shake (one's) head

(redirected from shook her 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 classic literature ?
Mrs Chivery at once laid aside her work, rose up from her seat behind the counter, and deploringly shook her head.
Mrs Chivery shook her head again, put her apron in a motherly way to her eyes, and reconducted her visitor into the regions of the business.
Here the good woman pointed to the little window, whence her son might be seen sitting disconsolate in the tuneless groves; and again shook her head and wiped her eyes, and besought him, for the united sakes of both the young people, to exercise his influence towards the bright reversal of these dismal events.
She shook her head as if she had not derived all the comfort she had fondly expected from this interview, but thanked him nevertheless for the trouble he had kindly taken.
She shook her head, and, though she had stopped, she evinced her desire to go on.
She shook her head, unable to speak, and the tears rolled down her cheeks.
Jane shook her head vehemently and would have removed the golden links from about her throat, but Tarzan would not let her.
Margaret shook her head at them; she could not speak any more.
The patient shook her head, and stretched out her hand towards the child.
She came to her door, with even more than her usual affection of manner, when I knocked to acquaint her with this discovery; but only said, 'I have not the heart to take it, Trot, tonight,' and shook her head, and went in again.
Anderssen held out the chubby infant, but she shook her head.
Seeing no reason for withholding the information, she told him the truth; but when he asked if she expected to meet her husband at the end of the trip, she shook her head negatively.
ears, stood up in the stands on laughed and shook her head as Murray answered the final question.
Cathryn Quinn shook her head while walking toward the net Thursday night.
A NURSE told yesterday how she shook her head in shock after a colleague drew a smiley face on a patient's hernia.