above/over somebody's head
above (someone's) head
Not understood by one because it is too complex or subtle for their comprehension. My jokes always seem to go above Stephanie's head, so I'm glad you think I'm funny at least.
over (one's) head
1. Too complicated to be understood by one. My jokes always seem to go over Stephanie's head, so I'm glad you think I'm funny at least. A lot of this technical stuff is way over my head.
2. Bypassing one's authority. She just wouldn't listen to me, so I had to go over her head to her boss and complain about it.
3. Lingering as a source of concern or worry for one. All these bills are hanging over my head, and I don't get paid for another week. I'm so glad that exam is over—it's been over my head for months.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
*over someone's head
1. Fig. [of the intellectual content of something] too difficult for someone to understand. (*Typically: be ~; go ~; pass ~.) All that talk about computers went over my head. I hope my lecture didn't go over the students'heads.
2. and *over someone; *above someone Fig. to an authority higher than someone. (*Typically: be ~; go ~.) I don't want to have to go over your head, but I will if necessary. I had to go over Fran to get it done. My boss wouldn't listen to my complaint, so I went above her.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
above/over somebody’s ˈheadtoo difficult for somebody to understand: It was clear from the expression on his face that the lecture went completely over his head.
over somebody’s ˈheadto a higher position of authority than somebody: He gets angry when you go over his head and talk to his boss.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017