shake (one's) head

(redirected from shake his 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 ?
AS the number of England players finding their names plastered over the front pages grows, exile Scott Sutter can only shake his head and wonder why.
SAN DIEGO - All Oakland Raiders defensive tackle Warren Sapp could do was laugh and shake his head.
Rich could only shake his head at Hart's inability to put Saugus away and cruise to the victory.
But Murray only could shake his head when learning Avery's comments had become big news in Vancouver.
Fifth-year Campbell Hall coach Anthony Harris could only shake his head and smile in disbelief after the Vikings defeated La Verne Lutheran 54-0 for its first 4-0 start and largest margin of victory in a nonleague game at Birmingham High Friday night.
So when his squad rushed the field to celebrate at Domenic Massari Park, Rutledge could only stand and shake his head.
With every possession precious, and the Lakers failing to work the ball inside, Jackson could only shake his head.
About 80 percent of the questions required a yes or no response, so Theuer could shake his head to indicate his answers.