One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A word said to frighten or drive away a person or animal.
- ‘Oh, and if you haven't read the first part, ‘Millie’, shoo!’
verbshooing, shooed, shoos
with object and adverbial of direction Make (a person or animal) go away by waving one's arms at them, saying “shoo,” or otherwise acting in a discouraging manner.‘I went to comfort her but she shooed me away’
go away, depart, leave, take off, get out, get out of my sightView synonyms
- ‘Finally, a March organizer shooed us along the route as we were falling behind.’
- ‘Maggie doesn't hide her animosity towards her father, and despite her daughters' curiosity, shoos him out as fast as she can.’
- ‘In the rocks above the flat roofs, I pass a shepherd girl shooing sheep along the mountainside.’
- ‘Ryan scowled at the young man and shooed him away with a wave of his hand.’
- ‘She shooed her kids into the play area and came over to sit down on the bench.’
- ‘My mother would screech at my father for being so easily fooled, but he just shooed me along and I was on my way.’
- ‘We tried to help them but she just shooed us out of the way and told us she could do it herself.’
- ‘He said he tried to refute a senior police officer briefing reporters, but he was shooed away by other policemen.’
- ‘And you've seen barefoot children being shooed out of a shopping mall by security guards.’
- ‘I spent two years shooing him away and looking at him like he was nuts before I realised he was a drug dealer.’
- ‘Then I discovered he compensated by eating mostly meat and I shooed him out the door.’
- ‘He drags on his cigarette and, as if we hadn't been speaking, raises his eyes to the screens and silently shoos me out of his way.’
- ‘My teacher shooed him away, but in her red eyes we sensed that he wasn't lying.’
- ‘He shooed the crowds away to give him privacy, then took the Canadian soldier by the arm, led him inside and began washing him off.’
- ‘The instructor interrupts his advance, shooing him away.’
- ‘Waving his hand, he shooed us off before returning to bark at the rest of the class to warm-up.’
- ‘She shoos me out of her nice clean treatment room and I totter off feeling not exactly relaxed.’
- ‘Policemen shooed us away from near the lake not out of being perverse but because a great big tree had fallen down and blocked the road.’
- ‘I remember my mother shooing us, silently, into the basement, her grabbing the cast iron skillet and standing to the side of the door.’
- ‘With a swift and playful push, she shooed Daniel out, promising him to take only ten minutes.’
A natural exclamation: first recorded in late Middle English. The verb use dates from the early 17th century.
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