hang out one's shingle

Idioms & Phrases

hang out one's shingle

Open an office, especially a professional practice, as in Bill's renting that office and hanging out his shingle next month. This American colloquialism dates from the first half of the 1800s, when at first lawyers, and later also doctors and business concerns, used shingles for signboards.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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