shake (one's) head

(redirected from shook 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 classic literature ?
Then he turned to the Munchkin boy and shook his head.
The old man shifted in his chair but merely shook his head.
He cocked his eye at the hole again, and took a long look; raised up and shook his head; stepped around to the other side of the hole and took another look from that side; shook his head again.
Tarzan shook his head, and an expression of wistful and pathetic longing sobered his laughing eyes.
The girl pointed to the photograph and then to the miniature and then to him, as though to indicate that she thought the likenesses were of him, but he only shook his head, and then shrugging his great shoulders, he took the photograph from her and having carefully rewrapped it, placed it again in the bottom of his quiver.
Still he shook his head, and finally he drew her to him very gently and stooped to kiss her, but first he looked into her eyes and waited to learn if she were pleased, or if she would repulse him.
Smangle shook his head in a confidential and sympathising manner at this juncture, Mr.
But at last with a growl he shook his head and slouched off, for bears will not touch dead meat.
As to Comcomly, he no longer prided himself upon his white son- in-law, but, whenever he was asked about him, shook his head, and replied, that his daughter had made a mistake, and, instead of getting a great warrior for a husband, had married herself to a squaw.
He stopped and shook his head, and went on with a sigh.
The man shook his head and poured himself another glass of whiskey, perhaps in acknowledgement that there were certain things in life that he simply could not change.
He reported no hearing loss or aural fullness, but he experienced a binaural ringing when he shook his head.
To the left, coach Rich Endres shook his head in what appeared to be disbelief.
Crespi coach Jeremiah Ross shook his head in disbelief when asked about the impact of the injuries as he watched his team shake hands with Edison players after the game.