I'm interested to know when someone drags their feet along the ground in the manner that makes noise or sounds a bit crass to you or something, would it be possible to say:

  • Don't drag / scuff / shuffle your feet.

Would this be suffient by itself or is it necessary to add something like:

  • Don't drag / scuff / shuffle your feet on the ground.
  • Don't drag / scuff / shuffle your feet when you walk.

According to the dictionary definitions, all the three words, "shuffle", "scuff" and "drag", are appropriate verbs here, but how do they semantically differ?

  • 2
    Please do not edit your questions in a way that invalidates existing answers. I rolled back your question to its original state—so the original answer would not be invalidated—until I realized that doing so would invalidate the second answer. (So, I returned it to how you'd left it.) But this is still not fair to the original answer. You should really add a note at the bottom of your question indicating what you'd originally asked. That way both answers will make sense. Apr 25, 2019 at 18:03
  • Point taken @Jason Bassford; I'll do it from no on. Thank you for pointing that out. :)
    – A-friend
    Apr 26, 2019 at 6:39

2 Answers 2


They are similar but differ

  • To drag is to pull something which is touching the ground under gravity
  • To scuff is to cause abrasion marks
  • To shuffle your feet is slide your feet along the ground


  • He has scuffed his shoes because he drags his feet
  • Look at the scuff marks on your shoes!
  • Don't shuffle your feet, I can't stand the sound!

But as noted to drag your feet is an idiom for doing something slowly.

  • Thank you @jonathanjo; just could you possible let me know how do these two sentences semantically are distinguished: He has scuffed his shoes because he "drags" his feet. and He has scuffed his shoes because he "shuffles" his feet.?
    – A-friend
    Apr 26, 2019 at 6:30
  • 1
    If you keep your feet flat on the floor and slide them as you walk, like ice skating, that is shuffling. media1.tenor.com/images/2bd68739809a2235d3fc5c15b3e1e0b0/… (You won't scuff your shoes though.) If you walk normally lift your heel but not your toe and you scrape the top of your toes along the ground, that is dragging, and your shoes will be scuffed. Dragging media1.tenor.com/images/df4992ae9f8bd88ab157b3d342bcf728/…
    – jonathanjo
    Apr 26, 2019 at 7:53

The clarification of "on the ground" or "when you walk" would be helpful in this case, because "drag your feet" has an idiomatic meaning of doing something slowly or reluctantly.

Ex: "The engineers dragged their feet about turning in the expense report."

A common verb for dragging your feet with sound is "shuffle"--it can actually be both a verb and a noun describing that sound.

I've never heard "sciff."

  • Thank you @Katy and sorry for the tupo! Actually I meant "scuff" and I have already changed the thread. Please have a look on it again. :)
    – A-friend
    Apr 25, 2019 at 8:02
  • How do the words shuffle, drag and scuff semantically differ in this sense @Katy?
    – A-friend
    Apr 25, 2019 at 8:04
  • 1
    @A-friend It's best to avoid editing your question into a different one when you've received an answer, because it makes it difficult for people who come to the thread to make sense of the answers/interaction/thread as a whole.
    – Katy
    Apr 25, 2019 at 14:19
  • Thank you @katy; actually I tried to make a more useful thread by adding some more variants so that people including I, could receive some more information about a same topic. :)
    – A-friend
    Apr 26, 2019 at 6:24

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