Head over heels? I hope so! What's it mean, really?

Head over heels? I hope so! What's it mean, really?
Source: Reusableart.com

I've found another expression that just doesn't make sense: head over heels. What's so special about that? My head is over my heels... well, most of the time.

I consulted Robert Hendrickson's "QPB Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" (published by Facts on File, Inc., 1987)  to track down the answer.

Hendrickson states that "head over heels" to describe helplessness "was originally heels over head. For nearly 500 years it was used that way. until in the late 18th century it was popularly corrupted to its present topsy-turvy form."

Hmm, so I'm too late. But "heels over head" has a freshness to it.  "Topsy-turvy" looks interesting, too. Oh, it's going to be one of those days... or weeks!

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Filed under: Expressions


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  • Heels over head was what I was thinking about, but couldn't put my finger on. Obviously, if not heels over head, there wouldn't be 86.27% of America's Funniest Home Videos.

  • In reply to jack:

    Thanks, Jack -- especially for the percentage!

  • One might call Trump "a heel who is head".

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    One might, indeed. Thank you. I just heard a satirical ad for a Trumpy Bear... a teddy bear which can do quite a lot of things, but you must not get it wet.

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