What Does Head Over Heels Mean?

Head Over Heels Meaning

Definition: Very much in love.

This idiom is often used as part of the longer expression head over heels in love, which describes romantic love between two people.

Occasionally, this expression can be used to describe other types of heightened emotion or excitement. This phrase also has a literal meaning, which is to be upside down or falling over.

Origin of Head Over Heels

This idiom started being used as a synonym for being in love around the year 1830 in the United States.

It most likely developed from the literal meaning of falling upside down, as a way to describe the tumultuous emotions one feels while falling in love.

Examples of Head Over Heels

headoverheels or head over healsOur first dialogue shows a sister using the idiom in a conversation with her brother.

 Luke: So, what’s new with you?

Ella: Actually, I’ve started seeing someone. I want you to meet him. I want the whole family to meet him because things are getting pretty serious between us. I think he might be the one I’m meant to be with forever!

Luke: Are you serious? How long have you and he been dating?

Ella: Just a week. But we’re already head over heels in love!

head over heels movieThe second example shows two people using the expression in a conversation about a television show they’ve been watching.

Ray: I just don’t find it believable that she would marry him.  

Jackie: Of course it’s believable! They’re head over heels for each other!

Ray: But, she’s still not over her last love! It is all happening too quickly. I think they need to take things slowly.

Jackie: It’s a TV show, not real life. Taking it slow wouldn’t be very exciting!

More Examples

The below example uses the expression to describe how the famous character Romeo fell deeply in love with Juliet.

  • First he’s in love with Rosaline and then like five minutes later, he’s head over heels for Juliet. New York Daily News

In this other example, the idiom is used to describe the love people have for their dogs.

  • If love means posting photos of your beloved on social media, then people in the Midwest and the Southeast really love their Labradors. Westerners, on the other hand, are head over heels for German shepherds. Denver Post

Summary

The phrase head over heels typically means to love someone very much.

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