One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1usually as modifier A carpet or rug with a long, rough pile.‘wall-to-wall shag carpet’
pile, fibres, threads, weave, texture, feel, surface, grainView synonyms
- ‘His only lasting one, besides the remarkable stain on the shag carpet now covered by a throw rug, was the small metal charm inserted into the keyhole.’
- ‘When Melissa opened her eyes, she was alone in the carpeting, drowning in brown shag.’
- ‘Just make sure there are no tacks in the used shag you have.’
- ‘I've never complained to our landlord about the lump in the hallway shag that weeps blood when you step on it.’
- ‘The floors were white soft shag usually covered with lego and other toys.’
- ‘The delicate serenade ‘Sparrows Over Birmingham’ and the equally touching ‘Rise’ erase the kitsch factor of the previous 40 minutes and nestle into your soul like it was shag carpet.’
- ‘It shattered, pieces scattering across the orange shag carpet.’
- ‘As I approached the flat square of grass where Judo was held, I slowed to a walk, slipping off my sandals, and plodding down into the grass, my toes squishing into it like a shag carpet.’
- ‘Maybe his sister had been smart when she'd chosen that white shag for her floor; wood may be masculine, but it was hard on the morning senses.’
- ‘Any special effects are kept to a bare minimum (that is, if you consider a bolt of lighting in the sky an effect), and the scenes are about as suspenseful as watching my three year old nephew get static shocks from walking across a shag carpet.’
- ‘Their $2000-a-night lodge apparently contained such delights as '70s-style furniture, pastel shag carpets, an indoor sauna and Jacuzzi tub.’
- ‘A windowless basement with wall-to-wall white shag carpet was what Penny and Tom Friedman encountered when they moved into their townhouse near Washington, DC.’
- ‘He looked only about six or seven, but was wearing shags for clothing, covered in dirt and skinnier than it was healthy to be.’
- ‘The carpet appeared to be yellow shag, which felt cool when Iroka swung her feet off the bed and onto the floor.’
- ‘The shag they sold me two years ago continues to emit waves of wispy scarlet wool that spread across the floor like Poe's red death, no matter how many times I put off having the thing cleaned.’
- ‘While I was allowed to ‘express myself‘by choosing bright orange shag carpet, she did draw the line in some cases.’
- ‘She latched onto lines like ‘red carpet treatment at shag carpet prices’ and a ‘whole new age of consumer power.’’
- ‘The walls are bare, hospital white and the carpet is old brown, 70's shag.’
- ‘The bed had run of the mill blankets and linens, the floor was an inexpensive shag carpet, and the ceiling had a stucco-mimic finish with some cracks running in the corners.’
- ‘Described by the artist as a ‘yellow brick road,’ a wide zigzagging pathway of yellow shag carpet with a red border meandered from the front door through the installation.’
- 1.1as modifier (of a pile) long and rough.‘a shag pile’
- ‘But before you rush out to buy luridly coloured shag piles or geometric plastic furniture, bear in mind that he believes this will be retro with a twist.’
- 1.2mass noun Cloth with a velvet nap on one side.
2A thick, tangled hairstyle or mass of hair.‘her hair was cut short in a boyish shag’as modifier ‘a shag cut’
- ‘The shag is also big for those who love their locks.’
- ‘It was cut into a short shag style, very short on top with many layers and one longer layer in the back (just long enough to cover my neck).’
- ‘I've trimmed my hair - an attractive self-executed shag - and lightened it with some drugstore color.’
- ‘In 2000 Bill trimmed his shag to a respectable ‘suits' length and adopted a camera-perfect part.’
- ‘He was tall, taller than Candice, and he had dark black hair that fell into perfect shag.’
- ‘He had a long, brown shag that was slightly messy, dark tan cargo pants, and a green polo shirt.’
- ‘He's grown his shag out a little, so it hangs in his eyes in a very Ian-esque way.’
- ‘Her hair, which was cut in a shag just above her ear lobes, was mouse brown.’
- ‘He flashed me a triumphant smile as he placed it back on his oh too sexy black shag.’
- ‘He then gave her a layered shag to remove an optimal amount of damaged hair.’
- ‘Logan ran a hand through his strawberry blond shag hair cut and stared down at the two girls in front of him.’
- ‘A short choppy shag that drapes seductively across your forehead and cheeks would be another Libran hairstyle winner.’
- ‘Tobias was always late, his brown shag slightly messy, messenger bag in his hand rather than on his shoulder, coffee mug tipping in random directions.’
- ‘That messy shag you have your heart set on might look like a wash-and-go ‘do, but in reality it could take a lot of time to achieve.’
- ‘Fair comment, though it's strange to hear it coming from a guy sporting a mop-top shag haircut straight off the cover of Rubber Soul, a black T-shirt, denim pants and jacket and regulation Ray - Bans.’
- ‘Sometimes he'd come into psych class late and she could tell that he'd overslept and hadn't had time to tame the shag.’
- ‘The class just giggled to themselves and a really tall, arrogant looking guy leaned over, batted at the shag hanging in his eyes.’
- ‘Collin was tall and had blonde shag that was just barely cut off before his sea mist grey eyes.’
- ‘It was covered in stiff, wiry gray hair, with a shag of sorts hanging off its hunched shoulders and thick neck like a mane.’
- ‘Her bright blue hair was cut in a shag so it flew wildly about her face, and her gold eyes shone brightly over what would soon be very lovely features.’
3mass noun A coarse kind of cut tobacco.
- ‘Until recently, books about book dealing and book collecting tended to the agreeably fusty, redolent of shag tobacco and carpet slippers.’
- ‘He tutted to himself, lit up a cherry shag and blew a thin tendril of smoke after them through the reassuring mesh of his cage.’
- ‘He stood up and went to the side-table and selected a pipe from his rack, and then went to the Persian slipper near the fireplace that held his shag tobacco.’
Late Old English sceacga ‘rough matted hair’, of Germanic origin; related to Old Norse skegg ‘beard’ and shaw.
1A western European and Mediterranean cormorant with greenish-black plumage and a long curly crest in the breeding season.
Phalacrocorax aristotelis, family Phalacrocoracidae
- ‘Cormorants and shags regurgitate pellets of fish bones and scales daily.’
- ‘Out to sea lie the treacherous Little and Halliman Skerries, and at low water groups of gregarious shags often congregate on these flat rocks drying their outstretched wings, while eider ducks can be seen dunking for the bivalve mussels.’
- ‘Throughout the isles you'll come across throngs of Arctic terns and both species of skuas, as well as black guillemots, gannets, shags, and Storm and Leach's petrels.’
- ‘Although the majority of shags, unlike many cormorants, do not normally wander far in winter from their breeding haunts, a small number make prolonged stays on the Norfolk coast.’
- ‘These steep pinnacles are now part of the RSPB bird sanctuary populated by the largest Arctic tern colony in north-west Europe, and home to numerous puffins, kittiwakes, shags and fulmars.’
- 1.1NZ Any cormorant.
- ‘The only creatures on the beach were some kayakers and some shags, and around the rocks some seals.’
- ‘Other water birds include grey and mallard ducks, black swans, black shags.’
- ‘Again the attraction is bird watching, especially pied shags feeding the young birds in their nests, great crested grebe and large numbers of paradise ducks.’
like a shag on a rock
informal In an isolated or exposed position.‘the liner was stuck there like a shag on a rock’
- ‘The liner Wanganella was stuck there like a shag on a rock until it was refloated off and away to become a hostel ship for workers.’
- ‘The reporter stands there with this air of authority but it just makes them look like shags on a rock trying to sell yesterdays news.’
- ‘Although a proud Australian, he says he could not go back there to live because he'd be as "conspicuous as a shag on a rock".’
- ‘While the traditional pathways for the Australian Derby are still in place, the jewel in the crown has been left like a shag on a rock.’
- ‘If Labor ditches the free trade agreement he will be left like a shag on a rock.’
- ‘He looked like a shag on a rock and the whole show was an insult to the grand finalists, sponsors and the game.’
Mid 16th century: perhaps a use of shag, with reference to the bird's ‘shaggy’ crest.
A dance originating in the US in the 1930s and 1940s, characterized by vigorous hopping from one foot to the other.
Of obscure derivation; perhaps from obsolete shag ‘waggle’.
verbshagging, shags, shagged[with object]Baseball
Chase or catch (fly balls) for practice.‘you run down to the field and hit a few baseballs and shag a few fly balls’
- ‘Because there's a word, there's a way to wonder if any of our group shagging baseballs all spring might not have been a girl at all but a hybrid cultivar.’
- ‘At the few other games I went to by myself, I also saw him in the outfield talking with teammates while they shagged fly balls.’
- ‘Lacy grew up a Senator fan and as a teenager he shagged flies in Griffith Stadium for the likes of Goose Goslin, Joe Judge, Clyde Milan, and Walter Johnson.’
Early 20th century: of unknown origin.
verbshagging, shags, shagged[with object]British
1Have sex with (someone).
- 1.1no object (of two people) have sex.
1An act of having sex.
- 1.1with adjective A sexual partner of a specified ability.
- 1.1with adjective A sexual partner of a specified ability.
Late 18th century: of unknown origin.
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