From Middle English thong, thwong, thwang, from Old English þwong, þwang, þweng, þwæng, from Proto-West Germanic *þwangi, from Proto-Germanic *þwangiz, *þwanguz, from Proto-Indo-European *twenk- ("to squeeze, press, pressure").
Cognate with Scots thwang, thwayng, thang, Middle Low German dwenge ("clamp, jaws, steel-trap"), German Zwinge ("vise, clamp"), dialectal Norwegian tveng ("shoestrap, shoelace"), Icelandic þvengur ("strap, thong, latchet").
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