Drag one’s feet and drag one’s heels

Drag one’s feet and drag one’s heels are two forms of a particular idiom. We will examine the meaning of the idioms drag one’s feet and drag one’s heels, where they may have come from, and some examples of their use in sentences.

To drag one’s feet or to drag one’s heels means to procrastinate, to put off something unpleasant, to do something reluctantly, to do something without enthusiasm. The idiom drag one’s feet or drag one’s heels conjures the image of someone walking slowly, shuffling or scuffing his heels to avoid doing something or to delay doing something for as long as possible. The phrase drag one’s feet is used much more often than drag one’s heels. These idioms came into use in the 1940s. Related phrases are drags one’s feet or drags one’s heels, dragged one’s feet or dragged one’s heels, dragging one’s feet or dragging one’s heels.

Examples

At the DIA board meeting, Stanly said he agreed with the board’s move to set a policy on unsolicited bids, but urged the DIA not to “drag your feet.” (The Jacksonville Daily Record)

So even if you’ve dragged your feet in the past, you can go back and start the process to claim the cash. (Detroit Free Press)

With that kind of baggage, maybe it’s not surprising that you dragged your heels on giving a state of the city address, Mayor Brandvold, for three years, with lame excuses and no good reason. (The Modesto Bee)

“We need the minister to stop dragging his heels and show some leadership by implementing the banned drinkers register, together with the comprehensive wrap-around services needed to support those with alcohol misuse issues.” (The West Australian)