a little <shake>

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Senior Member
Hi there,

"Yes, I've learned to check the hasty words that rise to my lips, and when I feel that they mean to break out against my will, I just go away for a minute, and give myself a little shake for being so weak and wicked," answered Mrs. March with a sigh and a smile, as she smoothed and fastened up Jo's disheveled hair.

The Project Gutenberg E-text of Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott

Does "shake" mean the act of shaking (kind of a little punishment) or a moment?


  • Barque

    She doesn't mean it quite so literally; she means she goes off and tells herself not to be so "weak and wicked". But yes, it's probably derived from the fact that a person might give another a quick shake (a parent to their child for instance) while rebuking them.
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