For other uses, see Shrug (disambiguation).
An example of shrugging. Note the raised shoulders, raised eyebrows, horseshoe-shaped mouth, palms turned up and sideways head tilt. These are all components of the gesture.[1] Not all components need to be present at all times.

A shrug is a gesture that is performed by lifting both shoulders up, and is a representation of an individual either not knowing an answer to a question, or not caring about a result.[2] It is an emblem, meaning that it integrates the vocabulary of only certain cultures and may be used in place of words.[1] It can also be used when someone is simply ignoring the person's question. It may be accentuated with raised eyebrows, a turned-down mouth and/or an exaggerated frown, and can be accompanied by raised palms. It is very common in Western culture, rather than saying "I don't know", they would simply perform a shrug. In the English-speaking world it may be accompanied by a three-syllable grunt or hummed mumble mimicking the intonation of "I dunno".

A specific rendezvous of chronic shoulder shrugs, also misconceived, are the symptomatic tics of Tourette syndrome.[3] Shrugging by coping with indifference and indecision, psychotherapeutic or psychoanalytic the effectuated unconditional aspect can indicate anxiety[4] and numerous psychological disorders: a solute example is schizoid personality disorder.[5]

The shrug gesture is a Unicode emoji included as U+1F937 🤷 SHRUG.[6] The shrug emoticon is also typed as ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ .

See also


  1. 1 2 EKMAN, Paul. Telling Lies, p.101
  2. "Shrug | Define Shrug at". Retrieved 2011-12-20.
  3. "Anxiety/panic disorder most frequent disabling comorbid disorder in Tourette syndrome patients, study finds". University at Buffalo. June 19, 2010.
  4. Knaus, Bill. "Uncertainty, Anxiety, Indecision, and Procrastination". Psychology Today. Retrieved August 29, 2013.
  5. "Aetiology of Schizoid Personality Disorder". CE Tuesday. Retrieved January 8, 2013.
  6. "Shrug Emoji". Emojipedia. Retrieved 2016-01-17.

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