Heads will roll

Heads will roll is an idiom. We will examine the meaning of the idiomatic phrase heads will roll, where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

Heads will roll is a declaration or prediction that people who are responsible for a failure or a catastrophe will be punished or will suffer the consequences. Heads will roll means that the guilty or responsible parties will be determined and punished or held accountable. The idiom heads will roll is often used to mean that people who have failed at a business endeavor will be fired. The origin of the expression is unclear; it has been in use since at least the 1800s. However, the popularity of the phrase heads will roll is attributed to Adolf Hitler: ” Then decapitated heads will roll in the sand.” The use of the expression heads will roll spiked sharply in the 1940s. The imagery associated with heads will roll is of decapitation, whether from the blow of an axe, sword, or the guillotine.

Examples

According to Julius Malema, heads will roll: “The school in particular should be held accountable. ” (The South African)

It resulted in their head coach getting fired midseason and I expect the Seminoles to be back in the national conversation in the next three years or heads will roll again. (The Providence Journal)

Fowler addressed his disappointment with Wil Myers’ offense and Eric Hosmer’s defense, said “heads will roll, beginning with mine” if the team does not begin to have success in 2020 and apologized profusely for an “embarrassing” 2019. (The San Diego Union-Tribune)