Idioms

Origin of shake

before 900; (v.) Middle English s(c)haken, Old English sceacan; cognate with Low German schacken, Old Norse skaka; (noun) derivative of the v.

SYNONYMS FOR shake

1 oscillate, waver. Shake, quiver, tremble, vibrate refer to an agitated movement that, in living things, is often involuntary. To shake is to agitate more or less quickly, abruptly, and often unevenly so as to disturb the poise, stability, or equilibrium of a person or thing: a pole shaking under his weight. To quiver is to exhibit a slight vibratory motion such as that resulting from disturbed or irregular (surface) tension: The surface of the pool quivered in the breeze. To tremble (used more often of a person) is to be agitated by intermittent, involuntary movements of the muscles, much like shivering and caused by fear, cold, weakness, great emotion, etc.: Even stout hearts tremble with dismay. To vibrate is to exhibit a rapid, rhythmical motion: A violin string vibrates when a bow is drawn across it.
2 shudder, shiver.
14 daunt.

Related forms

Can be confused

shake sheik (see synonym study at the current entry)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for two shakes of a lamb's tail

shake

/ (ʃeɪk) /

verb shakes, shaking, shook or shaken (ˈʃeɪkən)

noun

Derived Forms

shakable or shakeable, adjective

Word Origin for shake

Old English sceacan; related to Old Norse skaka to shake, Old High German untscachōn to be driven
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Culture definitions for two shakes of a lamb's tail

two shakes of a lamb's tail


Something that can be done in “two shakes of a lamb's tail” can be done very quickly: “The repairman said he could fix our tire in two shakes of a lamb's tail, and he was right: we were back on the road in ten minutes.”

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with two shakes of a lamb's tail (1 of 2)

two shakes of a lamb's tail


see in two shakes of a lamb's tail.

Idioms and Phrases with two shakes of a lamb's tail (2 of 2)

shake


In addition to the idioms beginning with shake

  • shake a leg
  • shake a stick at
  • shake down
  • shake hands
  • shake in one's boots
  • shake off
  • shake one's head
  • shake someone's tree
  • shake the dust from one's feet
  • shake up
  • shake with laughter

also see:

  • all shook (shaken) up
  • fair shake
  • in two shakes
  • more than one can shake a stick at
  • movers and shakers
  • no great shakes
  • quake (shake) in one's boots
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.