wag


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play (the) wag

To absent oneself or leave early from school or work when one would normally be required to be there. Primarily heard in UK. I was so restless and bored at work that I decided to play the wag after lunch. Hey, Jim and I are playing wag from school on Friday, do you want to come with us? That's the last time you play wag, mister! From now on, I'm dropping you to school every morning!
See also: play, wag

wag (it)

To absent oneself or leave early (from school or work) when one would normally be required to be there; to play truant. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I was so restless and bored at work that I decided to just wag it after lunch without telling anyone. Hey, Jim and I are planning on wagging from school on Friday, do you want to come with us? That's the last time you wag class, mister! From now on, I'm dropping you to school every morning!
See also: wag

wag off

To absent oneself or leave early from school or work when one would normally be required to be there; to play truant. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. I was so restless and bored at work that I decided to just wag off after lunch without telling anyone. Hey, Jim and I are planning on wagging off from school on Friday, do you want to come with us? That's the last time you wag off class, mister! From now on, I'm dropping you off to school every morning!
See also: off, wag

start tongues (a-)wagging

To be a source of gossip, slander, or idle speculation. Just when the dust of his previous scandal had begun to settle, the governor did something new to start tongues a-wagging across the country. Being such a media celebrity means that anything one does, no matter how banal, is enough to start tongues wagging.
See also: start, tongue

wag (one's) tongue

To talk or chat. My dad is a pretty quiet guy, but when he's interested in something, he can really wag his tongue. My wife and her sister haven't seen each other in a while, so they've been wagging their tongues all day.
See also: tongue, wag

WAGs

An acronym for "wives and girlfriends." It is usually applied to wives and girlfriends of famous people, especially professional athletes. Are WAGs invited to the event too?
See also: WAG

cause (some) tongues to wag

To be a source of gossip, slander, or idle speculation. Just when the dust of his previous scandal had begun to settle, the governor did something new to cause tongues to wag across the country. Being a celebrity means that anything one does, no matter how banal, is enough to cause some tongues to wag.
See also: cause, tongue, wag

set tongues (a-)wagging

To be a source of gossip or idle speculation. Just when the dust of his previous scandal had begun to settle, the governor committed a new faux pas to set tongues a-wagging across the country. Being such a media celebrity means that anything one does, no matter how banal, is enough to set tongues wagging.
See also: set, tongue

the tail wagging the dog

The smallest or least important part of something in control of the larger or more important elements; a reversal of typical roles or dynamics of power. They reorganized their entire weekly schedule just because their son likes to sleep in late. Talk about the tail wagging the dog. Their group is small but very vocal, so be sure that management doesn't give in to their demands. We don't want the tail wagging the dog, after all.
See also: dog, tail, wag

cause (some) tongues to wag

Fig. to cause people to gossip; to give people something to gossip about. The way John was looking at Mary will surely cause some tongues to wag. The way Mary was so scantily dressed will also cause tongues to wag.
See also: cause, tongue, wag

set tongues (a)wagging

Fig. to cause people to start gossiping. The affair between the boss and her accountant set tongues a wagging. If you don't get the lawn mowed soon, you will set tongues wagging in the neighborhood.
See also: set, tongue, wag

tail wagging the dog

a situation where a small part is controlling the whole of something. John was just hired yesterday, and today he's bossing everyone around. It's a case of the tail wagging the dog. Why is this small matter taking so much time? Now it's the tail wagging the dog!
See also: dog, tail, wag

wag one's chin

Rur. to talk. She loves to visit. She'll wag her chin for hours. He was on the phone, wagging his chin to his buddy.
See also: chin, wag

tail wagging the dog, the

A small or unimportant factor or element governing an important one; a reversal of the proper roles. For example, She found herself explaining the new therapy to her doctor-a real case of the tail wagging the dog . [c. 1900]
See also: tail, wag

tongues wag

People are gossiping. For example, Tongues wagged when another police car was parked in front of their house, or Their arrival in a stretch limousine set the neighbors' tongues wagging. This metaphoric expression transfers the rapid movement of the tongue to idle or indiscreet chatter. [Late 1500s]
See also: tongue, wag

the tail wagging the dog

People talk about the tail wagging the dog to describe a situation where an unimportant part of something or an unimportant person or group involved in something has too much influence over it. These enormous contracts can end up with the tail wagging the dog — with the supplier having more control over the business agenda than the client. To avoid the impression of the tail wagging the dog, the Chancellor cannot be seen being influenced by the wishes of a minority party.
See also: dog, tail, wag

set tongues wagging

If something that you do or say sets tongues wagging, it makes people talk about you. The pop singer set tongues wagging by arriving with a mystery man. Note: You can also say that something starts tongues wagging or that tongues start wagging. Tongues started wagging when Claudia moved from her native Germany to Monaco earlier this year. Note: If people are talking about someone, you can say tongues are wagging. They spent an evening together at his Knightsbridge flat. He said they played cards but added: `No doubt tongues will be wagging.'
See also: set, tongue, wag

the tail wags the dog

the less important or subsidiary factor or thing dominates a situation; the usual roles are reversed.
1997 Spectator What is wrong is the almost total lack of artistic leadership, the administrative tail wagging the dog.
See also: dog, tail, wag

set tongues wagging

be the cause of much gossip or rumour.
See also: set, tongue, wag

the tail (is) wagging the ˈdog

(also let the tail wag the ˈdog) used to describe a situation where a small, unimportant thing controls a larger, more important thing: In this company the workers tell the manager what he can and cannot do. It’s a real case of the tail wagging the dog.
See also: dog, tail, wag

set ˈtongues wagging

(informal) cause people to start talking about somebody’s private affairs: A careless remark about his family really set tongues wagging.
See also: set, tongue, wag

tongues ˈwag

(informal) there is a lot of talk about somebody’s private life, etc: Don’t tell anyone your secret — you know how tongues wag around here.
See also: tongue, wag

wag one’s chin

tv. to talk or jabber; to chatter aimlessly. The two old buzzards sat on the park bench wagging their chins all afternoon.
See also: chin, wag
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