concentrate on the task in hand - British informal
RELATED IDIOMS :
bang people's heads together = knock people's heads together
reprimand people severely, especially in an attempt to stop them arguing
1998 - Community Care - There are few signs yet that the SEU has been willing to bang government heads together over social security policy.
bang your head against a brick wall = knock your head against a brick wall
doggedly attempt the impossible and have your efforts repeatedly and painfully rebuffed
1995 - Jayne Miller - Voxpop - You're banging your head against a brick wall for years and still getting nowhere. It's soul-destroying.
be hanging over your head
(of something unpleasant) threaten to affect you at any moment
be on his own head
be someone's sole responsibility
bite his head off = snap his head off
reply sharply and brusquely to someone
do his head in
cause someone to feel annoyed
1997 - Sunday Telegraph - Now psychobabble has become part of our vocabulary and it's doing Theodore Dalrymple's head in.
do something standing on your head
do something very easily
get your head around something
understand or come to terms with something – informal
give someone their head
allow someone complete freedom of action
The image is of allowing a horse to go as fast as it wants rather than checking its pace with the bit and reins.
1994 - Charles Grant - X-Files : Goblins - Rather than try to derail him, however, it was better to give him his head and go along for the ride.
go to your head
(of alcohol) make you dizzy or slightly drunk
(of success) make you conceited
have your head screwed on the right way
have common sense - informal
head and shoulders above
by far superior to – informal
1996 - Time Out - The film stands head and shoulders above 99.9 per cent of post-70's Hollywood product.
head over heels
turning over completely in a forward motion as in a somersault
The earlier, more logical, version of this phrase was heels over head. The normal modern form dates from the late 18th century. It is often used figuratively of an extreme condition, as in head over heels in love, madly in love or head over heels in debt, deeply in debt.
heads I win tails you lose
I win whatever happens.
heads will roll
There will be some people dismissed or disgraced.
1975 - Sam Selvon - Moses Ascending - It appears he went back for reinforcements and is returning to make some drastic changes in the administration of the Establishment. Heads will roll, they say.
put a gun to his head = put a pistol to his head = hold a gun to his head = hold a pistol to his head
force someone to do something by using threats.
keep your head = lose your head
remain (or fail to remain) calm
1990 - Time - He claims that Quayle rises to the challenge, takes chances but keeps his head.
keep your head above water
avoid succumbing to difficulties, especially falling into debt.
keep your head down
remain inconspicuous in difficult or dangerous times - informal
1995 - Edward Toman - Dancing in Limbo - All his instincts told him to keep his head down. He didn't need Lily's constant nagging to remind him he was in deep trouble.
King Charles's head
This expression alludes to the character of Mr. Dick, in Charles Dickens's novel David Copperfield, who could not write or speak on any matter without the subject of King Charles's head intruding.
knock someone on the head = knock someone on the head
decisively prevent an idea, plan or proposal from being held or developed - British informal
The image in this phrase is of stunning or killing a person or an animal by a blow to their head.
make head or tail of
understand at all
1994 - S. P. Somtow - Jasmine Nights - I'm trying to puzzle out why he has turned his animosity on me instead of those who are clearly his enemies. I can't make head or tail of it.
need your head examined
be foolishly irresponsible
The implication here is that the examination will reveal proof of insanity.
1992 - Patrick - McCabe - The Butcher Boy - Any man thinks this work is easy needs his head examined - you want to be tough to work here!
out of your head = off your head
mad or crazy
extremely drunk or severely under the influence of illegal drugs - informal
off the top of your head
without careful thought or investigation – informal
1988 - Jamaica Kincaid - A Small Place – He apologises for the incredible mistake he has made in quoting you a price off the top of his head which is so vastly different (favouring him) from the one listed.
over your head
beyond your ability to understand
without your knowledge or involvement, especially when you have a right to this
with disregard for your own (stronger) claim
put your heads together
consult and work together
put something into his head
suggest something to someone
stand something on its head = turn something on its head
completely reverse the principles or interpretation of an idea, argument, etc.
take it into your head to do something
decide impetuously to do something
1991 - Ben Okri - The Famished Road - Fearing that the supervisor might notice me as well and take it into his head to order me to break my neck carrying cement bags, I hurried on.
attract a great deal of attention or interest.
turn his head
make someone conceited
with your head in the clouds
(of a person) out of touch with reality
laugh your head off = talk your head off = shout your head off
laugh, talk or shout with a complete lack of restraint or without stopping
1990 - Paul Auster - The Music of Chance - Now that the kid was out of danger, he began to show his true colors, and it wasn't long before he was talking his head off.