over one's head


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Related to over one's head: in hot water, at the eleventh hour, above one's head

over (one's) head

1. Too complicated to be understood by one or someone else. 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 or someone else'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 in one's mind as a source of concern or worry. 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 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