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hangnail

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English

Etymology

Originally agnail, but modified in form and sense due to folk-etymological reanalysis as hang + nail.

Noun

Singular
hangnail

Plural
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hangnail ({{{1}}})
  1. A loose, narrow strip of nail tissue protruding from the side edge and anchored near the base of a fingernail or toenail.
  2. A pointed upper corner of the toenail (often created by improperly trimming by rounding the corner) that, as the nail grows, presses into the flesh or protrudes so that it may catch ("hang") on stockings or shoes. In this contemporary use, which derives from folk etymology by relying on the meaning of hang, the term appears in promotional podiatry literature.

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