Green’s Dictionary of Slang

head n.

1. a lavatory, a privy [naut. jargon head or heads, the ship’s lavatory, which was orig. sited at the ‘head’ of a ship, near the bowsprit].

Public Ledger (London) 8 July 4/3: The above Ships are copper fastened, with heads and quarter galleries; the workmanship and materials in them of the first quality.
[UK]‘Bill Truck’ Man o’ War’s Man (1843) 22: He [...] carried them off along with him, to initiate them into the mysteries of the head.
[UK]Leaves from Diary of Celebrated Burglar 22/1: This was ‘slung’ to Joe, with the understanding that he was to go to the head of the ship and ‘ding the skin’.
[US]C. Sherwood diary 5 Sept. 🌐 Slum [gullion/stew], head [toilet] and coffee is pretty good.
[US]Capt. Billy’s Whiz Bang Oct. 25: I recently met a cute little second lieutenant [...] He said his name was Joe Latrino and that he was in the Sanitary Corps [...] Write to him in care of the Captain of the Head, U.S. Navy.
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks n.p.: The heads, a lavatory.
[US]N. Cassady letter in Charters (1993) 191: Edith (bah) arrived at the bus depot early & [...] retired to the head to sleep.
[UK]C. Lee Eight Bells & Top Masts 27: he knew the sailors’ tongue [...] The kitchen was the galley [...] the lavatory the heads.
[US](con. 1950) E. Frankel Band of Brothers 53: He don’t go to the head less’n the skipper tells him it’s okay.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn 109: When he went to the head they took the beer from her and threw her out on the street.
[US]A. Maupin Tales of the City (1984) 96: I think I’ll hobble off to the head.
[US]C. Hiaasen Skin Tight 260: Don’t let her drink too much . . . She’ll be going to the head all night.
[US]K. Scott Monster (1994) 321: The C.O. asked me where the fuck I was going. I said to the head.
[US]G. Pelecanos Right As Rain 205: ‘Where’s the head?’ asked Quinn.
[UK]P. Baker Fabulosa 293/2: head toilet.
[Aus]D. Whish-Wilson Shore Leave 104: They squeezed along to the head.

2. in the context of the mouth and/or face.

(a) a postage stamp [the monarch’s head appears on all UK stamps].

R. Barham letter 30 July in Barham Life (1870) II 99: One of those abominable little heads which the wisdom of our Post Office people has invented.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Mr Sponge’s Sporting Tour 393: [He] sent it back without putting even a fresh head on the envelope.
[UK]Punch 17 Dec. 243/1: We signed it and sealed it, and put it into a hangvelop, and stuck a ned on it, and put it into the Post.
G. Sturt Small Boy in Sixties 2: One very curious request would sometimes come from a villager; the man or woman asking for ‘a head.’ What was meant was a penny postage stamp, bearing a profile of Queen Victoria’s head.

(b) (US) the mouth, as used in phrs. below.

(c) (also head play) oral intercourse, usu. fellatio, but also cunnilingus.

[US] ‘The Rubber Salesman’ [comic strip] in B. Adelman Tijuana Bibles (1997) 50: No funny stuff. I mean head play.
[US] ‘Duriella du Fontaine’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 47: Me and this queen made love supreme, / And I flipped when she gave me some head.
[US](con. 1950s) D. Goines Whoreson 161: She sure liked that hot head you laid on her.
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Airtight Willie and Me 61: I saw a Sixty-third Street ’ho laying some head on him.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Godson 215: ‘I drained him, man. I gave the old bugger head like he’d never had’.
[UK]D. Jarman letter 23 June Smiling in Slow Motion (2000) 24: Piss off Mary, I’m a head fairy.
[US]E. Bunker Mr Blue 114: They liked head, which was the quickest and easiest for a whore.
[UK]Jade LB Keisha the Sket (2021) 55: R u goin 2 b givin headz and fuckin’ guyz upstaiirs 2nite.
[US]in J. Miller Getting Played 137: ‘I was getting head. She got to slurping me. [...] I just heard her [making noises]. I'm like, “Damn girl, what’s wrong with you?”’.
[US](con. 1973) C. Stella Johnny Porno 32: One drunk preferred the use of hands when getting head. The other claimed it wasn’t a blow job if a woman used her hands.
Grizzy ‘Look Like You’ 🎵 She got two balls and a dick on her plate / First she blew me, then she blew all my mates / Head in the bando .
Young M.A. ‘OOOUUU’ 🎵 [of cunnilingus] Baby gave me head: that’s a low blow / Damn, she make me weak when she deep throat.
K. Lister 8 Jan. 🌐 The film’s most climactic moment is not the tragic depiction of Mary losing her head, but rather of her receiving head from her future husband, Henry Stuart.
[US]J. Ellroy Widespread Panic 4: Marilyn (Monroe) was a snout-trout. She dispensed head to rogue pharmacists, XXX-exclusive .

(d) (US) facial appearance, usu. constr. with ‘bad’, e.g. she’s got great tits, but that’s a bad head.

J. Brosnan Penant Race 14: [She’s got] choice wheels [...] but, ooh, a bad head [HDAS].

3. with ref. to drugs.

(a) (orig. US drugs) the regular user of any kind of drug; orig. of alcohol.

[Ire]J.E. Walsh Ireland Sixty Years Ago (1885) 59: A usual exhortation from a father to his son was, ‘make your head, boy, while you’re young,’ and certain knots of seasoned drinkers who had succeeded in this insane attempt, were called kat’ exochen, ‘the heads,’ from their impenetrability to the effects of liquor.
[US]Murtagh & Harris Cast the First Stone 51: No percentage [...] in selling junk to other junkies. What you have to do is make a couple new heads.
[US]M. Braly Shake Him Till He Rattles (1964) 10: How about Cabiness? A head who pretends to blow a horn. Know him?
[US]L. Yablonsky Hippie Trip 63: They were both ‘heads’ (had used LSD).
[US] in C. Browne Body Shop 147: Ninety per cent of the company are probably heads, but don’t smoke in the field.
[US]W.D. Myers Hoops 87: I didn’t like to mess with no angel dust because too many heads was messing with it .
[UK]G. Burn Happy Like Murderers 153: To the drop-outs and heads she could seem like she was on this other trip.
[UK]K. Richards Life 192: It was the typical drug thing [...] You’d meet people who’d say, ‘Are you a head?’ as if it conferred some special status.
[Scot]I. Welsh Dead Man’s Trousers 9: Some Edinburgh head in the Dam on holiday.

(b) a drug-induced state.

[US]‘Hal Ellson’ Golden Spike 194: It [i.e. heroin] got him a ‘head’ and made him feel better.
[US]‘Hal Ellson’ ‘Pistol’ in Tell Them Nothing (1956) 111: It was good stuff [...] It put a head on me, made me feel real light.
[US](con. 1970) S. Wright Meditations in Green (1985) 167: Now if he was careful he could cry this head through the remainder of his workshift and then out into dreamland.
[US]T. Wolfe Bonfire of the Vanities 159: Benny Grillo [...] had a head on and wanted to go downtown to the Limelight, a discotheque.

(c) a state of mind, other than drug-influenced.

[US]Current Sl. V:4 13: Head, n. One’s psychological and intellectual disposition.
[US]R. Price Blood Brothers 145: Everybody’s in a very heavy neighborhood head.
[US]R. Price Breaks 15: I was desperately trying to hold on to the good head that had me hugging everybody minutes before.
[NZ]A. Duff One Night Out Stealing 31: Inside you get hassled for what you are, which is too much of a head-man. Our kinda people, man, they don’t trust those who live in their own heads, ya know?

(d) (Aus. prison) high-grade marijuana.

in Wilson & Arnold Street Kids 52: Grass is too expensive [...] It’s one hundred a deal if you want head and seventy for leaf.
[NZ]A. Duff One Night Out Stealing 131: I’s easy get three fifty retail — nah, more’n that for good head. Four. Four hundred easy.
[Aus]D. McDonald Luck in the Greater West (2008) 46: He’d been offered five ounces of head on credit.

(e) (UK black) a cannabis cigarette.

[UK]A. Wheatle Dirty South 113: I reckoned he smoked a massive head before he bounded onto the stage.

4. in senses of a painful head.

(a) (also booze head) a hangover, e.g. I’ve got an awful head this morning.

[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 27 Dec. 114/3: I open my eyes to find that I have a terrible ‘head’ on me, and wonder if the other fellows feel just as bad.
[UK]E.J. Milliken Childe Chappie’s Pilgrimage 14: He hath ‘a head,’ and nodding to his friend / Makes the brain whirl like the revolving wheel / Of hurrying Hansom.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 11 July 7/2: The man who ‘has a head on him.’ Our Artist’s Scheme for an Automatic Extensible Hat for Gentlemen who look upon the Old Stuff when it giveth its Colour in the Bar-glass.
[Aus]Dead Bird (Sydney) 10 Jan. 2/2: Amy: ‘You have a good heart, Jack, but you haven't much of a head.’ Jack: ‘Oh, you should have seen it when I got up this morning’.
[UK]Kipling ‘Cells’ in Barrack-Room Ballads (1893) 160: I’ve a head like a concertina; I’ve a tongue like a button-stick.
[UK]E.S. Mott Mingled Yarn 129: [T]he morning after a ‘heavy guest night’ at mess [...] with a head on you like a concertina, and a tongue as rough as the binding of a fashionable novel.
[US]St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO) 12 June 52/: ‘Wake up whit a booze head just about t’ split’.
[US]C.L. Cullen Tales of the Ex-Tanks 55: The very morning after the jag [...] I had a head when I woke up.
[US]Ade Forty Modern Fables 160: Brown had worked like a Dog all night and had nothing to show for it except a Head.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 10 July 4/7: If they’d avoid a ‘morning head’ / [...] / You can’t get shick on shandy.
[UK]H.G. Wells Kipps (1952) 88: He awoke with what Chitterlow had pronounced to be, quite indisputably, a Head and a Mouth.
[US]Bobby Jones ‘Everybody Loves a Chicken’ 🎵 You don’t regret you can’t forget, because your big head’s with you yet!
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 27 Sept. 4/1: They Say [...] That Sparrow B. had rather a large head the morning after the Show .
[UK]‘Sapper’ Bulldog Drummond 115: And now [...] we’ve all got heads and we have not got Potts.
[US]Dos Passos Manhattan Transfer 347: ‘My I’ve got a head,’ she says to the girl next to her. [...] ‘Ought to quit it, dearie, it’ll spoil your looks.’.
[US]J. Spenser Limey 25: If ya had a head like mine, you’d be ready to sell it for two cents right now.
[UK]J. MacLaren-Ross ‘A Bit of a Smash in Madras’ in Memoirs of the Forties (1984) 273: I’d an awful head and a mouth like a sewer from smoking.
[US]J.T. Farrell ‘Patsy Gilbride’ in To Whom It May Concern 18: Why did I get drunk last night? I have a hangover [...] I’ve got a head!
H. Ellson Rock 44: I just got up. Got a head on me.
[UK](con. 1940s) O. Manning Battle Lost and Won 286: Oh, Dobbie, I’ve got such a head. I don’t think I can go in this morning.
[UK]A. Hollinghurst Swimming-Pool Library (1998) 212: I’ve got a pretty frightful head.
[UK]C. Dexter Daughters of Cain (1995) 237: And if they wanted to know whether she’d woken up with a bad head, the answer was ‘yes’ – a bloody dreadful head.
[Ire]L. McInerney Glorious Heresies 342: ‘He’ll have some head in the morning’.

(b) a sickness resulting from contaminated homemade alcohol.

[US]W. Guthrie Bound for Glory (1969) 224: Others came down with the beer head. That’s where your head starts swelling up and it just don’t quit. Usually you take the beer head from drinking home brew that ain’t made right, or is fermented in old rusty cans.

5. in senses of a tough or aggressive individual [hardhead n.].

(a) a professional gambler .

[UK]Sporting Times 18 Jan. 2/2: All the heads had disappeared.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 20 Feb. 1/1: Some of the ‘heads’, who got on early, stood ‘cooking’ the fielder.
[UK]A. Binstead Pitcher in Paradise 179: A fresh head — in reality a conscienceless counterfeiter and sleight-of-hand sharp [...] — came a-racing.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 4 Aug. 4/8: So it’s me wot knows the graft / Of rorters, guns an’ heads.
[UK]‘Doss Chiderdoss’ ‘A Derby Bet’ Sporting Times 28 May 1/2: This is not your first Derby, I reckon, most likely you once were a ‘head’.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘Introduction’ in Moods of Ginger Mick x: If I wus up among the ’eads, wiv right to judge the game.
[UK](con. 1910s) J.B. Booth Sporting Times 253: There’s no three touts at Epsom that don’t know more [...] than all the Newmarket ’heads out together.
[Aus]Williamstown Chron. (Vic.) 1 July 3/4: The ‘head’ pulled out a pack of ‘Mulligan’s’ (playing cards) and dealt out two poker hands.
[Aus]L. Glassop Lucky Palmer 59: Gee, I thought I was one of the heads.
[Aus]J. Holledge Great Aust. Gamble 16: Unlike many of the ‘heads’, Connolly astutely picked the New Zealand champion to beat Phar Lap.

(b) a long-term prisoner.

[Ire]J. Phelan Letters from the Big House 14: The talk of the ‘heads’ who had friends and contacts in many lands.
[SA]H.C. Bosman Cold Stone Jug (1981) II 5: A first offender who is doing a life sentence [...] rates pretty high as a prison ‘head’.

(c) (Aus.) a person in authority.

[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 15 June 14/1: They Say [...] That Alby didn’t go to Houghton because the heads said he was not to get ‘whacked‘ when far from home.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘The Game’ in Moods of Ginger Mick 109: But the ’eads ’ave ’ad the savvy fer to reckernise a bloke, / An’ permotion’s gettin’ common-sense at last.
[Aus](con. WWI) A.G. Pretty Gloss. of Sl. [...] in the A.I.F. 1921–1924 (rev. t/s) n.p.: head. A person of high rank or standing.
[Aus](con. WWI) L. Mann Flesh in Armour 147: He’d like to tell the world the liars the heads were.
[US]Wolfe & Lornell Leadbelly 159: [W]hen it came time to decide which of the masters to release, the ARC heads prevailed.

(d) (US black) a belligerent, aggressive person.

[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 45: ‘Head’ can refer to any black male, it very often is associated with a physically aggressive male.
[US]L. Stavsky et al. A2Z 46/2: head – n. gang member.
[US]‘Dutch’ ? (Pronounced Que) [ebook] He loved Don because he was a true Brooklyn head.

6. with ref. to the penis.

(a) the end of the penis.

[[UK]‘Randy Mots of London’ in Libertine’s Songster in Spedding & Watt (eds) I 139: Though he, indeed, the truth I’ve said, / Is stiff with pride, he need not dread, / He’s quickly made to drop his head, / By the randy mots of London].
[UK] ‘Lady Pokingham’ in Pearl 10 Apr. 30: I took that long prick in my hands, [...] whilst I just titillated the ruby head with my tongue.
[US]D. St John Memoirs of Madge Buford 80: I [...] grasped the firm staff [...] and took its enormous head in my mouth.
[UK]Lustful Memoirs of a Young and Passionated Girl 39: he got on top of her then placed the head of his champion between the lips of her monkey.
[US] in E. Cray Erotic Muse (1992) 381: So that son of a bitch, he took her to bed, / And crammed it in from its roots to its head.
[US]E. Wilson 12 Apr. [synd. col.] Showgirl Vera Shea, asked by a man to assist him in an advertising campaign, replied, ’What are you going to advertise — that second head of yours?’.
[US] ‘Stagger Lee’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 137: You’d better get down on your knees and slobber my head, / ’Cause if you don’t, you’re sure to be dead.
[US]San Diego Sailor 5: His cock had grown and was straining out against his pants. The head was enormous, even with a half hardon.

(b) (US) the erect penis.

[US] Wentworth & Flexner DAS.
[US]Trimble 5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.
[US]Baker et al. CUSS.

7. (UK Und.) a thief, a trickster.

[UK]O.C. Malvery Soul Market 290: A thief is a ‘head’.
[US]H. Corey Farewell, Mr Gangster! 279: Slang used by English criminals [...] Con head – confidence man.

8. (US Und.) an illegal immigrant [? such immigrants were counted as ‘heads’].

J. Lowell Gal Reporter 153: This is his racket. He runs ‘heads’ in from Cape Verde Islands [HDAS].

9. (US) a person.

[US]C.B. Booth ‘Mr Clacksworthy Tells the Truth’ Detective Story 19 Oct. 🌐 Not so fast; I’m too old a head to be rushed like that.
[US]V.F. Nelson Prison Days and Nights 33: They don’t seem to be able to tell a good guy from a dummy head.
[US]E. Gilbert Vice Trap 8: They’ve got a new bunch of heads in here. I looked for you inside.
[US]J. Brosnan Long Season 53: There were some heads missing on the flight to Miami.
[Can]J. Mandelkau Buttons 64: After being introduced to half a dozen of the supposed ‘groovy heads’.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 12: Nino [...] cool head, he’d talk to you.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 241: head 1. Any black male.
[US]Simon & Burns Corner (1998) 82: To the older heads on the corner, he is still an oracle.
Online Sl. Dict. 🌐 head n 1. a person who has both street and book knowledge. (‘That girl runs the streets and gets good grades. She’s a head.’).
[Ire]P. Howard PS, I Scored the Bridesmaids 105: Expecting a load of heads with baseball bats to come out and smash me.
[SA]IOL News (Western Cape) 6 May 🌐 Hip hop heads are using dance to fight substance abuse in the country’s schools.
[UK]A. Wheatle Crongton Knights 35: If only [...] parents could understand the amount of trauma we young heads were all living under.
[US]I. Fitzgerald Dirtbag, Massachusetts 116: Many of the old heads are around.

10. (US black) the target of a mugging.

[US]R. Price Lush Life 27: I’m thinking let’s snatch us a head out here, take the kibble,, go up there.

11. with ref. to a young woman.


(a) a young woman.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 6 Sept. 4/7: ‘I’ve shown this ’ere trick [...] to ’arf the crowned heads in Europe’ [...] ‘An’ soon [...] you’ll be showing it to the arf-crown “heads” of Barrack Street’.
[Aus]Truth (Melbourne) 17 Jan. 7/4: He’ll stand no sass from head or peb, / Or drab or drowsy sleeper.
D. Hammett Thin Man (1962) 120: She’s a wise head—plenty smart.
[US]A.J. Liebling ‘The Jollity Building’ in Just Enough Liebling (2004) 235: Morty meticulously refers to all youngish women as ‘heads,’ which has the same meaning as ‘broads’ or ‘dolls.’.
[US]M. Spillane Long Wait (1954) 90: Wendy was a pretty head, all right.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn 58: He worked [...] in the morgue, and this nice lookin young head croaks so he throws a hump inner.
[US]Wisconsin State Jrnl 17 Jan. 1-2: [T]he male students describe a pretty girl as ‘tough’ or a ‘tough head.’ The coeds might describe the handsome guy as a ‘mass gasser,’ or a guy ‘who turns me on.’.
[US]E. Torres Carlito’s Way 6: A Latin chick named Carmen — fine head.

(b) a sexually appealing young woman.

[US]H. Selby Jr Requiem for a Dream (1987) 22: Ya ever get anything special in here, like some young good lookin heads?

12. a user, a performer.

[UK]D. Ahearn Confessions of a Gunman 216: You may see him and open up on him and give it to him, when if you are a good head you will use your head and wait.
[Ire](con. 1940s) B. Behan Borstal Boy 291: I knew a lot of heads in Dublin, or dance-band musicians.

13. (US campus) beer.

[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 63: A ‘beer’ is called [...] suds or head because of the foam at the top of a glass.

14. (US black) a white person, seen as a potential victim of street crime.

[US]C. Stroud Close Pursuit (1988) 95: ‘Heads’ and ‘poppy loves’ and assorted victims were appearing here and there against the wall of black skin like little popcorn puffs in a skillet.

15. (Irish ) as a form of address as in Howaya head?

[Ire]Share Slanguage.
[Ire]G. Coughlan Everyday Eng. and Sl. 🌐 Head (n): friend or pal e.g. How’s it going head?
[Ire]P. Howard Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightdress 70: Do you want me to sort it? I know a few heads.

In compounds

head artist (n.)

(US) a fellator or fellatrix.

[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 206: head artist, n. – a homosexual.
[US]Maledicta III:2 231: A sod or a bugger need not be a pedicator any more than a cocksucker in America need be a maneater, a head artist, a flute-player or a fellator.
head cheese (n.) [its odour and its appearance near the head of the penis]


G. Legman in G. Henry Sex Vars II 1168: Head-cheese. The preputial smegma in the male.
[US]Guild Dict. Homosexual Terms 21: head-cheese (n.): Smegma that collects under the foreskin of the penis.
[US] in DARE.
head drugs (n.) [they affect the head (though so do all drugs)]

(drugs) amphetamines.

[US]R.R. Lingeman Drugs from A to Z (1970) 115: head drugs [...] (1) drugs which produce higher, finer states of consciousness in the mind of the user and do not produce physical dependence. (2) drugs that stimulate the brain. (3) non-depressant drugs. In practice, hallucinogens and possibly amphetamines but not opiates, alcohol, or barbiturates.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 11: Head drugs — Amphetamine.
head gasket (n.)

(US) a condom.

[US] oral evidence in Lighter HDAS II.
[US]TULIPQ (coll. B.K. Dumas) n.p.: Birth control methods: The pill, rubber, (head gasket for a hot rod).
[US]K. Weaver Texas Crude 76: Head gaskets....Condoms.
Sex-Lexis 🌐 The terms listed below refer to male condoms [...] head gasket.
head-hunter (n.)

(US) one who performs oral sex, esp. in exchange for drugs.

[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 206: head hunter, n. – a homosexual.
[US]Bentley & Corbett Prison Sl. 63: Head Hunter One who performs oral sex.
[US]Ebonics Primer at 🌐 head hunters Definition: women who give oral sex to men. Example: Man dog, my ol’ lady trippin’, I need to find me a head hunter that can deepthroat!
headjob (n.) (also hat job) [job n.2 (2); SE hat plays on the idea of the mouth ‘putting a hat’ on the penis]

(orig. US) an act of oral intercourse, usu. fellatio.

[US]Guild Dict. Homosexual Terms 21: head job (n.): Blow job (q.v.).
[US]H.S. Thompson Hell’s Angels (1967) 96: Nothing to look forward to but the chance of a fight or a round of head jobs from some drunken charwoman.
[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 206: head job, n. – oral sex practiced by homosexuals.
Harrell & Bishop Orderly House 34: The term ‘Hat Job’... [means] a Full French [HDAS].
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 190: A rapist stuck his automatic down in his belt while he made the victim blow him and he got so excited he shot his balls off right in the middle of the headjob!
[Aus]Tracks (Aus.) Oct. 82: We used to go for a surf in summer and we’d come in and get a head job and go for another surf [Moore 1993].
[US] in Delacoste & Alexander Sex Work (1988) 67: I really like head jobs.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read How to Shoot Friends 111: In the past 12 months I’ve given more head jobs than a brain surgeon.
[US]J. Ellroy ‘Balls to the Wall’ in Destination: Morgue! (2004) 10: I hit T.J. in ’66. I got a head job. I saw the mule show.
[Aus]M.B. ‘Chopper’ Read Chopper 4 93: Young Michael [...] has been made the jail barber, bringing a new meaning to the term head job.
[Aus]D. McDonald Luck in the Greater West (2008) 113: So, what about a fuck then? he said. [...] I already told your mate, just one head job and that’s it.
L. Crompton Sudden terror 71: [He] announced he had got the best head job he ever had the night before.
head jockey (v.)

of a man, to perform cunnilingus.

[UK]Indep. Rev. 21 Aug. 9: He is finally dragged into the mature world of ‘head-jockeying’ females by his [...] father.
head office (n.)

(N.Z. prison) a woman’s prison.

[NZ]D. Looser Boobslang [U. Canterbury D.Phil. thesis] 85/2: head office n. a women’s prison.
head play (n.)

see sense 2c above.

headscratcher (n.)

an intellectual puzzle.

[UK]M. Herron Secret Hours 41: [W]hat kind of favour she’d been in a position to do was another headscratcher.
head-set (n.) [var. on SE mind-set]

(US) a state of mind, a mood.

[US]R. Price Blood Brothers 239: Gettin’ that job is like gettin’ a divorce from them [...] like a split wit’ that whole head set.
[US]C. McFadden Serial 43: It brought back Spokane and that whole head-set.
head shop (n.)

1. (orig. US) a shop specializing in drug paraphernalia [the first such emporium was San Francisco’s Psychedelic Shop, opened in Jan. 1966].

[US]Life 9 Sept. 68/4: New York City has the Head Shop which offers psychedelic art posters, bright-colored paperweights and diffraction jewelry.
[US]Current Sl. III:1 8: Head shop, n. Store that sells illegal drugs.
Journal of Health and Social Behavior XI 333: In this writer’s opinion one could learn more about the drug culture by spending the price of this compendium on a ticket to Easy Rider and a trip to a head shop.
[US]C. McFadden Serial 14: The back of a remodelled ark he shared with a head shop.
[US]S. King Thinner (1986) 72: The head shop, the King in Yellow, is there now.
[US](con. 1982–6) T. Williams Cocaine Kids (1990) 23: Julio’s Head Shop.
[US]T. Williams Crackhouse 140: José has been investing his money in a local head shop.
[US](con. 1970s) G. Pelecanos King Suckerman (1998) 131: [He] got it at some head shop on Route One.
[UK]K. Sampson Awaydays 64: Immediately the smell of patchouli hits you, a tawdry throwback to Probe’s none-too-distant days as a head shop.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 11: Head shop — Store specializing in the sale of drug paraphernalia.
[US]T. Dorsey Atomic Lobster 227: But it cost me ten bucks at a Bourbon Street head shop.
[UK]Eve. Standard 25 Oct. 4/4: Many of the ‘legal highs,‘ which are sold openly in ‘head shops,’ bars and clubs, actually contain banned substances.
[US]J. Hannaham Didn’t Nobody Give a Shit 46: The head shop that sold six foot purple bongs.

2. (US) a pornographic bookshop.

[US]R. Campbell In La-La Land We Trust (1999) 129: ‘This Barcaloo run the girls?’ ‘Just the head shops and the flicks.’.
head-worker (n.)

(US gay) a fellator.

(ref. to WWI) Guild Dict. Homosexual Terms 21: head-worker (n., obs.): A fellator. First recorded by Ellis during the First World War as an American usage.
[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular.

In phrases

get head (v.)

to receive oral sex, thus to be fellated.

[US]Source Oct. 35: Everybody likes to get head.
get one’s head on (v.)

(US drugs) to become intoxicated by a drug.

[US]R. Price Lush Life 27: Danny, sometimes when he got his head on, he’d start calling Tristan ‘Che’ because of his goatee .
give head (v.) (orig. US)

1. to perform oral sex, usu. to fellate.

[US]O. Duke Sideman 103: She’s wild, man! Gives the craziest head.
[US]T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 107: She already used to eat it [...] used to give them head.
[US]E. Bunker No Beast So Fierce 46: I know he doesn’t give her any head — probably didn’t ball the broad until they were married.
[UK]‘Derek Raymond’ He Died with His Eyes Open 52: A public lavatory, kept permanently locked against queers or youths who wanted to give head or shoot up in there.
[SA]P. Slabolepszy ‘Under the Oaks’ in Mooi Street (1994) 32: I wonder if she gives head?
[US]Mack 10 ‘Based on a True Story’ 🎵 Gave a nigga head, and homie tried to choke her / but he didnt care, cause she aint nothing but a smoker.
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 228: She sure gave good head, though. Jesus, she could suck.
[US]J. Dicker Harry Quebert Affair (2015) 27: Cock sucking, blow jobs, giving head, playing the skin flute [...] America is a pecker paradise.
[US]N. Walker Cherry 17: She gave head to Mark Fuller [...] It fucked me up when I found out.

2. to give flattering comments, usu. with sexual innuendo.

[UK]C.D. Bryan P.S. Wilkinson 185: ‘Listen, you’re not just giving me head about Charlie, are you?’ ‘No. No, he really got married.’.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 336: All around him, people were giving him head while losing theirs.
have a head on (v.)

to have a hangover.

[UK]W.S. Maugham Liza of Lambeth (1966) 50: Oh, I ’ave got sich a ’ead on me this mornin!
[US]J. Flynt World of Graft 109: The next morning the guest frequently has a ‘head on’—also the host.
[UK]R. Westerby Wide Boys Never Work (1938) 93: Louie had a head on him after a booze-up the night before.
[US]B. Schulberg On the Waterfront (1964) 96: With a head on him like a five-day-old watermelon.
keep one’s head shut (v.)

to be quiet.

[US](con. c.1840) ‘Mark Twain’ Huckleberry Finn 237: None o’ your business! You keep your head shet, and mind y’r own affairs.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 3 Aug. 31/2: Told him to keep his head shut, ’cause there was plenty more rope, and the meat fixin’ would bear more’n four men – it would carry an extra one easy.
[UK]‘G.B. Lancaster’ Sons O’ Men 8: ‘Keep yer ’ead shut,’ howled Muggins.
[UK]Magnet 20 June 2: Keep your head shut, then!
[US]J. Steinbeck Sweet Thursday (1955) 94: Just keep your heads shut and let me do the thinking.
— one’s head off (v.)

used as an intensifier with a variety of verbs.

[US]C. Mathewson Pitching in a Pinch 65: ‘The game ought to teach you not to pitch your head off when you don’t need to’.
[UK]‘Josephine Tey’ Brat Farrar 265: ‘I’ll [...] yell my head off until someone comes’.
open one’s head (v.)

(US) to open one’s mouth, to speak (indiscreetly or excessively).

[US]letter q. in Wiley Life of Billy Yank (1952) 111: He can’t open his head because if he does, or insults a niger back, touches or strikes him [etc.].
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 3 Jan. 14/2: ‘Now, open your head, and I’ll blow it off your lousy body’.
H.H. Jackson Zeph 44: He’s too proud. He never opens his head to nobody.
[US]C.H. Hoyt A Trip to Chinatown Act III: This is the first time in forty years I’ve dared to open my head and now I’m going to let ’er go.
[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ Back to the Woods 58: Bunch looked at me reproachfully, but never opened his head.
[US]J. London Valley of the Moon (1914) 70: Who’s quarreling? Can’t I open my head without bein’ jumped on by the two of you?
W. Faulkner Mosquitoes 215: If he opens his head again, David, just knock him right out of the boat.
run one’s head (v.) [var. on run one’s mouth (off) under mouth n.]

(US) to talk at length or out of turn; thus head-running, talking to excess.

[US]D. Hammett Red Harvest (1965) 128: ‘Dan Rolff killed him yesterday morning’ [...] ‘You know this? You’re not just running off at the head?’.
[US]C. Shafer ‘Catheads [...] and Cho-Cho Sticks’ in Abernethy Bounty of Texas (1990) 206: head running, n. – term used to describe excessive talk. [Ibid.] 213: running your head, n. – talking too much.
[US]Galveston Dly News (TX) 10 Feb. 2A/2: ‘That nigger, Brown, is runnin’ his head [...] He talked to the convicts about what you and I did’.
[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July 🌐 Head Running: Talking.
[UK]R. Antoni Carnival 172: He was drunk himself – and probably he’d been running his head for twelve hours straight.
shut one’s head (v.) (also shut one’s neck, shut up one’s head)

(US) to be quiet; usu. as imper. shut your head!/shut your neck!

Life in Rochester 85: If you see anything about it you don’t like, you’ve got to keep your head shut, and not say a word about it [HDAS].
[UK]M. Reid Scalp-Hunters II 6: Shet up yur heads, an’ wait, will ye?
[US]M.J. Holmes ’Lena Rivers (1878) 315: ‘Shut up your head,’ roared John Jr.
in J.W. Norththrop Chronicles from the Diary of a War Prisoner 30: Shut your heads, its nothing but a d—d nigger let a span of horses loose [HDAS].
[US](con. c.1840) ‘Mark Twain’ Tom Sawyer 151: Shut your heads and let Tom go on!
[US]Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 11 Mar. 6/4: [She] threatened to blow his brains out if he didn’t ‘shut his head.’ He shut it .
[UK]J. Runciman Chequers 80: Garn, you farthin’ face! Shet your neck.
[UK]W. Pett Ridge Minor Dialogues 204: Oh, shut your ’ead – shut your ’ead.
[US]J.W. Carr ‘Word-List from Hampstead, N.H.’ in DN III iii 199: shut up one’s head, v. phr. To become silent; to cease talking. ‘He shut up his head darned quick when I told him that.’.
[UK]Gem 23 Sept. iv: ‘You shut your head!’ said Orford sharply.
[UK]‘Bartimeus’ ‘The Citizen’ in Great Security 203: Garn, Windy! Shut yer ’ead!
[UK]P. Cheyney Dames Don’t Care (1960) 157: You shut your head an’ do what I tellya.
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn) 208: shut head Giving no information; not talking.
[US]J. Steinbeck Sweet Thursday (1955) 94: Just keep your heads shut and let me do the thinking.
[US]S. King Stand (1990) 33: You kids shut ya heads!
[NZ]H. Beaton Outside In I i: Shut your neck!
[US]S. King Christine 340: Give me that bottle and shut your head.
[UK]D. Mitchell Black Swan Green 137: Shut your neck, Squelch.
work one’s head (v.)

to use one’s intelligence and/or guile to avoid hard work or unpleasant tasks; thus head-worker, one skilled in such avoidance.

[UK](con. WWI) N&Q 12 Ser. IX 417: What of the man who had been ‘soaked’ for a fatigue, but who by ‘working his head’ had managed to ‘touch out’ for ‘a soft job’ [...] The ‘head-worker’ was the finest flower that Army discipline produced: the man whose mental agility was entirely devoted to dodging unpleasant work and duties.

SE in slang uses

Based on SE head, the chief or senior figure

In compounds

head-beetler (n.) [SE beetle, any implement used in a variety of industrial processes for crushing, bruising, beating, flattening or smoothing]

1. ‘the bully of the workshop, who lords it over his fellow-workmen by reason of superior strength, skill in fighting &c’ (Hotten, 1864).

[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[Aus]Crowe Aus. Sl. Dict. 35: Head Beetler, the bully of a workshop.

2. a foreman.

see sense 1.
[Scot]Chambers’s Journal 18 Sept. 599: Head-beetler is used (in Ulster) in the same vulgar sense as ‘Head-cook and bottle-washer’ in some localities. The ‘beetle’ was a machine for producing figured fabrics by the pressure of a roller, and head-beetler probably means the chief director of this class of work [F&H].
head buck-cat (n.) [Irish buc, he-goat]

(Irish) a person in authority.

[Ire]A. Clarke Penny in the Clouds 141: ‘Good God, man,’ I cried [...] ‘do you think the head buck cat is going to come down from Dublin in the middle of the night?’ .
[Ire]J. Morrow Confessions of Proinsias O’Toole 97: I mind you callin’ him ‘the chap with a stoppage in his Erse’ [...] An’ look at him now, eh? – Head buck-cat newsreader in RTÉ! Eh?
head bummaroo (n.) (also head bummer) [? bumper n.2 (3)]

the chief, the person in charge.

[UK]J. Buchan Mr Standfast (1930) 626: Ring up Scotland Yard [...] and give the message to Mr Macgillivray. He’s the head bummer of all the bobbies.
[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 540/2: head bummaroo, the A chief organiser; most important person present; manager; mid-C19–mid-C20.
head chick (n.) [chick n.1 (3)]

1. (US black) a female lover, a favourite girlfriend; one’s wife; esp. an expert fellatrix.

[US] ‘Jiver’s Bible’ in D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive.

2. the top prostitute in a pimp’s ‘stable’.

[US]Murtagh & Harris Cast the First Stone 19: They are glad, too, if the ones who are picked up happen to be important to their sweet men, if they are their ‘head chicks’ instead of just one or another of their ‘barnyard hens.’.
[US] in S. Harris Hellhole 92: Nancy had replaced Joyce as the ‘head chick’ in Speedy’s stable.
head cock (n.)

(US) the person in charge.

[US]D. Pendleton Boston Blitz (1974) 41: What’s been going on here? [...] You’re the head cock, you damn sure better know.
head hen (n.)

(US black) a landlady.

[US] ‘Jiver’s Bible’ in D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive.
[US]R.S. Gold ‘Vernacular of the Jazz World’ in AS XXXII:4 279: head hen. The landlady.
head knock (n.) [the image of the deity ‘knocking’ and summoning one to heaven/hell] (US black)

1. God, Jesus.

[US]D. Burley Orig. Hbk of Harlem Jive 22: The Head Knock collars all he lays.
[US]Mezzrow & Wolfe Really the Blues 171: We were up near the Head Knock’s territory [...] and we were scared.

2. an important, outstanding person.

[US]L. Durst Jives of Dr. Hepcat (1989) 5: Prof, we must definitely pick upon a head knock to manipulate the controls. One that’s in the know, one that all the squares and ickies believe that his knowledge box is bitting on all eight cylinders.

In phrases

head bully of the pass (n.) (also head bully of the passage bank, head cully of the pass, head cully of the passage bank) [bully n.1 (2) + pass-bank n.]

a gang boss or top criminal who levies a tax on all games of chance in the area of which he is in control.

[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Head-Bully of the Pass or Passage Bank, c. the Top Tilter of that Gang, throughout the whole Army, who Demands and receives Contribution from all the Pass Banks in the Camp.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. n.p.: Head-Cully of the Pass or Passage Bank, c. the Top Tilter of that Gang, throughout the whole Army, who Demands and receives Contribution from all the Pass Banks in the Camp.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: Head cully of the pass or passage bank, the top tilter of that gang throughout the whole army, who demands and receives contribution from all the pass banks in the camp.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum [as cit. 1785].
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue [as cit. 1785].
head nigger in charge (n.) (also head negro (in charge)) [the implication being that, given institutional racism, the authority lies in the title not in the actual job; according to Darryl Pinckney (New York Review of Books, Dec. 1995), coined to describe the authoritarian black rights campaigner Booker T. Washington (1856–1915)]

(US black) a sarcastic ref. to any black authority figure.

[US]Jet 29 Nov. 20: The sign is the fulfillment of a two-year dream of 60-year-old Herschel Matthews, who proudly tells his customers, ‘I’m the head nigger in charge here.’.
[US]Ebony Sept. 19: In a satire on the Oval Office, Flip Wilson displayed a badge he wore with the initials HNIC, saying it meant ‘head nigger in charge.’ .
[US]R.C. Cruz Straight Outta Compton 13: Who are you? The head Negro?
(con. late 19C–1910s) D. Pinckney in N.Y. Rev. of Bks Dec. 81/2: Blacks used to have a nickname for Booker T. Washington [...] HNIC, Head Nigger in Charge.
[US]Eminem ‘Bitch Please II’ 🎵 I’m the Head Nigga In Charge, I’m watchin you move.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 30 Mar. 2: Being a review of the history, antics and attitudes of handkerchief heads, Aunt Jemimas, head negroes in charge and house negroes against the freedom of the black race.
J. Spades ‘Know Dat’ 🎵 It's the head nigga in charge / It’s my third year / And I am the talk in these streets.

General uses

In compounds


see separate entries.


see separate entries.


see separate entries.

headbin (n.) [var. on headcase n. (1)]

(Ulster) an unstable person, an eccentric.

[Ire]Irish Times 26 Oct. 🌐 We could have packed out eight or 10 [buses] with headbins and sent them out first to start a full-scale riot .
headbone (n.)

(US black) the skull.

in Lomax & Lomax Our Singing Country 24: An’ de neck bone jump to de head bone [HDAS].
[US]T. Weesner Car Thief (1973) 67: Leave yo fuckin weenie alone. You gonna get silly in the fuckin headbone, man.
[US]Spears NTC’s Dict. Amer. Sl. 175: I got a nasty bump on my headbone.
headcase (n.)

see separate entry.

head doctor (n.)

1. (US, also head doc) a psychiatrist, a psychotherapist.

‘Ed McBain’ Cop Hater (1958) 177: ‘What’s the matter with this guy?’ ‘Nothing that a head doctor couldn’t cure,’ Byrnes said.
[UK]R.A. Norton Through Beatnik Eyeballs 17: They even sent me to a head doctor.
[US] in T.I. Rubin Sweet Daddy 84: Felt it was kind of funny [...] going to see a head doc.
[US]C. Loken Come Monday Morning 54: Guess it’s just like that head-doctor we took the other one to.
[US](con. 1949) G. Pelecanos Big Blowdown (1999) 152: He hated them, huh? What’re you, a head doctor?
[US]T. Pluck ‘Deadbeat’ in Life During Wartime (2018) 33: ‘[I]t’s easier than rehab. You see a head doctor, like once a week’.

2. (drugs) a drug dealer.

[UK]J. Hawes Dead Long Enough 179: Need anything else before the only good head doctor round these parts says good night?
head-feeler (n.)

(US) a psychotherapist.

[US]W. Pegler George Spelvin Chats 141: It was not [...] the fad of Viennese mind-probing but an appetite for horribly foul sex stuff and the hope of dirty people that some head-feeler would tell them that they could cure their nervousness only by spending a week-end [...] with some other man’s girl.

see separate entries.

head game (n.)

(orig. US) psychological trickery and manipulation, usu. hostile or negative in intent; usu. in pl.

[US]Foreigner ‘Head Games’ 🎵 No time ever seems right / To talk about the reasons why you and I fight....I can’t take it anymore...don’t wanna play the head games [HDAS].
[US]W.D. Ehrhart Passing Time (1988) 41: No fuckin’ women trying to play head games with you.
[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 141: Then they started the little cop head-games.
Aboriginal Youth Network 🌐 This person would side-step questions, lie, attempt to ‘play you‘, etc? This person is immature and is not ready for any sort of relationship. He/she is playing head games with you, and therefore, you should really not waste your time.
[UK]G. Iles Turning Angel 399: I don’t need you bugging me, trying head games and shit.
head hunt/hunter

see separate entries.

headkicker (n.)

(Aus.) a person in authority who is aggressive.

[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 153: headkicker is a term widely used to describe bloody-minded managers and vicious bosses, of which we still seem to have more than our fair share in the world of work.
[Aus]S. Maloney Big Ask 4: He’s an all-purpose goon [...] A head-kicker for the union.
head knocker (n.) (US)

1. a boss.

New Ulm Wlky Rev. (Minn.) 28 July 4/1: Mr Lind, by special act of congress, might be permitted to appoint a head knocker, you know.
[US]Ade Artie (1963) 51: I’m goin’ to be the head knocker in the push.
Commoner (Lincoln, Neb.) 29 Nov. 3/2: A mistake had been made in the autopsy held over the political remains of William jennings Bryan by the head knockers.

2. a brutal police officer.

[US]H.S. Thompson Hell’s Angels (1967) 61: Tiny, the Oakland chapter’s sergeant at arms and chief head-knocker.

3. a demanding mental challenge.

R.L. Cohen House Officer 114: To tackle that after a full day’s surgery is really a head knocker.
head-knocking (adj.)

(US) violent.

[US]H.S. Thompson Hell’s Angels (1967) 119: Word had gone out that this was going to be a head-knocking run anyway, and the idea of having a writer in tow didn’t groove anybody.
headlamps (n.)

1. the eyes.

[UK]A. Mayhew Paved with Gold 189: Ned waltzed out o the way, administering a ‘full stop’ on Jack’s ‘head-lamps’.
[US]Daily Trib. (Bismarck, N.D.) 5 Sept. 11/5: Game? You never glued your head lamps to the like since Adam was a sore toed kid.
[US]Ade ‘The New Fable of the Speedy Sprite’ in Ade’s Fables 26: Her Search Lights aimed yearningly at the top of the Singer Building.

2. (US) spectacles.

[UK]A. Buckeridge According to Jennings (1991) 164: I’m going to the jewellers to get your old headlamps fixed.

3. the female breasts.

T. Rothwell Carry On Cabby [movie script] Peg: Men haven’t got your advantages, dear. Just flash your headlamps at them.
[UK]L. Dunne Goodbye to The Hill (1966) 18: He grinned at Slattery. ‘That’s how she got them big headlamps and them lovely child-bearing hips.’.
[UK]Roger’s Profanisaurus in Viz 87 Dec. n.p.: head lamps n. Bristols (qv). As in: ‘Phewf! I wouldn’t mind giving her head lamps a rub.’.

see separate entries.

headpiece (n.)

see separate entries.

head rails (n.) (also muzzle rails, nob rails) [Grose cites it as a ‘sea phrase’]

the teeth.

[US]‘Andrew Barton’ Disappointment II i: If I ever blow you, blast me! You know me better – if one word goes through my head-rails, the devil blow me to jillkicker.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Lex. Balatronicum.
[UK] ‘A Modern Mill’ in Egan Anecdotes of the Turf, the Chase etc. (1827) 221: His head-rails displaced, and in chancery his head.
[UK]Egan Grose’s Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]‘Cuthbert Bede’ Adventures of Mr Verdant Green (1982) II 166: While to another he would cheerfully remark, ‘Your head-rails were loosened there, wasn’t they?’.
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[Scot]Dundee Courier 19 Feb. 6/3: ‘Headrails’ are teeth.
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks n.p.: Head rails, the teeth; Muzzle rails, the teeth; Nob rails, the teeth.
[Scot]Post (Lanarks.) 7 Feb. 18/4: Services Slang [...] Navy [...] Head Rails — Teeth.
head robber (n.)

1. a butler [SE head, chief + robber; used by those with a low opinion of servants].

[UK] advert in ‘Ducange Anglicus’ Vulgar Tongue (1857) 45: A decent allowance made to Seedy Swells, Tea Kettle Purgers, Head Robbers, and Flunkeys out of Collar.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.

2. a boxer, a prize-fighter [he ‘takes your head away’].

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 541/1: c. 1880–1914.
head shed (n.)

the centre of power, headquarters, a member of headquarters staff.

S. Low Boys from Baghdad 61: Mercenary might be an embarrassing term in the military world, but that’s what we were: from the head-sheds in London to the boys on the ground.
headshot (n.) (US black teen)

a shot to the head from any firearm.

[US]J. Ellroy Because the Night 106: ‘Last week this man killed three people with clean head shots worthy of a practiced marksman’.
[US]Scarface Mr Scarface: ‘Part III of the Final Chapter’ 🎵 Before I hung up the phone, niggas was lettin loose / I grabbed my shit and tried to find my bullet-proof / But fuck it, niggas, ain’t goin for the chit-chat / They startin off with a headshot / So if I gotta die, then I gotta die, nigga.
head smack

see separate entries.

headsman’s daughter (n.)

the guillotine.

[UK]Vidocq Memoirs (trans. W. McGinn) III 81: It was he who brought all the chauffeurs to be kissed by the headsman’s daughter after having been their leader.
headstaggers (n.) [SE staggers, a disease of horses and sheep]

(Irish) mental illness or instability.

[Ire]Share Slanguage.
head-top (n.)

(UK black) the hair.

[UK](con. 1979–80) A. Wheatle Brixton Rock (2004) 86: I’m surprised they actually make a comb that can go through your head-top.
[UK](con. 1981) A. Wheatle East of Acre Lane 138: My hat ain’t leaving my head-top.

see separate entries.

headwrecker (n.) (also headwreck)

something, or someone, which causes a great deal of anxiety or unhappiness.

[UK]Guardian G2 16 Aug. 4: It was a bit of a headwrecker. I had a bit of a nervous breakdown.
[Ire]F. Mac Anna Cartoon City 247: You’re not a woman, you’re a headwreck.

In phrases

do one’s head (v.)

1. (Aus.) to lose one’s temper.

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 23 Jan. 2nd sect. 3/3: O’Keefe’s seconds indulged in a lot of coarse barracking against Willams, presumably for the purpose of making him ‘do his head’.

2. (orig. US campus) to take a preferred drug.

[US]G. Underwood ‘Razorback Sl.’ in AS L:1/2 58: Do your head before you come over.
do someone’s head (in) (v.)

see under do in v.

do something (standing) on one’s head (v.)

see under stand v.2

get one’s head down (v.) (also put one’s head down)

1. to have some sleep.

[UK]‘Henry Green’ Loving (1978) 22: I’m going to get the old head down, it’s me siesta.
[UK]A. Payne ‘Senior Citizen Caine’ in Minder [TV script] 38: Right, bung us a blanket and I’ll get me head down on this sofa.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett You Wouldn’t Be Dead for Quids (1989) 11: All Les wanted to do when he knocked off was [...] put his head down for about eight hours.
[UK]M. Amis London Fields 108: Get your head down now, for Christ’s sake.
[Scot]I. Welsh ‘Eurotrash’ in Acid House 19: I really need to get my head down.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 235: I heard the overture then got my head down till the interval.

2. (Aus.) to plead guilty in court [one nods an assent to the charge].

N. James Bulletin (Sydney) 26 Apr. n.p.: [...] to plead guilty in court [...] get one’s head down.
get one’s head out of one’s ass (v.) (also get one’s head out, get one’s head out of one’s can)

(US) to stop being stupid, to stop acting stupidly.

[US]M. Hart Winged Victory [film] You better get your head out tomorrow night [HDAS].
[US]D. Wagoner Money, Money, Money 129: ‘Get your head out of your ass, will you?’ He stopped himself. ‘I’m sorry. Shouldn’t talk like that’.
[US]E. Gilbert Vice Trap 56: Get your head out of your can.
[US]L. Heinemann Close Quarters (1987) 101: Get yer head out yer ass, Seven-seven delta, we had them bunkers torched the las’ time we was at Judith.
[US]L. Heinemann Paco’s Story (1987) 203: Ain’t there any of these college guys got their head out their ass?
[US]W.D. Ehrhart Busted 146: When are you going to get your head out of your ass and stop feeling sorry for yourself?
[US]M.T. Berger Workable Sisterhood 176: Hey, you never know what’s possible until you get your head out of your ass.
[US]N. Johnson ‘Corpse by Any Other Name’ in Pulp Ink [ebook] You two rutabagas get your heads out of your asses and go grab the right fucking Frank Murray!
[US]S.A. Crosby Razorblade Tears 94: ‘Get your head out of your ass’.
get one’s head right (v.)

(US black) to smoke marijuana.

[US]G. Pelecanos Way Home (2009) 145: He was careful to get his head right in places where he was comfortable and around people he trusted.
get one’s head together (v.)

to sort oneself out, to calm down.

[US]H. Rap Brown Die Nigger Die! 111: The revolutionary is an unknown person. He’s the brother who’s taking care of business, the one who’s getting his head together, the one who’s in the street.
[US]B. Moyers Listening to America 116: So sisters and brothers get your guns, your friends, your fake id’s, your hideouts, your alternatives and your heads together.
[US]C. McFadden Serial 17: He’s flown to London for the weekend to try to get his head together.
[UK]T. Wilkinson Down and Out 38: Do you need some time to get your head together?
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Between the Devlin 82: [A] couple more Codral Reds got his head back together.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 153: Fucken smacked-out gobshite! Get your head together!
[UK]Indep. on Sun. 20 Feb. 28: I have to get my head together.
[Aus]L. Redhead Peepshow [ebook] I had to get away, get my head together.
get one’s head up (v.)

1. (US drugs, also get one’s head uptight) to take a drug, usu. cannabis, and exprience the effects.

[US] ‘The Letter’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 140: He came by the house just the other night, / Brought some reefer and got my head up tight.
[US](con. 1970s) G. Pelecanos King Suckerman (1998) 159: How about you and me get our heads up?
[US]Simon & Pelecanos ‘Amsterdam’ Wire ser. 3 ep. 4 [TV script] Surprised Avon he let you get your head up.
[US]G. Pelecanos Drama City 27: I love to get high. I’d step over a hundred naked females if I thought there was a chance to get my head up.
[Aus]D. Whish-Wilson Shore Leave 69: It only took one line of crank for Devon Smith to get his head up.

2. (US) to cheer up.

[US](con. 1970s) G. Pelecanos King Suckerman (1998) 72: In a few minutes they had gotten their heads up again.
[US]Simon & Burns ‘Hot Shots’ Wire ser. 2 ep. 3 [TV script] ‘You look dusty lately’ [...] It’s [i.e. heroin] all I got to get my head up out of this shithole.
give someone’s head the bastinado (v.) [SE bastinado, to beat, to cudgel; ‘the lover’s penis is the cudgel and the bumps that it “raises” on the unsuspecting husband’s head are the cuckold’s horns’ (Henke, Gutter Life and Language, 1988)]

of a man, to cuckold a husband.

[UK]Dekker Wonderfull Yeare 71: He shall liue to giue more Coblers heads the Bastinado.
give someone the head (v.)

to head-butt.

[UK]G. Melly Owning Up (1974) 43: One of them grabbed me by the lapels and gave me the head, that is butted me with his forehead. My nose started bleeding.
go head on (v.)

(US black) to stop trying to fool someone; usu. as imper.

[US]Z.N. Hurston Mules and Men (1995) 33: Aw, go head on, Gold. Youse blacker than me. You jus’ look my color cause youse fat.
go upside someone’s head (v.)

(US black) to hit in the face, to beat up.

[US]D. Burley N.Y. Amsterdam News 18 May 13: If she hollers cop, all you do is bop — her by going upside her head with your duke.
[US] ‘The Letter’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 142: You can talk all that shit about going upside my head, / But me and your main man are using your bed.
[US]J. Wambaugh Choirboys (1976) 286: Cat on a family dispute [...] had went upside Momma’s head.
[US]J.E. Wideman Damballah 20: Said it to Aunt Lissy and she went upside his head, harder than she had ever slapped him.
[US]N. McCall Makes Me Wanna Holler (1995) 24: She didn’t go upside my head.
[US]C.M. Miller Dead Broke 179: She was coming out of a store with a bunch of clothes when this cop went upside her head.
have a head like a beaten favourite (v.) (also have a head like a drover’s dog, a half-sucked mango)

(Aus.) to be ugly or unattractive.

[Aus]R. Aven-Bray Ridgey-Didge Oz Jack Lang 14: She had a north and south full of broken tatts and a loaf of bread like a robber’s dog.
[Aus] ‘Clarrie Lavendar’ in Bug (Aus.) 14 Apr. 🌐 One of the pimply faced boys whose bowens probably still haven’t dropped thinks he’s been slighted by some floosie with a head like a robber’s dog.
[Aus]Sydney Morning Herald 8 Sept. 🌐 I’ll take the piss out of myself. I’ve got a head like a beaten favourite, I’m the fattest bloke in the world – body like a Tontine.
[UK]Guardian 10 July 3: You’ve got a head like a half-sucked mango.
(ref. to 1940s+) ‘Australian Words’ at 🌐 Drover’s dog has been used since the 1940s in various similes, usually uncomplimentary — ‘a head like a drover’s dog’ (big and ugly), ‘all prick and ribs like a drover’s dog’ (lean and hungry), and ‘leaking like a drover’s dog’ (as in ‘the NSW Cabinet is leaking like a drover’s dog!’).
have a head like a robber’s dog (v.)

1. (Aus., also have a face like a robber’s dog) to be ugly or unattractive; also attrib.

Picton Post (NSW) 21 Nov. 6/2: Horrie has a head on him like a ‘robber’s dog’ and was in all the trouble about the place.
[Aus]D. Hewett Bobbin Up (1961) 163: ‘Gawd,’ says the feller. ‘’E’s got a head like a robber’s dog.’.
[Aus] ‘Whisper All Aussie Dict.’ in Kings Cross Whisper (Sydney) xxxv 6/2: head like a robber’s dog: A person who has one of these is extremely unfortunate.
F. Hardy Outcasts of Foolgarah 2: Every single thing on Tich stood up in had been found in garbage cans, from the football boots without laces and the football socks [...] to the green-peaked baseball cap on his robber’s dog head.
[Aus]Canberra Times (ACT) 1 June 23/1: There seems to be a fascination for similes to do with heads. [...] ‘A head on him/her/it like a robber’s dog’ or ‘like a Belgian racing pig,’ and ‘heads on them like mice.’.
P. Gwynne Deadly Unna? 124: ‘Geez Pickles, you’ve got a head like a robber’s dog.’.
Blokey Shed 22 Sept. 🌐 Classic lines [...] Head like a robbers dog.
[Aus]N. Cummins Tales of the Honey Badger [ebook] Dad’s got a face like a robber’s dog.

2. (Aus.) to be suffering a very bad hangover.

‘The Bogelbone Report’ (Aus.) 21 Aug. 🌐 Anyhows, in the absence of the great Aynse, I was invited to hang out with the band and share a few flagons of your so-called ‘mead’ [...] And what, you might well ask, did I manage to glean for you all, apart from a head like a robber’s dog the next morning?
have a head like a welder’s bench (v.) (also ...a kicked-in shitcan)

(Aus.) to be very unattractive, esp. when suffering from acne.

[Aus]R.G. Barrett Leaving Bondi (2013) [ebook] ‘I’m glad the chick you were out with the other night didn’t have a head on her like a kicked-in shitcan.
[Aus]Big Footy 28 Dec. 🌐 Niki Webster is going to be one ‘pig ugly’ woman in a few years. She’s got a head like a ‘welders bench’ already.
[Aus] 1 May 🌐 Jenny Kelly was there as well, head like a welders bench but not half as annoying as Mairead.
[Aus]VWWatercooled Australia 21 Jan. 🌐 That troll has a head like a welders bench...Look closely, she has her eyes crossed.
[Aus]W. Fahey Aus. Folklore Unit 🌐 head like a welders bench.
have a head on (v.) [SE have a head/smart head on one’s shoulders]

to be aware, to be alert.

[US]‘Lawrence Lynch’ Mountain Mystery Ch. 2: Caledonia was declared to possess a Coroner with a head, and a very good one on him, and a messenger was sent to rouse him [F&H].
[Aus]W.S. Walker In the Blood 329: I’ll ask the missus. She’s got a ’ead on her!
[US]C. McKay Home to Harlem 232: Ain’t you a buddy with a haid on, though?
[US] (ref. to late 19C) N. Kimball Amer. Madam (1981) 191: The boys know their job. Monte, he’s a head, a real dial on him.
[UK]‘Josephine Tey’ Brat Farrar 235: ‘My brother? Simon suggested it?’ ‘Yes. Got a head on him, Simon’.
[Aus]Cusack & James Come in Spinner (1960) 271: ‘How’s he shaping?’ ‘Top-notch. Got a head on him.’.
have heads on them like boils (v.) (also have heads on them like mice)

(Aus.) used to describe any strong or powerful combination, whether of a hand of cards, a succession of good throws of the dice or a group of people.

[Aus]Baker Aus. Lang. 180: head on ’em like mice [...] expresses awe of a strong hand [i.e. at cards].
[Aus]L. Glassop Lucky Palmer 16: Took him to a two-up game and he done six heads, he did. Yeah. Threw heads every time. Six of them. They had heads on them like boils. [Ibid.] 173: A man behind him… clicked his tongue in disgust and said, ‘Heads again. They’ve got heads on ’em like boils.’.
[Aus]‘No. 35’ Argot in G. Simes DAUS (1993) n.p.: heads on ’em like mice Used in the Argot to express awe at any strong combination, e.g. a group of officials inspecting a prison, a strong hand at cards.
have one’s head in a sling (v.)

see under sling n.2

have one’s head screwed on (v.)

see under screw v.

have one’s head up one’s arse (v.) (also have one’s head (stuck) up one’s ass)(orig. US)

1. to be completely and deliberately stupid.

[US]F. Eikel Jr ‘An Aggie Vocab. of Sl.’ AS XXI:1 33/2: head up your ass, adj. Stupid, absent-minded. (Sometimes ‘Head in your ass.’).
[US](con. 1950s) McAleer & Dickson Unit Pride (1981) 24: Don’t you think Miller had his head up his ass puttin’ Terrill on this patrol?
[US](con. c.1970) G. Hasford Short Timers (1985) 158: I am the only grunt in this squad that doesn’t have his head up his ass.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 27: have [one’s] head up [one’s] ass, to. To be stupid or to act that way.
[US]B. Hamper Rivethead (1992) 153: If some of these bastards got their heads stuck up their asses, that can’t be our problem.
[US](con. 1964–8) J. Ellroy Cold Six Thousand 157: Wayne Junior frowned — diva with a grievance. Wayne Junior tucked his head up his ass.

2. to be obsessed with oneself and one’s own interests.

[US](con. 1970) J.M. Del Vecchio 13th Valley (1983) 204: I think he’s got his head up his ass.
[UK]N. Cohn Yes We have No 200: The middle class has its head up its arse.
[US]C. Cook Robbers (2001) 212: Why the fuck didn’t you say so to start with? You still got your head up your ass, Moline.

3. to ignore what is happening.

[UK]J. Mowry Way Past Cool 168: What difference it make if you the one actual pull the trigger or just stand by with your head up your ass an let it happen.
[US]N. Stephenson Cryptonomicon 807: It’s accepted by everyone who doesn’t have his head completely up his ass that the war’s going to be won by whichever side has the best technology.
[Aus]Bug (Aus.) Nov–Dec. 🌐 Australia has stuck its head up its collective sporting arse so we cannot see what a pack of spoilsports we have become.
[US]J. Jackson Pineapple Street 240: ‘I’ve had my head up my ass. I’ve been a terrible daughter. I hope my mom will forgive me,’ she confessed quietly.
have one’s head wedged (v.) [it is wedged ‘up one’s ass n. (2)’]

(US) to be very stupid.

[US]Baker et al. CUSS 135: Head wedged (have your) To be mistaken or stupid.
head-and-heels (n.) [one has to lift the boy by his head and heels to position him for sex]

(US gay) a young, inexperienced homosexual.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 46: a homosexual teenager. [...] head and heels (kwn SF,’70: describing physical allurement despite extreme youth, but too young or small to know what to do in bed: he must be helped by someone more experienced who will clasp the boy by his head and heels to lift him onto the cock).
[US]Maledicta III:2 221: Other terms for the young and more or less innocent are heads and heels (what you have to lift the inexperienced by to get them on it), pathic, pogue, pretty, tail, twinkie, (bum)boy, chit, cinede (obsolete), cornflake.
head down, arse up

(N.Z.) a phr. used of a hard worker.

[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. 99: head down, arse up Hard at work, eg, ‘Bolton’s one of those jokers who works flat out dawn to dusk, head down, arse up.’ ANZ.
[UK]B. Parris Making of a Legionnaire 67: Never mind, it would have to be a case of head down, arse up and off we go. Whinging wasn’t going to change anything .
head over teakettle (adv.) (also ...tinkettle, ...tincup)


[UK]C. Richter Trees 23: Some turned head over tincup till it made a body dizzy to watch.
N. Rockwell Adventures 127: I slipped on a patch of ice and tumbled down head over tin kettle [DARE].
NYT Article Letters n.p.: A common expression here for ‘head over heels’ is ‘head over tea kettle’ [DARE].
Scouter Network 🌐 If you’re tumbling head over tincup, it’s hard to tell which way is going to be UP.
L.K. Burch Dare To Be Stupid: My Misadventures In The Great Outdoors 🌐 I jettisoned head over teakettle off the front of the quad as it stopped solid on a buried log.
head-the-ball (n.) [i.e. one who has headed the ball so often that their brains are scrambled] (Irish/Scot./Welsh)

1. a fool.

[UK]A. Bleasdale Who’s Been Sleeping in my Bed 79: Y’a real head-the-ball, you are, Tony.
[Ire]RTÉ Radio Opel Astra commercial Mar. What sort of head-the-ball would miss a chance like that? [BS].
[Ire]P. McCabe Breakfast on Pluto 20: You’re out of your mind! [...] Breaking into shops to steal cosmetics! You’re a Head-the-Ball, Braden!
[UK]N. Griffiths Sheepshagger 249: Fuckin knob-end. Fuckin head-the-ball yew are.

2. a usu. derog. term of address.

[Ire]P. McCabe Butcher Boy 87: You needn’t think I’m afraid of you, Mr. Head-The-Ball Brady.
[Ire]P. McCabe Breakfast on Pluto 54: Good luck then, Head-the-Ball.

3. a violent psychotic.

[UK]J.J. Connolly Layer Cake 33: From then on in he became a right fuckin head-banger, a complete fuckin head-the-ball.
[UK]K. Sampson Outlaws (ms.) 93: Fucking head the ball, he is [...] He’s a animal, Jonah, full-stop.
[UK]J.J. Connolly Viva La Madness 19: He serves every yard-dog and head-the-ball who can’t get served anywhere else.
[Ire]L. McInerney Blood Miracles 16: I asked Dad after what was so murderous about Napoli [...] He said it had more than its share of head-the-balls.

see separate entries.

hit one’s head on the ceiling (v.)

(US campus) to make a mistake.

[US]Eble Campus Sl. Nov. 3: hit your head on the ceiling – to do something stupid.
[US]Eble Sl. and Sociability 44: The meanings associated with many of these pictures of destruction are scattered in subject area — [...] hit one’s head on the ceiling ‘make a mistake’.
hold one’s head (v.) [? the holding of a horse’s head]

(US black) to be patient, to restrain oneself.

[US]Goldin et al. DAUL 99/2: Hold your head! (N. Y. State prisons) [...] 2. Don’t lose your head! Don’t lose your temper!
[US] in DARE.

In phrases

keep one’s head cool (v.) (also keep one’s head right)

(US black) to keep control of oneself, both emotionally and physically.

[[UK]M. Edgeworth Love and Law I ii: They have all rendezvous’d to drive me mad this day; but the only thing is to keep the head cool].
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 244: keep (one’s) head cool/right Maintain physical and emotional control over self.
keep one’s head down (v.)

1. to be careful.

[US]W.R. Burnett Little Men, Big World 91: ‘Lots of people think you’re dead.’ ‘I’m close. You are too. Keep your head down.’.
[Aus](con. 1940s) E. Lambert Veterans 189: So long, sport. Keep your head down.
[UK]J. Hoskison Inside 38: Keep your head down. Don’t want to see you get a battering.
[UK]Guardian Rev. 31 Mar. 9: All he had to do was ‘keep his head down’, as they say.

2. to maintain a ‘low profile’.

[US]‘Blackie’ Audett Rap Sheet 77: I went right back through McCook that night, but I sure kept my head down.
[UK]A. Payne ‘You Need Hands’ in Minder [TV script] 33: Keep your head down, I’m not supposed to be here ... and come to think of it, neither are you!
[Ire]P. Quigley Borderland 184: Just keep your head down for a while.
[UK](con. 1960s) A. Frewin London Blues 222: ‘What do you do now?’ ‘Keep my head down and hope nobody notices me.’.
[Aus]T. Winton ‘Fog’ in Turning (2005) 236: He’d keep his head down, bide his time.
[Ire]Breen & Conlon Hitmen 226: ‘Keep the head down. Don’t go meeting the ususal people’ [...] ‘I’m gonna keep a low profile’.
make one’s head (v.)

(Irish) to acquire a tolerance or ‘head’ for drink.

[Ire](con. late 18C) Dublin Monitor 1 Dec. 2/6: A usual exhortation from a father to his son was, ‘make your head, boy, while you’re young’.
off one’s head (adj.)

see separate entry.

on one’s head (adj.)

(US) emotional, in a state.

[US]L.W. Payne Jr ‘Word-List From East Alabama’ in DN III:v 354: on one’s head, adv. phr. Angry, beside oneself. ‘Don’t git on your head, now.’.
[US]T. Wolfe Web and the Rock 37: Well, you don’t need to go gettin’ on your head about it!
on the head (adv.)


[US]F. Brown Dead Ringer 1566: ‘That was about the time we played Louisville, wasn’t it?’ ‘On the head.’.
[US]N. Heard Howard Street 225: I did good tonight, Pop. A hundred on the head.
out of one’s head (adj.)

1. eccentric, insane, obsessive, delirious; occas. as an adv.

[US]Democrat & Sentinel (Ebensburg, PA) 25 Oct. 1/4: ‘Oh, no — but he’s out of his head and wouldn’t know you’.
[US]M. Griffith Autobiog. of a Female Slave 87: Sompen is de matter wid her. She bin flyin’ round here like somebody out ob dar head.
[US]B. Harte ‘Cicely’ in Poems 70: A month afore she was born, Cicely – my old woman – was moody-like and forlorn / Out of her head and crazy, and talked of flowers and trees.
[US](con. c.1840) ‘Mark Twain’ Huckleberry Finn 359: ‘Dear, dear, out of his head again.’ ‘No, I ain’t out of my head; I know what I’m talking about.’.
[US]S.E. White Arizona Nights 148: He was clean out of his head for nigh two weeks. Most of the time he lay flat on his back staring at the pole roof, his eyes burning and looking like they saw each one something a different distance off, the way crazy eyes do.
[US]R. Lardner You Know Me Al (1984) 169: Allen must have been out of his head because [...] he says he would take the 2 girls to a show.
[US]D. Hammett ‘Night Shots’ in Nightmare Town (2001) 92: He had got pneumonia, and for a week he had been out of his head.
[US]J. Lait Put on the Spot 186: Not Goldie . . . you’re out o’ your head.
[US](con. 1943–5) A. Murphy To Hell and Back (1950) 88: ‘I talked out my head, didn’t I?’ ‘You said nothing.’.
[US]B. Schulberg On the Waterfront (1964) 45: Mrs. Collins was a little out of her head on the subject.
[US]J. Mills Panic in Needle Park (1971) 38: You got to be out of your head, right all the way out of your head. Little Tony’d murder you, murder you.
[US]J. Heller Good As Gold (1979) 423: He’s out of his fucking head [...] I thought he was madly in love with her and would never let her go.
[US]W.D. Myers Outside Shot 178: ‘You weren’t just being sick and talking out of your head, were you?’.
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 278: It is not good to be out, e.g. out in left field, out of [one’s] depth, out of [one’s head (gourd or shell).

2. desperate, highly emotional.

[US]H. Miller Tropic of Capricorn (1964) 77: I took a good look at him and I saw that he was out of his head.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 316: Over and over and over till you’re half out of yer head.

3. (orig. US) experiencing the effects of a drug.

[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn 70: Vinnie and his boys are stoned out of their heads.
[US]A. Hoffman Property Of (1978) 53: You’re out of your head [...] There’s nothing to be uptight about.
[US]T. Wolfe Bonfire of the Vanities 389: The kid was probably already half out of his head, Pete!
[Scot]I. Welsh Filth 373: They seemed out of their heads on glue and cheap wine.
[UK]Observer Mag. 25 Jan. 32: I was speeding out of my head one night.

4. very drunk.

[UK]G. Melly Owning Up (1974) 137: The rest of us, stoned out of our heads, staggered along the neat paths to find our hut.
[Aus]A. Weller Day of the Dog 121: Doug isn’t sure that she’s not stoned out of her head.
see sense 3.
[UK]D. Seabrook Jack of Jumps (2007) 226: An Irish painter drunk out of his head.

5. an intensifier, usu. with meaning utterly bored or miserable.

[UK]Guardian Weekend 4 Dec. 41: I couldn’t sit there bored out of my head for an hour.
[UK]N. ‘Razor’ Smith A Few Kind Words and a Loaded Gun 37: We had no money and were bored out of our heads.

6. (US) used adv., to the peak of one’s abilities.

D. Jenkins His Ownself 105: I’d played out of my head [...] It was my best round ever at Colonial.
pull one’s head out of one’s ass (v.) (also ...arse)

to desist from being stupid; often as imper.

A. Coppel Order of Battle 42: Hear this, college boy. I don’t know what’s eating you, but you better pull your head out of your ass.
D. Michaelis Best of Friends 249: It takes someone like me to say: ‘Pull your head out of your ass.’.
(con. c.1970) D. Tate Bravo Burning 157: Now pull your head out of your ass, Lieutenant, or it will be my thorny duty to ask you to turn in your bars.
S. King et al. Skin Trade 22: I think you need to take a few seconds to pull your head out of your ass and look around and see exactly where you are.
[Aus] 🌐 I would suggest you pull your head out of your own arse before trying to insert it in to your fictitious woman.
V. Flynn Act of Treason 190: I’m not kidding . . . you need to pull your head out of your ass.
[Aus]J.J. DeCeglie Drawing Dead [ebook] I had to take stock son and pull my over sized head outta my arse.
pull someone’s head (v.)

(Aus.) to gain or divert someone’s attention.

[Aus]Smith & Noble Neddy (1998) 226: Rocky’s plan was for me to pull Abo’s head [get Abo’s attention] while he swapped Abo’s gun for a banana.
put a (new) head on someone (v.)

1. (US) to punch or assault another, to disfigure in a fight.

[UK]F. Whymper Travel and Adventure in Alaska 310: Listen to a quarrel in the streets: one calls the other a ‘regular dead beat!’ at which he, in return, threatens to ‘put a head on him!’.
[US]B. Harte ‘The Society upon the Stanislaus’ in Poems 84: But first I would remark, that it is not a proper plan / For any scientific gent to whale his fellow-man, /And, if a member don’t agree with his peculiar whim, / To lay for that same member for to ‘put a head’ on him.
[US]G.P. Burnham Memoirs of the US Secret Service 415: I would put a head on you, bigger ’an a twenty-shillin’ bean pot.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 21 Feb. 14/3: An innocent remark made by a respectable onlooker, as to the style and general get-up of a passing bicyclist was taken or construed as an insult, and our hasty rider as hastily dismounted and intimated his desire to ‘put a head’ on the party who had so seriously offended.
[US]C.A. Siringo Texas Cow Boy (1950) 81: One of them finally ‘put a head on me’ — or in grammatical words, gave me a black eye.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 29 Oct. 8/2: [T]he butcher’s boy came through the hedge and said he would put a ’ed on ’im, and then lifting up his basket he brought it down on him with a whack.
[Aus]E. Dyson ‘Golden Shanty’ in Golden Shanty (2003) 10: Michael ‘went for’ the nearest Asiatic, and proceeded to ‘put a head on him as big as a tank’.
[UK]A. Day Mysterious Beggar 333: Oh you old snoozer! [...] Wouldn’t I snuff out yer bloomin’ villainy! Wouldn’t I put a new head on yer!
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 10 Dec. 39/1: ‘Thry anny av yer thricks on wid me,’ he sez, ‘an’ Oi’ll put a head on yez as big as a forthy-shillin pot,’ he sez.
[UK]E. Pugh Cockney At Home 67: You’re a dirty, bloomin’ tyke, Jewey [...] And I’ve a good mind to put a ’ead on you for it.
F. Hebert 40 Years Prospecting 34: If you open your mouth again about that book I will put a head on you [DA].

2. to defeat, to overcome.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 25 Apr. 9/3: He told how he had ‘scooped’ two continents, and came here prepared to ‘put a head’ on us, but dropped across a better man.

3. to silence, to make someone be quiet.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 939/1: –1870 ...] † 1920.
put one’s head out (v.)

(US black gang) to murder.

[US]Lord Finesse ‘Kicking Flavor With My Man’ 🎵 Give me some space and I’ll put your head out if you get out of place.
[Aus]Cypress Hill Sl. Gloss. 🌐 put your head out: to kill someone.
run upside someone’s head (v.)

(US black) to beat up.

[US]C. Major Juba to Jive.
Czarface ‘Good Villains Go Last’ 🎵 Test me, I run upside your head like Jet Li.
talk one’s head off (v.) (also talk one’s ass off, ...leg off, gab one’s head off, gas...) [SE talk/gab v./gas v.1 (1)]

(orig. US) to talk incessantly.

[UK]F. Anstey Tinted Venus 203: But if he was to talk his head off, he would never persuade me [...] that he’s not been playing double.
[US]Mahn’s Mag. 2 632: Give the ordinary man a chance and he'll talk his head off.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 20 Oct. 26/2: Jeff, this fellow Johnson likes to kid when he’s fighting, and he’ll talk his head off if there’s anyone to talk to.
[US]Nicholson & Robinson Sailor Beware! II ii: A cave-man — not a sap that talks their leg off.
[US](con. 1920s) Dos Passos Big Money in USA (1966) 795: Before he knew it he was talking his head off.
[US]S. Lewis World So Wide 105: You may find a lot of stuck-up highbrows here, always gassing their heads off.
[US]C. Brossard Bold Saboteurs (1971) 232: Don’t go gabbing your little head off with the other boys.
[Aus]A. Seymour One Day of the Year (1977) I i: He can talk his leg off an iron pot.
[US]J. Kirkwood There Must Be a Pony! 29: I talked my head off, and I was even getting laughs.
[US]H. Selby Jr Last Exit to Brooklyn 33: They getya up there and shoot somethin inya and youll talk ya ass off.
[SA]A. Fugard Boesman and Lena Act I: I say! Ou Lena’s talking her head off tonight.
[Aus]F.J. Hardy Outcasts of Foolgarah (1975) 144: No chance to have a theoretical discussion with this ratbag talking his head off.
[US]R. Price Ladies’ Man (1985) 7: You name it, I read it, and I could talk your ass off about it too.
want one’s head read (v.) (also need one’s head read, ...examined, need to get one’s head read, ought to have/get one’s head read, should get one’s head read, want one’s head examined, …looked at)

to be very stupid or eccentric; also as excl. get your head read!

[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 21 Feb. 4/5: The Canuck Government [...] will probably tell the brassy little Jap to get his head read.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 31 Dec. 14/3: I used to tell other people about it, but have long since desisted, as they not infrequently told me that I ‘should get my head read.’.
[Aus]L. Glassop Lucky Palmer 121: Sheilas. A man’s a mug to be in it. A man ought to have his head read. Sheilas. Ugh.
[Aus]R. Park Poor Man’s Orange 118: You and Mumma ought to have your heads read.
[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ They’re a Weird Mob (1958) 50: Jimmy’s gettin’ married next Saturday. Wants ’is ’ead read.
[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ Cop This Lot 106: ‘Wodda you need, Joe?’ ‘Need me ’ead read fer listenin’ ter you mob.’.
[Aus]S. Gore Holy Smoke 27: Strewth – how big a melon can a man be? I oughta get me head read!
[UK]A. Bleasdale Who’s Been Sleeping in my Bed 42: She wants her head examined then.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 55/2: head, phr. need your head read you are insane or stupid; eg ‘That’s the third time this week you’ve put on odd socks. You need your head read, you do.’.
[Scot]I. Welsh Trainspotting 290: Ah want ma fuckin heid looked at, Gav concedes.
[Aus]R.G. Barrett Mud Crab Boogie (2013) [ebook] ‘You’re an idiot, mate. You need your head read’.
[Aus]S. Maloney Big Ask 147: If Spider Webb thought I’d perjure myself, he needed his head read.
Metal in Adelaide 🌐 If you haven’t seen this band yet then you need to get your head read.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].
wear one’s head large (v.)

to be suffering from a hangover.

[UK]Referee 15 Aug. in Ware (1909) 259/2: It was half-past six before all was over, and during the day heads were worn large.

In exclamations

get your head read!

(Aus.) a general derisive excl.; occas. just as v.

[Phrenological Jrnl 87-89 20/1: 'That [...] is the celebrated phrenologist, Prof. Hugo Campbell. He [...] Wouldn't you like to get your head read?].
[Aus]Bendigo Advertiser (Vic.) 26 July 3/5: ‘It’s no use you getting up and trying to bully every one. You ought to get your head read by a phrenologist or an eminent doctor’.
[Aus]Sun (Kalgoorlie, WA) 14 Dec. 5/4: To Correspondents [...] T. Lyon Weiss. — The Sun has no time for you. Get your head read.
[Aus]C.J. Dennis ‘War’ in Moods of Ginger Mick 24: ‘Aw, git yer ’ead read!’ sez the soljer bloke.
Dly Advertiser (Wagga Wagga, NSW) 9 Sept. 3/6: After about the sixth time I spoke to him he turned around and said, ‘Oh, you go and get your head read.’ I said, ‘I will summons you for insulting language’.
Scritineer & Berrima District Press (NSW) 13 May 4/2: Lt.-Colonel Bruxner: [T]he statement is perfectly correct. Mr Stanley : You need to get your head read!
[Aus]Maryborough Chron. (Qld) 21 June 1/8: Brawl at Council Meet [...] Phrases included ‘blanky ape,’ ‘larrikinism,’ ‘fool,’ and ‘go and get your head read’.
[Aus]Smith’s Wkly (Sydney) 3 July 12/3: Well, folks, that handed me a laugh. ‘Take a dose of carb, Barb,’ I says. ‘Get your head read’.
[Aus]Canberra Times (ACT) 23 May 2/1: Drivers who have nasty near misses [...] sometimes scream to their tormentors, ‘Go away and get your head read’.
K.H. Jamieson Beyond the Double Bind 149: When people get fixated on wanting a child, nobody says, ‘Get your head read’.
pull your head in! (also pull your head in your hole! pull your horns in! ...lid in! ...skull in!) [the action of the tortoise]

(US/Aus.) an excl. of annoyance, mind your own business! don’t interfere!; occas. just as v.

[Aus]Chron. (Adelaide) 19 June 51/5: ‘What’s wrong with, you?’ says I. ‘Why don’t you pull your head in and say what you want to say like a Christian?’.
[[US]A. Baer Two & Three 20 Apr. [synd. col.] After a sapp tries Wall Street once, he pulls in his head].
[US]Everybody’s Mag. 56 125: ‘Hot dog!’ Wilde ejaculated. ‘Quit it!’ ‘Aw, pull your head in,’ Nelson replied.
[US]M. Brinig Anne Minton’s Life 80: ‘You smell bad, Jake. You pollute the air. Pull your head in and go about your business’.
[US]W. Guthrie Bound for Glory (1969) 350: If you ain’t got more sense than that, big shot, you just better pull your head in your hole and keep it there!
[Aus]S.L. Elliott Rusty Bugles II ii: Bloomin’ optimist, aren’t you? Why don’t you pull your head in?
[Aus]G. Hamilton Summer Glare 32: ‘Pull your head in!’ was the most brotherly answer he would give. [Ibid.] 82: You want to pull your horns in a bit, drongo.
[Aus]‘Nino Culotta’ Cop This Lot 15: Pull yer big skull in will yer? [Ibid.] 38: Joe told him to pull his lid in.
[UK]E. North Nobody Stops Me 122: So long as you know and keep your head pulled in.
[Aus]A. Chipper Aussie Swearers Guide 79: Wake Up To Yourself. Exhortation to common sense and realism. Similarly, pull your head in, you’ve got to be joking, be your age.
[Aus]C. Bowles G’DAY 81: You can still hear some bloke get accused of poddy-dodging and the accuser will be told to pull his head in.
[NZ]McGill Dict. of Kiwi Sl. 88/2: pull your head in advice to mind one’s own business.
[Aus]Bug (Aus.) 25 Aug. 🌐 But if the NRL, the referees panel and Steve Clark don’t pull their collective heads in over this issue, I swear I’ll take up supporting aerial ping-pong next year.
[Aus](con. 1945–6) P. Doyle Devil’s Jump (2008) 146: I kept my head pulled in all the next week.
[NZ]McGill Reed Dict. of N.Z. Sl. [as cit. 1988].
[Aus]P. Temple Truth 221: I suggest you pull your fucking head in, sunshine.
pull your head out! [i.e. pull one’s head out of one’s ass ]

(US) stop being so stupid!

[US]Current Sl. IV:1 12: Pull . . . head out v. To become aware, wake up (command).
[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 27: have [one’s] head up [one’s] ass, to. To be stupid or to act that way. By implication, Pull your head out to someone who is acting in a stupid-ass manner or, rhetorically, Isn’t it dark in there? This last may be followed with the offer: I’d give you a match to see with, except you might explode.
[US]J. Sack Company C 178: Let’s go! ... Pull your heads out!
V. Vinge Deepness in the Sky 708: Pull your head out, man!