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  1. essential life

    essential life Member

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    Something to substitute for "shrug"

    Discussion in 'Word Mechanics' started by essential life, Nov 3, 2009.

    I always use the word shrug.

    He shrugged. He is shrugging. He shrugs his shoulders.

    Anyone have any ideas for a like-minded word or a combination of words to replace "shrug"?

    For some reason the thesaurus isn't helping.
     
  2. marina

    marina Contributing Member Contributor

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    What's wrong with just using "shrug"? You don't want a character shrugging more than a couple times in the book, so it's not like the word will be too repetitive and you need alternative words. The only alternative I can think of is: "He gestured by hunching his shoulders"--but that sounds kind of lame.
     
  3. Punctuate THIS!

    Punctuate THIS! Member

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    He raised his sholders in confusion.

    I have the same problem with smile. I find its best to use a short phrase in place of the word. Her face curled from ear to ear.
     
  4. evelon

    evelon Active Member

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    You were joking, right?
     
  5. DragonGrim

    DragonGrim Contributing Member

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    His shoulders jerked up. “I don’t friggin know, man,” he said.

    I always just use shrug, however
     
  6. architectus

    architectus Banned

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    "I don't know," he said more with his shoulders than anything else.

    He pulled his shoulders up by his ears while raising his eyebrows? << hmm, bleh.

    Maybe you can solve the problem with a dash of comedy?

    John shrugged, again.

    Geez, Bill had never met someone who shrugged so often. He must have shrugged three times in the last few hours. John was a damn shrugging machine. Bill felt like saying something but didn't.

    He slapped John on the shoulder. "Let's go."
     
  7. TragicJuliet

    TragicJuliet Senior Member

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    I can understand needing another word for shrug, sometimes it's just not the right thing for a character to do, like if it's a really childish guy you could say

    He bobbed his shoulders, "I dunno! Let's just try it!"

    or if it was a really like, a old old man
    His shoulders gave a heavy hunch ," If I knew that...I wouldn't be here."

    or a graceful woman!
    She shifted her shoulders,"I could not really tell you much of what I saw."

    A shrug can totally define a person and who they are
     
  8. Cogito

    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Don't try so hard. If your character shrugs that often, another character can take note of ut, perhaps with a bit of sarcasm or humor. But if he shrugs, then a couple questions later shrugs again, just say so. You'll make yourself conspicuous if you jump through hoops for alternate words.
     
  9. mammamaia

    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yup!... listen to cog...
     

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