shake (one's) head

(redirected from shook their heads)

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 ?
It was explained to them as being a friendly arrangement and transfer, but they shook their heads grimly, and considered it an act of subjugation of their ancient allies.
The rabbi and the Muslim representative shook their heads and said "No.
Most of the 70 kids at the KinderCare learning center, ranging from infants to sixth-graders, initially pulled away or shook their heads until one took the challenge and opened the floodgates to two hours of music and dancing.
BURBANK - Neighbors of Zabel Ghazelian left flowers at the door of her condominium in Burbank on Friday and shook their heads over her family's tragedy.
The generals shook their heads, because they had another idea.