General English


  • verb (to subject someone to) bother, harassment, intrusive complications. This term had existed in American English since the 19th century; in the 1960s it formed part of the hip and counterculture jargon which became established throughout the anglophone community. In origin it is either a blend of ‘harass’ or ‘haggle’ and ‘tussle’ or ‘wrestle’, an anglicisation of the synonymous french verb harceler or, more convincingly, a version of hustle. In Britain hassle replaced hustle as a vogue term among beatniks and mods in about 1967.