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Does the phrase "I hung my head in shame" mean that the person hanged himself? Suicide?

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closed as general reference by Jasper Loy, Matt E. Эллен, JeffSahol, cornbread ninja 麵包忍者, RegDwigнt Jun 6 '12 at 18:27

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2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

No, it doesn't mean this. It is an idiom:

Hang one's head: let it fall forward (e.g., when ashamed); a downward droop or bend

  • After the teacher caught me cheating, I hung my head in shame.
  • Athletes caught taking drugs should hang their heads in shame.

When a person commits suicide or is executed by hanging, we use hang/hanged. "Hung" is never used in such cases. e.g.,

  • He was hanged for murder. (executed)
  • He said he would hang himself. (suicide)
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This paints a picture of a person with their chin on their chest, or at least on their collar bone. It is a posture of depression and humility.

It might be literal, or figurative.

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