What does the idiom "big-headed" mean?

Are you using the idiom big-headed but not sure about its meaning? Using idioms, which are important elements of spoken and written language, in the right place strengthens your language skills. Examine the meaning of the big-headed idiom and the situations in which it is used.

Meaning of "big-headed"


The idiom ‘big-headed’ is used to refer to someone who has an excessively prideful or boastful attitude. It is usually used as an insult or to describe an annoying or too-confident person.


The origin of the phrase ‘big-headed’ can be traced back to the 16th century, when the term ‘big-headed’ was used to describe someone with a large, prominent head. In the late 18th century, the phrase was expanded to encompass more than just physical size and began to also refer to someone who was overly confident and vain.


The phrase ‘big-headed’ is often used to describe someone who is overly confident or egotistical. It can be used in both a humorous and serious manner and is often used to refer to a character trait of someone, regardless of their actual physical size.

Example Sentences

  • “My brother is such a big-headed person, he can’t stop bragging about himself.”
  • “I don’t understand why she’s so big-headed, she’s not even that talented.”
  • “He’s always so big-headed around his friends, it’s really embarrassing.”
  • “Stop being so big-headed, nobody likes it.”

The meanings of the words in the "big-headed" idiom

From Shakespeare to Social Media: The Evolution of English Idioms

English idioms have been around for centuries, with many originating from sources like literature, mythology, and everyday life. Shakespeare, for example, coined many phrases that are still used today, such as "break the ice" and "heart of gold." Over time, new idioms have emerged, with social media and popular culture providing rich sources of inspiration. For instance, the phrase "throwing shade" came into use in the 1990s thanks to ball culture, but has since been popularized by social media.


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