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    #1

    wag his head = shake his head

    Dear teachers,

    In confirmation of my words concerning the expression “wag his head = shake his head” (see an old Tanakh’s thread about the usage of the verb “wag”) I’ll try to make a compare of the phrase “to shake one’s head” and the verb “to nod”.

    To “shake one’s head” = “to wag one’s head” means to move one’s head from side to side to show refusal, denial, doubt, hesitation, disapproval, or anxiety, e.g.

    He shook his head in answer to my question.

    To nod means to incline one’s head slightly a) in salution; b) to express agreement; c)because one is sleepy, e.g.

    When I entered the room, they nodded to me.
    When I asked Mary whther she recognizd the music, she nodded.
    The old woman nodded over her knitting.

    Regards.

    V.

  1. Neillythere's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: wag his head = shake his head

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    In confirmation of my words concerning the expression “wag his head = shake his head” (see an old Tanakh’s thread about the usage of the verb “wag”) I’ll try to make a compare of the phrase “to shake one’s head” and the verb “to nod”.

    To “shake one’s head” = “to wag one’s head” means to move one’s head from side to side to show refusal, denial, doubt, hesitation, disapproval, or anxiety

    V.
    Hi Vil

    You appear to be using the concept that if A is B, then B must be A.

    Although a spider may be an insect, this doesn't mean that an insect is always a spider.


    Having started a new thread on this topic, your earlier comments aren't visible to your new readers.

    In your new post, you compare shaking heads to nodding heads, but don't appear to provide any confirmation of your statement that wagging = shaking (as in saying "No").

    In your previous post, amongst many unreferenced quotes whose context we are unaware, (you really need to quote your sources), you include:

    Locals 'wag' their head in a wonderfully subtle way when they agree, BUT....they have a similar 'wag' when they are not satisfied, so careful attention must ...

    Wag expresses specifically the motion of the head and body used in buffoonery, mirth, derision, sport, and mockery.

    It isn't clear, as you didn't quote the context, but I would suspect the "locals" quoted may have been from the Indian subcontinent. Your text denies your current hypothesis, as it suggests that wagging of the head could represent yes or no, i.e. the equivalent of nodding or shaking the head.


    Although not currently "politically correct", I can understand your comment about wagging the head representing making fun of someone, as in imitating someone in the paragraph above, where wagging the head (and possibly saying "atcha, atcha") could mean either yes or no (or even, I haven't understood a word you are saying, but I'm trying to be polite)!

    In this world of trying to explain the nuances of the English language, context is absolutely vital.

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    #3

    Re: wag his head = shake his head

    Hi Neillythere,

    Here is a very edifying motto:

    “Do as you would be done by.” or ‘Always treat a man as you would wish to be treated yourself. ’

    Your last post at the present thread demonstrated your phenomenal knowledge of zoology and harrowing backwardness regarding the contemporary English language. I wonder at your puritan repudiation of the expression “wag the head”.

    There are in my homely dictionary such expression as: “to wag one’d head”, “to wag one’s finger at somebody”, “their heads wagged in time to the music”, “to wag one’s chin”, “to wag one’s paws”, “to wag one’s beard”, “to set tongues wagging”, “to set chins wagging”, “to set paws wagging”, “ to set ebrds wagging”. There are many examples from the world-famous BYU-BNC: BRITISH NATIONAL CORPUS (100 MILLION WORDS, 1980s - 1993)

    [Davies/BYU] BYU-BNC: British National Corpus

    By God! she is." As her head wagged his embarrassment grew; then in a low tone she muttered, "
    He wagged his head to the music and his turban slipped over one eye.
    He wagged his head slowly from side to side. "You have no idea, no….
    "I don't know." Uncle Alfred wagged his head slowly. "This is going to take a bit of brainwork.
    "I'm doing my law moderations" --; he pursed his lips and wagged his head --; "but these last couple of years it's been,..
    He smiled at the old-age pensioner and wagged his head.

    I thing no more was required to prove my statement true.

    Regards.

    V.

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    #4

    Re: wag his head = shake his head

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Dear teachers,

    In confirmation of my words concerning the expression “wag his head = shake his head” (see an old Tanakh’s thread about the usage of the verb “wag”) I’ll try to make a compare of the phrase “to shake one’s head” and the verb “to nod”.

    To “shake one’s head” = “to wag one’s head” means to move one’s head from side to side to show refusal, denial, doubt, hesitation, disapproval, or anxiety, e.g.

    He shook his head in answer to my question.

    To nod means to incline one’s head slightly a) in salution; b) to express agreement; c)because one is sleepy, e.g.

    When I entered the room, they nodded to me.
    When I asked Mary whther she recognizd the music, she nodded.
    The old woman nodded over her knitting.

    Regards.

    V.
    Vil

    I am not a practising teacher but have TEFL qualifications, and I am a native English speaker.

    You can not "make a compare" it is either make a comparison of or compare the phrases

    You do appear to be getting a bit uptight in your threads/answers, which is not what this site is about. Most of us enjoy helping others and love this site. Remember the point of this site is to help non English speakers, improve their English. I do not think you are helping the site or most importantly the students!. Please do not spoil it for the true students that need our help.

    Stilo

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    #5

    Re: wag his head = shake his head

    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    “Do as you would be done by.” or ‘Always treat a man as you would wish to be treated yourself. ’


    Quote Originally Posted by vil View Post
    Your last post at the present thread demonstrated your phenomenal knowledge of zoology and harrowing backwardness regarding the contemporary English language. I wonder at your puritan repudiation of the expression “wag the head”.
    The quirkiness of the phrasing aside, this is basically an attack on the person and not a disagreement with the view and, as such, is unduly negative and not conducive to a friendly forum.

    An expression, even one that is used by some, can still sound strange to the ears of others. I've just come back from China where I have seen some strange uses of may, which differ from the way I use it. They may well be AmE, but they could equally be Chinglish; I'll have to look into them. If I said that these forms were strange to me, would that make me a backward puritan?

    Having been away, I haven't read back through everything I missed and don't know exactly how this discussion arrived at this point. However, it's not a particularly pleasant stage to encounter. We share a common interest in language and the differences in our views and ideas are precisely what keeps a forum lively and interesting.

    Can we please accept that differences exist and try to keep things friendly and civil?

    A note on the BNC- the fact that something is recorded in the BNC only proves that it has been recorded and not that it is an established collocation. The BNC will have errors in it. There are a few instances of wagged + head in it and about 50 in the ANC. (300 million words http://www.americancorpus.org/- same interface as the BYU page for the BNC). However, we also get 12 co-occurrences of nodded & Nkosi and 40 for nodded & Heikki. Interpretation of results is the key; mere presence is not in itself proof of very much.

    I would agree that you can 'wag your head' and that the examples in the BNC and ANC suggest that some people use it. But nod/shake do sound more natural to me and I can also see why people feel it is a strange or stilted expression.

    Please don't let disagreement affect the respect and courtesy shown to others.

    Thanks

  2. Neillythere's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: wag his head = shake his head

    Many thanks, Tdol.
    The problem has, fortunately, been resolved in other posts.
    See substitute for/ achange with/ change for thread.
    Regards
    NT

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    #7

    Re: wag his head = shake his head

    The quirkiness of the phrasing aside, this is basically an attack on the person and not a disagreement with the view and, as such, is unduly negative and not conducive to a friendly forum.

    Thank you Tdol for your intervention, unfortunately this sort of attack is creeping into some of the threads. I do hope the offender listens to your words and ceases these personal attacks.
    Regards
    Stilo



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