One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
verb[NO OBJECT]North American
1Move to and fro.‘the wipers were wigwagging to keep the windscreen clear’
quiver, shake, tremble, quaver, waver, shiver, shudder, judder, jiggle, wobbleView synonyms
- ‘Only the ‘dawgs’ will run up on you rappin', walking backwards in front of you, them wigwagging and yapping like little Collie dogs.’
- ‘Their tails popped up reflexively, almost absurdly long and white, and wigwagged out of sight.’
- 1.1 Signal by waving something.‘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.’
- ‘Under ideal conditions, a message could be wigwagged over distances of ten to fifteen miles at about three words per minute.’
- ‘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.’
Late 16th century: reduplication of wag.
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