Shift in one's seat


German - Germany
What does the expression to shift in one's seat mean?
Maybe to move back and forward in one's seat? That was what I would have thought.

Is that used in common speech?

Thank You
  • Backward and forward or from side to side. One might do so because one's nervous, as David suggests—or, simply because the seat's uncomfortable.
    In this case, "to shift" means "to move." The phrase "to shift in one's seat" usually means that someone is nervous. I think the image is that someone is waiting for something and what they're waiting for is making them nervous.

    I usually hear the phrase "to shift." "Back and forward" is completely new to me. It gives me the image of someone rocking in their chair.