town in Sussex, site of the great battle in the Norman conquest of England (Oct. 14, 1066), Old English Hæstingas "The Hastings; settlement of the family or followers of a man called *Hæsta;" literally "Hæsta's People."
The Hæstingas were an important tribal group referred to in an 8th cent. Northumbrian chronicle as the gens Hestingorum which seems to have kept a separate identity as late as the early 11th cent. ["Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names"]
"a group of five, five units treated as one," especially at cards or dice, late 14c., from French cinq, a dissimilation from Latin quinque "five," in Late Latin also cinque (from PIE root *penkwe- "five").
The Cinque Ports (late 12c. in Anglo-Latin, late 13c. in English) were Hastings, Sandwich, Dover, Romney, and Hythe, granted special privileges from the crown in return for defense of the Channel in the days before England had a navy. Cinque outposts (1640s) was an old term for the five senses.
Old English horn "horn of an animal; projection, pinnacle," also "wind instrument" (originally one made from animal horns), from Proto-Germanic *hurni- (source also of German Horn, Dutch horen, Old Frisian horn, Gothic haurn), from PIE root *ker- (1) "horn; head."
Late 14c. as "one of the tips of the crescent moon." The name was retained for a class of musical instruments that developed from the hunting horn; the French horn is the true representative of the class. Of dilemmas from 1540s; of automobile warning signals from 1901. Slang meaning "erect penis" is suggested by c. 1600. Jazz slang sense of "trumpet" is by 1921. Meaning "telephone" is by 1945. Figurative senses of Latin cornu included "salient point, chief argument; wing, flank; power, courage, strength." Horn of plenty is from 1580s. To make horns at "hold up the fist with the two exterior fingers extended" as a gesture of insult is from c.1600.
Symbolic of cuckoldry since mid-15c. (the victim was fancied to grow one on his head). The image is widespread in Europe and perhaps as old as ancient Greece. The German linguist Hermann Dunger ('Hörner Aufsetzen' und 'Hahnrei', "Germania" 29, 1884) ascribes it to a custom surviving into 19c., "the old practice of engrafting the spurs of a castrated cock on the root of the excised comb, which caused them to grow like horns" [James Hastings, "Encyclopedia of Religion and Ethics"] but the image could have grown as well from a general gesture of contempt or insult made to wronged husbands, "who have been the subject of popular jest in all ages" [Hastings].