Oct 18, 2021
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The meaning of the phraseological unit “to lose your head”

The meaning of the phraseological unit

Losing your head, if you imagine it figuratively, is not the most pleasant event. But in life it happens quite the opposite. About whom and when they say so – we will find out right now.

Expression value

Phraseologism “Lose your head” means to be absorbed in the senses. This is what they say about the states of the soul, when everything rational recedes into the background and only emotions and experiences become important. At the same time, the reasons for such a “switch” can be both joyful and sad events (cf. the expressions “to lose your head from happiness”, “to lose your head from grief”). People who have lost their heads behave like crazy: their actions do not obey the usual logic, and therefore such behavior immediately attracts attention.

“He lost his head from grief after the death of his wife,” they will say about a widower who has withdrawn in his experiences. A person who has lost touch with society and is completely immersed in suffering looks strange in the eyes of others.

Here’s the opposite example. “I am losing my head with happiness!” – exclaims a young girl who has received a declaration of love from a person dear to her heart. Her behavior (enthusiastic shouts, spontaneous movements, forgetfulness, “hovering in the clouds”, a sharp change in mood) will fully confirm this thesis.

Here it is appropriate to recall the lines of Bella Akhmadulina:

Am I going crazy or going crazy
To a high degree of insanity.

The expression “go crazy”, which is close to the idiom “to lose your head,” is perceived by the poetess as a step forward, an attempt to soar above the ordinary. So it’s good or bad to lose your head – everyone decides for himself.

The origin of the phraseological unit

Probably, the expression arose due to the transfer of values ​​from a part to a whole. The head (the receptacle of the brain) in folk culture is perceived as a synonym for mind, reason, mental component. They say about an intelligent person: “Head!” In proverbs, the degree of wisdom is directly related to the abundance of heads: “One head is good, but two is better.” If someone is acting rashly, they may well be asked:

  • Have you lost your mind?
  • Have you lost your mind?
  • Headless?

Thus, the phrase “to lose your head” means “to lose your mind”, and the way of forming a stable expression is metaphorization.


In addition to the phraseological units named above, the following synonyms of idioms can be found in the dictionary:

  • Sbrand;
  • Get off the rails;
  • Fall from the oak;
  • Confuse the shores.

It turns out that the loss of the head is fraught with the violation of all conceivable and inconceivable boundaries, complete disorientation in the living space. So, if you are destined to lose your mind, let it happen from happiness, so that the state of weightlessness brings joy, not disappointment.

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