☆BB☆ asked in Education & ReferenceTrivia · 9 years ago

When did "nodding" your head come to mean "yes" and...?

shaking your head come to mean "no"?

Update:

FINALLY! After 3 hours or so, someone else answers....though their answers don't really answer. ^^; Lol

26 Answers

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  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    No clue...very nice question! I tried googling and came up with this cool link/site, in regards to cultures and signs,etc.

    http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/619/why-d...

    Star for you! ;-)

    And this one....... https://www.greenpassion.org/index.php?/topic/1049...

  • aashis
    Lv 4
    3 years ago

    Nodding Head

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    that was decided during the council of trent. many cardinals and bishops argued over this, it was a month long symposium. The countryside was sorely taxed, taking care of the personal needs of these great men. Several were executed in the process but in the end, nodding came to mean "yes" and the side to side motion came to mean "no".

    The extent of conviction was indicated by the vigorousness of the movement. If someone asked you if you wanted cream in your coffee, and you did, you were supposed to bob your head up and down rapidly, even VIOLENTLY at least eight times.

  • 9 years ago

    "There are varying theories as to why nodding is so frequently used to mean "yes". One simple theory is that it is a form of bowing, indicating that one is prepared to accept what another person is saying or requesting. It has also been stated[1] that babies, when hungry, search for their mother's milk by moving their heads vertically, but decline milk by turning their head from side to side." (Wikipedia)

    Various researchers also indicate that the custom of "nodding" (in agreement) and "shaking the head" (in disagreement) is common in many cultures.

    I agree that this method of communication may have begun in the garden of Eden.

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  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    I think nodding is naturally connected to accepting because you're somehow putting your head below the other person in front of you. And being down is connected to less power, up for more power, more energy, as laws of gravity say. The Wolf that is up is the powerful one, because he has gravity on his side.

    As for the case of "no" it seems that comes as a contrast to the previous explanation, a counterpart to nodding. You're deviating your face from the person in front of you like directing it towards other people or places, meaning that you agree with other realities, not the one expressed by that person. Or creating some kind of barrier of air before him/her.

    • Panait C
      Lv 6
      5 years agoReport

      if you nod down-up is yes, but if you nod up-down may mean no as you are putting your head above the others.

  • 3 years ago

    This is as old as human kind. A mother breast fed her child and in this suckling a child nods it's head yes. Imagine this before you come to a conclusion. Now when a baby was crying and it was not hungry what would the baby do when their mother tried to put them on tit? Yup the would smack it away and shake their heads no. Globally a nod always means yes and a shake always means no. Makes no difference what language is spoken.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    It just started when someone wanted to end the subject quickly and go on to something they would rather talk about, or they didn't want anyone to hear them say yes. Sometimes it's a lot quicker and it avoids further discussion maybe?

  • 9 years ago

    For your info, that in India it is the other way round, when they nod their head they mean NO, and when they shake their head they mean Yes.

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago

    When Eve took a bite of the forbidden fruit, she looked at Adam and nodded and Adam was looking at her shaking his head. Well you know the rest, the girl won that one lol

  • 9 years ago

    The nodding yes and no is learned as a baby to find the nipple of your moms breast.

    Later on we continue using it but as yes and no signs.

    Source(s): The great encyclopedia of useless facts (seriously.)
    • thomas s6 years agoReport

      But how did the first mother (so to speak) learn to nod up and down for yes? That has yet to be answered.

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