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  • Horsey Wag
    Horsey Wag
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v wag move from side to side "The happy dog wagged his tail"
    • n wag causing to move repeatedly from side to side
    • n wag a witty amusing person who makes jokes
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Wig Wag Signalling Wig Wag Signalling
Wagging her head and stopping every minute to cough, sneeze and blow her nose Wagging her head and stopping every minute to cough, sneeze and blow her nose

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Wag A man full of sport and humor; a ludicrous fellow; a humorist; a wit; a joker. "We wink at wags when they offend.""A counselor never pleaded without a piece of pack thread in his hand, which he used to twist about a finger all the while he was speaking; the wags used to call it the thread of his discourse."
    • Wag The act of wagging; a shake; as, a wag of the head.
    • Wag To be in action or motion; to move; to get along; to progress; to stir. "“Thus we may see,” quoth he, “how the world wags .”"
    • Wag To go; to depart; to pack oft. "I will provoke him to 't, or let him wag ."
    • v. t Wag To move one way and the other with quick turns; to shake to and fro; to move vibratingly; to cause to vibrate, as a part of the body; as, to wag the head.Wag expresses specifically the motion of the head and body used in buffoonery, mirth, derision, sport, and mockery. "No discerner durst wag his tongue in censure.""Every one that passeth thereby shall be astonished, and wag his head."
    • Wag To move one way and the other; to be shaken to and fro; to vibrate. "The resty sieve wagged ne'er the more."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • wag To cause to move up and down, backward and forward, or from side to side, alternately, as a small body jointed or attached to, or connected with, a larger one; cause to move one way or another, as on a pivot or joint, or on or from something by which the body moved is supported; cause to shake, oscillate, or vibrate slightly. From the quick, jerky, or abrupt motion indicated by the word, an idea of playful, sportive, mocking, scornful, or derisive motion is associated with it in certain phrases: as, to wag the head or the finger.
    • wag To nudge.
    • wag To move backward and forward, up and down, or from side to side, alternately, as if connected with a larger body by a joint. pivot, or any flexible or loose attachment; oscillate; sway or swing; vibrate: an arrow is said to wag when it vibrates in the air.
    • wag To be in motion or action; make progress; continue a course or career; stir.
    • wag To move on or away; be off; depart; pack off; be gone.
    • n wag The act of wagging; a shake; an oscillation.
    • n wag One who is given to joking or jesting; a witty or humorous person; one full of sport and humor; a droll fellow. The word seems formerly to have been applied to a person who indulged in coarse, low, or broad humor, or buffoonery, as a practical joker.
    • n wag A fellow: used with a shade of meaning sometimes slurring, sometimes affectionate, but without any attribution of humor or pleasantry.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t., v.i Wag wag to move from side to side: to shake to and fro: :
    • pr.p Wag wag′ging; pa.t. and pa.p. wagged
    • n Wag a shaking, moving to and fro
    • n Wag wag a droll, mischievous fellow: a man full of sport and humour: a wit: a fellow generally
    • v.t., v.i Wag wag (coll.) to depart
    • v.t., v.i Wag wag (Shak.) to move on, make progress
    • ***


  • Arnold Toynbee
    Arnold Toynbee
    “America is a large, friendly dog in a very small room. Every time it wags its tail, it knocks over a chair.”
  • H. L. Mencken
    “The lunatic fringe wags the underdog.”


Wag the dog - To 'wag the dog' means to purposely divert attention from what would otherwise be of greater importance, to something else of lesser significance. By doing so, the lesser-significant event is catapulted into the limelight, drowning proper attention to what was originally the more important issue.The expression comes from the saying that 'a dog is smarter than its tail', but if the tail were smarter, then the tail would 'wag the dog'. The expression 'wag the dog' was elaborately used as theme of the movie. 'Wag the Dog', a 1997 film starring Robert de Niro and Dustin Hoffman, produced and directed by Barry Levinson.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. waggen,; probably of Scand. origin; cf. Sw. vagga, to rock a cradle, vagga, cradle, Icel. vagga, Dan. vugge,; akin to AS. wagian, to move, wag, wegan, to bear, carry, G. & D. bewegen, to move, and E. weigh,. √136. See Weigh
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Referred by Skeat to Old Sw. wagga, to wag (Ice. vagga, a cradle); allied to A.S. wagian, to wag, Old High Ger. wagōn, to shake, A.S. wegan, to carry, move.


In literature:

He'll wag as the bush wags.
"The Proverbs of Scotland" by Alexander Hislop
What outrages him is to make him stop wagging his tongue.
"This Simian World" by Clarence Day
Musq'oosis's head still wagged.
"The Huntress" by Hulbert Footner
The boys no longer talked in whispers; their tongues were wagging loudly.
"The Hero of Garside School" by J. Harwood Panting
Toto wagged his tail vigorously.
"The Road to Oz" by L. Frank Baum
Culpepper wagged his head from side to side.
"Privy Seal" by Ford Madox Ford
He beckoned to the little dog, and when it came up to him, wagged his finger at it.
"The House with the Mezzanine and Other Stories" by Anton Tchekoff
Rover looked up and wagged his tail.
"Prince and Rover of Cloverfield Farm" by Helen Fuller Orton
THE wig wag contest had furnished enough excitement at Sea Crest to constitute a nine day's wonder.
"The Girl Scouts at Sea Crest" by Lillian Garis
Kaiser seemed warm in his thick coat of black hair, and wagged his tail like a good fellow.
"Track's End" by Hayden Carruth
And how wags the world with you, O'Ruddy?
"The O'Ruddy" by Stephen Crane
Jesse Brown wagged his head in a deprecating way and tried to side-step the entire situation.
"The Vagrant Duke" by George Gibbs
Living outside his home would set tongues wagging.
"At the Crossroads" by Harriet T. Comstock
He was twisting his fingers in his thin grey beard that wagged tremulously when he spoke.
"The Fifth Queen" by Ford Madox Ford
Remember me to Mrs Wag, and give my love to all the little Wags.
"Tales from Blackwood, Volume 7" by Various
A dog rushed out and barked, but wagged his tail when he saw who the visitors were.
"The Adventure League" by Hilda T. Skae
The Scribes and Pharisees wagged their heads, and jeered at Him.
"Men of the Bible" by Dwight Moody
Got more'n a dog has to think about, more to remember, nothin' to wag.
"A Man in the Open" by Roger Pocock
And he come right up to me and looked me in the eyes, wagging his tail.
"Stories That End Well" by Octave Thanet
Staines called him, and the dog wagged his tail, but did not move.
"The New Gulliver and Other Stories" by Barry Pain

In poetry:

Any little English baby,
In your place, would bake:
If its head went wag as yours does,
O how it would ache!
"To A Kaffir Baby" by Edith L M King
I’ the how-dumb-deid o’ the cauld hairst nicht
The warl’ like an eemis stane
Wags i’ the lift;
An’ my eerie memories fa’
Like a yowdendrift.
"The Eemis-Stane" by Hugh MacDiarmid
Sair bent on the spinnin', she heard nae the chime
O' the wag-at-the-wa' whan ringin' the time,
At twa in the mornin'—O horror an' wae!
To think she had broken the blest Sabbath-day!
"The Angel's Treasure" by Janet Hamilton
She that will but now discover
Where the winged wag doth hover,
Shall to-night receive a kiss,
How or where herself would wish:
But who brings him to his mother,
Shall have that kiss, and another.
"Venus' Runaway" by Ben Jonson
“And all would be as it had been before;
Again at eve there would be news to tell;
Who passed should hear them chant it o’er and o’er,
Gossip, how wags the world?’ ‘Well, gossip, well.’”
"Sand Martins" by Jean Ingelow
Nein Freund! nein Freund, dies wag ich nicht.
Gesetzt, dass unser Schiff zerbricht,
So muessen wir ins Wasser sinken,
Und Wasser wohl gezwungen trinken.
Und Wasser, Wasser schmecket schlecht.
Hab ich nicht recht?
"Der Schiffbruch" by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing

In news:

Titans' rookie has tongues wagging, chooses not to listen.
When they have negative feelings, their tail wagging is biased to the left.
Wag- Aero receives FAA nod for Taylorcraft replacement parts.
The US Tail Wags the Italian Dog.
Wagging, Gagging and Bagging .
WAG's positive results just shy of consensus.
Israel assault on Gaza, rising death tolls, Egypt's Morsi will not be wagged.
?ne Trempe performs at the WAG on Sunday.
Eyes light up, tongues roll out, and tails – if they had them – would wag.
TR&HC Any & All Dog Show, a tail-wagging event.
Friday Wine & Wag Happy Hour.
Bob for hot dogs and enjoy complimentary hors d'oeuvres at the Maryland SPCA's first Wine & Wag Happy Hour of the season.
WAG brainstorms public spaces.
FOREST HILLS—The Working Advisory Group ( WAG ) for the Casey Overpass replacement project has started brainstorming the pedestrian areas surrounding the future overpass replacement.
) and all discussion of the president's sex scandal disappears from view -- or, as Brean would have it, the "tail" of manufactured crisis wags the "dog" of national politics.

In science:

Since Aξ = 1, we have wu = wAg(ξ )(u), which implies that Ag(ξ )(u) = u.
On a free group of transformations defined by an automaton
It always leads to fine-tuning paradoxes, with the tail wagging the dog.
How Galaxies Don't Form
Most of other modes falling in the energy range of our NIS measurement are one of the twisting, stretching, breathing, bending and wagging motions of the benzene rings.
Lattice Dynamics of Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs): Neutron Inelastic Scattering and First-Principles Calculations
Wyższa natomiast powsta je poprzez sumowanie wszystkich węzłów z uwzględnieniem wag Pi, z jakimi węzły te występuj
Self-Organizing Mixture Networks for Representation of Grayscale Digital Images