The Idiom Connection Head, Mind, Mouth Idioms and Quizzes






Head and Mind Idioms







Head and Mind Idioms


a head

- for one person, for one individual (used for counting people or animals like cattle)

"The tickets were only a few dollars a head."

able to (do something) standing on one's head

- to be able to do something very easily and quickly

The man is able to do his job standing on his head.

absent-minded

- forgetful

Our neighbor is very absent-minded and he often forgets his keys.

all in (one's) mind

- a situation or problem that does not actually exist

The problem between my aunt and her neighbor is all in my aunt's mind. It does not exist.

as bald as a baby's backside

- completely bald

The man who works in the post office is as bald as a baby's backside.

as bald as a coot

- completely bald

The man in the store is as bald as a coot.

at one's wit's end

- to be in a worrying or stressful situation where you have no idea about what to do next

I was at my wit's end about what to do for my sister's wedding.

bad hair day

- a day when everything seems to go wrong (just like when you cannot make your hair look attractive)

Yesterday was a bad hair day and everything went wrong for me.

bang one`s head against a brick wall

- to not succeed at something after trying very hard, to waste one's time trying to do something that is hopeless

I am banging my head against a brick wall trying to talk to my neighbor.

bang one`s head against a wall

- to not succeed at something after trying very hard, to waste one's time trying to do something that is hopeless

We are banging our heads against a wall when we try and talk to our neighbor.

bear (someone or something) in mind

- to remember and think about someone or something

"Please bear the starting time for the concert in mind so that we can arrive early."

beat one`s brains out

- to tire oneself by thinking too much

I have been beating my brains out trying to remember where I put my notebook.

beat one`s head against a brick wall

- to not succeed at something after trying very hard, to waste one's time trying to do something that is hopeless

I am beating my head against a brick wall trying to understand my boss.

beat one`s head against a wall

- to not succeed at something after trying very hard, to waste one's time trying to do something that is hopeless

I was beating my head against a wall when I tried to talk to the store manager.

beat (something) into (someone`s) head

- to force someone to learn something by repeating it over and over

The teacher tried to beat the material into the student's head.

bite (someone's) head off or bite off (someone's) head

- to speak to someone in an angry way

I went to speak with my supervisor but she bit my head off.

black out

- to faint or pass out

The man suddenly blacked out while he was waiting for the bus.

blow one's stack/top

- to become very angry

My father will blow his top when he learns that I failed my course.

blow (someone`s) mind

- to overwhelm or excite someone

My friend told me that the new book will blow my mind.

blow up in (someone`s) face

- to end abruptly or unexpectedly, to be ruined while you are working on it, to explode suddenly in front of you

The plan to have a party for our boss blew up in our face when he decided not to come.

blue in the face

- to be very angry or upset, to be excited and emotional

The man argued with his supervisor until he was blue in the face.

boggle one's mind

- to confuse someone, to overwhelm someone, to be hard to imagine

It boggles my mind to think how dishonest some people can be.

bonehead

- an unusually dense or stupid person

The boy is a bonehead. He never understands what other people are trying to tell him.

bored out of one's mind

- to be very bored

The little boy was bored out of his mind and wanted to go home.

bored out of one's skull

- to be very bored

I was bored out of my skull during the meeting.

brain drain

- the loss of talented and educated people from one place or country to another place or country where conditions are better

There is a brain drain from many poor countries to wealthy countries where conditions are better.

brain (someone)

- to strike a person on the head

The spectator was brained in the middle of the match with a tennis ball.

brain teaser

- a problem for which it is hard to find the answer

My father likes to look in the newspaper for interesting brain teasers.

brains behind (something)

- the person or people who are responsible for inventing or developing or organizing something

The president of our company is the brains behind the plans to develop the new product.

brainchild

- an idea that one has thought of without any help from others

The idea for building the new swimming pool was the brainchild of our boss.

brainless

- stupid

The woman is brainless and has no idea what she is doing.

brainstorm (something)

- to try to develop an idea

The club members gathered to try and brainstorm some ideas for a spring festival.

brainwash (someone)

- to make someone believe something that is not true by repeating it again and again

The citizens were brainwashed into thinking exactly what their leader wanted them to think.

bring (something) to a head

- to cause a situation to reach the point where something must be done to solve or deal with the problem

The union brought the issue of working hours to a head when they threatened to go on strike.

bury one's head in the sand

- to ignore a problem or hide from some obvious danger, to refuse to see or face something

My uncle buried his head in the sand and would not talk about the family problem.

butt heads with (someone)

- to argue with someone about a particular subject or problem

I do not want to butt heads with the manager of our department.

by a hair's breadth

- just barely, by a very small distance or amount

I arrived at the concert on time but only by a hair's breadth.

by a whisker

- just barely, by a very small distance or amount

I won the race by a whisker.

by the sweat of one`s brow

- by hard work

The man built his business by the sweat of his brow.

change (someone's) mind

- to cause a person to think differently about something

I tried hard to change my friend's mind about going on a holiday with me.

cheek by jowl

- side by side, close together

The boxes were placed in the room cheek by jowl and there was no room for anything else.

cheek-to-cheek

- with one person's cheek pressed up against another person's cheek

The man and the woman were dancing cheek-to-cheek.

collect one's wits

- to make an effort to control one's thoughts and feelings after something shocking or unexpected happens

I stopped at a coffee shop after my stressful job interview in order to collect my wits.

come face to face with (someone or something)

- to meet someone or something in person, to deal with someone immediately

I was walking through the forest when I came face to face with a black bear.

come to mind

- to enter into one's consciousness

Suddenly, it came to mind that I had only two more weeks to work before my holiday.

come to one's senses

- to wake up, to begin to think clearly

The man came to his senses and stopped spending his money as soon as he received it.

commit (something) to memory

- to memorize something

The new manager was able to quickly commit the names of his staff to memory.

count heads

- to count people

The teacher always counts heads in the morning.

crack a smile

- to smile a little

I did not crack a smile during the speech.

cross (someone`s) mind

- to be a sudden or passing thought, to occur to someone

It suddenly crossed my mind that the store will be closed on Monday.

curl (someone`s) hair

- to shock or frighten or horrify someone

The movie is very realistic and many of the scenes will curl your hair.

drum (something) into (someone's) head

- to keep telling someone something until they cannot forget it

The teacher worked hard to drum the mathematics material into the students' heads.

enter (someone's) mind

- to come into someone's mind (used for an idea or thought)

It never entered my mind that my friend would lose his job.

exercise one's brain

- to exercise one's intelligence, to use one's brain

I always do puzzles in order to exercise my brain.

face-to-face

- in person, in the same location

The soccer star had a face-to-face meeting with his new team yesterday.

fall flat on one's face

- to be completely unsuccessful

I fell flat on my face when I tried to make a speech at the wedding.

fall head over heels

- to fall down (and maybe roll over)

The little boy fell head over heels down the hill.

fall head over heels in love with (someone)

- to fall deeply in love with someone

The girl fell head over heels in love with the boy on the basketball team.

feed one's face

- to eat

I stopped at a small restaurant to feed my face.

fly in the face of (something)

- to ignore something

The explanation by the criminal flies in the face of common sense.

from head to toe

- from the top of one's head to one's feet

The woman was dressed in yellow from head to toe.

get a head start

- to get an advantage when you start doing something or going somewhere, to start early, to leave early

We woke up early in the morning in order to get a head start on our holiday.
I want to get a head start on writing my school essay.

get a load off one's mind

- to talk about what is troubling you

I wanted to get a load off my mind so I passed the evening talking with a friend.

get gray hair

- to have your hair turn gray because of stress

The father said that he was getting gray hair from dealing with his son.

get in (someone's) hair

- to bother or irritate someone

The little boy often gets in his mother's hair.

get into (someone's) head

- to understand what someone thinks and feels so that you can communicate well with him or her

I am having a difficult time to get into my friend's head and understand what he is doing.

get it into one's head to (do something)

- to decide to do something even though there may not be a good reason to do it

The girl got it into her head to begin ballet lessons.

get out of (someone's) face

- to go away or leave someone

I wish that my friend would get out of my face.

get (someone) out of one's hair

- to stop someone from annoying or bothering you

The woman wanted to get the little boy out of her hair.

get (someone or something) out of one's head

- to stop thinking about or wanting someone or something, to forget about someone or something

The man cannot get it out of his head that his friend stole some money.

get (someone or something) out of one's mind

- to stop thinking about or wanting someone or something, to forget about someone or something

My friend is trying hard to get his former girlfriend out of his mind.

get (something) into/through (someone`s) head

- to make someone understand or believe something

It was difficult to get it through the bank manager's head that I did not want a credit card.

get (something) through (someone's) thick skull

- to manage to get someone (including oneself) to understand something

The salesman cannot get it through his thick skull that I do not want to talk to him.

give (someone) a piece of one`s mind

- to scold someone angrily, to say what one really thinks of someone (especially when they have behaved badly)

I gave the store manager a piece of my mind when I told him about the bad service.

give (someone) a swelled head

- to make someone conceited

The girl's high test scores are giving her a swelled head.

go head to head with (someone)

- to compete in a direct and determined way with another person or group

We will go head to head with the other team and win the city championship.

go over (someone's) head

- to be too difficult for someone to understand

The reason for the decision went over my head. I cannot understand why.

go to one's head

- to make one dizzy

The drink quickly went to the man's head and he had to sit down.

go to (someone`s) head

- to make someone too proud, to make a person think that he or she is too important

The man's new job has gone to his head and he thinks that he is better than everyone else.

gray matter

- brains, intelligence

The young man seems to be lacking in gray matter.

great minds think alike

- someone has the same idea or says the same thing as you do and at the same time

Great minds think alike and just as I suggested that we go to a movie, my friend suggested the same thing.

hang by a hair

- to depend on a small thing, to be at risk or in doubt

The results of the election are still undecided and are hanging by a hair.

hanging over (someone's) head

- to be worrying someone and be something that you will eventually have to deal with

The court case has been hanging over my friend's head for many months.

have a big head

- to think that you are better than everyone else, to be conceited

My friend has a big head now that he has won the speech contest at university.

have a brainstorm

- to suddenly have a very good idea

I had a brainstorm last night and I now have some good ideas for next year's party.

have a brainwave

- to have a sudden clever idea

Last night, I had a brainwave and had some good ideas about what to do at my job.

have a clean/clear conscience (about someone or something)

- to be free of guilt about someone or something

I have a clear conscience about what happened to my father's car in the accident.

have a closed mind (about something)

- to be unwilling to change one's ideas or opinions about something

My aunt has a closed mind and she is not flexible about most things.

have a good head for (something)

- to have the mental ability for something, to find it easy to learn something

My uncle has a good head for numbers.

have a good head on one's shoulders

- to be sensible and intelligent

The supermarket manager has a good head on his shoulders and he should be able to solve our problem.

have a good mind to (do something)

- to be tempted to do something, to be almost ready to do something

I have a good mind to go and tell my boss that I am planning to look for another job.

have a head start

- to have an advantage when you start doing something or going somewhere

The boy had a head start and he easily won the race.

have a lot on one's mind

- to have many things to worry about

I have a lot on my mind with my new job and new apartment.

have a mind like a steel trap

- to have a very sharp and quick mind

The man has a mind like a steel trap and he never forgets anything.

have a mind of its own

- a machine or vehicle does not do what you want it to do

Sometimes, my car seems to have a mind of its own and it will not do what I want.

have a mind of one's own

- someone does or thinks what they want to do or think instead of doing or thinking what they are told

The little boy has a mind of his own and he always wants to do whatever he likes.

have a notion to do (something)

- to have a desire to do something

I have a notion to go to the beach for my holidays.

have a one-track mind

- to have a mind that thinks only about one thing

The boy has a one-track mind and he only thinks about video games.

have a price on one's head

- to be wanted by the police or other authorities who have offered money for your capture

The criminal has a price on his head and many people are searching for him.

have a stroke

- to suddenly become (partially or totally) paralyzed because of an interruption in the blood supply to the brain

The driver had a stroke just before the accident on the highway.

have an open mind about (something)

- to be flexible and willing to listen to other people's opinions and change your own opinions or ideas

The man has an open mind and is willing to listen to what other people are saying about various things.

have bats in one's belfry

- to be slightly crazy

The woman has bats in her belfry. She is a little crazy.

have egg on one's face

- to be embarrassed by something that you have done (most people would feel embarrassed if they had egg on their face), to seem stupid because of something that you have done

I had egg on my face after I remembered the wrong day for the wedding.

have half a mind to do (something)

- to be thinking about doing something, to have almost decided to do something

I have half a mind to take my new television back to the store because I do not like it.

have keen wits

- to have the ability to think quickly

The man has keen wits and he can make smart decisions very fast.

have one's head examined

- to check to see if someone is mentally ill or crazy

The woman is crazy to buy that car. She needs to have her head examined.

have one's head in the clouds

- to be unaware of what is happening around you

The store clerk has his head in the clouds and makes many mistakes.

have one's head screwed on right/straight

- to be sensible and make good decisions

The woman has her head screwed on right. She always makes good decisions.

have rocks in one`s head

- to be stupid or silly or crazy, to not have good judgement

My friend has rocks in his head if he thinks that I am going to lend him more money.

have second thoughts about (someone or something)

- to have doubts about someone or something

We are beginning to have second thoughts about going to the beach for our holiday.

have (someone or something) on one's mind

- to be thinking a lot about someone or something

My friend has many school problems on his mind.

have (something) hanging over one's head

- to have something bothering or worrying you, to have a deadline to worry about

I have had the final essay hanging over my head for many weeks now.

have (something) in mind

- to be thinking of something in particular, to have an idea in your mind

"What do you have in mind for the meeting next week?"

have (something) on the brain

- to be obsessed with something, to never stop thinking or talking about something

The boy has cars on the brain and he does not think of anything else.

have the presence of mind to (do something)

- to have the calmness and ability to act sensibly in a difficult situation

The farmer had the presence of mind to close the barn door after the fire started.

have the wits to do (something)

- to have the intelligence or understanding to do something

The man had the wits to phone the police when he saw the accident.

head and shoulders above (someone or something)

- to be superior to someone or something

The new principal is head and shoulders above those who have come before.

a head case

- a crazy person

The apartment manager is a head case. She is crazy.

one's head is buzzing

- someone is thinking of something or many things at the same time

My head was buzzing after I left the meeting last night.

head-on

- with the head or front pointing at something, with the front facing something

There was a head-on car crash last night near our house.

head over heels

- upside down, head first

The little boy fell head over heels down the steep hill.

head over heels in debt

- to be deeply in debt

My cousin has been head over heels in debt for many years.

head over heels in love with (someone)

- to be very much in love with someone

The young man is head over heels in love with the girl in his swimming club.

head shrinker

- psychiatrist

When I was a child our next door neighbor was a head shrinker.

Heads up!

- Raise your head and be careful about some nearby danger.

"Heads up," the construction worker yelled at the other workers.

heads will roll

- serious trouble is coming, someone will lose his or her job

Heads will roll if we do not make some progress in fixing the accounting problem.

headhunt

- to search for qualified individuals to fill certain positions

The company is now headhunting in order to find a new president.

hide one's face in shame

- to cover one's face because of shame or embarrassment

The manager of the company hid his face in shame when he was fired for stealing company money.

hide one`s head in the sand

- to ignore a problem or hide from some obvious danger, to refuse to see or face something

The man likes to hide his head in the sand and he never wants to deal with any problem.

hold one's head up

- to keep or display one's dignity

The accounting manager was totally honest during the investigation into the scandal and when it was over he was able to hold his head up and be proud of himself.

in a positive frame of mind

- to be happy and in a good mood

Our teacher is in a positive frame of mind this week.

in one`s hair

- to be bothering someone, to be always annoying someone

My sister's small son is always in her hair when she is making dinner.

in one's mind's eye

- in one's imagination

In my mind's eye, I cannot imagine what happened to my friend in the accident.

in one's right mind

- to be sane, to be sensible

The man who hit the dog was not in his right mind.

in over one's head

- to be having more difficulties than one can manage

The electrician seems to be in over his head and he does not know how to fix the electrical problem.

in the face of (something)

- in spite of the fact that there may be problems or difficulty or danger

In the face of many problems, my cousin was still able to raise wonderful children.

in two minds about (something)

- to be undecided about something

I am in two minds about going to a movie tonight.

keep a cool head

- to keep calm in a difficult and stressful situation

The bank manager kept a cool head during the bank robbery.

keep a straight face

- to not smile or laugh

It was hard to keep a straight face during the funny movie.

keep an open mind about (something)

- to be flexible and willing to listen to other people's opinions and change your own ideas

I want to keep an open mind and listen to what other people say about the problem.

keep one`s chin up

- to be brave, to be determined, to face trouble with courage

The man is trying to keep his chin up even though he has no job.

keep one`s head

- to stay calm when there is trouble or danger

Everyone tried to keep their head during the fire at the hotel.

keep one's head above water

- to keep out of difficult financial problems, to stay out of trouble

The man has been having a hard time keeping his head above water since he lost his job.

keep one's head down

- to quietly do your work without causing any problems and causing other people to notice you

I knew that there was a problem at work so I kept my head down all morning.

keep one's wits about one

- to keep one's mind operating clearly in a time of stress

Firefighters must always keep their wits about them when they are fighting a large fire.

keep (someone or something) in mind

- to remember and think about someone or something

I tried to keep my cousin in mind when I was inviting people to the dinner party.

keep (someone) out of one's hair

- to keep someone from annoying or bothering you

We tried to keep the little boy out of our hair while we were preparing for the wedding.

knock one`s head against a (brick) wall

- to waste time trying to do something with no success

The company managers have been knocking their heads against a wall trying to solve the problem.

knock some heads together

- to scold some people to get them to do what they are supposed to be doing

The principal felt that it was time to knock some heads together and begin to get things done in the school.

knock (someone's) block off

- to strike someone hard in the head

The young boy said that he was going to knock his friend's block off.

know one's own mind

- to be very sure of what your opinions are and what you want to do

My friend knows his own mind and it is difficult to convince him that he is wrong.

last thing on (someone's) mind

- the last thing that someone is thinking about

Going to a movie was the last thing on my mind yesterday evening.

laugh one's head off

- to laugh a lot and for a long time

I laughed my head off during the movie.

let one`s hair down

- to act freely and naturally, to relax

We were able to let our hair down at the party and have a good time.

a long face

- a sad or disappointed look

The man had a long face after he was fired from his job.

lose face

- to be embarrassed or ashamed by an error or failure, to lose self-respect

The manager lost face when the person who she hired was a terrible worker.

lose one's head over (someone or something)

- to become confused or obsessed over something

The woman lost her head during the investigation into the company problems.

lose one's marbles

- to go crazy, to go out of one's mind

I think that the man next door is beginning to lose his marbles.

lose one's mind

- to go crazy, to go out of one's mind

The woman is acting very strange and seems to be losing her mind.

lose one's train of thought

- to forget what one was talking about or thinking about

I lost my train of thought during my meeting with my boss.

make a face (at someone)

- to twist one's face into a strange expression in order to show dislike etc.

The boy made a face at the girl in the hall.

make chin music

- to talk, to chatter

The two old friends spent the morning making chin music.

make heads or tails (out) of (something)

- to find meaning in something, to understand something

I was unable to make heads or tails out of our company's plans to restructure our department.

make (someone's) hair curl

- to surprise or shock someone (used for a story or experience)

The horror movie made my hair curl.

make (someone's) hair stand on end

- to cause someone to become frightened

The movie made my hair stand on end.

make (someone's) head spin/swim

- to confuse or overwhelm someone, to make someone dizzy

The speed of the day's events made my head spin.

make up one`s mind

- to choose what to do, to decide something

I have not been able to make up my mind about going to the party or not.

a meeting of minds

- complete agreement

We were able to achieve a meeting of minds and everybody was happy.

one's mind goes blank

- to be suddenly unable to remember something

My mind went blank when I tried to remember the woman's name.

one's mind is buzzing

- to be thinking of something or many things at the same time

My mind was buzzing after I left the theater last night.

one's mind is in the gutter

- someone is thinking or talking about a subject that offends people

The man's mind is in the gutter and I do not like to talk to him.

one's mind is on (something)

- someone is thinking about and giving attention to something

My mind has been on my summer holidays all week.

mind over matter

- if you really want to you can do something that is very difficult or even impossible to do

"It is mind over matter. If you want to succeed with your project you will be able to do it."

mind-boggling

- overwhelming, startling

The choices of evening classes at the university are mind-boggling.

mind-numbing

- to be extremely boring

The speech was so boring that it was mind-numbing.

(something)-minded

- to be thinking about something, to focus on something

The girl is very sports-minded and she loves to participate in any kind of sport that she can.

narrow-minded

- to be unwilling to accept or understand new ideas

My uncle is very narrow-minded and is not flexible about anything.

need one's head examined

- to make remarks or do actions that are wrong or stupid

My teacher needs her head examined. It will be impossible for me to finish the project before Monday.

need (something) like a hole in the head

- to not need something at all

My friend needs a new car like he needs a hole in the head.

neither hide nor hair (of someone or something)

- no sign or indication of someone or something

I have seen neither hide nor hair of the girl in my geography class.

nobody in his/her right mind would do (something)

- it would be very stupid or unreasonable to do something

Nobody in his right mind would drive his car when the roads are so bad.

no-brainer

- something that is easy to do or understand and does not need much intelligence

It is a no-brainer that if you do not study then your marks will not be good.

not beyond the wit of (someone)

- to not be too difficult for someone to do

It would not be beyond the wit of my cousin to enter the best school in the country.

not just a pretty face

- to be intelligent and capable and not just good-looking or pretty

The woman is not just a pretty face. She is very smart.

not show one's face

- to not appear somewhere

My friend did not show his face for most of the day.

of one mind

- to have the same opinion about something, to agree on something with someone else

The finance committee was of one mind when they made this year's budget.

of the same mind

- to have the same opinion about something, to agree on something with someone else

I was of the same mind as my friend when we made our decision about our holiday.

of two minds

- to be unable to decide what to do or what you think about something

I am of two minds about going to the movie tonight. I am very busy but I also want to see the movie very much.

off the top of one`s head

- without thinking about something very much

I was unable to remember the name of the restaurant off the top of my head.

on one's mind

- occupying one's thoughts, currently being thought about

Recently, I have had many things on my mind.

on (someone`s) head

- as one's responsibility or fault

The problems with the computer are on the boy's head.

on the face of it

- on the surface of an issue or a problem

On the face of it, it is very easy to see who caused the problem with our travel schedule.

out of one`s hair

- getting rid of an annoying person or thing

My sister is trying to get her daughter out of her hair.

out of one's head

- to be crazy or irrational or silly

The man at the bus stop was out of his head.

out of one's mind

- to be crazy or irrational or silly

The woman is out of her mind and she is always doing something crazy.

out of one's senses

- to be crazy or irrational or silly

The girl was out of her senses when her dog died.

out of sight, out of mind

- if you do not see something then you will not think about it

The chocolates were out of sight, out of mind and nobody thought about eating them.

over one`s head

- to be or go beyond one's ability to understand something, to be too difficult

The mathematics lectures went over my head during the first few weeks.

pass through (someone's) mind

- to occur to someone, to think about something briefly

The idea passed through my mind briefly but then it was gone.

pay (someone or something) no mind

- to ignore someone or something

The police paid the traffic lights no mind while the accident was being cleaned up.

per head

- for one person, for one individual (used for counting people or animals like cattle)

The tickets cost only a small amount of money per head.

pick the brains of (someone) or pick (someone's) brains

- to talk to someone in order to get some information about something

We picked the brains of the official who was talking about the pollution problem.

pit one's wits against (someone)

- to challenge someone over something to see who wins

The best students in our school decided to pit their wits against the best students in the city.

pull one's hair out

- to be angry or upset or worried about something

My friend began to pull her hair out when she discovered that she had no nice clothes for the party.

put ideas into (someone's) head

- to suggest something to someone

The girl's best friend is always putting ideas into her head.

put on a brave face

- to try to appear happy or satisified even though you are faced with serious problems

The man put on a brave face after he was fired from his job.

put one's face on or put on one's face

- to put make-up on one's face

The woman spent a long time putting her face on.

put one's head in a noose

- to say or do something that could harm you or your image

The man put his head in a noose when he became angry and criticized his boss at the meeting.

put one's head in the lion's mouth

- to put oneself in a dangerous or difficult situation

I put my head in the lion's mouth when I went to the meeting with my boss.

put one's head on the block for (someone or something)

- to take great risks or to go to a lot of trouble for someone or something

I like my boss and I would be happy to put my head on the block for him.

put one's heads together

- to discuss or talk about something with someone or a group of people and try to solve a problem

We put our heads together to try and find a solution to the problem.

put one's mind to (something)

- to give one's complete attention to something

I put my mind to making the party as successful as possible.

put (someone or something) out of one's head

- to try to forget someone or something

The boy tried hard to put the girl out of his head.

put (someone or something) out of one's mind

- to try to forget someone or something

It was difficult to get the terrible accident out of my mind.

rack one`s brain

- to try hard to think of something or remember something

I racked my brain to try and decide what to do about the computer problem.

raise its (ugly) head

- a problem or bad situation appears or happens after not happening for a period of time

The problem between the two managers raised its ugly head after many months of calm.

raise one's voice to (someone)

- to speak loudly or shout at someone in anger

The child was told not to raise his voice to his parents.

read (someone's) mind

- to guess what someone is thinking (as if one has special powers to see someone's thoughts)

The girl told her boyfriend that she cannot read his mind and that he must tell her what he wants.

rear its (ugly) head

- to appear after being hidden (usually something unpleasant)

The problem between the two sisters rears its head at the beginning of every year.

red in the face

- embarrassed

The clerk was red in the face after she heard the customer's comment.

save face

- to save one's good reputation or dignity when something has happened to hurt him or her

The government was unable to save face after they failed to deal with the crisis properly.

say (something) right to (someone's) face

- to say something unpleasant or important directly to someone

I told the man that he was not telling the truth right to his face.

scratch one's head

- to be confused or perplexed

I was left scratching my head after the speech by our department manager.

scream one's head off

- to scream a lot and for a long time

The girl screamed her head off after the accident.

should have one's head examined

- should have one's head checked to see if you are mentally ill or crazy

My neighbor should have his head examined before he buys the car.

show one's face

- to appear

I do not think that my friend will show his face tonight.

shut one's face/trap

- to be quiet, to shut up

"Please sit down and shut your trap."
I wish that girl would shut her face.

sixth sense

- the ability to know or feel things that are beyond the five basic senses of sight or hearing or smell or taste or touch

The woman has a sixth sense and she knows everything that is happening around her.

a slap in the face

- an insult

The unpopular candidate who won the city election was a slap in the face to many voters.

slip one's mind

- to forget something

It slipped my mind that I need to phone my dentist soon.

slow-witted

- to be not very smart

The girl is slow-witted and she has trouble doing simple things.

speak one's mind

- to say frankly what one thinks about something

My father plans to speak his mind at the school meeting tonight.

split hairs

- to disagree or argue about something that is not important, to make unnecessary distinctions about something

The manager makes many good points but he has a tendency to split hairs and waste our time.

stand head and shoulders above (the rest/someone/something)

- to be much better than anyone or everything else in the same group

Our new principal stands head and shoulders above the previous one.

stand on one's head (to do something)

- to make a great effort to do something

I did everything but stand on my head to help my friend get a job.

stand (something) on its head

- to show that an idea or argument is wrong and means the opposite of what it first seemed to mean, to change the way that people think about something

We stood the argument on its head with our own arguments against it.

stare (someone) in the face

- to be very likely to happen, to be clear and easy to recognize

Defeat was staring the runner in the face from the beginning of the race.

stick in (someone's) mind

- to not forget something

The date of my friend's wedding stuck in my mind for many years.

stick one's head in a noose

- to say or do something that could harm you or your image

I stuck my head in a noose when I said that I wanted to find another job.

stuff one's face

- to eat a lot in a short time

I stuffed my face in the restaurant last night.

swelled head

- a feeling that one is very important or more important than one really is

My sister has had a swelled head since she got her new job.

take it into one's head to do (something)

- to decide to do something that does not seem sensible to others

The young woman took it into her head to go to China and she did.

take it on the chin

- to be badly beaten or hurt, to get into trouble

My friend took it on the chin when he fought with the man at the store.

take leave of one's senses

- to become irrational or crazy

I think that the woman in the store is beginning to take leave of her senses.

take one's mind off (someone or something)

- to stop worrying or thinking about a problem or a person

I went to a movie to take my mind off my problems at work.

take (something) at face value

- to accept something as the truth and with no hidden meaning

I usually take what my boss says at face value.

take (something) on the chin

- to experience and endure a blow or hardship

The man is able to take things on the chin and can quickly recover when he has a problem.

talk (someone's) head off

- to speak too much

The woman beside me in the bus talked my head off during our journey.

talk until one is blue in the face

- to talk until one is exhausted

I talked until I was blue in the face but my friend would still not change his mind.

tear one's hair out

- to be anxious or frustrated or angry

The mother was tearing her hair out as she waited for her daughter to return home.

tell (someone) (something) to his or her face

- to tell something to someone directly

I told my friend to her face that I did not like her constant complaining.

thin on top

- bald or balding

My uncle is a little thin on top but he is very handsome.

throw (something) back in (someone's) face

- to use something that someone has said previously to harm or upset him or her

I immediately threw the question back in the lawyer's face.

to (someone's) mind

- in someone's opinion

"To my mind, I believe that your opinion is correct."

tongue in cheek

- jokingly, insincerely, mockingly, not really meaning something

The remark was made tongue in cheek and the man did not mean it.

touched (in the head)

- to be a little crazy

My neighbor is touched in the head. He is a little crazy.

trouble one's head about (someone or something)

- to worry about someone or something

"Please do not trouble your head about the arrangements for the party. I will do everything."

turn (someone's) head

- to distract someone, to make someone notice you

The woman's beautiful dress turned everybody's head. It was beautiful.

turn (something) on its head

- to show that an idea or argument is wrong and means the opposite of what it first seemed to mean, to change the way that people think about a subject

The lawyer was able to easily turn the argument on its head.

turn (something) over in one's mind

- to think about something continuously

I could not sleep last night because I was turning my situation at work over in my mind.

turn the other cheek

- to ignore someone's abuse or insult, to not hit back when someone hits you

The children were told that they should turn the other cheek when they were attacked by someone.

upon (someone`s) head

- as one's responsibility or fault

The little boy brought the anger of his parent's upon his head.

up to one's chin in (something)

- to be very busy with something, to be working hard at something, to have much or many of something

The woman is up to her chin in work and has no free time.

use one`s head/noggin/noodle

- to use one's brain or mind, to use one's own common sense

Sometimes, I think that the manager of the store never uses her head when I ask her a question.

wag one's chin

- to chat with someone

I stopped at the coffee shop to wag my chin with an old friend.

weigh on (someone's) mind

- to be in someone's thoughts, to be bothering someone

The decision about selling my car or not was weighing on my mind.

within a whisker of (doing something)

- to almost do something

I came within a whisker of quitting my job but I decided not to.

written all over (someone's) face

- to be shown clearly what someone is thinking or feeling or if they are guilty of something by the look on his or her face

The fact that the little boy took the cookies was written all over his face.

Brain Idioms


beat one`s brains out

- to tire oneself by thinking too much

I have been beating my brains out trying to remember where I put my notebook.

brain drain

- the loss of talented and educated people from one place or country to another place or country where conditions are better

There is a brain drain from many poor countries to wealthy countries where conditions are better.

brain (someone)

- to strike a person on the head

The spectator was brained in the middle of the match with a tennis ball.

brain teaser

- a problem for which it is hard to find the answer

My father likes to look in the newspaper for interesting brain teasers.

brains behind (something)

- the person or people who are responsible for inventing or developing or organizing something

The president of our company is the brains behind the plans to develop the new product.

brainchild

- an idea that one has thought of without any help from others

The idea for building the new swimming pool was the brainchild of our boss.

brainless

- stupid

The woman is brainless and has no idea what she is doing.

brainstorm (something)

- to try to develop an idea

The club members gathered to try and brainstorm some ideas for a spring festival.

brainwash (someone)

- to make someone believe something that is not true by repeating it again and again

The citizens were brainwashed into thinking exactly what their leader wanted them to think.

exercise one's brain

- to exercise one's intelligence, to use one's brain

I always do puzzles in order to exercise my brain.

gray matter

- brains, intelligence

The young man seems to be lacking in gray matter.

have a brainstorm

- to suddenly have a very good idea

I had a brainstorm last night and I now have some good ideas for next year's party.

have a brainwave

- to have a sudden clever idea

Last night, I had a brainwave and had some good ideas about what to do at my job.

have a stroke

- to suddenly become (partially or totally) paralyzed because of an interruption in the blood supply to the brain

The driver had a stroke just before the accident on the highway.

have (something) on the brain

- to be obsessed with something, to never stop thinking or talking about something

The boy has cars on the brain and he does not think of anything else.

no-brainer

- something that is easy to do or understand and does not need much intelligence

It is a no-brainer that if you do not study then your marks will not be good.

pick the brains of (someone) or pick (someone's) brains

- to talk to someone in order to get some information about something

We picked the brains of the official who was talking about the pollution problem.

rack one`s brain

- to try hard to think of something or remember something

I racked my brain to try and decide what to do about the computer problem.

Cheek Idioms


cheek by jowl

- side by side, close together

The boxes were placed in the room cheek by jowl and there was no room for anything else.

cheek-to-cheek

- with one person's cheek pressed up against another person's cheek

The man and the woman were dancing cheek-to-cheek.

tongue in cheek

- jokingly, insincerely, mockingly, not really meaning something

The remark was made tongue in cheek and the man did not mean it.

turn the other cheek

- to ignore someone's abuse or insult, to not hit back when someone hits you

The children were told that they should turn the other cheek when they were attacked by someone.









Chin Idioms


keep one`s chin up

- to be brave, to be determined, to face trouble with courage

The man is trying to keep his chin up even though he has no job.

make chin music

- to talk, to chatter

The two old friends spent the morning making chin music.

take it on the chin

- to be badly beaten or hurt, to get into trouble

My friend took it on the chin when he fought with the man at the store.

take (something) on the chin

- to experience and endure a blow or hardship

The man is able to take things on the chin and can quickly recover when he has a problem.

up to one's chin in (something)

- to be very busy with something, to be working hard at something, to have much or many of something

The woman is up to her chin in work and has no free time.

wag one's chin

- to chat with someone

I stopped at the coffee shop to wag my chin with an old friend.

Face Idioms


blow up in (someone`s) face

- to end abruptly or unexpectedly, to be ruined while you are working on it, to explode suddenly in front of you

The plan to have a party for our boss blew up in our face when he decided not to come.

blue in the face

- to be very angry or upset, to be excited and emotional

The man argued with his supervisor until he was blue in the face.

come face to face with (someone or something)

- to meet someone or something in person, to deal with someone immediately

I was walking through the forest when I came face to face with a black bear.

face-to-face

- in person, in the same location

The soccer star had a face-to-face meeting with his new team yesterday.

fall flat on one's face

- to be completely unsuccessful

I fell flat on my face when I tried to make a speech at the wedding.

feed one's face

- to eat

I stopped at a small restaurant to feed my face.

fly in the face of (something)

- to ignore something

The explanation by the criminal flies in the face of common sense.

get out of (someone's) face

- to go away or leave someone

I wish that my friend would get out of my face.

have egg on one's face

- to be embarrassed by something that you have done (most people would feel embarrassed if they had egg on their face), to seem stupid because of something that you have done

I had egg on my face after I remembered the wrong day for the wedding.

hide one's face in shame

- to cover one's face because of shame or embarrassment

The manager of the company hid his face in shame when he was fired for stealing company money.

in the face of (something)

- in spite of the fact that there may be problems or difficulty or danger

In the face of many problems, my cousin was still able to raise wonderful children.

keep a straight face

- to not smile or laugh

It was hard to keep a straight face during the funny movie.

a long face

- a sad or disappointed look

The man had a long face after he was fired from his job.

lose face

- to be embarrassed or ashamed by an error or failure, to lose self-respect

The manager lost face when the person who she hired was a terrible worker.

make a face (at someone)

- to twist one's face into a strange expression in order to show dislike etc.

The boy made a face at the girl in the hall.

not just a pretty face

- to be intelligent and capable and not just good-looking or pretty

The woman is not just a pretty face. She is very smart.

not show one's face

- to not appear somewhere

My friend did not show his face for most of the day.

on the face of it

- on the surface of an issue or a problem

On the face of it, it is very easy to see who caused the problem with our travel schedule.

put on a brave face

- to try to appear happy or satisified even though you are faced with serious problems

The man put on a brave face after he was fired from his job.

put one's face on or put on one's face

- to put make-up on one's face

The woman spent a long time putting her face on.

red in the face

- embarrassed

The clerk was red in the face after she heard the customer's comment.

save face

- to save one's good reputation or dignity when something has happened to hurt him or her

The government was unable to save face after they failed to deal with the crisis properly.

say (something) right to (someone's) face

- to say something unpleasant or important directly to someone

I told the man that he was not telling the truth right to his face.

show one's face

- to appear

I do not think that my friend will show his face tonight.

shut one's face/trap

- to be quiet, to shut up

"Please sit down and shut your trap."
I wish that girl would shut her face.

a slap in the face

- an insult

The unpopular candidate who won the city election was a slap in the face to many voters.

stare (someone) in the face

- to be very likely to happen, to be clear and easy to recognize

Defeat was staring the runner in the face from the beginning of the race.

stuff one's face

- to eat a lot in a short time

I stuffed my face in the restaurant last night.

take (something) at face value

- to accept something as the truth and with no hidden meaning

I usually take what my boss says at face value.

talk until one is blue in the face

- to talk until one is exhausted

I talked until I was blue in the face but my friend would still not change his mind.

tell (someone) (something) to his or her face

- to tell something to someone directly

I told my friend to her face that I did not like her constant complaining.

throw (something) back in (someone's) face

- to use something that someone has said previously to harm or upset him or her

I immediately threw the question back in the lawyer's face.

within a whisker of (doing something)

- to almost do something

I came within a whisker of quitting my job but I decided not to.

written all over (someone's) face

- to be shown clearly what someone is thinking or feeling or if they are guilty of something by the look on his or her face

The fact that the little boy took the cookies was written all over his face.

Hair Idioms


as bald as a baby's backside

- completely bald

The man who works in the post office is as bald as a baby's backside.

as bald as a coot

- completely bald

The man in the store is as bald as a coot.

bad hair day

- a day when everything seems to go wrong (just like when you cannot make your hair look attractive)

Yesterday was a bad hair day and everything went wrong for me.

by a hair's breadth

- just barely, by a very small distance or amount

I arrived at the concert on time but only by a hair's breadth.

curl (someone`s) hair

- to shock or frighten or horrify someone

The movie is very realistic and many of the scenes will curl your hair.

get gray hair

- to have your hair turn gray because of stress

The father said that he was getting gray hair from dealing with his son.

get in (someone's) hair

- to bother or irritate someone

The little boy often gets in his mother's hair.

get (someone) out of one's hair

- to stop someone from annoying or bothering you

The woman wanted to get the little boy out of her hair.

hang by a hair

- to depend on a small thing, to be at risk or in doubt

The results of the election are still undecided and are hanging by a hair.

in one`s hair

- to be bothering someone, to be always annoying someone

My sister's small son is always in her hair when she is making dinner.

keep (someone) out of one's hair

- to keep someone from annoying or bothering you

We tried to keep the little boy out of our hair while we were preparing for the wedding.

let one`s hair down

- to act freely and naturally, to relax

We were able to let our hair down at the party and have a good time.

make (someone's) hair curl

- to surprise or shock someone (used for a story or experience)

The horror movie made my hair curl.

make (someone's) hair stand on end

- to cause someone to become frightened

The movie made my hair stand on end.

neither hide nor hair (of someone or something)

- no sign or indication of someone or something

I have seen neither hide nor hair of the girl in my geography class.

out of one`s hair

- getting rid of an annoying person or thing

My sister is trying to get her daughter out of her hair.

pull one's hair out

- to be angry or upset or worried about something

My friend began to pull her hair out when she discovered that she had no nice clothes for the party.

split hairs

- to disagree or argue about something that is not important, to make unnecessary distinctions about something

The manager makes many good points but he has a tendency to split hairs and waste our time.

tear one's hair out

- to be anxious or frustrated or angry

The mother was tearing her hair out as she waited for her daughter to return home.

thin on top

- bald or balding

My uncle is a little thin on top but he is very handsome.

Head Idioms


a head

- for one person, for one individual (used for counting people or animals like cattle)

"The tickets were only a few dollars a head."

able to (do something) standing on one's head

- to be able to do something very easily and quickly

The man is able to do his job standing on his head.

bang one`s head against a brick wall

- to not succeed at something after trying very hard, to waste one's time trying to do something that is hopeless

I am banging my head against a brick wall trying to talk to my neighbor.

bang one`s head against a wall

- to not succeed at something after trying very hard, to waste one's time trying to do something that is hopeless

We are banging our heads against a wall when we try and talk to our neighbor.

beat one`s head against a brick wall

- to not succeed at something after trying very hard, to waste one's time trying to do something that is hopeless

I am beating my head against a brick wall trying to understand my boss.

beat one`s head against a wall

- to not succeed at something after trying very hard, to waste one's time trying to do something that is hopeless

I was beating my head against a wall when I tried to talk to the store manager.

beat (something) into (someone`s) head

- to force someone to learn something by repeating it over and over

The teacher tried to beat the material into the student's head.

bite (someone's) head off or bite off (someone's) head

- to speak to someone in an angry way

I went to speak with my supervisor but she bit my head off.

bonehead

- an unusually dense or stupid person

The boy is a bonehead. He never understands what other people are trying to tell him.

bring (something) to a head

- to cause a situation to reach the point where something must be done to solve or deal with the problem

The union brought the issue of working hours to a head when they threatened to go on strike.

bury one's head in the sand

- to ignore a problem or hide from some obvious danger, to refuse to see or face something

My uncle buried his head in the sand and would not talk about the family problem.

butt heads with (someone)

- to argue with someone about a particular subject or problem

I do not want to butt heads with the manager of our department.

count heads

- to count people

The teacher always counts heads in the morning.

drum (something) into (someone's) head

- to keep telling someone something until they cannot forget it

The teacher worked hard to drum the mathematics material into the students' heads.

fall head over heels

- to fall down (and maybe roll over)

The little boy fell head over heels down the hill.

fall head over heels in love with (someone)

- to fall deeply in love with someone

The girl fell head over heels in love with the boy on the basketball team.

from head to toe

- from the top of one's head to one's feet

The woman was dressed in yellow from head to toe.

get a head start

- to get an advantage when you start doing something or going somewhere, to start early, to leave early

We woke up early in the morning in order to get a head start on our holiday.
I want to get a head start on writing my school essay.

get into (someone's) head

- to understand what someone thinks and feels so that you can communicate well with him or her

I am having a difficult time to get into my friend's head and understand what he is doing.

get it into one's head to (do something)

- to decide to do something even though there may not be a good reason to do it

The girl got it into her head to begin ballet lessons.

get (someone or something) out of one's head

- to stop thinking about or wanting someone or something, to forget about someone or something

The man cannot get it out of his head that his friend stole some money.

get (something) into/through (someone`s) head

- to make someone understand or believe something

It was difficult to get it through the bank manager's head that I did not want a credit card.

give (someone) a swelled head

- to make someone conceited

The girl's high test scores are giving her a swelled head.

go head to head with (someone)

- to compete in a direct and determined way with another person or group

We will go head to head with the other team and win the city championship.

go over (someone's) head

- to be too difficult for someone to understand

The reason for the decision went over my head. I cannot understand why.

go to one's head

- to make one dizzy

The drink quickly went to the man's head and he had to sit down.

go to (someone`s) head

- to make someone too proud, to make a person think that he or she is too important

The man's new job has gone to his head and he thinks that he is better than everyone else.

hanging over (someone's) head

- to be worrying someone and be something that you will eventually have to deal with

The court case has been hanging over my friend's head for many months.

have a big head

- to think that you are better than everyone else, to be conceited

My friend has a big head now that he has won the speech contest at university.

have a good head for (something)

- to have the mental ability for something, to find it easy to learn something

My uncle has a good head for numbers.

have a good head on one's shoulders

- to be sensible and intelligent

The supermarket manager has a good head on his shoulders and he should be able to solve our problem.

have a head start

- to have an advantage when you start doing something or going somewhere

The boy had a head start and he easily won the race.

have a price on one's head

- to be wanted by the police or other authorities who have offered money for your capture

The criminal has a price on his head and many people are searching for him.

have one's head examined

- to check to see if someone is mentally ill or crazy

The woman is crazy to buy that car. She needs to have her head examined.

have one's head in the clouds

- to be unaware of what is happening around you

The store clerk has his head in the clouds and makes many mistakes.

have one's head screwed on right/straight

- to be sensible and make good decisions

The woman has her head screwed on right. She always makes good decisions.

have rocks in one`s head

- to be stupid or silly or crazy, to not have good judgement

My friend has rocks in his head if he thinks that I am going to lend him more money.

have (something) hanging over one's head

- to have something bothering or worrying you, to have a deadline to worry about

I have had the final essay hanging over my head for many weeks now.

head and shoulders above (someone or something)

- to be superior to someone or something

The new principal is head and shoulders above those who have come before.

a head case

- a crazy person

The apartment manager is a head case. She is crazy.

one's head is buzzing

- someone is thinking of something or many things at the same time

My head was buzzing after I left the meeting last night.

head-on

- with the head or front pointing at something, with the front facing something

There was a head-on car crash last night near our house.

head over heels

- upside down, head first

The little boy fell head over heels down the steep hill.

head over heels in debt

- to be deeply in debt

My cousin has been head over heels in debt for many years.

head over heels in love with (someone)

- to be very much in love with someone

The young man is head over heels in love with the girl in his swimming club.

head shrinker

- psychiatrist

When I was a child our next door neighbor was a head shrinker.

Heads up!

- Raise your head and be careful about some nearby danger.

"Heads up," the construction worker yelled at the other workers.

heads will roll

- serious trouble is coming, someone will lose his or her job

Heads will roll if we do not make some progress in fixing the accounting problem.

headhunt

- to search for qualified individuals to fill certain positions

The company is now headhunting in order to find a new president.

hide one`s head in the sand

- to ignore a problem or hide from some obvious danger, to refuse to see or face something

The man likes to hide his head in the sand and he never wants to deal with any problem.

hold one's head up

- to keep or display one's dignity

The accounting manager was totally honest during the investigation into the scandal and when it was over he was able to hold his head up and be proud of himself.

in over one's head

- to be having more difficulties than one can manage

The electrician seems to be in over his head and he does not know how to fix the electrical problem.

keep a cool head

- to keep calm in a difficult and stressful situation

The bank manager kept a cool head during the bank robbery.

keep one`s head

- to stay calm when there is trouble or danger

Everyone tried to keep their head during the fire at the hotel.

keep one's head above water

- to keep out of difficult financial problems, to stay out of trouble

The man has been having a hard time keeping his head above water since he lost his job.

keep one's head down

- to quietly do your work without causing any problems and causing other people to notice you

I knew that there was a problem at work so I kept my head down all morning.

knock one`s head against a (brick) wall

- to waste time trying to do something with no success

The company managers have been knocking their heads against a wall trying to solve the problem.

knock some heads together

- to scold some people to get them to do what they are supposed to be doing

The principal felt that it was time to knock some heads together and begin to get things done in the school.

knock (someone's) block off

- to strike someone hard in the head

The young boy said that he was going to knock his friend's block off.

laugh one's head off

- to laugh a lot and for a long time

I laughed my head off during the movie.

lose one's head over (someone or something)

- to become confused or obsessed over something

The woman lost her head during the investigation into the company problems.

make heads or tails (out) of (something)

- to find meaning in something, to understand something

I was unable to make heads or tails out of our company's plans to restructure our department.

make (someone's) head spin/swim

- to confuse or overwhelm someone, to make someone dizzy

The speed of the day's events made my head spin.

need one's head examined

- to make remarks or do actions that are wrong or stupid

My teacher needs her head examined. It will be impossible for me to finish the project before Monday.

need (something) like a hole in the head

- to not need something at all

My friend needs a new car like he needs a hole in the head.

off the top of one`s head

- without thinking about something very much

I was unable to remember the name of the restaurant off the top of my head.

on (someone`s) head

- as one's responsibility or fault

The problems with the computer are on the boy's head.

out of one's head

- to be crazy or irrational or silly

The man at the bus stop was out of his head.

over one`s head

- to be or go beyond one's ability to understand something, to be too difficult

The mathematics lectures went over my head during the first few weeks.

per head

- for one person, for one individual (used for counting people or animals like cattle)

The tickets cost only a small amount of money per head.

put ideas into (someone's) head

- to suggest something to someone

The girl's best friend is always putting ideas into her head.

put one's head in a noose

- to say or do something that could harm you or your image

The man put his head in a noose when he became angry and criticized his boss at the meeting.

put one's head in the lion's mouth

- to put oneself in a dangerous or difficult situation

I put my head in the lion's mouth when I went to the meeting with my boss.

put one's head on the block for (someone or something)

- to take great risks or to go to a lot of trouble for someone or something

I like my boss and I would be happy to put my head on the block for him.

put one's heads together

- to discuss or talk about something with someone or a group of people and try to solve a problem

We put our heads together to try and find a solution to the problem.

put (someone or something) out of one's head

- to try to forget someone or something

The boy tried hard to put the girl out of his head.

raise its (ugly) head

- a problem or bad situation appears or happens after not happening for a period of time

The problem between the two managers raised its ugly head after many months of calm.

rear its (ugly) head

- to appear after being hidden (usually something unpleasant)

The problem between the two sisters rears its head at the beginning of every year.

scratch one's head

- to be confused or perplexed

I was left scratching my head after the speech by our department manager.

scream one's head off

- to scream a lot and for a long time

The girl screamed her head off after the accident.

should have one's head examined

- should have one's head checked to see if you are mentally ill or crazy

My neighbor should have his head examined before he buys the car.

stand head and shoulders above (the rest/someone/something)

- to be much better than anyone or everything else in the same group

Our new principal stands head and shoulders above the previous one.

stand on one's head (to do something)

- to make a great effort to do something

I did everything but stand on my head to help my friend get a job.

stand (something) on its head

- to show that an idea or argument is wrong and means the opposite of what it first seemed to mean, to change the way that people think about something

We stood the argument on its head with our own arguments against it.

stick one's head in a noose

- to say or do something that could harm you or your image

I stuck my head in a noose when I said that I wanted to find another job.

swelled head

- a feeling that one is very important or more important than one really is

My sister has had a swelled head since she got her new job.

take it into one's head to do (something)

- to decide to do something that does not seem sensible to others

The young woman took it into her head to go to China and she did.

talk (someone's) head off

- to speak too much

The woman beside me in the bus talked my head off during our journey.

touched (in the head)

- to be a little crazy

My neighbor is touched in the head. He is a little crazy.

trouble one's head about (someone or something)

- to worry about someone or something

"Please do not trouble your head about the arrangements for the party. I will do everything."

turn (someone's) head

- to distract someone, to make someone notice you

The woman's beautiful dress turned everybody's head. It was beautiful.

turn (something) on its head

- to show that an idea or argument is wrong and means the opposite of what it first seemed to mean, to change the way that people think about a subject

The lawyer was able to easily turn the argument on its head.

upon (someone`s) head

- as one's responsibility or fault

The little boy brought the anger of his parent's upon his head.

use one`s head/noggin/noodle

- to use one's brain or mind, to use one's own common sense

Sometimes, I think that the manager of the store never uses her head when I ask her a question.

Mind Idioms



absent-minded

- forgetful

Our neighbor is very absent-minded and he often forgets his keys.

all in (one's) mind

- a situation or problem that does not actually exist

The problem between my aunt and her neighbor is all in my aunt's mind. It does not exist.

bear (someone or something) in mind

- to remember and think about someone or something

"Please bear the starting time for the concert in mind so that we can arrive early."

blow (someone`s) mind

- to overwhelm or excite someone

My friend told me that the new book will blow my mind.

boggle one's mind

- to confuse someone, to overwhelm someone, to be hard to imagine

It boggles my mind to think how dishonest some people can be.

bored out of one's mind

- to be very bored

The little boy was bored out of his mind and wanted to go home.

change (someone's) mind

- to cause a person to think differently about something

I tried hard to change my friend's mind about going on a holiday with me.

come to mind

- to enter into one's consciousness

Suddenly, it came to mind that I had only two more weeks to work before my holiday.

cross (someone`s) mind

- to be a sudden or passing thought, to occur to someone

It suddenly crossed my mind that the store will be closed on Monday.

enter (someone's) mind

- to come into someone's mind (used for an idea or thought)

It never entered my mind that my friend would lose his job.

get a load off one's mind

- to talk about what is troubling you

I wanted to get a load off my mind so I passed the evening talking with a friend.

get (someone or something) out of one's mind

- to stop thinking about or wanting someone or something, to forget about someone or something

My friend is trying hard to get his former girlfriend out of his mind.

give (someone) a piece of one`s mind

- to scold someone angrily, to say what one really thinks of someone (especially when they have behaved badly)

I gave the store manager a piece of my mind when I told him about the bad service.

great minds think alike

- someone has the same idea or says the same thing as you do and at the same time

Great minds think alike and just as I suggested that we go to a movie, my friend suggested the same thing.

have a closed mind (about something)

- to be unwilling to change one's ideas or opinions about something

My aunt has a closed mind and she is not flexible about most things.

have a good mind to (do something)

- to be tempted to do something, to be almost ready to do something

I have a good mind to go and tell my boss that I am planning to look for another job.

have a lot on one's mind

- to have many things to worry about

I have a lot on my mind with my new job and new apartment.

have a mind like a steel trap

- to have a very sharp and quick mind

The man has a mind like a steel trap and he never forgets anything.

have a mind of its own

- a machine or vehicle does not do what you want it to do

Sometimes, my car seems to have a mind of its own and it will not do what I want.

have a mind of one's own

- someone does or thinks what they want to do or think instead of doing or thinking what they are told

The little boy has a mind of his own and he always wants to do whatever he likes.

have a one-track mind

- to have a mind that thinks only about one thing

The boy has a one-track mind and he only thinks about video games.

have an open mind about (something)

- to be flexible and willing to listen to other people's opinions and change your own opinions or ideas

The man has an open mind and is willing to listen to what other people are saying about various things.

have half a mind to do (something)

- to be thinking about doing something, to have almost decided to do something

I have half a mind to take my new television back to the store because I do not like it.

have (someone or something) on one's mind

- to be thinking a lot about someone or something

My friend has many school problems on his mind.

have (something) in mind

- to be thinking of something in particular, to have an idea in your mind

"What do you have in mind for the meeting next week?"

have the presence of mind to (do something)

- to have the calmness and ability to act sensibly in a difficult situation

The farmer had the presence of mind to close the barn door after the fire started.

in a positive frame of mind

- to be happy and in a good mood

Our teacher is in a positive frame of mind this week.

in one's mind's eye

- in one's imagination

In my mind's eye, I cannot imagine what happened to my friend in the accident.

in one's right mind

- to be sane, to be sensible

The man who hit the dog was not in his right mind.

in two minds about (something)

- to be undecided about something

I am in two minds about going to a movie tonight.

keep an open mind about (something)

- to be flexible and willing to listen to other people's opinions and change your own ideas

I want to keep an open mind and listen to what other people say about the problem.

keep (someone or something) in mind

- to remember and think about someone or something

I tried to keep my cousin in mind when I was inviting people to the dinner party.

know one's own mind

- to be very sure of what your opinions are and what you want to do

My friend knows his own mind and it is difficult to convince him that he is wrong.

last thing on (someone's) mind

- the last thing that someone is thinking about

Going to a movie was the last thing on my mind yesterday evening.

lose one's mind

- to go crazy, to go out of one's mind

The woman is acting very strange and seems to be losing her mind.

make up one`s mind

- to choose what to do, to decide something

I have not been able to make up my mind about going to the party or not.

a meeting of minds

- complete agreement

We were able to achieve a meeting of minds and everybody was happy.

one's mind goes blank

- to be suddenly unable to remember something

My mind went blank when I tried to remember the woman's name.

one's mind is buzzing

- to be thinking of something or many things at the same time

My mind was buzzing after I left the theater last night.

one's mind is in the gutter

- someone is thinking or talking about a subject that offends people

The man's mind is in the gutter and I do not like to talk to him.

one's mind is on (something)

- someone is thinking about and giving attention to something

My mind has been on my summer holidays all week.

mind over matter

- if you really want to you can do something that is very difficult or even impossible to do

"It is mind over matter. If you want to succeed with your project you will be able to do it."

mind-boggling

- overwhelming, startling

The choices of evening classes at the university are mind-boggling.

mind-numbing

- to be extremely boring

The speech was so boring that it was mind-numbing.

(something)-minded

- to be thinking about something, to focus on something

The girl is very sports-minded and she loves to participate in any kind of sport that she can.

narrow-minded

- to be unwilling to accept or understand new ideas

My uncle is very narrow-minded and is not flexible about anything.

nobody in his/her right mind would do (something)

- it would be very stupid or unreasonable to do something

Nobody in his right mind would drive his car when the roads are so bad.

of one mind

- to have the same opinion about something, to agree on something with someone else

The finance committee was of one mind when they made this year's budget.

of the same mind

- to have the same opinion about something, to agree on something with someone else

I was of the same mind as my friend when we made our decision about our holiday.

of two minds

- to be unable to decide what to do or what you think about something

I am of two minds about going to the movie tonight. I am very busy but I also want to see the movie very much.

on one's mind

- occupying one's thoughts, currently being thought about

Recently, I have had many things on my mind.

out of one's mind

- to be crazy or irrational or silly

The woman is out of her mind and she is always doing something crazy.

out of sight, out of mind

- if you do not see something then you will not think about it

The chocolates were out of sight, out of mind and nobody thought about eating them.

pass through (someone's) mind

- to occur to someone, to think about something briefly

The idea passed through my mind briefly but then it was gone.

pay (someone or something) no mind

- to ignore someone or something

The police paid the traffic lights no mind while the accident was being cleaned up.

put one's mind to (something)

- to give one's complete attention to something

I put my mind to making the party as successful as possible.

put (someone or something) out of one's mind

- to try to forget someone or something

It was difficult to get the terrible accident out of my mind.

read (someone's) mind

- to guess what someone is thinking (as if one has special powers to see someone's thoughts)

The girl told her boyfriend that she cannot read his mind and that he must tell her what he wants.

slip one's mind

- to forget something

It slipped my mind that I need to phone my dentist soon.

speak one's mind

- to say frankly what one thinks about something

My father plans to speak his mind at the school meeting tonight.

stick in (someone's) mind

- to not forget something

The date of my friend's wedding stuck in my mind for many years.

take one's mind off (someone or something)

- to stop worrying or thinking about a problem or a person

I went to a movie to take my mind off my problems at work.

to (someone's) mind

- in someone's opinion

"To my mind, I believe that your opinion is correct."

turn (something) over in one's mind

- to think about something continuously

I could not sleep last night because I was turning my situation at work over in my mind.

weigh on (someone's) mind

- to be in someone's thoughts, to be bothering someone

The decision about selling my car or not was weighing on my mind.

Wit Idioms


at one's wit's end

- to be in a worrying or stressful situation where you have no idea about what to do next

I was at my wit's end about what to do for my sister's wedding.

collect one's wits

- to make an effort to control one's thoughts and feelings after something shocking or unexpected happens

I stopped at a coffee shop after my stressful job interview in order to collect my wits.

have keen wits

- to have the ability to think quickly

The man has keen wits and he can make smart decisions very fast.

have the wits to do (something)

- to have the intelligence or understanding to do something

The man had the wits to phone the police when he saw the accident.

keep one's wits about one

- to keep one's mind operating clearly in a time of stress

Firefighters must always keep their wits about them when they are fighting a large fire.

not beyond the wit of (someone)

- to not be too difficult for someone to do

It would not be beyond the wit of my cousin to enter the best school in the country.

pit one's wits against (someone)

- to challenge someone over something to see who wins

The best students in our school decided to pit their wits against the best students in the city.

slow-witted

- to be not very smart

The girl is slow-witted and she has trouble doing simple things.


Idiom Quizzes - Head and Mind

    Choose an idiom to replace the expression in the brackets:

  1. My friend has had a (high opinion of himself) since he got his new job.

    (a) bonehead (b) big head (c) no-brainer (d) long face



  2. The man was (arguing about something unimportant) when he complained about the cost of the coffee.

    (a) splitting hairs (b) turning the other cheek (c) burying his head in the sand (d) keeping his chin up



  3. My grandfather is (forgetful) and often forgets his keys.

    (a) bored out of his mind (b) blue in the face (c) absent-minded (d) touched in the head



  4. That man is a (stupid person) and does not understand anything that I tell him.

    (a) slap in the face (b) head shrinker (c) swelled head (d) bonehead



  5. Our company president is a hard worker and he built his business (by his own hard work).

    (a) in his right mind (b) by a whisker (c) by the sweat of his brow (d) head over heels



  6. It would (shock you) to learn how much my friend spends on food each month.

    (a) go to your head (b) blow your mind (c) bury your head in the sand (d) rack your brain



  7. You should try to (forget) that you lost your wallet and credit cards.

    (a) take it on the chin (b) use your head (c) make up your mind (d) put it out of your mind



  8. I spent the morning (asking questions of) the electrician to see how the electrical system in our house functioned.

    (a) picking the brain of (b) racking the brain of (c) splitting hairs with (d) turning the other cheek of



  9. The woman wanted her young child (to stop bothering her).

    (a) by the nape of the neck (b) from head to toe (c) out of her hair (d) to be a meeting of minds



  10. I cannot really (understand) the reason that my friend quit his job.

    (a) pick the brains of (b) make head nor tail of (c) bury my head in the sand of (d) keep a straight face for



  11. I was able to keep (out of difficulty) during the severe economic conditions in our company.

    (a) off the top of my head (b) my head above water (c) saving face (d) taking it on the chin



  12. The car salesman must (be stupid) to think that I would buy such an expensive car.

    (a) turn the other cheek (b) have rocks in his head (c) put on a brave face (d) have a lot on his mind



  13. (I had a sudden thought) that I do not need to finish my project until after the holiday weekend.

    (a) It made up my mind (b) It weighed on my mind (c) It crossed my mind (d) It was hanging over my head



  14. I argued until I was (very angry and upset) but it never solved the problem.

    (a) face-to-face (b) in my right mind (c) in over my head (d) blue in the face



  15. I tried to remember my doctor's name (without thinking too hard) but I could not remember it.

    (a) off the top of my head (b) blowing my mind (c) boggling my mind (d) from head to toe



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