What is the X in X-mas?
"act of putting to death on the gallows," c.1300 (see hang). Hanging judge first recorded 1848. Meaning "piece of drapery on the wall of a room" is late 15c. Hangings "curtains, tapestry" is from 1640s.
(as a punishment), a mark of infamy inflicted on the dead bodies of criminals (Deut. 21:23) rather than our modern mode of punishment. Criminals were first strangled and then hanged (Nu. 25:4; Deut. 21:22). (See 2 Sam. 21:6 for the practice of the Gibeonites.) Hanging (as a curtain). (1.) Heb. masak, (a) before the entrance to the court of the tabernacle (Ex. 35:17); (b) before the door of the tabernacle (26:36, 37); (c) before the entrance to the most holy place, called "the veil of the covering" (35:12; 39:34), as the word properly means. (2.) Heb. kelaim, tapestry covering the walls of the tabernacle (Ex. 27:9; 35:17; Num. 3:26) to the half of the height of the wall (Ex. 27:18; comp. 26:16). These hangings were fastened to pillars. (3.) Heb. bottim (2 Kings 23:7), "hangings for the grove" (R.V., "for the Asherah"); marg., instead of "hangings," has "tents" or "houses." Such curtained structures for idolatrous worship are also alluded to in Ezek. 16:16.
execution by strangling or breaking the neck by a suspended noose. The traditional method, still in use on the continent of Europe, involves suspending the victim from a gallows or crossbeam until he has died of asphyxiation. Elsewhere, the condemned person stands on a trapdoor, and when the trap is released he falls several feet until stopped by the rope tied around his neck. The jerk breaks the cervical vertebrae and is thought to cause immediate loss of consciousness. A knot or metal eyelet (the hangman's knot) in the noose helps jerk back the victim's head sharply enough to break the neck