knock people's heads together = knock peoples heads together

bang people's heads together = knock peoples 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 down


concentrate on the task in hand - British informal

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

upside down

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

an obsession

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.

turn heads

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.

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