A-Z Database

A-Z Database

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Head honcho

The boss, chief or person in charge is American slang the origin of which is the slight corruption of the Japanese word hancho meaning leader. The US...

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Head hunting

The literal meaning dates from the mid-19th century and refers of course to the practice of certain peoples, mainly in South East Asia and South Ameri...

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Head in a spin

see Flat spin

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

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