shrug your shoulders

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New Member
Hey, I'd like to know what's the use of putting "your shoulders" after "shrug", because if you shrug, it's always your shoulders, you see what I mean?
  • englisheer

    English - Australian
    In some ways it's redundant but one can also "shrug off" something.

    For example, "the investor shrugged off economic concerns"
    "the athlete shrugged off his injury and completed the season"
    "the woman shrugged off her thick coat as soon as she set foot inside"

    I suppose someone could also shrug something, such as the usage in weightlifting.
    "the person shrugged 100 kilograms repeatedly"

    The gesture itself often involves more than just the shoulders. For me, to read that someone "shrugged their shoulders" has the feeling that it is specifically the shoulders rather than the raising of the hands, brow, down turned mouth, cocked head and so on. On the other hand, it's possible for a person to shrug a single shoulder.

    Either way, to add "your shoulders" is fine (and common) in English.

    And of course, I was sitting here shrugging my shoulders to note all the movements :D
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