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‘Hung Parliament’ – but where does the term come from?

empty-jury-chairs

Post-election we’re hearing the term ‘Hung Parliament’ but where does the term come from?

The term ‘Hung Parliament’ derives from the term ‘Hung Jury’ when jurors cannot decide on a verdict in court and a retrial is needed.

The earliest use of the term in a law report appears in an 1821 case, Evans v. McKinsey. It appears that the term developed somewhere in the South during the early 19th Century.

Linguistically, the phrase seems to derive from the sense of “hung” to mean caught, suspended or delayed (“I got hung up at the office”).