Lose Your Head (Origin)

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Origin of the Saying "Lose Your Head"?

The term "to lose your head" means to act irrationally due to an emotion, usually anger. It is typically used to explain an unreasonable act.
Lose Your Head (Origin)

Examples of Use:

  • The argument will get heated. Keep calm. Don't lose your head.
  • If the fire alarm sounds. Don't lose your head. Exit the building calmly.
  • She lost her head when the test showed "pregnant," and I had to coach her to breathe steadily.
  • Simon lost his head after such a dangerous tackle and punched him.
In this saying, the word "head" is a metonym for "the brain," which is the body's decision-making hub. "Losing your head" means losing the ability for the brain to make rational decisions due to inference by emotions. It is probable that the saying has been used figuratively since the start of the 19th century (evidence), but analysis of this term is clouded by it being used literally, i.e., to refer to a beheading.

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See Also

What are idioms? What is figurative language? A list of common grammar errors A list of easily confused words A list of sayings and proverbs

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