shag

1 [shag]
noun
1.
rough, matted hair, wool, or the like.
2.
a mass of this.
3.
a hairdo in which hair is cut in slightly uneven, overlapping layers downward from the crown, sometimes with the hair at the front and back hairlines left longer or wispier than the rest.
4.
a cloth with a nap, as of silk or a heavy or rough woolen fabric.
5.
a rug or carpet with a thick, shaggy pile.
6.
a coarse tobacco cut into fine shreds.
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), shagged, shagging.
7.
to make or become rough or shaggy.

Origin:
before 1050; Old English sceacga (wooly) hair (not recorded in ME); cognate with Old Norse skegg beard; akin to shaw

shaglike, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged

shag

2 [shag]
noun
1.
a small cormorant, Phalacrocorax aristotelis, of European coasts.
2.
any of several small cormorants of the Southern Hemisphere.

Origin:
1560–70; perhaps special use of shag1, applied first to bird's crest

shag

3 [shag]
verb (used without object), shagged, shagging.
1.
to dance a step with a vigorous hopping on each foot.
noun
2.
this dance step.

Origin:
1350–1400; perhaps variant of shog

shag

4 [shag]
verb (used with object), shagged, shagging.
1.
to chase or follow after; pursue.
2.
to go after and bring back; fetch.
3.
Baseball. to retrieve and throw back (fly balls) in batting practice.
Idioms
4.
shag ass, Slang: Vulgar. to depart, especially hurriedly; get going.

Origin:
1930–35; origin uncertain; see shack2

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
shag1 (ʃæɡ)
 
n
1.  a matted tangle, esp of hair, wool, etc
2.  a napped fabric, usually a rough wool
3.  shredded coarse tobacco
 
vb , shags, shagging, shagged
4.  (tr) to make shaggy
 
[Old English sceacga; related to sceagashaw1, Old Norse skegg beard, skagi tip, skōgr forest]

shag2 (ʃæɡ)
 
n
1.  a cormorant, esp the green cormorant (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
2.  slang (Austral) like a shag on a rock abandoned and alone
 
[C16: special use of shag1, with reference to its crest]

shag3 (ʃæɡ)
 
vb (often foll by out; usually passive) , shags, shagging, shagged
1.  to have sexual intercourse with (a person)
2.  to exhaust; tire
 
n
3.  an act of sexual intercourse
 
usage  Though still likely to cause offence to many older or more conservative people, this word has lost a lot of its shock value of late. It seems to have a jocular, relaxed connotation, which most of the other words in this field do not. No doubt its acceptability has been accelerated by its use in the title of an Austin Powers film. Interestingly, though advertisements for the film caused a large number of complaints to the British Advertising Standards Authority, they were not upheld

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

shag
1592, "cloth having a velvet nap on one side," from O.E. sceacga "rough matted hair or wool," cognate with O.N. skegg "beard," from P.Gmc. *skagjan, perhaps related to O.H.G. scahho "promontory," with a connecting sense of "jutting out, projecting." Of tobacco, "cut in fine shreds," it is recorded from
1789; of carpets, rugs, etc., from 1946. Shagbark as a type of hickory is from 1751. Shaggy is attested from c.1590 (earlier shagged, O.E.); shaggy-dog story first recorded 1945.

shag
"copulate with," 1788, probably from obs. verb shag (c.1380) "to shake, waggle," which probably is connected to shake (cf. shake, shake it in U.S. blues slang from 1920s, ostensibly with ref. to dancing).
"And þe boot, amydde þe water, was shaggid." [Wyclif]
Also the name of a dance popular in U.S. 1930s and '40s. The baseball verb meaning "to catch" (fly balls) is attested from 1913, of uncertain origin or connection to other senses of the word.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences for shags
There is no consistent distinction between cormorants and shags.
The crested shags with yellow warts in front of the eyes belong to this group.
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