shake (one's) head

(redirected from shake 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 ?
The authors know how to write respectfully, but still zestfully, about events that will enthrall YAs and still make old-timers shake their heads.
At an event later that night at Pasadena's Twin Palms, where the women were allowed not only to shake their heads without fear of reprisal but speak their minds, Nicole Brewer, Miss Pennsylvania, conceded the point, but offered this rebuttal: ``You can see scantily clad women easily on shows that want to get your attention, but it's rare to see beauty and grace, and that's what the Miss America pageant has to offer.
Not all of the tactics will make readers shake their heads in disappointment or disbelief.
Veterinarians may at last have found the cause of a mysterious and sometimes fatal disorder that turns big birds into fuddled wrecks with an odd stance, a goofy walk, and a tendency to shake their heads.
Even her neighbors shake their heads at the four or five hours a day for three months Claudette works to bring her childhood holidays home again.
Teachers and graying military veterans alike can only shake their heads at students to whom Gettysburg, Gallipoli and Guadalcanal all fuse into the same amorphous mass.
The women shake their heads and look to the front of the line, at the white-haired gentleman standing ramrod-straight, with a grimace on his face.
In fact, a lot of people still shake their heads at how Simi Valley won the most competitive league in the area last season.
When we have a water problem because we've paved over all of our (water) recharge areas, our future residents will shake their heads at the City Council who approved a Mercedes dealership instead,'' said Lynne Plambeck, president of SCOPE.
Now, this is where the people closest to the Grossmans - his mother, Elisa, her parents, Diane and Gary Dell'amico, and the people they work with in their respective jobs - started to shake their heads, and take bets on whether the Valentine parents could possibly make it three in a row.
Then something like this comes along and Californians are left to shake their heads and conclude that "They're all the same.