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shake the pagoda tree
dated To obtain or earn money very quickly and readily, especially in colonial India during its time as part of the British Empire. A pun referencing the pagoda, a gold coin formerly issued in various dynasties of southern India, and the Plumeria rubra, a deciduous plant commonly called the "pagoda tree." By securing illegal inside deals with politicians and local business authorities, Sir Fleetwood looked to shake the pagoda tree for everything it was worth.
shake hands with the unemployed
slang Of a man, to urinate. Primarily heard in Australia. I'll be right back, I have to shake hands with the unemployed.
shake in (one's) shoes
To be very nervous or afraid, often visibly so. That poor kid is shaking in his shoes up there on stage. I may seem confident when I'm leading a training seminar, but I'm really shaking in my shoes most of the time.
shake like an aspen leaf
To tremble. Aspen leaves have long, flat stalks that are easily blown by the wind. I may seem confident when I'm leading a training seminar, but I'm really shaking like an aspen leaf most of the time. It's so cold in here that the poor girl is shaking like an aspen leaf.
shake on it
To confirm an agreement with someone by shaking hands. I can't believe he broke his promise to me after we shook on it and everything! I agree to the terms of this deal, so let's shake on it.
all shook up
slang Rattled, agitated, or excited, usually after a specific incident or event. We were all shook up after hearing gunshots so close to our house. He just got a foreclosure notice, so he's all shook up right now. I'm all shook up over this beautiful new girl in my class.
slang Frightened, startled, or upset. Similar in usage to "shook-up." Ooh, the season finale of that show had me shook! I hope my favorite character doesn't die.
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?
shake (one's) head no
To rotate one's head back and forth (to the left and to the right) to indicate a negative response, disagreement, or disapproval. "No" is added to the common phrase "shake (one's) head" as an extra clarification that the motion is indicating a negative response. I see you back there shaking your head no. Is there something you disagree with?
shake the foundations of (something)
To impact something in a way that affects its very essence, especially concerning its values or beliefs. The death of her son shook the foundations of her beliefs. The election of the outsider candidate shook the foundations of the party, and led to a lot of soul-searching among its members.
shake (something) to its foundations
To impact something in a way that affects its very essence, especially concerning its values or beliefs. The election of the outsider candidate shook the party to its foundations, and led to a lot of soul-searching among its members.
1. verb To blackmail someone for money; to extort someone. A noun or pronoun is often used between "shake" and "down." The assistant has been shaking the governor down ever since he found out that she'd been taking bribes.
2. verb By extension, to ask, pressure, or force someone to pay a sum of money, often an exorbitant or unfair amount. A noun or pronoun is often used between "shake" and "down." I think it's criminal that the IRS gets to shake you down for so much of your hard-earned cash each year. Her private school offers the best education in the state, but they don't hesitate to shake us down for the privilege. Before you know it, the kids will be driving their own cars and shaking you down for money on the weekends.
3. verb To become acclimated, organized, or established (in something or some place new). So, how's your first week in the office been? You shaking down all right? It took us a few weeks to shake down after the move, but we're feeling right at home now.
4. noun An instance of blackmail for money or extorsion. As a noun, the phrase is usually written as one word. The FBI captured the shakedown on video and was able to use it at the trial.
5. noun By extension, an instance of asking, pressuring, or forcing someone to pay a sum of money, often an exorbitant or unfair amount. As a noun, the phrase is usually written as one word. It's time for the annual shakedown by the IRS again. Every time I turn around, there's another shakedown at the office for some charity or fundraiser or whatever.
shake (one's) hand
To grasp one's hand as a gesture of greeting, farewell, congratulation, or agreement. I think Dave is really upset with me—he wouldn't even shake my hand earlier. I shook her hand and paid her for the car.
shake hands (with one)
To grasp one's hand as a gesture of greeting, farewell, congratulation, or agreement. I think Dave is really upset with me—he wouldn't even shake hands with me earlier. We shook hands, and I paid her for the car.
shake (someone or something) off
1. To rid or free oneself from someone or something that one finds aggravating, upsetting, or annoying. My little brother has been following me around all day. I need to shake him off. He had a hard time shaking off the feeling that someone was spying on him.
2. To shake something in order to get something off of it. I had to shake off the old tarp to get the bugs and dirt off of it. Shake the blanket off before you lay it out.
3. To dislodge or get rid of something by shaking. He tried to shake the tick off, but it had dug itself into his skin. Don't shake the mud off inside—go out in the backyard and do it!
1. To shake something in order to mix up or loosen its contents. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shake" and "up." Make sure you shake up the carton of juice before you pour it out. It's easier to pour the ketchup if you shake the bottle up first.
2. To forcefully or drastically reorganize or rearrange something, as a group or organization. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shake" and "up." After the merger, the upper management of the company was completely shaken up. The scandal has really shaken things up within the department, with several members resigning or being fired.
3. To do something different from one's normal routine in order to make things feel new or interesting. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shake" and "up." I'm tired of getting Chinese food—let's shake things up and try that new Polynesian restaurant. It's important to shake up your day-to-day routine, or you may end up in a rut.
4. To make someone very upset; to frighten or shock someone. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shake" and "up." It seems like the car accident shook her up pretty badly. I was shaken up for most of the day after hearing about my grandfather's death.
shake (something) to the foundations
To impact something in a way that affects its very essence, especially concerning its values or beliefs. The election of the outsider candidate shook the party to the foundations, and led to a lot of soul-searching among its members.
shake (one's) booty
slang To dance in a wild or free-spirited manner. Let's go get some pizza and then shake our booties at that new club downtown!
shake (one's) fist at (someone or something)
To demonstrate one's anger, frustration, or annoyance toward someone by raising one's fist and shaking it in their direction. Can be used literally or figuratively. The old man sits on his porch shaking his fist at kids who walk on his lawn. There's no point shaking your fist at the universe when things aren't going your way—you just need to pick yourself up and do everything in your power to make things better.
shake the lead out
To do something at a faster pace. (Lead is a very heavy metal.) Come on, these papers won't copy themselves—shake the lead out, fellas!
shake on (something)
To grasp someone's hand as a sign that both parties agree to or on something, such as a deal or arrangement. I'd like my lawyers to look over the details of the contract before we shake on it. After several months of negotiations, I think we're now ready to shake on the deal.
shake (one's) tree
To provoke or compel one into taking some sort of action or reform. I believe people are electing radical candidates like here because they want to shake the government's tree. The employees' strike certainly shook our tree a bit, so we've begun
shake the dust from (one's) feet
To forsake someone, something, or some place as an expression of rejection or as a means of seeking a new beginning. There comes a point in most people's lives when they feel get tired of their job and yearn to shake the dust from their feet. If you find that the people in your life are causing more negativity than positivity, it might be time to leave them behind and shake the dust from your feet.
shake with laughter
To be consumed by uncontrollable laughter. Primarily heard in UK. We all shook with laughter when the professor accidentally swore during his lecture. My brother-in-law's wicked sense of humor has us shaking with laughter every time we hang out with him.
*all shook up
Sl. excited; disturbed and upset. (See also shook up.) (*Typically: be ~; get ~.) She stole my heart, and I'm all shook up. They were all shook up after the accident.
shake someone down
1. to blackmail someone. (Underworld.) Fred was trying to shake Jane down, but she got the cops in on it. The police chief was trying to shake down just about everybody in town.
2. to put pressure on someone to lend one money. We tried to shake down Max for a few hundred, but no deal. If you're trying to shake me down, forget it. I have no cash.
shake someone or something up
to jostle or knock someone or something around; to toss someone or something back and forth. We rode over a rough road, and that shook us up. The accident shook up John quite a bit.
shake someone up
to shock or upset someone. The sight of the injured man shook me up. Your rude remark really shook up Tom.
shake something up
1. Lit. to shake a container to mix its contents together well. Please shake this up before using it. I shook up the medicine bottle like it says on the label.
2. Fig. to reorganize a group or organization, not always in a gentle way. The new manager shook the office up and made things run a lot better. The coach shook the team up before the last game and made them better organized.
upset; shocked. (See also all shook up.) Relax, man! Don't get shook up! I always get shook up when I see a bad accident.
all shook up
Greatly disturbed or upset, as in His letter left her all shook up. This slangy idiom uses shook instead of the grammatically correct "shaken" (for "agitated") and adds all for emphasis. [Second half of 1900s]
1. Extort money from, as in They had quite a racket, shaking down merchants for so-called protection. [Slang; second half of 1800s]
2. Make a thorough search of, as in They shook down all the passengers, looking for drugs. [Slang early 1900s]
3. Subject a new vehicle or machine to a tryout, as in We'll shake down the new model next week.
4. Become acclimated or accustomed, to a new place, job, or the like, as in Is this your first job? You'll soon shake down. [Mid-1800s]
1. Agitate in order to mix or loosen, as in This cough medicine needs to be thoroughly shaken up, or Please shake up these pillows.
2. Upset greatly, as in Even though no one was hurt, he was greatly shaken up by the accident. This usage alludes to being agitated like a liquid being shaken. Also see all shook up. [Late 1800s]
3. Subject to drastic rearrangement or reorganization, as in New management was bent on shaking up each division.
shake with laughter
Convulse with the humor of something, as in When asked if he was planning to give away the bride, he shook with laughter at the very thought . [Early 1700s]
1. To extort money from someone: The mob regularly sends thugs to shake down local businesses. The blackmailer shook us down for $1000.
2. To make a thorough search of someone or something: The guards shook down the prisoners' cells for hidden weapons. The airport security guards shook me down.
3. To become acclimated or accustomed, as to a new environment or a new job: We gave the new hire a few weeks to shake down before assigning her to a project.
1. To move something vigorously up and down or from side to side, as in mixing: I shook up the orange juice before I opened the carton. We shook the ingredients up and poured them into a bowl.
2. To upset someone by or as if by a physical jolt or shock: The accident really shook us up. The bad news shook up the whole family.
3. To subject something to a drastic rearrangement or reorganization: The new management intends to shake up the company. The CEO's new policies have really shaken things up around here—I now report to a new boss.
(all) shook up
mod. excited; disturbed; upset. They were pretty shook up after the accident.
See all shook up