A-Z Database

A-Z Database

All A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Head in the clouds

Divorced from reality, a fanciful dreamer, dates from the 1600s.

Head in the lion’s mouth

see Put one’s head in the lion’s mouth

Head of steam

See Get up a full head of steam.

Head over heels

Often used in the context of falling in love but the expression started off, more logically when one thinks about it, as heels over head. It describes...

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Head to head

Used to describe a very close, direct confrontation or contest and dates from the late 18th/early 19th century. See also Toe to toe.

Head up one’s arse/ass

US slang expression for being clueless dates from the 1970s.

Head/give head

Slang for fellatio; dates from the 1950s.

Headless chicken

see Run around like a headless chicken


Wild, impetuous progress with the head pointing foremost, dates from the late 1400s and, according to the OED, is derived from the earlier and now obs...

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Heads or tails

The question heads or tails is asked when tossing a coin and dates from the late 1600s when English coins of the day generally bore the head of a mona...

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Heads up is an American expression that started life as an interjection during the early 20th century meaning, pay attention. As time went by, from ar...

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Hear something on the grapevine

see Grapevine


To have the heart for something means to have the resolve and courage to persist or succeed in some task or other and this usage is very old from at l...

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Heart in one’s mouth

To have one’s heart in one’s mouth is to be extremely fearful or anxious. It is a very old expression and although Shakespeare uses it in King Lear Ac...

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Heart of hearts

Describes one inner depths or core. Coined by Shakespeare but the original expression was 'heart of heart' in the singular. Although now it is used mo...

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