shake your 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 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 ?
Summary: a look back at some of the recent news related to money that made you laugh, gasp, sigh, or shake your head in disbelief.
Mrs Carins, a parish councillor who lives at Station Road in Stannington, accused long-serving Ponteland councillor Harrington of saying "You're talking balderdash woman, you are really talking balderdash" and also saying "do not shake your head at me woman".
Then you smile and shake your head because you can't quite believe what you're seeing.
Once in a while, a story comes along that makes you shake your head and smile - gives you a feeling you can't exactly put your finger on, but you know it's something special.