shuffle off

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shuffle off

1. Literally, to leave or depart while dragging or sliding one's feet. The child shuffled off after being scolded by his parents. We all shuffled off back to our desks after the lunch break ended.
2. To leave or depart, especially slowly, gradually, or reluctantly. The party carried on into the night, and people didn't start shuffling off until nearly dawn. The student shuffled off dejectedly out of class after finding out she'd gotten a D on her test.
3. To dispose, get rid, or divest oneself of something, especially in a hasty or evasive manner. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shuffle" and "off", in which case it is usually followed by "(on)to (someone or something)." The politician has been shuffling off his investments in the company to avoid public perception of corruption. We've been shuffling these tasks off to our smaller teams to allow our bigger teams to focus on our more important projects.
4. To avoid, evade, or neglect something, especially some duty or responsibility. A noun or pronoun can be used between "shuffle" and "off", in which case it is usually followed by "(on)to (someone or something)." We all shuffled off classes for the day and took the train out to Coney Island. It came to light that Bill had been shuffling his reports off onto his secretary so that he could go out drinking.
See also: off, shuffle

shuffle off

1. Get rid of, act evasively, as in They've tried to shuffle off public inquiries about the safety of their planes. This usage, dating from about 1600, also appears in the oft-quoted shuffle off this mortal coil, from Shakespeare's Hamlet (3:1), where it means "become freed from the turmoil of life," that is, "die."
2. Move away reluctantly, dragging one's feet, as in The prisoners shuffled off to their work detail. [Late 1500s]
See also: off, shuffle

shuffle off

v.
1. To go with short sliding steps, without or barely lifting the feet: The sleepy children shuffled off to bed.
2. To leave; depart: Toward the end of the evening, the guests shuffled off one by one.
3. To rid oneself of something; dispose of or relocate something: I have not been able to shuffle off my embarrassment. The computer program automatically shuffles the outdated files off to another disk.
4. To evade or shirk something, such as a responsibility: He shuffled off his responsibilities and went to the beach. She shuffled her work off onto others because she wasn't feeling well.
See also: off, shuffle