How informal is "What's shaking?"

  • Steven David

    Senior Member
    English
    Is there a way to measure how informal is "What's shaking?"

    Thanks!


    It's very informal. If you think you have a way to use this, then only use it with people you know very well.

    To be sure, "informal" does not mean incorrect. This is a correct expression.

    I mean the tone of this expression is very informal.

    If you use it, then, of course, you have to be in a situation that is very informal and with people who have a very informal attitude. It has to fit the context or circumstance, too.

    This is something that we can hear. However, I'm not sure of how frequently this expression occurs.
     

    reno33

    Banned
    English - USA
    No, I don't think these's any way to "measure" the informality or formality of any specific expression. I can say that the expression "What's shaking" is not only very informal (in AmerE), but it is also rarely heard and has been mostly relegated to sub-sets or sub-categories of theme related groups.

    Further. unless a speaker's English is almost native, it would sound very strange for a non-native speaker to utter this expression. It implies a societal intimacy that would be almost impossible for a non-native speaker to ever attain.
     

    André Luiz Arruda

    New Member
    Português (Brasil)
    It's very informal. If you think you have a way to use this, then only use it with people you know very well.

    To be sure, "informal" does not mean incorrect. This is a correct expression.

    I mean the tone of this expression is very informal.

    If you use it, then, of course, you have to be in a situation that is very informal and with people who have a very informal attitude. It has to fit the context or circumstance, too.

    This is something that we can hear. However, I'm not sure of how frequently this expression occurs.
    I think expressions should be better understood than spoken by non-native speakers because it's hard to know exactly when to use them. Unless you have straight contact with the language (being in the English speaking country for example)
     

    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    It's completely incomprehensible in BE. I have absolutely no idea what it is supposed to mean.
     
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