shrug one's shoulders

(redirected from shrug shoulders)

shrug (one's) shoulders

1. Literally, to make a gesture by raising and dropping one's shoulders, often meaning that one does not know something or is indifferent to something. Don't just shrug your shoulders—I want an answer! I asked the kids if they wanted pizza for dinner and they just shrugged their shoulders. I thought they would be excited about it.
2. To feel or display indifference, indecision, or an inability to do something. Too many people simply shrug their shoulders when it comes to getting enough exercise. If they encounter something they can't resolve, management just shrugs their shoulders and ignores it.
See also: shoulder, shrug

shrug one's shoulders

Show indecision or indifference, as in When I asked her if she minded staying home, she just shrugged her shoulders. This redundant idiom- shrug means "to raise and contract the shoulders"-dates from about 1450.
See also: shoulder, shrug
References in periodicals archive ?
And there will be some coldhearted characters who shrug shoulders, and simply declare the grim Gigg Lane saga a warning to all other small concerns, with ideas above their station and charlatans in charge.
The similarities between then and now shouldn't be used as an excuse to shrug shoulders.
That decision--to shrug shoulders and conclude that the municipality couldn't afford to mobilize adequately for evacuating up to a quarter of its population--speaks to the real sources of the devastation of New Orleans and the snail's pace of its recovery.
Those who shrug shoulders rather than stick to agreements would then have to change their ways or lose their work.
It is not enough to look at funding shortfalls and shrug shoulders. Alternative solutions must be found.
'It's time for us all to be honest - the worst thing to do is to shrug shoulders and say it's nothing to do with me.
They shrug shoulders, bop their heads and twirl their arms around before Elliot leapfrogs over his crouching pal.
The contribution of Mark Hughes was to shrug shoulders and call agents a necessary evil.
1The shrug: Shrug shoulders towards your ears, hold for two seconds, then relax.
Maybe we should simply smile vacantly, shrug shoulders, and shuffle on to the next comical text, the next crude aside.