Get your head handed to you

Discussion in 'English Only' started by Argos77, Apr 9, 2009.

  1. Argos77 Senior Member

    Hy guys. I hope all of you are ok!

    "After many years in the liquidation business, negotiating for 100's of deals and sometimes getting my head handed to me, I decided to study the art and science of negotiating."

    What does "get my head handed to me" mean?

    Thank you very much!
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  2. Franzi Senior Member

    Astoria, NY
    (San Francisco) English
    If you get your head (or your ass) handed to you, it means you majorly lost.
  3. GreenWhiteBlue

    GreenWhiteBlue Senior Member

    The City of New York
    USA - English
    The idea is that you have taken such a severe beating (whether literal or figurative) that you head has been detached from your body, and given back to you to hold in your hands. Ths phrase is usually used figuratively to refer to being the recipient of verbal or economic damage.

    I ended up being late and missing the meeting, and so I got my head handed to me by my boss.

    With the loss of value in my stocks, I had my head handed to me by Wall Street this year.
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2009
  4. guiding*inspiration Member

    Surrey, England
    English - UK
    This must be an American expression - I've never heard of it!
  5. Scribblerr

    Scribblerr Senior Member

    Los Angeles
    English US
    I've never heard it either (and I'm an American!) I'm familiar with having your hat handed to you, and having your ass handed to you, but if I heard someone say his head had been handed to him, I would think he was confused.

    Do a Google search of:

    • his head handed to him
    • his hat handed to him
    • his ass handed to him
    It would appear that "head" is not very commonly used, and could well be an error with the speaker having misheard the "hat" version of the phrase.
  6. Dimcl Senior Member

    British Columbia, Canada
    Canadian English

    In Canada, the version most certainly uses "head" and is usually a reduced form of "had my head handed to me on a silver platter".
  7. SydLexia Senior Member

    London, EU
    UK English
    The expression doesn't sound strange to me in my British English - uncommon but not impossible.

  8. Parla Senior Member

    New York City
    English - US
    It's quite familiar to me.
  9. Myridon

    Myridon Senior Member

    English - US
    There seem to be quite a few mixed metaphors going on here.
    "to have your hat handed to you" is to be asked to leave or to be fired from your job.
    "I'll have his head on a silver platter." I'll get revenge, do something bad to him. Salome asked to be given John the Baptist's head on a silver platter - his head wasn't given to himself but to her.

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