(one) zigged when (one) should have zagged

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(one) zigged when (one) should have zagged

1. One moved in a particular direction but should have moved in a different direction in order to avoid some obstacle or impediment. A reference to moving from side to side in a zigzag pattern. A: "The running back had the chance to break away for a touchdown, but he was brought down by the other team's linebacker in a bone-crunching tackle." B: "Yep, looks like he zigged when he should have zagged." I nearly beat the final boss of the game, but I zigged when I should have zagged at the very last moment and he ended up killing me.
2. By extension, one acted in a way that resulted in a worse outcome than if they had done something different. Everyone assumed that it was an open-and-shut case, but the prosecution's controversial decision not to question the company's CEO is leaving many wondering if they zigged when they should have zagged. He really should have won the election, but he zigged when he should have zagged by focusing so much of his campaign on taxes instead of attacking his opponent's political policies.
See also: have, should, zag, zig
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

zigged when one should've zagged

perfomed one deed when another deed would have been better; to do something inconsequentially different from another thing. I don't know why she complained. I guess I zigged when I should have zagged.
See also: one, zag, zig
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

zagged

mod. alcohol intoxicated. How can anybody get so zagged on three beers?
See also: zag
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.
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