One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verb[no object]North American
1Move to and fro.‘the dog wigwagged his way up the porch steps’
quiver, shake, tremble, quaver, waver, shiver, shudder, judder, jiggle, wobbleView synonyms
- ‘Their tails popped up reflexively, almost absurdly long and white, and wigwagged out of sight.’
- ‘Only the ‘dawgs’ will run up on you rappin', walking backwards in front of you, them wigwagging and yapping like little Collie dogs.’
- 1.1 Signal by waving an arm, flag, light, or other object.‘Ned furiously wigwagged at her’
- ‘Opening the plane's window, I waved at the Dykeses and wigwagged my wings to let them know I saw them.’
- ‘When the small plane crossed paths with military helicopters, as happened two or three times, the researchers held on as Mr. Giles wigwagged to signal he had seen them.’
- ‘Under ideal conditions, a message could be wigwagged over distances of ten to fifteen miles at about three words per minute.’
Late 16th century: reduplication of wag.
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