Wrap one’s head around

The idiom wrap one’s head around something has been in use since the twentieth century. We will examine the meaning of the idiom wrap one’s head around something where it came from, and some examples of its use in sentences.

The idiom wrap one’s head around something means to understand something, especially something strange or out of the ordinary; to accept something that one does not particularly want to accept. The expression wrap one’s head around something is also expressed as wrap one’s mind around something and the earliest known version, get one’s head around something. While the expression wrap one’s head around something seems to have appeared in the 1970s and may be primarily an American phrase, the term get one’s head around something first appeared in a British boys’ magazine in the 1920s. Related phrases are wraps one’s head around something, wrapped one’s head around something, wrapping one’s head around something.

Examples

“That was a hard thing for me to wrap my head around, looking down at my watch and seeing that I’ve run 18-minute-mile pace up a hill,” Goucher said.  (The Denver Post)

It took me a while — I am 55 years old — to wrap my head around that high school players were going to come into the league and do well right away.  (The New York Post)

But the old cliché of the “difficult second album” wasn’t true for French once he’d wrapped his head around having to produce an album to deadline, he says: “I was riddled with terror after I agreed to it.” (The Irish Examiner)

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