The head sits on top of the neck and includes other body parts such as eyes, ears, hair, nose, and mouth. The plural is ‘heads’.


Did you know that head can be a verb too? To head means to go towards a particular direction or place. You may hear this verb if you ask for directions from an English person e.g. Head towards the river then turn left down Thames (pronounced ‘tems’) street. It’s a regular verb.

head idioms list

Let’s look at some popular body idioms that contain the word ‘head’.

  • a head start
    meaning – start earlier than the others or have an advantage
    example – I’ve got a head start over the other competitors as I’ve worked for the company before.
  • at loggerheads
    meaning – involved in a conflict/dispute
    example – The company are at loggerheads over what to do with the leftover money.
  • bang one’s head against a brick wall
    meaning – try to achieve something that is impossible to achieve
    example – Stop banging your head against a brick wall, you’ll understand equations eventually.
  • big headed
    meaning – an arrogant person
    example – My cousin is a top actor. He’s really down to earth and not big headed.
  • can’t make head nor tail of something
    meaning – can’t understand/make sense of something
    example – We can’t make head nor tail of our neighbours. One minute they’re friendly, the next, they ignore us.
  • come to a head
    meaning – a situation reaches a climax
    example – Tensions came to a head in the town and violence erupted.
  • drum something into someone’s head
    meaning – tell/teach by frequently repeating until you remember/understand
    example – Miss has drummed all the formulas into our heads ready for the test.
  • egghead
    meaning – an intellectual person
    example – Brian is such an egghead. He gets full marks on every test.
  • give someone a heads up
    meaning – warn someone of impending difficulty/danger
    example – Can you give Leon a heads up if the fuel gets below 20%?
  • go to one’s head
    meaning – something makes you feel more important than others
    example – Now Richard is in charge, I’m afraid the power will go to his head.
  • have a head for heights
    meaning – someone isn’t afraid of heights
    example – I have a head for heights so I’m starting my own window cleaning business.
  • have eyes in the back of one’s head
    meaning – someone who knows everything you are doing
    example – I can’t cheat in Miss Johnson’s class, she has eyes in the back of her head.
  • have one’s head in the clouds
    meaning – someone is unaware/living in a dream world
    example – Leon’s head is in the clouds, he won’t be a millionaire by the time he’s 25.
  • have one’s head screwed on
    meaning – be sensible, have common sense
    example – My son has his head screwed on, but my daughter has a crazy side.
  • head and shoulders above
    meaning – superior, better than
    example – We won 7-0, we were head and shoulders above the other team.
  • head for the hills
    meaning – flee, quickly depart
    example – I’m going to take my dad’s bottle of rum and head for the hills.
  • head over heels
    meaning – madly in love
    example – I was head over heels for her, but she broke my heart.
  • headhunt
    meaning – persuade a person from another company to work for you
    example – I’m going to headhunt someone for the manager’s position. I need someone with experience
  • heads will roll
    meaning – someone will get in trouble and be severely punished for doing something bad
    example – The case didn’t go to court as vital evidence was destroyed. Heads will roll.
  • hit the nail on the head
    meaning – describe someone/something exactly correct
    example – Craig hit the nail on the head when he said we need to rebrand the company.
  • in one’s head
    meaning – you have imagined something
    example – No one hates you! It’s all in your head.
  • in over one’s head
    meaning – involved in a situation that has become too difficult, risky
    example – Layla wants marriage and kids. I’m too young, I’m in over my head.
  • keep one’s head above water
    meaning – survive in difficult times, especially with money
    example – The first part of the year was difficult, now we’re keeping our heads above water.
  • like a bear with a sore head
    meaning – annoyed, grumpy, irritable
    example – Get me a coffee! I’m like a bear with a sore head today.
  • off the top of one’s head
    meaning – recall something from memory
    example – I’ve got a new number, but I can’t remember it off the top of my head.
  • old head on young shoulders
    meaning – a young person who acts/speaks like an older person
    example – I trust Calum not to drink and drive, he’s an old head on young shoulders.
  • on one’s own head be it
    meaning – you take the consequences of your reckless actions
    example – I told him not to eat shellfish as he’s allergic. If he does, on his own head be it.
  • pig-headed
    meaning – someone is stubborn and refuses to change their mind
    example – My husband is so pig-headed. He won’t let me drive as he thinks women are bad drivers.
  • scratch one’s head
    meaning – be puzzled
    example – Everyone is scratching their heads. No one can figure out the new photocopier.

head idioms list with pictures

Here’s some real life picture examples.

idiomatic expressions with body parts - head
head idioms - a head start
head phrases - at loggerheads
head phrases - bang one’s head against a brick wall
head phrases - big headed
head phrases - can't make head nor tail of something
head phrases - come to a head
head phrases - drum something into someone’s head
head idioms - egghead meaning
head idioms - give someone a heads up
head idioms - go to one’s head
head idioms - have a head for heights
head idioms - have eyes in the back of one's head
head idioms - have one’s head screwed on
head idioms - have one's head in the clouds
head expressions - head and shoulders above
head idioms - head for the hills
head idioms - head over heels
head expressions - headhunt
head idioms - heads will roll
head idioms - hit the nail on the head
head expressions - in one's head
head expressions - in over one’s head
head idioms - keep one’s head above water
head idioms - like a bear with a sore head
head idioms - off the top of one’s head
head idioms - old head on young shoulders
head idioms - on one's own head be it
head idioms - pig-headed
head idioms - scratch one’s head

You can download a table of ‘head’ idioms and expressions below.

If you’ve enjoyed this page, don’t forget to check out some more body idioms by clicking on the links below.