shuffle off


verb (used without object), shuffled, shuffling.
to walk without lifting the feet or with clumsy steps and a shambling gait.
to scrape the feet over the floor in dancing.
to move clumsily (usually followed by into ): to shuffle into one's clothes.
to act underhandedly or evasively with respect to a stated situation (often followed by in, into, or out of ): to shuffle out of one's responsibilities.
to intermix so as to change the relative positions of cards in a pack.
verb (used with object), shuffled, shuffling.
to move (one's feet) along the ground or floor without lifting them.
to perform (a dance) with such movements.
to move (an object or objects) this way and that.
to put, thrust, or bring trickily, evasively, or haphazardly (usually followed by in, into, out, etc.): to shuffle one's way into favor.
to mix (cards in a pack) so as to change the relative positions.
to jumble together, mix, or interchange the positions of (objects).
a scraping movement; dragging gait.
an evasive trick; evasion.
an act or instance of shuffling.
a shuffling of cards in a pack.
the right or turn to shuffle preparatory to dealing: You win the shuffle.
a dance in which the feet are shuffled along the floor.
Verb phrases
shuffle off,
to thrust aside; get rid of.
to move away by, or as if by, shuffling: They shuffled off to school with little enthusiasm.

1525–35; < Low German schuffeln to walk clumsily or with dragging feet, mix (cards); akin to shovel

reshuffle, verb, reshuffled, reshuffling, noun
unshuffled, adjective

6. drag, scrape, scuff. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
shuffle (ˈʃʌfəl)
vb (when intr, often foll by into or out of)
1.  to walk or move (the feet) with a slow dragging motion
2.  to change the position of (something), esp quickly or in order to deceive others
3.  (tr) to mix together in a careless manner: he shuffled the papers nervously
4.  to mix up (cards in a pack) to change their order
5.  (intr) to behave in an awkward, evasive, or underhand manner; equivocate
6.  to move or cause to move clumsily: he shuffled out of the door
7.  (intr) to dance the shuffle
8.  the act or an instance of shuffling
9.  a dance or dance step with short dragging movements of the feet
[C16: probably from Low German schüffeln; see shove]

shuffle off
(tr, adverb) to thrust off or put aside: shuffle off responsibility

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1532, probably from M.E. shovelen "to move with dragging feet," probably a freq. form of shoven (see shove). Or perhaps from Low Ger. schuffeln "to walk clumsily, deal dishonestly." Of playing cards, first recorded 1570. The noun is attested from 1628. Phrase lost in the shuffle is from 1930.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

shuffle off

  1. Get rid of, act evasively, as in They've tried to shuffle off public inquiries about the safety of their planes. This usage, dating from about 1600, also appears in the oftquoted shuffle off this mortal coil, from Shakespeare's Hamlet (3:1), where it means "become freed from the turmoil of life," that is, "die."

  2. Move away reluctantly, dragging one's feet, as in The prisoners shuffled off to their work detail. [Late 1500s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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