Hawse-hole to Heart
Hawse-hole He has crept through the hawse-hole, or He has come in at the hawse-hole. That is, he
entered the service in the lowest grade; he rose from the ranks. A naval phrase. The hawse-hole of a
ship is that through which the cable of the anchor runs.
Hawthorn in florology, means "Good Hope," because it shows the winter is over and spring is at hand.
The Athenian girls used to crown themselves with hawthorn flowers at weddings, and the marriage-torch
was made of hawthorn. The Romans considered it a charm against sorcery, and placed leaves of it on
the cradles of new-born infants.
The hawthorn was chosen by Henry VII. for his device, because the
crown of Richard III. was discovered in a hawthorn bush at Bosworth.
Hay, Hagh or Haugh. A royal park in "which no man commons"; rich pasture-land; as Bilhagh (Billa-
haugh), Beskwood- or Bestwood-hay, Lindeby-hay, Welley-hay or Wel-hay. These five hays were "special
reserves" of game for royalty alone.
A bottle of hay. (See Bottle.)
Between hay and grass. Too late
for one and too soon for the other.
Neither hay nor grass. That hobby-de-hoy state when a youth is neither
boy nor man.
Make hay while the sun shines.
Strike while the iron is hot.
Take time by the forelock.
day is worth two to-morrows.
Hayston (Frank). The laird of Bucklaw, afterwards laird of Girnington. (Sir Walter Scott: Bride of Lammermoor.)
Hayward A keeper of the cattle or common herd of a village or parish. The word hay means "hedge," and
this herdsman was so called because he had "ward" of the "hedges" also. (Anglo-Saxon, heg, hay; hege,
Hazazel The Scape-goat (q.v.).
Hazel (See Divining Rod .)
Hazel-nut (Anglo-Saxon, haeselhnut, from haesel, a hat or cap, the cap-nut or the nut enclosed in a
Head (Latin, caput; Saxon, headfod; Scotch, hafet; contracted into head.)
Better be the head of an
ass than the tail of a horse. Better be foremost amongst commoners than the lowest of the aristocracy; better
be the head of the yeomanry than the tail of the gentry. The Italians say, "E meglio esser testa di luccio
che coda di sturione. "
He has a head on his shoulders. He is up to snuff (q.v.); he is a clever fellow,
with brains in his head.
He has quite lost his head. He is in a quandary or quite confused.
I can make
neither head nor tail of it. I cannot understand it at all. A gambling phrase.
Men with heads beneath the
shoulders. (See Caora.)
Men without heads. (See Blemmyes.)
Off one's head. Deranged; delirious; extremely
excited. Here "head" means intelligence, understanding, etc. His intelligence or understanding has gone
To bundle one out head and heels. "Sans cérémonie, " altogether. The allusion is to a custom at
one time far too frequent in cottages, for a whole family to sleep together in one bed head to heels or
pednamene, as it was termed in Cornwall; to bundle the whole lot out of bed was to turn them out head
To head off. To intercept.
To hit the nail on the head. You have guessed aright; you have done
the right thing. The allusion is obvious. The French say, "Vous avez frappé au but " (You have hit the
mark); the Italians have the phrase, "Havete dato in brocca " (You have hit the pitcher), alluding to a game
where a pitcher stood in the place of Aunt Sally (q.v.). The Latin, "Rem acu tetigisti " (You have touched
the thing with a needle), refers to the custom of probing sores.
To keep one's head above water. To
avoid bankruptcy. The allusion is to a person immersed in water; so long as his head is above water his
life remains, but bad swimmers find it hard to keep their heads above water.
To lose one's head. To be
confused and middle-minded.
To make head. To get on.
Head Shaved (Get your). You are a dotard. Go and get your head shaved like other lunatics. (See
"Thou thinkst that monarchs never can act ill,Head and Ears Over head and ears [in debt, in love, etc.], completely; entirely. The allusion
Get thy head shaved, poor fool, or think so still."
Peter Pindar: Ode