One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounEnglish Regional, East Anglian
English regional (East Anglian). Pressure, strain; an awkward or difficult situation.
An arch, an archway; an arched or vaulted roof or canopy; the vaulted ground floor of a tower or fortified building; a covered passage or entry; (in later use) especially one leading off a street frontage.
no object To pinch, be constricting. Also: to press or beat down. Compare pend. Now English regional (East Anglian).
1no object Now informal. To depend on or upon.
2no object To await conclusion or resolution.
with object To treat as pending; to postpone deciding on or attending to; to defer.
Middle English (in an earlier sense). Apparently the regional (south-eastern and East Anglian) reflex of an Old English (i-mutated) by-form of pound. Compare Middle Low German pend pond (one isolated attestation in a 15th-cent. translation of an Old Frisian document)<br>late Middle English. Probably from pend<br>late Middle English (in an earlier sense). Originally a regional (south-eastern and East Anglian) variant of pind<br>late 15th century (in an earlier sense). From Middle French pendre to hang, be suspended and its etymon post-classical Latin pendere for classical Latin pendēre to hang, of uncertain origin. In branch II. after pending [adjective¹]<br>1950s; earliest use found in Pamela Frankau (1908–1967), novelist. Back-formation from pending.
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