heads or tails


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heads or tails

the face of a coin or the other side of a coin. (Often used in an act of coin tossing, where one circumstance is valid if the front of a coin appears and another circumstance is valid if the other side appears.) Jim looked at Jane as he flipped the coin into the air. "Heads or tails?" he asked. It doesn't matter whether the result of the toss is heads or tails. I won't like the outcome in any case.
See also: head, tail

heads or tails

An expression used when tossing a coin to decide between two alternatives, as in Let's just flip a coin to decide who pays-do you want heads or tails? Each person involved chooses a different side of the coin, either "heads" or "tails," and whichever side lands facing up is considered the winner. This usage, dating from the late 1600s, is sometimes turned into Heads I win, tails you lose, meaning "I win no matter what," which probably originated in an attempt to deceive someone. [Mid-1800s]
See also: head, tail
References in periodicals archive ?
If you toss up a single coin, there are two possibilities for how it will land: heads or tails.
How to do it: Place the coins on a table with a random number of either heads or tails showing.