piece of skin hanging loose at the side or bottom of a fingernail
HANGNAIL Defined for Kids
Definition of hangnail for Students
History for hangnail
Seen and Heard
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