count heads

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count heads

To count the number of people in a group to ensure that everyone is present. Everyone, take your seats on the bus so that I can count heads before we leave the museum.
See also: count, head
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

count heads

 and count noses
Fig. to count people. I'll tell you how many people are here after I count heads. Let's count noses so we can be sure everyone is back on the bus.
See also: count, head
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

count

heads/noses
To make a count of members, attendees, or participants.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
Several Reporter correspondents attending the show counted heads and estimated that around 500 people watched the show.
In the 123 annual barn inspections performed between September and December, she counted heads and ensured the owners were properly caring for their animals.
At his first-ever beer festival, he counted heads. Then he counted ladies' heads.
That first Census simply counted heads. Over the decades, the Census has added more questions and is now the main means of collecting basic demographic information.
There, he counted heads and reported his group's status to the drill coordinator.
Then others were allowed in and, by 1972, Alec Bedser, chairman of England's selectors, counted heads and realised that there were 54 overseas cricketers out of 187 playing regularly for the 17 counties.
While the class climbed onto the bus, Miss Plunkett counted heads.
At his first-ever beer festival he counted heads. Then he counted ladies' heads.