Head over heels

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The phrase head over heels is an idiom with roots in the fourteenth century, but it has undergone changes in construction and meaning over the last seven hundred years. An idiom is a word, group of words or phrase that has a figurative meaning that is not easily deduced from its literal definition. We will examine the definition of head over heels, where it came from and some examples of its use in sentences.

Head over heels means to be deeply interested in something or deeply committed to something. Usually, head over heels is an abbreviation of the phrase head over heels in love. When first used in the 1300s, the phrase was rendered as heels over head, and was a description of someone executing a somersault or tumbling over in the act of tripping or losing one’s footing. This definition is still occasionally seen for the term head over heels. The first use of the phrase head over heels to mean being in love occurred sometime in the early 1800s.


While taking photos near Yintian Shanfang White Church in Tainan’s Yujing District, a woman tried to show off by balancing herself on the edge of a giant teacup, but she accidentally lost her balance and fell head over heels into the giant cup. (The Taiwan News)

While the world is going crazy over Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’ alleged romance, there is one girl who made the singer fall head over heels earlier this year. (The Times)

Things might be going really well with these two in such a short period of time, as insiders have revealed that he is “head over heels” for her.  (OK! Magazine)

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