- to move from side to side, forward and backward, or up and down, especially rapidly and repeatedly: a dog wagging its tail.
- to move (the tongue), as in idle or indiscreet chatter.
- to shake (a finger) at someone, as in reproach.
- to move or nod (the head).
- to be moved from side to side or one way and the other, especially rapidly and repeatedly, as the head or the tail.
- to move constantly, especially in idle or indiscreet chatter: Her behavior caused local tongues to wag.
- to get along; travel; proceed: Let the world wag how it will.
- to totter or sway.
- British Slang. to play truant; play hooky.
- the act of wagging: a friendly wag of the tail.
- a person given to droll, roguish, or mischievous humor; wit.
Origin of wag
Examples from the Web for wagger
They say on Sunday afternoon the Wagger makes the same speech to the freshers that he's made for twenty years.Sinister Street, vol. 2
- to move or cause to move rapidly and repeatedly from side to side or up and down
- to move (the tongue) or (of the tongue) to be moved rapidly in talking, esp in idle gossip
- to move (the finger) or (of the finger) to be moved from side to side, in or as in admonition
- slang to play truant (esp in the phrase wag it)
- the act or an instance of wagging
- a humorous or jocular person; wit
- informal the wife or girlfriend of a famous sportsman
- (West Africa) Gambia (international car registration)
Word Origin and History for wagger
early 13c., "waver, vacillate, lack steadfastness," probably from a Scandinavian source (cf. Old Norse vagga "a cradle," Danish vugge "rock a cradle," Old Swedish wagga "fluctuate"), and in part from Old English wagian "move backwards and forwards;" all from Proto-Germanic *wagojanan (cf. Old High German weggen, Gothic wagjan "to wag"), probably from PIE root *wegh- "to move about" (see weigh). Meaning "to move back and forth or up and down" is from c.1300. Wagtail is attested from c.1500 as a kind of small bird (late 12c. as a surname); 18c. as "a harlot," but seems to be implied much earlier:
If therefore thou make not thy mistress a goldfinch, thou mayst chance to find her a wagtaile. [Lyly, "Midas," 1592]
Wag-at-the-wall (1825) was an old name for a hanging clock with pendulum and weights exposed.
Idioms and Phrases with wagger
see tail wagging the dog; tongues wag.