Head Idioms: Idioms are small sentences or excerpts from longer ones, which have been taken in order to be used metaphorically, or in simpler words, to denote something other than its literal meaning. The subject of most idioms have been derived from everyday life, be it some animal around us or a body part or an object.
Hence idioms can be categorized as per its subject. Using our body parts, there can be head idioms, foot idioms, hand idioms, heart idioms, so on and so forth.
Here in this specific article, we are going to discuss about some idioms, the subject of which is the most vital part of our body, the head. The head phrase examples or examples of head idioms can be broadly distributed into five categories, according to the different functions of the brain.
Enrich your Vocabulary by practicing the English Idioms that are commonly used in everyday conversations and understand their actual meaning.
There are idioms where the Head is seen as the representative of man, in others it can be found as the seat of mental faculty, as the point of emotions, as a sign of power and in some, as a mark of value.
A thorough study and understanding head idioms and phrases, give us an idea of cross-cultural similarities and differences in the way the Head has been conceptualized.
Names of Head Idioms
List of Head Idioms
- Able to do something standing on one’s head
- Bang your head against a wall
- Beat something into someone’s head
- Bite someone’s head off
- Bring to a head
- Off the top of your head
- Bury one’s head in the sand
- Can’t make heads or tails out of something
- Drum something into someone’s head
- Head over heels in love
- From head to toe
- Have your head in the clouds
- Head start
- Get your head above water
- Get someone or something out of one’s head
- Give someone a head’s start
- Go to someone’s head
- Have a good head on your shoulders
- Head someone or something off
- Hit the nail on the head
- In over one’s head
- Lose your head
- Head and shoulders above
- Use your head
- Keep your head down
- Two heads are better than one
- Laugh your head off
- Go over your head
- Rear Its Ugly Head
Meanings and examples of some commonly used head idioms
Able to do something standing on one’s head
Meaning: Capable of completing a task with no difficulty
Example: The topper was able to solve the tough problem standing on his head.
Bang your head against a wall
Meaning: Acting or saying something repeatedly but in vain.
Example: The criminal banged his head against a wall, pleading mercy.
Beat something into someone’s head
Meaning: Spoon feeding or repeatedly trying to teach something to someone, intensely
Example: The coach beat the winning plan into the players’ heads, in order to win the game.
Bite someone’s head off
Meaning: to shout or criticise someone over a simple issue
Example: He is not a person to bite someone’s head off, but his frustration made him do so.
Bring to a head
Meaning: a reason to reach a point of crisis.
Example: The pandemic brought the entire world to a head.
Off the top of your head
Meaning: without thorough analysis
Example: Choosing a title for a book cannot be done off the top of the head.
Meaning: Confrontation involving two individuals or groups
Example: Cold war was a head-to-head bureaucratic battle between Russia and America.
Bury one’s head in the sand
Meaning: Staying aloof of the bitter truth or reality
Example: His father worked hard to make their ends meet, but Rahul kept his head buried in the sand.
Can’t make heads or tails out of something
Meaning: Puzzling and difficult to understand
Example: I failed to make heads or tails out of the riddle.
Drum something into someone’s head
Meaning: Teach someone by repeated explanation
Example: The tutor drummed the subject material into the student’s head, so that he is able to qualify the competitive examination.
Head over heels
Meaning: Completely in love with someone or something
Example: The way he explained the part, show that he was head over heels with the female character of the play.
From head to toe
Meaning: Spread over the entire body
Examples: The accident left him with bruises from head to toe.
Have your head in the clouds
Meaning: Being ignorant of the problems or issues associated with a situation
Example: After the promotion he had his head in the clouds.
Meaning: An additional advantage or favour at the beginning of an action
Example: As a penalty, his opponent was given a 2 second head start during the 200 metre race.
Get your head above water
Meaning: Evade giving in to difficulties or failure
Example: Get your head above water, otherwise you will lose everything to gambling.
Get someone or something out of one’s head
Meaning: Try to forget about someone or something
Example: After her death, it was difficult for the man to get his beloved out of his head.
Give someone a head start
Meaning: Having some advantage over other people.
Example: Mariam had quite a head start even before she started to work.
Go to someone’s head
Meaning: Make someone intoxicated or proud
Example: The alcohol made him go to his head.
Have a good head on your shoulders
Meaning: Being someone others can rely on
Example: The team leader had a good head on his shoulders, the team was happy to work under him.
Head someone or something off
Meaning: Divert, deflect or stall on-coming things
Example: The revolution was headed off by giving out a few allowances to the revolutionaries
Hit the nail on the head
Meaning: to say the correct thing
Example: The boss applauded the engineer for hitting the nail on the head, in the machine breakdown issue.
In over one’s head
Meaning: Getting stuck in a complicated situation
Example: On an attempt to complete the work by a short cut, he got in over his head.
Lose your head
Meaning: Losing control over oneself
Example: The unscrupulous behaviour of his colleague during the client meeting, made the boss lose his head.
Head and shoulders above
Meaning: Someone (or something) being better than the others
Example: The partial teacher proclaimed Rahul if being head and shoulders above in the class.
Use your head
Meaning: Thinking and analysing properly to avoid a mistake
Example: Use your head while planning for the future
Keep your head down
Meaning: Be inconspicuous
Example: The spy scout had to keep his head down on the sudden approach of enemy soldiers
Two heads are better than one
Meaning: Having a second opinion is always better
Example: They decided to consult another doctor other than their home physician, as two heads are better than one.
Laugh your head off
Meaning: Uncontrollable laughter
Example: They laughed their heads off at the comedy club.
Go over your head
Meaning: Discussing something with a superior
Example: As the team failed to find a solution, they decided to go over their head
Rear Its Ugly Head
Meaning: Something appearing again and causing trouble just like the last time.
Example: The Wi-Fi network is rearing its ugly head once more.