over (one's) head


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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.
See also: head, over

*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.
See also: head, over

over one's head

1. To a position higher than another's, as in She was furious when her assistant was promoted over her head. Similarly, go over someone's head means "appeal to a higher authority," as in Since she couldn't help me, I decided to go over her head and talk to her supervisor. [Mid-1500s]
2. Beyond one's understanding or competence, as in The math required to complete these figures is way over my head. [Early 1600s] For a synonym, see out of one's depth. Also see in deep (over one's head).
See also: head, over

over your head

1 beyond your ability to understand. 2 without your knowledge or involvement, especially when you have a right to this. 3 with disregard for your own (stronger) claim.
See also: head, over

over somebody’s ˈhead

to a higher position of authority than somebody: He gets angry when you go over his head and talk to his boss.
See also: head, over

over one’s head

mod. confusing; too difficult to understand. This stuff is too hard. It’s over my head.
See also: head, over