See also: Wag, WAG, and wäg

English

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Etymology

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From Middle English waggen, probably from Old English wagian (to wag, wave, shake) with reinforcement from Old Norse vaga (to wag, waddle); both from Proto-Germanic *wagōną (to wag). Related to English way.

The verb may be regarded as an iterative or emphatic form of waw (verb), which is often nearly synonymous; it was used, e.g., of a loose tooth. Parallel formations from the same root are the Old Norse vagga feminine, cradle (Swedish vagga, Danish vugge), Swedish vagga (to rock a cradle), Dutch wagen (to move), early modern German waggen (dialectal German wacken) to waver, totter. Compare waggle, verb

Pronunciation

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Verb

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wag (third-person singular simple present wags, present participle wagging, simple past and past participle wagged)

  1. To swing from side to side, as an animal's tail, or someone's head, to express disagreement or disbelief.
  2. (UK, Australia, slang) To play truant from school.
    Synonym: see Thesaurus:play truant
    • 1846 October 1 – 1848 April 1, Charles Dickens, “chapter xxii”, in Dombey and Son, London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1848, →OCLC:
      "My misfortunes all began in wagging, Sir; but what could I do, exceptin' wag?" "Excepting what?" said Mr. Carker. "Wag, Sir. Wagging from school." "Do you mean pretending to go there, and not going?" said Mr. Carker. "Yes, Sir, that's wagging, Sir."
    • 1901, William Sylvester Walker, Blood, i. 13:
      They had "wagged it" from school, as they termed it, which..meant truancy in all its forms.
    • 2005, Arctic Monkeys, “Bigger Boys and Stolen Sweethearts”, in I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor:
      [] she wagged English and Science just to go in his car []
  3. (intransitive, chiefly obsolete) To go; to proceed; to move; to progress.
    • c. 1598–1600 (date written), William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act II, (please specify the scene number in lowercase Roman numerals)]:
      "Thus we may see," quoth he, "how the world wags."
  4. To move continually, especially in gossip; said of the tongue.
    She's a real gossip: her tongue is always wagging.
  5. (intransitive, obsolete) To leave; to depart.

Coordinate terms

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  • (swing from side to side): nod, no

Derived terms

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Translations

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See also

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Noun

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wag (plural wags)

  1. An oscillating movement.
    The wag of my dog's tail expresses happiness.
  2. A witty person.
    • c. 1610–1611 (date written), William Shakespeare, “The Winters Tale”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act I, scene ii]:
      Was not my Lord
      The veryer Wag o'th' two?
    • 1855 July 1, anonymous author, The Judge's Big Shirt[1], Yankee-notions, →ISSN:
      But being a bit of a wag, and relishing a good joke amazingly, he concluded to have a little fun, and at the same time learn his friend a lesson concerning his negligent custom.
    • 1922, Robert C. Benchley, chapter XXII, in Love Conquers All, Henry Holt & Company, page 111:
      “A nice, juicy steak,” he is said to have called for, “French fries, apple pie and a cup of coffee.” It is probable that he really said “a coff of cuppee,” however, as he was a wag of the first water and loved a joke as well as the next king.
    • 2019 December 8, Jason Farago, “A (Grudging) Defense of the $120,000 Banana”, in The New York Times[2], →ISSN:
      By Wednesday it had already won art-world notoriety, and on Saturday it achieved a public visibility that any artist would envy, after a self-promoting wag tore the banana off the wall and gobbled it up.
    • 2020 December 2, Paul Bigland, “My weirdest and wackiest Rover yet”, in Rail, page 70:
      Many people can't work from home - as one wag observed: "Well, I would, but the wife doesn't like me laying tarmac in the front room!"

Derived terms

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Translations

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See also

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References

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Anagrams

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Afrikaans

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Pronunciation

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Etymology 1

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From Dutch wacht, from Middle Dutch wachte, from Old Dutch wahta (watch, sentry, guard), from Proto-Germanic *wahtwō (watch, vigil).

Noun

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wag (plural wagte)

  1. guard
Derived terms
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Etymology 2

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From Dutch wachten, from Middle Dutch wachten (to watch, guard, keep watch, wait), from Old Dutch *wahton, derived from wahta.

Verb

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wag (present wag, present participle wagtende, past participle gewag)

  1. (intransitive) to wait [with vir ‘for’]

German

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Pronunciation

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Verb

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wag

  1. singular imperative of wagen
  2. (colloquial) first-person singular present of wagen

Middle English

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Noun

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wag

  1. Alternative form of wage

Old English

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Alternative forms

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Etymology

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From Proto-Germanic *waigaz.

Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): /wɑːɡ/, [wɑːɣ]

Noun

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wāg m

  1. wall (of a building or a house)

Declension

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Derived terms

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Descendants

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  • Middle English: wagh, wough

Old Saxon

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Etymology

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From Proto-West Germanic *wāg, from Proto-Germanic *wēgaz.

Noun

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wāg m

  1. wave
  2. flood

References

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Polish

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Pronunciation

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  • IPA(key): /vak/
  • Rhymes: -ak
  • Syllabification: wag

Noun

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wag f

  1. genitive plural of waga

Tagalog

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Etymology

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Clipping of huwag, also a colloquial pronunciation spelling.

Pronunciation

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Verb

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wag (Baybayin spelling ᜏᜄ᜔) (colloquial)

  1. Alternative form of huwag

Interjection

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wag (Baybayin spelling ᜏᜄ᜔) (colloquial)

  1. Alternative form of huwag

Welsh

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Pronunciation

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Adjective

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wag

  1. Soft mutation of gwag.

Mutation

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Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
gwag wag ngwag unchanged
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.