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’.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
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.
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.