[Ads-l] shimmy (shake, climb up/down)

Barretts Mail mail.barretts at GMAIL.COM
Thu Aug 15 16:36:20 EDT 2019


1. In a video on pickling blackberries, Atomic Shrimp uses the expression “give a shimmy” and then shakes a jar by means of several short vibrations.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy5jWXJ1TsA <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dy5jWXJ1TsA> (2:47)
Pickled Blackberries (Part 1)

Atomic Shrimp, located in the UK
9 September 2018

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I’ll give that a little shimmy….
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2. The OED does not cover this. Related senses it has are:

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v. 
1a. To dance the shimmy.
1b. To dance (the shimmy); to shake (part of the body) as in the shimmy.
2. intransitive. figurative and transferred. To shake, quiver, vibrate, to progress hastily or irregularly. 

n. 
1. (the dance)
2. An oscillation or vibration of the wheels, etc., of a motor vehicle or of an aircraft undercarriage; spec. = wheel wobble n.
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3. The progress from the OED’s meaning to the Atomic Shrimp can be seen, for example in 

https://tinyurl.com/yym4feyw <https://tinyurl.com/yym4feyw>
A Promise of Forever

Marilyin Pappano
2015 (Google-dated)

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An instant later, the skirt began sliding form her waist, and she gave it a shimmy to help it along.
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4. Here is another example of “shimmy” as a noun:

https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/massive-rhubarb-plant.65388/page-8 <https://www.winemakingtalk.com/threads/massive-rhubarb-plant.65388/page-8>
Massive Rhubarb Plant

Wolfpup
11 May 2018

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Did not take as long to get a reading today, Gave it a "shimmy" shake, tapped it and swish, here we go. It looks like the numbers are getting smaller.
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5. BZ also provides an example in the ADS archives
http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2005-September/054227.html <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/ads-l/2005-September/054227.html>

The citation appears to be from the TV show “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, episode 65: ’Something Blue’ (1999, see http://vrya.net/bdb/ep.php?ep=65 <http://vrya.net/bdb/ep.php?ep=65>)

http://vrya.net/bdb/clip.php?clip=975 <http://vrya.net/bdb/clip.php?clip=975>

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Willow: Yeah.. I-I know I've been sort of a party-poop lately, so I said to myself, "Self!" I said, "It's time to shake and shimmy it off.”
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6. Separately, the meaning of ascend or descend by the use of the hands and knees/lower legs is not given in the OED. Wiktionary (https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/shimmy <https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/shimmy>) covers this:

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To climb something (e.g. a pole) gradually (e.g. using alternately one's arms then one's legs).
	He shimmied up the flagpole.
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I don’t think that “gradual” movement is a part of the definition, however. Shimmying is, in my experience, frequently a very rapid movement.

Merriam-Webster (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shimmy <https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shimmy>) is also quiet on both meanings.

Benjamin Barrett (he/his/him)
Formerly of Seattle, WA


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