Head-shaking for no

Head-shaking means no, while head-nodding means yes. Bulgaria, and possibly a few other places in the world, are the exceptions.

The reason, I expect, for head-shaking being associated with "no" is that it’s the easiest way as a child to avoid an approaching spoonful of food that you’re not interested in eating. It merely brings with it the risk of food on one’s cheeks, as opposed to food up one’s nose. As the adult-held spoon follows the mouth to the left, the head can quickly jerk to the right, cunningly bypassing the spoon and its nasty contents. The neck muscles are much better equipped to rapid lateral movement than they are to vertical movement.

The nod for yes I expect will come later, likely contextualised by the previously-learnt head-shaking.

By Dan on 14 December, 2008 · Posted in Life, Random thoughts

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