An Easy Trick for Remembering Hangar vs Hanger

Keeping hangar vs hanger straight in your writing is not difficult. This guide will help.

Homophones are words that commonly confuse writers. Because they sound the same when spoken, writers are often unsure what spelling to use when they write them. Hangar vs hanger is one example of a pair of homophones that can trip up writers.

One of these spellings refers to a place to park aircraft, while another refers to the tool used to hang clothes. Knowing which spelling is right will help you write more clearly.

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Deciphering Between Hangar vs Hanger

Hangar vs hanger

When you are writing, knowing the right spelling begins with understanding the meaning and origins of words. Here is a closer look at hangar and hanger and how they came to be.

Definition of Hangar

According to the dictionary, the word hangar with an ar means “a covered and usually enclosed area for housing and repairing aircraft.” In other words, hangar is the correct spelling to use when you are talking about airplanes, blimps and other flying craft. 

For a building to be an aircraft hangar, it needs a large floor area. It also usually needs to be able to close for the security of the aeroplanes inside. Here are some examples of this use:

  • The military needed a large hangar on the base for its many aircraft.
  • The pilot was asked to park his craft in the hangar and take a break to rest after his long flight.

Most writers use hangar in its noun form, but it also has a verb meaning. Hangar can mean “to place or store in a hangar.” Here are some examples of this use:

  • We hangared the aircraft before heading into town for drinks after our flight.
  • The airship was hangared until the mechanic could fix the problem with the engine.

Etymology of Hangar

The word hangar comes from the French word haimgarda, which means an enclosure around a building. It also has origins in the West Germanic word haim or haima, which means dwelling. You can also check out our aisle or isle and oral vs. verbal guides.

Definition of Hanger

Hangar vs Hanger
Hanger can also refer to something or someone that hangs or overhangs something else

A hanger is a device used to hang clothing. The definition in the Merriam-Webster dictionary is “a device by which or to which something is hung or hangs.” The most common example of a hanger is a piece of wire used to hang clothes, but hooks, straps and loops attached to a wall can also be hangers.

Hanger can also refer to something or someone that hangs or overhangs something else. The term “hanger on” comes from this meaning.

Here are some example sentences using hanger:

  • The rock band had a hard time traveling through town because of its many band members, their family members and several hanger-ons. 
  • The sweater is on the floor of the closet because it fell off the hanger.
  • Grab a picture hanger and meet me in the living room to hang our new family portrait.

Etymology of Hanger

The word hanger comes from the word hang. That word has its origins in the Middle English word hon. Hon draws from the Old High German word hahan, which means to hang.

How to Keep These Confusing Words Straight

There’s no denying that mixing up an airplane hangar and a clothes hanger is a common mistake. With just one letter difference between the two words, but very different meanings, they are commonly confused words.

One trick that can help you keep them apart is taking a look at the spelling. The word hangar uses an a, while hanger uses an e. Hangars are connected to airplanes and other aircraft, which also start with a. 

If you can remember that hangar is connected to airplanes and both use the letter a, you will get the spelling right every time.

A Final Word on Hangar vs Hanger

So what is the difference between hangar and hanger, in addition to the letters e and a? A hangar is a large building that is necessary for the storage of aircraft, while a hanger is used to hang clothing and other items.

Connect the a in hangar to the a in airplane, and you will get these two words right every time. If you liked this post, you might also be interested in our may vs. might and bear vs. bare explainers.

FAQs About Hangar vs Hanger

How to pronounce hangar?

The word hangar has the following pronunciation: haŋ-ər. It is the word “hang” with the “er” sound on the end.

Do you use hangar or hanger?

The answer depends on what you are doing. If you are parking an aircraft, spell the word “hangar.” If you are hanging something up, spell it “hanger.”

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  • Nicole Harms has been writing professionally since 2006. She specializes in education content and real estate writing but enjoys a wide gamut of topics. Her goal is to connect with the reader in an engaging, but informative way. Her work has been featured on USA Today, and she ghostwrites for many high-profile companies. As a former teacher, she is passionate about both research and grammar, giving her clients the quality they demand in today's online marketing world.