shake (one's) head

(redirected from shaking their head)

shake (one's) head

1. Literally, to rotate one's head back and forth (to the left and to the right) to indicate a negative response, disagreement, or disapproval. When I asked the little girl if she knew where her mommy was, she just shook her head. I see you back there shaking your head no. Is there something you disagree with?
2. To express confusion or bewilderment about something that has just happened or been revealed. This usage does not always indicate a literal movement of the head. When he abruptly exited the meeting without explanation, we all just sat there shaking our heads. Just shaking my head right now. What was that all about?
See also: head, shake

shake one's head

Express disapproval, dissent, or doubt, as in That announcement had us shaking our heads in dismay. This expression, which can be used both literally (for moving one's head from side to side) and figuratively, dates from about 1300.
See also: head, shake

shake your ˈhead

move your head from side to side as a way of saying ‘no’, or to show sadness, disagreement, disapproval, etc: She didn’t say anything — she just shook her head and sighed.
See also: head, shake
References in periodicals archive ?
Canada's official designation of Mexico as a 'safe country' when it comes to considering refugee claims has some shaking their heads, given the brutal violence and corruption that continue to plague parts of the country.
real or imagined, always behind us, shaking their heads.
I imagine people seeing me in a ballet class arm shaking their heads.
David Moffett, the Welsh Rugby Union's chief executive, said: "People overseas are going to be looking at this whole thing and shaking their heads.
But some of the artifacts in the exhibit simply defy academic deconstruction and will leave visitors shaking their heads, like a police affidavit from a raid on a gay bathhouse in 1903.
lesbian couple and their 22-month-old son from their home has left people across the state shaking their heads in disbelief.
But when the opening 20 minutes were complete, it was the Kings' players and not Roy who were left shaking their heads.
Even lovers of Pinter or Beckett might have walked out shaking their heads.
It is what Holden plans next that has some people in and around City Hall shaking their heads.
Leyden - who went from being a white supremacist to an advocate of tolerance at the Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles - has some observers shaking their heads in disbelief.
The crowd at the United Center let out a scream of relief and walked to the exits shaking their heads, wondering how the supposed best team in the history of the league could have played such a stinker.