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American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms

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NOT HAVE.
[c. 1600] 2. Dislike something or someone, as in letters. [Second half of 1800s]
1. Not require something, as in
I don't smoke, so I have no use for a lighter.
I have no use for people who won't answer
have no time for
hand. see NO TIME FOR.
have no truck with
Have no dealings with, as in The doctor said he wanted no truck with midwives. This term was first recorded in 1868, although truck in the sense of "dealings" dates from the early 1600s.
have no use for
1. have something on. See
have on
haven't
hand. see under
that. [Early 1600s] Also see

antonym, have something on, are abbreviations of have nothing (or something) going on. 4. Be naked, as in Please bring in the mail; I just took a bath and don't have anything on.

have nothing to do with Also, not have anything to do with. 1. Be irrelevant, be unrelated, as in Their visit has nothing to do with the holiday. [Early 1600s] 2. Avoid, as in Dad insisted that we have nothing to do with the neighbors, or I won't have anything to do with people who act like

HAVE TO DO WITH.

HAVE NOTHING ON, def. 3. 2. have someone on; put someone on. Deceive or fool someone, as in There was no answer when I called; someone must be having me on, or You can't mean you're taking up ballet?

you're putting me on! [Colloquial; mid-1800s]

have one's ass in a sling

hand. see ASS IN A SLING.

have one's cake and eat it, too

hand. see EAT ONE'S CAKE.

have one's day

hand. see under HAD ITS DAY.

have one's druthers

Have one's choice, as in If I had my druthers I'd go to London first. The noun druthers is a contraction of "would rather." [Slang; late 1800s]

have oneself

Enjoy something, as in Be sure to have yourself a good nap, or They were having themselves a great time at the fair. The oneself in this colloquial expression adds emphasis to the verb have.

have one's eye on

1. Also, keep an eye on. Look at, especially attentively or continuously; watch. For example, The teacher has his eye on the boys in the back row, or Please keep an eye on the stew. [First half of

1400s] Also see KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR. 2. Also, have an eye to. Have as one's objective, as in We had our eyes on that birthday cake, or The Republicans have an eye to a big majority in the House. The first usage dates from the mid-1600s, the second from the early 1500s. 3. Also, with an eye to. With a view to, regarding as an objective, as in With an eye to her inheritance, she was very attentive to her aunt. [Mid1800s] Also see HAVE AN EYE FOR.

have one's hands full

Be extremely busy, as in With the new baby she really has her hands full. [Second half of 1400s] have one's head in the sand

hand. see HIDE ONE'S HEAD.

have one's head screwed on right

hand. see under HAVE A SCREW LOOSE.

have one's heart in it

hand. see HEART IN IT.

have one's moments Also, have its moments. Experience or undergo brief periods of distinction. For example, It wasn't an outstanding performance, but it had its moments, or "Even a mailman has his moments" (Saturday Evening Post, April 9, 1927). [Early 1900s]

have one's own way

hand. see GET ONE'S WAY.

have one's say

hand. see HAVE A SAY IN, def. 2.

have one's way with

Have sex with someone, as in He wanted to have his way with her. This usage is nearly always

used of a man trying to get a woman to have sex. It may be dying out. [Early 1900s]

have one's wits about one Also, keep one's wits about one. Remain alert or calm, especially in a crisis. For example, After the collision I had my wits about me and got his name and license number, or Being followed was terrifying, but Kate kept her wits about her and got home safely.

[Early 1600s]

have one's work cut out for one

Face a difficult task, as in This is a very large house to manage, so I have my work cut out for me.

This expression alludes to cloth cut out to make a garment. [c. 1600] have on the ball

hand. see ON THE BALL.

have out

hand. see HAVE IT OUT.

have pity on

hand. see TAKE PITY ON.

have pull with

Have a means of gaining advantage with, have influence on, as in She had pull with several of the board members. [Colloquial; late 1800s]

have rocks in one's head

hand. see ROCKS IN ONE'S HEAD.

have someone by the balls

Have someone at one's mercy, as in You have to pay up?

they've got you by the balls. The balls here allude to the male genitals. [Vulgar slang; early 1900s] have someone's ear

Obtain someone's attention, especially favorable attention. For example, Harry has the boss's ear and could put in a good word about you. [Early 1700s]

have someone's hide

hand. see TAN SOMEONE'S HIDE.

have someone's number

hand. see GET SOMEONE'S NUMBER.

have something against

Be opposed to, especially for a particular reason. For example, Do you have something against this plan? or Annie must have something against Mary, because she's always so surly when they're together.

have something coming

hand. see HAVE IT COMING.

have something going

hand. see HAVE A GOOD THING GOING; HAVE GOING FOR ONE.

have something on

hand. see under HAVE NOTHING ON.

have something to show for

hand. see HAVE TO SHOW FOR.

have the better of

hand. see GET THE BETTER OF.

have the blues Also, feel blue. Feel depressed or sad, as in After seeing the old house in such bad shape, I had the blues for weeks, or Patricia tends to feel blue around the holidays. The noun blues, meaning "low spirits," was first recorded in 1741 and may come from blue devil, a 17th-century term for a baleful demon, or from the adjective blue meaning "sad," a usage first recorded in Chaucer's Complaint of Mars (c. 1385). The idiom may have been reinforced by the notion that anxiety produces a livid skin color. Also see BLUE FUNK.

have the courage of one's convictions

hand. see COURAGE OF ONE'S CONVICTIONS.

have the edge on

hand. see HAVE AN EDGE ON.

have the feel of

hand. see GET THE FEEL OF.

have the goods on

hand. see GET THE GOODS ON.

have the guts

Possess the courage, as in Does he have the guts to dive off the high board? This expression replaces the earlier and now obsolete sense of stomach as "courage," a usage from the early 1500s. [Slang; late 1800s]

have the heart to

hand. see NOT HAVE THE HEART TO. Also see HAVE A HEART; HEART IN IT.

have the last laugh

hand. see LAST LAUGH.

have the makings of

Have the abilities or qualities needed to become something, as in She has the makings of a fine

teacher, or, as Shakespeare put it in Henry VIII (4:1): "She had all the royal makings of a Queen." [Late 1500s]

have the say

hand. see HAVE A SAY IN, def. 3.

have to Also, have got to. Be obliged to, must. For example, We have to go now, or He has got to finish the paper today. The use of have as an auxiliary verb to indicate obligation goes back to the 16th century; the variant using got dates from the mid-1800s.

have to do with

Be concerned or associated with; deal with. For example, This book has to do with the divisions within the church.

[1100s] For the antonym, see HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH.

have to show for

Be able to exhibit as a result of one's work or expenditure. For example, I've been working all day and I have absolutely nothing to show for it, or He has some very fine paintings to show for the vast amount of money he's spent. This idiom was first recorded in 1727.

have two left feet

hand. see TWO LEFT FEET.

have words with

Quarrel with, scold, as in If Pete keeps on pushing Billy I'm going to have words with him. This

phrase dates from the late 1700s, although the use of words for an altercation is much older. Also

see HAVE A WORD WITH.

havoc

hand. see CRY HAVOC; PLAY HAVOC.

haw

hand. see HEM AND HAW.

hawk

hand. see WATCH LIKE A HAWK.

hay

hand. see HIT THE HAY; MAKE HAY WHILE THE SUN SHINES; ROLL IN THE HAY; THAT AIN'T HAY.

haystack

hand. see

haywire

hand. see

hazard

hand. see

haze

hand. see

head

NEEDLE IN A HAYSTACK.

GO HAYWIRE.

OCCUPATIONAL HAZARD.

IN A FOG (HAZE).

hand. In addition to the idioms beginning with HEAD, also see BEAT INTO SOMEONE'S

HEAD; BEAT ONE'S HEAD AGAINST THE WALL; BIG HEAD; BITE SOMEONE'S HEAD OFF; BRING TO A HEAD; CAN'T MAKE HEAD OR TAIL OF; COUNT NOSES (HEADS); DO BLINDFOLDED (STANDING ON ONE'S HEAD); ENTER ONE'S MIND (HEAD); EYES IN THE BACK OF ONE'S HEAD; FROM HEAD TO TOE; GET INTO ONE'S HEAD; GET ONE'S HEAD EXAMINED; GET THROUGH ONE'S HEAD; GIVE SOMEONE HIS OR HER HEAD; GOOD HEAD ON ONE'S SHOULDERS; GO TO ONE'S HEAD; HANG ONE'S HEAD; HANG OVER (ONE'S HEAD); HAVE A HEAD FOR; HAVE A SCREW LOOSE (HEAD SCREWED ON RIGHT); HIDE ONE'S HEAD; HIDE ONE'S

HEAD IN THE SAND; HIT THE NAIL ON THE HEAD; HOLD A GUN TO SOMEONE'S HEAD; HOLD ONE'S HEAD HIGH; IN OVER ONE'S HEAD; KEEP ONE'S HEAD; LAUGH ONE'S HEAD OFF; LIKE A CHICKEN WITH ITS HEAD CUT OFF; LOSE ONE'S HEAD; MAKE ONE'S HEAD SPIN; NEED LIKE A HOLE IN THE HEAD; NOT RIGHT IN THE HEAD; OFF ONE'S HEAD; OFF THE TOP OF ONE'S HEAD; ON ONE'S HEAD; ON THE BLOCK (PUT ONE'S HEAD); OVER ONE'S HEAD; PRICE ON ONE'S HEAD; PUT IDEAS IN SOMEONE'S HEAD; PUT OUR HEADS TOGETHER; REAR ITS UGLY HEAD; ROCKS IN ONE'S HEAD; ROOF OVER ONE'S HEAD; SCRATCH ONE'S HEAD; SHAKE ONE'S HEAD; SOFT IN THE HEAD; SWELLED HEAD; TALK SOMEONE'S ARM (HEAD) OFF; THROW ONESELF (AT SOMEONE'S HEAD); TOUCHED IN THE HEAD; TROUBLE ONE'S HEAD; TURN ONE'S HEAD; UPSIDE THE HEAD; USE ONE'S HEAD.

head above water, keep one's

Stay out of trouble, especially financial difficulties; also, keep up with work or other demands. For example, With new bills coming in every day they're barely keeping their heads above water, or The work's piling up, but I manage to keep my head above water. This expression alludes to keeping oneself from drowning. [Early 1700s] Also see IN DEEP.

head and shoulders above

Greatly superior to, as in This book is head and shoulders above her first one. This expression transfers physical stature to other kinds of status. [Mid-1800s]

head for

Proceed or go in a certain direction, as in I'm heading for town, or I believe Karen and Jane are heading for a big quarrel.

This expression, which uses head in the sense of "advance toward," is occasionally amplified with a figurative destination, especially in the American West. For example, head for the hills means "to run away to high and safer ground" or "to flee from danger." It is often used facetiously, as in Here comes that old bore?

head for the hills! Head for the setting sun alludes to where a wanted man or outlaw went when a law-enforcement agent was close behind him, that is, farther west, and head for the last roundup means "to die." [Early 1800s]

head in the clouds, have one's

Be absentminded or impractical, as in She must have had her head in the clouds when she made the reservations, because they never heard of us, or He'll never be able to run the business?

he's always got his head in the clouds. This idiom uses in the clouds in the sense of "fanciful" or "unreal," a usage dating from the mid-1600s.

head in the sand

hand. see HIDE ONE'S HEAD.

head off

Block the progress or completion of; also, intercept. For example, They worked round the clock to head off the flu epidemic, or Try to head him off before he gets home. [First half of 1800s] This expression gave rise to head someone off at the pass, which in Western films meant "to block someone at a mountain pass." It then became a general colloquialism for intercepting someone, as in Jim is going to the boss's office?

let's head him off at the pass.

head on

1. With the face or front first, as in The two bicycles collided head on. [Early 1800s] 2. In direct conflict, in open opposition, as in They decided to meet the opposition head on.

head or tail

hand. see CAN'T MAKE HEAD OR TAIL.

head out

1.Depart, begin a journey, as in The ship was heading out to sea, or When do you head out again?

2.head out after. Follow or pursue, as in Since they knew the way, we headed out after them, or A police car headed out after the car thieves.

head over heels

Completely, thoroughly, as in They fell head over heels in love. This expression originated in the 1300s as heels over head and meant literally being upside down. It took its present form in the 1700s and its present meaning in the 1800s.

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]

head start

An early start that confers an advantage, as in This year we'll get a head start on the competition by running more ads. The expression comes from racing, where it was used for a horse being given an advantage of several lengths over the others. Its extension to other areas dates from the early 1900s.

heads up

A warning to watch out for potential danger, as in Heads up, that tree is coming down now! The expression is generally in the form of an interjection. [c. 1940]

heads will roll

Someone will be severely punished, as in If no one meets the chairman's plane, heads will roll. This hyperbolic expression alludes to the punishment of being beheaded.

head up

Be in charge of, lead, as in She headed up the commission on conservation. [Colloquial; mid-1900s]

headway

hand. see MAKE HEADWAY.

health

hand. see CLEAN BILL OF HEALTH.

hear

hand. In addition to the idioms beginning with HEAR, also see ANOTHER COUNTY

HEARD FROM; HARD OF HEARING; NEVER HEAR THE END OF; NOT HAVE IT (HEAR OF IT); UNHEARD OF.

hear a peep out of

Hear the slightest noise from, as in I don't want to hear another peep out of those children. This expression is often used negatively, as in I didn't hear another peep out of them. [c. 1900]

hear a pin drop, can

Be able to hear even the smallest noise because of the quiet, as in When he came onstage you could have heard a pin drop. This hyperbolic expression dates from the early 1800s.

hear from

1. Receive a letter, call, or other communication from someone, as in I haven't heard from my daughter in two weeks. [Early 1300s] 2. Be reprimanded by, as in If you don't get home on time, you'll be hearing from your father. [Late 1800s]

hear, hear

An expression used to express approval, as in Whenever the senator spoke, he was greeted with cries of "Hear! hear!" This expression was originally Hear him! hear him! and used to call attention to a speaker's words. It gradually came to be used simply as a cheer. [Late 1600s]

hear of

Be informed about, as in I'd never heard of that jazz singer before, but she was very good. [Late

1500s] Also see NOT HAVE IT (HEAR OF IT).

hear oneself think, can't

Be unable to concentrate because there is too much noise. For example, There was so much noise from the jackhammers we couldn't hear ourselves think. [Early 1900s]

hear out

Listen to someone's discourse until the end, allow someone to speak fully, as in Please hear me out before you jump to any conclusions. [First half of 1600s]

heart

hand. In addition to the idioms beginning with HEART, also see ABSENCE MAKES THE

HEART GROW FONDER; AFTER ONE'S OWN HEART; AT HEART; BREAK SOMEONE'S HEART; BY HEART; CHANGE OF HEART; COLD HANDS, WARM HEART; CROSS MY HEART; CRY ONE'S EYES (HEART) OUT; CUT TO THE QUICK (HEART); DO ONE (ONE'S HEART) GOOD; EAT ONE'S HEART OUT; FIND IT IN ONE'S HEART; FROM THE BOTTOM OF ONE'S HEART; GET TO THE HEART OF; GIVE SOMEONE HEART FAILURE; HALF A HEART; HARDEN ONE'S HEART; HAVE A HEART; HAVE NO HEART FOR; HEAVY HEART; IN ONE'S HEART OF HEARTS; LOSE HEART; LOSE ONE'S HEART TO; NEAR TO ONE'S HEART; NOT HAVE THE HEART TO; OPEN ONE'S HEART; POUR OUT ONE'S HEART; SET ONE'S HEART ON; SICK AT HEART; STEAL SOMEONE'S HEART; STEEL ONE'S HEART AGAINST; TAKE HEART; TAKE TO HEART; TO ONE'S HEART'S CONTENT; WARM HEART; WARM THE COCKLES OF ONE'S HEART; WEAR ONE'S HEART ON ONE'S SLEEVE; WITH ALL ONE'S HEART; YOUNG AT HEART.

heart and soul

The entirety of one's energies or affections. For example, He put heart and soul into his music. [Late 1700s]

heart goes out to, one's

One's sympathy is extended to someone, as in She's had a terrible time of it; my heart goes out to her. [Late 1700s]

heart in it, have one's Also, put one's heart in it. Be emotionally involved in some

thing, undertake something enthusiastically, as in Nancy puts her heart in her teaching. This expression may also be put negatively as one's heart is not in it, as in She decided to quit; her heart just wasn't in this kind of work. [Late 1700s] Also see HAVE NO HEART FOR.

heart in one's mouth, have one's