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Head off   /hɛd ɔf/   Listen
Head off

verb
1.
Prevent the occurrence of; prevent from happening.  Synonyms: avert, avoid, debar, deflect, fend off, forefend, forfend, obviate, stave off, ward off.  "Head off a confrontation" , "Avert a strike"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Head off" Quotes from Famous Books



... to say her prayers and just as he was going to chop her head off, her two brothers arrived at the castle, burst open the door, killed the cruel wretch, and rescued ...
— Cole's Funny Picture Book No. 1 • Edward William Cole

... of yours did the old man a good turn to-night, but you shan't make fools of us again." And a few days later, when Alexander attempted to head off the same mob as it made for the press of Rivington, the Tory printer, they would not listen to him. But the effort raised him still higher in the estimation of the patriots, for they saw that his love of law and order was as great as ...
— The Conqueror • Gertrude Franklin Atherton

... his head off and prepared for the night, while Winwood passed the word along to the forty lifers to be ready for the break. And two hours after midnight every guard in the prison was under orders. This included the day-shift which should ...
— The Jacket (The Star-Rover) • Jack London

... school, Mr Easy?" said Dr Middleton, who had been summoned by a groom with his horse in a foam to attend immediately at Forest Hill, the name of Mr Easy's mansion, and who, upon his arrival, had found that Master Easy had cut his thumb. One would have thought that he had cut his head off by the agitation pervading the whole household—Mr Easy walking up and down very uneasy, Mrs Easy with great difficulty prevented from syncope, and all the maids bustling and passing round Mrs Easy's chair. Everybody appeared excited except Master Jack Easy himself, who, with a rag round ...
— Mr. Midshipman Easy • Frederick Marryat

... down tightly," he explained. "That pasture fence is no good at all, and I never trusted to it. I pegged Blossom down with a good long rope, and Daisy, too; and Daisy is gone while Blossom is still eating her head off." ...
— Betty Gordon in the Land of Oil - The Farm That Was Worth a Fortune • Alice B. Emerson

... Upsala journal, the UTAN STAFVEL, was missing from its shelf; a muscular Japanese made himself distinctly offensive about the NICHI-NICHI-SHIN-BUM being out of date, and was going to twist everybody's head off, if it occurred again; the excellent Vice-President, Mr. Richards, tumbled noisily downstairs, nobody knew how or why—all on a single afternoon. The sirocco happened to be particularly trying ...
— South Wind • Norman Douglas

... which he could head off her escape by either of the studio doors, he abandoned this, and attempted to match the stumps of his legs against her swift young feet. And must have overcome the disparity, but that in the lightning instinct of self-preservation ...
— The Penalty • Gouverneur Morris

... man. Now that you know what a travelled man I am, what can I do for you? [She hesitates and plucks nervously at the heather. He stays her hand gently]. Dear Miss Nora: don't pluck the little flower. If it was a pretty baby you wouldn't want to pull its head off and stick it in a vawse o water to look at. [The grasshopper chirps: Keegan turns his head and addresses it in the vernacular]. Be aisy, me son: she won't spoil the swing-swong in your little three. [To Nora, resuming his urbane style] You see ...
— John Bull's Other Island • George Bernard Shaw

... himself to the Parmalee pose she handed the picture to Baird. "Now, Jeff, I ask you—ain't that Harold to the life—ain't it so near him that you just have to laugh your head off?" ...
— Merton of the Movies • Harry Leon Wilson

... head off your shoulders,' cried his father, furiously, 'if you talk to me like that! Not one of you's fit to live in ...
— The Nether World • George Gissing

... danger would have been when I let go. My mother quietly bade me hold him tight, which I suppose I had just sense enough to do, and in another moment she had snatched up the bill-hook they had been cutting wood with, and had his head off. She ...
— My Young Alcides - A Faded Photograph • Charlotte M. Yonge

... in some hyperbolic or parabolic curve or other, I could not tell. Later I had a happy inspiration, and by opening certain windows to the moon, which had appeared in the sky in front of the earth, I turned my course aside so as to head off the earth, which it had become evident to me I must pass behind without some such expedient. I did a very great deal of complicated thinking over these problems—for I am no mathematician—and in the end I am certain ...
— The First Men In The Moon • H. G. Wells

... been sighted, and the next instant an eagle or flying ray (STOASODON NARINARI) leaped out of the sea with prodigious eagerness to reach the beach. In a series of abrupt curves the shark endeavoured to head off the ray, which, as its pursuer gained on it, shot out of the water over the shoulders of the shark, each leap being at least ten feet high. In rising it seemed to switch the shark with its thong-like tail, although apparently in almost despairing fright. After at least a dozen agile and desperate ...
— My Tropic Isle • E J Banfield

... your 'Clarion,' Boyee. Blow your fool head off. Deave us all deaf. Play any tune you want, and pay yourself for your piping. I won't interfere—any more'n I can help, being an old meddler by taste. Blood's thicker than water, they say. I guess it's thicker than printer's ...
— The Clarion • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... stage faced Pao-ch'ai. "You too should go," she said, "so should your mother; for if you remain the whole day long at home, you will again sleep your head off." ...
— Hung Lou Meng, Book II • Cao Xueqin

... the truth, I shall die; if I tell it, I shall die. When thy father was absent, I gave myself up to a slave." The prince left his mother and ran to the house of the shepherd: "The meat which you have cooked to-day—what is it? Tell the truth, otherwise I'll cut your head off." "Master, if I tell it, I shall die; if I don't I shall die. I will be truthful. It was a lamb whose mother had no milk; on the day of its birth, it was suckled by a bitch: that is to-day's ewe." The prince left the shepherd and ran to the house ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 2 • Richard F. Burton

... fun for me, won't it, when you've killed yourself? When you've burst the top of your head off like the kitchen boiler?" ...
— The Belfry • May Sinclair

... down to the ground. Even as a child, Albert Letchford was remarkable for his thoughtful look, and his strong sense of beauty. In church one day he begged his mother to let him run home and get his little sword, as there was such an ugly woman there and he wished to cut her head off. As a youth he drew and studied from morning to night, living in a world of his own creation—a world of books and pictures. His letters were those of a poet and an artist. Beauty of the mind, however, ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... prosecutor on the part of the commune ventured to threaten the court with popular opinion and its avenging fury... The people, stirred up against us, and brought there, shouted, 'Let us seize Lieutaud and take him there by force and if he will not go up the steps, we will cut his head off!' The hall leading to the courtroom and the stairways were filled with barefooted vagabonds."—Letter of Cabrol, commander of the national guard, and of the municipal officers to the commissioners, May 21. That picket-guard of fifty men on the great square, is it not rather the ...
— The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 3 (of 6) - The French Revolution, Volume 2 (of 3) • Hippolyte A. Taine

... like this, always reminded me of Epictetus. "I will put you in prison!" said his master. "My body, you mean," replied Epictetus calmly. "I will cut your head off," said his master. "Have I said that my head could not be cut off?" A ...
— Herland • Charlotte Perkins Stetson Gilman

... your sinners," responded Theron, as he shook hands with Celia, and trusted himself to look fully into her eyes. "I've had five days of the saints, over in another part of the woods, and they've bored the head off me." ...
— The Damnation of Theron Ware • Harold Frederic

... over the body and went towards the fifth gate. Then he remembered what the Glashan had said, "His life is in his head." He went back to where the King of the Land of Mist had fallen. With a clean sweep of his sword he cut the head off the body. ...
— The King of Ireland's Son • Padraic Colum

... fallen, or wait to care for them, but rushed on and endeavored to head off the yaks. Those in the wagon did not notice that before them, and close at hand, lay a broad river. Harry was the first to announce it with a shout, when he saw the party in the lead halt, and move ...
— The Wonder Island Boys: The Tribesmen • Roger Finlay

... clothes fer ev'ery one on de plan'ashun. I wuz taught ter weav', card, spin en 'nit en ter wuk in de fiel's. I wuz 'feared ob de terbacker wums at fust but Aunt Frankie went 'long by me en showed me how ter pull de wum's head off. Hab housed terbacker till 9 o'clock at nite. Our marster whupped us w'en we needed hit. ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves - Tennessee Narratives • Works Projects Administration

... revolution, than at any other time; and a community requires less law to govern it, after a violent and illegal assertion of the law's supremacy, than was necessary before the outbreak. After having thrown off the yoke of a knave—and perhaps hung the knave up by the neck, or chopped his head off with an axe—mankind not unfrequently fall under the control of a fool; frightened at their temerity in dethroning an idol of metal, they bow down before a paltry ...
— Western Characters - or Types of Border Life in the Western States • J. L. McConnel

... he said to the Giant, "I will shew you a fine trick: I could cut my head off one minute, and put it on sound the ...
— The Story of Jack and the Giants • Anonymous

... wife of Iarlaid, when she heard of it. 'My brother the Red Gruagach will take the head off Manus as well in Old Bergen ...
— The Orange Fairy Book • Various

... made him a sign from the top of the tower that if he wished to have his clothes again he must fetch them; the vampire began to ascend the steeple, but the Hungarian threw him down backwards from the ladder, and cut his head off with a spade. Such was the end of ...
— The Phantom World - or, The philosophy of spirits, apparitions, &c, &c. • Augustin Calmet

... to do when accounts give your wife a sick headache, so that she cannot possibly attend to them? Are you going to enact the Blue Beard, and rage and storm, and threaten to cut her head off? What good would that do? Cutting off a wrong little head would not turn it into a right one. An ancient proverb significantly remarks, "You can't have more of a cat than her skin,"—and no amount of fuming and storming ...
— Pink and White Tyranny - A Society Novel • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... road at the end of town," replied the man, more calmly. "Ten miles down you'll come to a fork. There's where the I.W.W.'s will turn off to go up into the foot-hills. Anderson just 'phoned. You can head off his car if it's on the hill road. But you'll have to drive.... Do you know Anderson's car? Don't you ...
— The Desert of Wheat • Zane Grey

... land they fell in with was the Lizard, being the most southerly point of Cornwall, which they mistook for the Ram-head off Plymouth; and as the night was at hand, they tacked out to sea, laying their account to make an attempt upon our ships in Plymouth next morning. In the mean time, while thus deceived in the land, they were discovered by captain ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume VII • Robert Kerr

... the sand received during the melee, and the moon being now well up, the tramp around the key was commenced. The approved method is to walk along as near the water as possible, and on finding a recent track to follow it up on the run, and thus head off the turtle. For a mile or more we strolled along the sands, the boys humming in low tones some old plantation melody, and Sandy occasionally venting his wrath at some real or imaginary fault in the young and rising generation. In the midst of one of these tirades, the boys, who had kept ...
— Lippincott's Magazine, October 1885 • Various

... they visit the North Pole, having several adventures on the way, including finding the remains of a Viking ship. They visit a region in Africa where they depose the existing King and install a King who is more to their taste. Then they head off for Mount Everest, where they become the first persons to sit on the summit. Here again they have more adventures of ...
— The Log of the Flying Fish - A Story of Aerial and Submarine Peril and Adventure • Harry Collingwood

... the poor skipper saw, what we did not, that the coil of the rope on deck was foul, and so entangled round his long tiller, that ten seconds would do one of three things,—they would snap his new rope in two, which was a trifle, or they would wrench his tiller-head off the rudder, which would cost him an hour to mend, or they would upset those two horses, at this instant on a trot, and put into the canal the rowdy youngster who had started them. It was this complex certainty which gave fire to the double cries which he addressed ...
— If, Yes and Perhaps - Four Possibilities and Six Exaggerations with Some Bits of Fact • Edward Everett Hale

... Desgas, "that they will be safer without that dirty, cowardly Jew than with him. There seems no doubt that, if he gets scared, he will either make a bolt of it, or shriek his head off." ...
— The Scarlet Pimpernel • Baroness Orczy

... good?' and 'Mr. Belcher, I hope you are very well,' and 'Mr. Belcher, I want you to do better by me.' Ha! ha! ha! ha! My name is Norval. It isn't? Say that again and I'll throttle you! Yes, sir, I'll shake your rascally head off your shoulders! Down, down in the dust, and beg my pardon! It is well; go! Get you gone, sir, and remember not to beard ...
— Sevenoaks • J. G. Holland

... and when the armies of the Potomac and the James were in motion to head off Lee's army, the morale of the National troops had greatly improved. There was no more straggling, no more rear guards. The men who in former times had been falling back, were now, as I have already stated, striving to get to the ...
— Memoirs of Three Civil War Generals, Complete • U. S. Grant, W. T. Sherman, P. H. Sheridan

... him I was in two minds whether or no to draw the keen blade that hung by my sturdy thigh and cut his head off in spite of his being a near relation of my own; but the men interceded for him and said, 'Sir, if it may so be, let this fellow stay here and mind the ship, but take the rest of us with you ...
— The Odyssey • Homer

... I take ye by your heels and snap your head off," rasped Ward, tucking his sleeves away from his corded wrists. "You ain't got your ...
— The Skipper and the Skipped - Being the Shore Log of Cap'n Aaron Sproul • Holman Day

... fool me!" she would say, triumphantly, to Claire, "but I guess I know what ails her.... Didn't her mother, and her uncle, and her sister's oldest child die of consumption? I tell you it's in the family. The last time I saw her she nearly coughed her head off." ...
— The Blood Red Dawn • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... of the spur made Sol lunge forward to head off the raider. Diablo was in his stride, but the distance and angle favored Sol. The raider had no carbine. He held aloft a gun ready to level it and fire. He sat the saddle as if it were a stationary seat. Gale saw Ladd lean down and drop the .405 in the sand. He would take no ...
— Desert Gold • Zane Grey

... has," said Mrs. Kingdom, folding her hands in her lap. "When you were children. He came home at half-past eleven next morning, and when I asked him where he'd been he nearly bit my head off. I'd been walking the floor all night, and I shall never forget his remarks when he opened the door to the police, who'd come to say they couldn't ...
— At Sunwich Port, Complete • W.W. Jacobs

... ran to see what he had done, and when I came near to where he was, his gun was lying up the hill behind him, and he setting down whining like a baby, and a great gore of blood hanging to his nose. I wish it had blowed his head off! I got tired of staying with the tarnation fool, who couldn't tell me a thing, when I heard you shooting, and the horn blowing for the men; and knowing the bar was dead, I started off full tilt. I hadn't gone fifty steps before I began to see where his bullets ...
— Wild Western Scenes • John Beauchamp Jones

... To head off political trickery on the part of the enemy he secured bills for material as delivered, and publicly compared them with prices paid for similar amounts of the same material used in other buildings. So the public was kept aware of what was going on and the cry of cheapness ...
— Twelve Men • Theodore Dreiser

... locks at me,' Sir Moon-Calf!" and she made a little grimace across the table at Julian, who responded to it with a complacent smile—"You can talk, talk, talk—of course! every man that ever sat in clubs, smoking and drinking, can talk one's head off—but you've got to LIVE, as well as talk! What do you know about self-indulgence being 'paramount,' except in your own case, eh? Do you think at all of the thousands and thousands of poor creatures everywhere, who completely ...
— God's Good Man • Marie Corelli

... knocked that blasted quarantine's head off," ejaculated Mr. Jack MacKenzie, with ferocious emphasis. I had been relating my experience with the campers; and was recounting how the man put his head out of the tent and warned me of smallpox. ...
— Lords of the North • A. C. Laut

... which I have chosen to leave a Blank in my life, and which I scorn to deny did—some of them—lie heavy on my Conscience. All these were mixed up with the old Gentleman at Gnawbit's, and my Lord Lovat with his head off, and my Grandmother in Hanover Square; so that I doubt whether those who tended me knew what to make of me. There was some difficulty too as to medical attendance, for we had cashiered our Surgeon—that is to say, he had run away at Grande in the Brazils, to marry a ...
— The Strange Adventures of Captain Dangerous, Vol. 3 of 3 • George Augustus Sala

... right hand and the result was that she could not even hit the tree on which the paper was fastened. She screwed her face up into a frightful grimace and turned her head away when she fired, as if she expected the explosion to blow her head off. But Ned gallantly assured her that she would be a good shot in time and never made one remark about "the way girls do such things." Hinpoha persisted until she had hit the paper once and then left to put her slumgullion over the fire, assisted by Lane Allen, ...
— The Camp Fire Girls in the Maine Woods - Or, The Winnebagos Go Camping • Hildegard G. Frey

... 'heller', and is now the owner of cattle and land and horses to a large amount. But then the Germans work, while the Dutch dawdle and the English drink. 'New wine' is a penny a glass (half a pint), enough to blow your head off, and 'Cape smoke' (brandy, like vitriol) ninepence a bottle—that is the real calamity. If the Cape had the grape disease as badly as Madeira, it would be the ...
— Letters from the Cape • Lady Duff Gordon

... about my symptoms. "Teuf, teuf, teuf!" heard outside, between screeches of wind. In bounces Sir Lionel, wet as a merman, dripping rivulets at every step, splashing, swashing in his boots, drops dripping from his eyelashes; glares around, looking ready to bite someone's head off without salt or sauce; sees me; brightens with a watery gleam; comes toward me, rather shy and stiff, yet evidently under the influence of—emotion of some sort. I didn't know whether to expect a scolding or a blessing, ...
— Set in Silver • Charles Norris Williamson and Alice Muriel Williamson

... you believe it? Why, I damn near fainted. His daughter too good for the likes of us! Of course I got so mad I couldn't see! Of course I pasted him square in the eye! And if I catch him sayin' things about me I'll knock his stuck-up head off! And I tell you, If you go near the dirty oilcan's place, And crawl around that snippy brat of his, I'll kick you out into the street to stay. You hear that? Eight out in the street you go! The nerve! The dirty, lousy, low-down crook! A Bootleg gettin' stuck-up over money! The world is crazy, that's ...
— Nonsenseorship • G. G. Putnam

... indications of rough justice as executed in those days; it was frequently adorned with the heads of rebels, traitors or others who had become unpopular, as, for instance, one Bohemicky. It appears that Bohemicky was quite unable to get along with his fellow-citizens, so they had his head off and added to the collection over the gateway. This happened in 1517, when the nations had emerged out of the darkness of the Middle Age and were struggling along by the yet uncertain light of civil progress ...
— From a Terrace in Prague • Lieut.-Col. B. Granville Baker

... so—in a basket, Eshcol-grape wise, like the walnuts. When we told Mother, she made no objection. She would have given her own head off her shoulders if, by ill-luck, any passer-by had thought of asking for it. Besides, it solved the difficulty of the ...
— We and the World, Part I - A Book for Boys • Juliana Horatia Ewing

... the youth how to beat out a small blaze and how to head off a large one, Wayland listened, but heard his instructions only as he sensed the brook, as an accompaniment to Berea's voice, for as she busied herself clearing away the dishes and putting the ...
— The Forester's Daughter - A Romance of the Bear-Tooth Range • Hamlin Garland

... eyes about for some weapon, but there was not a stick or a stone in sight. He was a good golf-player; if he had a loaded stick, he could easily take the serpent's head off, he thought; but there was no stick. There was only one hope, he felt, and that would be to attract the creature to himself; and he hardly dared move lest the fascinated gaze should close upon the victim as she lay there sweetly sleeping, ...
— The Girl from Montana • Grace Livingston Hill

... good a farmer as a yarn-spinner there would have been no question as to his success, for he had some story to tell about every yearling on the place, and they were inimitably told. It was with great reluctance that Hamilton found himself obliged to head off the man's eloquence and make him stick to hard facts. An inquiry as to the number of eggs sold was somewhat of a puzzle, but the farmer's wife knew the amount of the "trade" she had received at the grocery store in the nearest town ...
— The Boy With the U.S. Census • Francis Rolt-Wheeler

... about it?" Weary wanted to know. "I wasn't paying much attention, with the Kid yelling his head off and old Silver gaping like a sick turkey, and all. What was ...
— The Flying U's Last Stand • B. M. Bower

... dance?" said the Doctor: "the ball's begun. Ha! there goes poor Jack Delamere's head off! The ball chose a soft one, anyhow. Come here, Tim, till I mend your leg. Your wife has need only knit half as many stockings next year, Doolan my boy. Faix! there goes a big one had wellnigh stopped my talking: bedad! it has snuffed the feather off ...
— Burlesques • William Makepeace Thackeray

... two," she said, "seems to hev married because they both use a good deal o' salt—'t least they ain't much else they're alike in. An' Emerel is just one-half workin' her head off for him. Little nervous thing she is—when I heard she was down with nervous prostration two years ago, I says, 'Land, land,' I says, 'but ain't she always had it?' They's a strain o' good blood in that girl,—Al Kitton was New England,—but they don't none of it flow up through ...
— Friendship Village • Zona Gale

... when the Primacy was vacant, and to head off the nomination by Pitt, the King one morning at eight o'clock walked over to the residence of Bishop Manners Somers ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 7 - Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Orators • Elbert Hubbard

... laden merchantmen, and force a close action. Blake tried to cut off Tromp from the north so as to block his road home. Vice Admiral Penn, leading the van, broke through the Dutch battle line and fell upon the convoy, but Blake was unable to reach far enough to head off his adversary before he rounded Cape Gris Nez under cover of darkness and found anchorage in Calais roads. That night, favored by the tide and thick weather, Tromp succeeded in carrying off the greater part of his convoy unobserved. Nevertheless he had left in Blake's ...
— A History of Sea Power • William Oliver Stevens and Allan Westcott

... heel. You listen and listen until you drop your head. Pleasant, exceedingly pleasant! like the sleep after a bath. Ivan Nikiforovitch, on the contrary, is more reticent; but if he once takes up his parable, look out for yourself! He can talk your head off. ...
— Taras Bulba and Other Tales • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... and they twisted it round her arms. I had the muzzle of a rifle poked into my ribs. They made me get off my horse. And they made me walk back along the trail. They fired bullets each side of me and laughed at me when I dodged. They told me if I looked back they'd shoot my damned head off." Donald's eyes were filled with tears of self-pity and the remembrance of his helpless rage. "They kept firing at me until I'd passed the stream. I hid in the willows, but I couldn't see anything. I couldn't even see the men who had ...
— Rimrock Trail • J. Allan Dunn

... to head off the sheep, but failed. They said, "If we had believed him, he would not have gone off with the sheep. But perhaps some day we will see ...
— Myths and Legends of California and the Old Southwest • Katharine Berry Judson

... to pass the exam, Manning. Get that? I'm going to pass and then come back and beat your head off!" Turning on his heel, he stalked out ...
— Stand by for Mars! • Carey Rockwell

... did not possess quite the same sanguine nature that his cousin had. Andy seldom allowed thoughts of possible disaster to annoy him, but on the other hand Frank was always trying to head off trouble. ...
— The Aeroplane Boys Flight - A Hydroplane Roundup • John Luther Langworthy

... it is no longer possible simply to ignore William; but from the king downwards, there is great disinclination to grant him succour, and Queen Blanchefleur is especially hostile. William is going to cut her head off—his usual course of action when annoyed—after actually addressing her in a speech of extreme directness, somewhat resembling Hamlet's to Gertrude, but much ruder. Their mother saves Blanchefleur, and after she has fled in terror to her chamber, the fair Aelis, her daughter, a gracious apparition, ...
— The Flourishing of Romance and the Rise of Allegory - (Periods of European Literature, vol. II) • George Saintsbury

... but outside the sky seemed to be growing lighter, and mother still stooped from bed to bed, moving placidly, like a cow. Sometimes she put the watering-pot down on the gravel path, and bent to uproot a microscopic weed or to pull the head off a dead flower. Sometimes she went to the well to get some more water, and then Jack was sorry that he had been shut indoors, for he liked letting the pail down with a run and hearing it bump against the ...
— The Ghost Ship • Richard Middleton

... the dark, wondering at his mood. Hardly had I regained my seat when a pistol shot rang out. He had blown the top of his head off. ...
— Homo - 1909 • F. Hopkinson Smith

... spirits were tired of the show or fearful of its issue. Hermeias and Zeuxis, two of his bitterest enemies, shouted out that he was an Impostor[275] and rushed upon him. One of the two thrust a sword through his side, the other smote his head off with an axe. It was then the women's turn. Megallis's female slaves were given the power to treat her as they would. They first tortured her, then led her up to a high place and dashed her to the ground. Eunus avenged his private wrongs by the death ...
— A History of Rome, Vol 1 - During the late Republic and early Principate • A H.J. Greenidge

... himself. It was true, old Battle was eating his head off. But the pig had made a wonderful sensation, and so crowded the house every night as to demonstrate the fact that first rate talent of every kind was highly appreciated in New York. The critics, with scarcely a dissenting voice, had declared ...
— The Life and Adventures of Maj. Roger Sherman Potter • "Pheleg Van Trusedale"

... please tell us where we may find him, pardner?" spoke up Tad, observing how the land lay and wishing to head off friction. ...
— The Pony Rider Boys in the Grand Canyon - The Mystery of Bright Angel Gulch • Frank Gee Patchin

... knock his ugly head off!" said Will encouragingly, and the babe to whom he spoke made renewed efforts as both combatants tumbled into the road, the devil in their little bright eyes, each puny muscle straining. Tim had his foe by the hair, and the ...
— Children of the Mist • Eden Phillpotts

... are half-Irish, whether you like it or not," he said. "Is not she, colleen? Bless me, what a day it has turned out! We are getting summer weather at last. What do you say to going for a drive, Eileen—Ellen, I mean? Black Bess is eating her head off in the stables. I want to go as far as Murphy's place, and you might as well come ...
— Light O' The Morning • L. T. Meade

... the eager interest in the faces of American women show that they are going somewhere; and when women have started for somewhere, they are harder to head off than a comet.... All roads for women lead to suffrage, even if they do not know it. We are Daughters of Evolution, and who can stop old Dame Evolution?... We must live up to our principles, or, as a nation, we are not going to live at all. Then it will be time for Liberty ...
— The History of Woman Suffrage, Volume IV • Various

... than they can do.' That kind of authority and ownership, absolute and utter, to the point of death, may satisfy a tyrant or a slave-driver, it does not satisfy the loving heart of God. It is not real possession at all. In what sense did Nero own Paul when he shut him up in prison, and cut his head off? Does the slave-owner own the man whom he whips within an inch of his life, and who dare not do anything without his permission? Does God, in any sense that corresponds with the longing of infinite love, own the men that reluctantly obey Him, and are simply, as it were, tools ...
— Expositions Of Holy Scripture - Volume I: St. Luke, Chaps. I to XII • Alexander Maclaren

... the bloody chamber. "Since thou hast gone into the room against my will," said he, "thou shalt go back into it against thine own. Thy life is ended." He threw her down, dragged her thither by her hair, cut her head off on the block, and hewed her in pieces so that her blood ran on the ground. Then he threw her into ...
— Household Tales by Brothers Grimm • Grimm Brothers

... of them, and it is likely that he practised on a nettle at taking the head off Goll, and that he hunted a sheep from cover in the implacable manner he intended later on for Cona'n ...
— Irish Fairy Tales • James Stephens

... him that if he could not eat cold meat he was not hungry enough to eat anything, and if he did not put that knife away one of our men would knock his head off. He became quiet at once and sat down to his supper, muttering something about not being treated like a gentleman. We would like to shut our doors altogether against this class of fellows, but there are difficulties in the way. We would ...
— The Land of the Kangaroo - Adventures of Two Youths in a Journey through the Great Island Continent • Thomas Wallace Knox

... Arthurs used the two pitchers he had been trying hard to develop, and when they did locate the plate they were hit hard. Ken played or essayed to play right field for a while, but he ran around like a chicken with its head off, as a Travers player expressed it, and then Arthurs told him that he had better grace the bench the rest of the game. Ashamed as Ken was to be put out, he was yet more ashamed to feel that he was glad of it. Hardest of all to bear was the arrogant air put ...
— The Young Pitcher • Zane Grey

... bother me now! I—I mean, wait a bit. That's the call to 'head off' someone, and—By George! There he is now, coming head on, the hound, ...
— Cleek: the Man of the Forty Faces • Thomas W. Hanshew

... Briggs, will you?" cried Sandy Griggs. "He's dancing around like a chicken after you've chopped its head off." ...
— The Banner Boy Scouts Snowbound - A Tour on Skates and Iceboats • George A. Warren

... money, put the same amount in for Alice, and start you in business.' Say, John, I wanted to go through the parlor floor and on through the earth and then out through the busiest fort at Port Arthur, and let a Jap shell knock my silly head off." ...
— You Can Search Me • Hugh McHugh

... the ground, slam bang. He swore he would not dance, and he was jerked about until it was a wonder he was not killed. At last he had to dance." "Sometimes they would be jerked about like a cock with his head off, all about the ground." The dancing I judge to have been an involuntary convulsive movement, which was the close of the general spasm. Of course, the people believed the whole was a "manifestation of the power of God." There is no reason to doubt that McNemar's descriptions are accurate; from ...
— The Communistic Societies of the United States • Charles Nordhoff

... man with whom they would have to deal, they first carefully prepared their fire-arms, and then detailed a half-dozen of their number, most conversant with the locality, to go forward, spread themselves around the borders of Gaut's clearing, and cautiously advance to the house, so as to head off any attempt he might make to escape, when the main body made their appearance. All the time spent in these precautions, however, as well as this whole jaunt thus far up the river, was destined to be mostly lost; for, as the company ...
— Gaut Gurley • D. P. Thompson

... highroads at a time when every educated person was regarded as an enemy of the Revolutionary state. They took Condorcet and they bound him and they gagged him and they threw him into the village lock-up, but in the morning when the soldiers came to drag him back to Paris and cut his head off, ...
— The Story of Mankind • Hendrik van Loon

... free agency and ability came along ... and they'd stick up their ears.... But next minute came along the plea of morality and self-dependence, and I took them by the nape of the neck and twisted their head off." There must have been great inertness in New England at the time of his first visit to Boston, when "nobody seemed to have an idea that there was anything but what God had locked up and frozen from all eternity. The bottom of accountability had fallen out. My first business was to put it in again." ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 15, No. 91, May, 1865 • Various

... around to keep the chickens out. He was a fine chicken dog, Stubby grudgingly admitted. He couldn't keep him from following, said Stubby, so he just let him come. Sometimes when they were waiting in line Stubby made ferocious threats at Hero. He was going to break his back and wring his head off and do other heartless things which for some reason he never started in right then and there ...
— Lifted Masks - Stories • Susan Glaspell

... hear dat? Do ye know who dat sassy, low-lived, mizzable, no-count, ornery turkey was, dat kep' a-swellin' up, thinkin' he was free an' somebody great till dat caarvin' knife tuk his head off? Dat's you!" ...
— Colonel Carter's Christmas and The Romance of an Old-Fashioned Gentleman • F. Hopkinson Smith

... Polly screaming the top of her head off one side the river; while a muffled noise, like a bull-frog croaking, came from the ferry ...
— The Torch and Other Tales • Eden Phillpotts

... being well received and supplied with food, pretending a desire to buy something and whilst the old man was taking from the chest the cloth the Indian wanted the latter took up an ax and cut his head off, further plundering the house, and ran away. This outrage obliged the Director to demand satisfaction from the sachem, who refused it, saying that he was sorry that twenty Christians had not been murdered ...
— Narrative of New Netherland • J. F. Jameson, Editor

... bitterness knitting those wonderfully pencilled brows above the big eyes. "Fer my part, I'm sick o' livin' this-a-way. When you're gone, an' I'm here agin by my lonesome, I'm as apt as not to put the muzzle o' my gun in my mouth an' blow the top o' my head off—that's how I feel most o' the time. I tell you what you do, Dan: you jest put these here on me an' take me down to Garyville—er plumb on to Asheville—an' draw your money. That'll square up things fer you an' that pore little gal. What ...
— Southern Lights and Shadows • Edited by William Dean Howells & Henry Mills Alden

... shame tortured her, so she was not easy till she had again quarrelled with Theresa and had almost shaken her sister's head off. ...
— The Rainbow • D. H. (David Herbert) Lawrence

... grove on the Seely Hill where I had hunted fabled monsters and gone whooping down among the cattle, the Greathouse meadow where Red Mike pitched me out of the saddle when he grew tired of having his bit jerked, and I sat up in my little petticoats and solemnly demanded that Jourdan should cut his head off, a thing the old man promised on his sacred honour when he could borrow the ax of the man in the moon; the high gate-post by the cattle-scales where I perched bareheaded in a calico dress and watched old Bedford make his last fight against ...
— Dwellers in the Hills • Melville Davisson Post

... coarse and vulgar we have heard mothers in provocation speak thus to their children: "Haven't you any sense?" "You are the foolishest thing I ever saw." "I'll box your head off." "I'll beat you to death." "I wish you were dead," and other like expressions. Such is awful language, but it has escaped the lips of many a mother. Before the public they like to appear gentle, mild ...
— The Gospel Day • Charles Ebert Orr

... him with a friendly smile. "I know just how you feel, Jack," he said. "But the thing is pure necessity. If you hadn't shot that chap back in the path there, he'd have had Me Dain's head off as sure as sin, and after you shot him, the rest followed as straight as ...
— Jack Haydon's Quest • John Finnemore

... young, to think that he Can stop the full spring-tide of calumny? Knows he the world so little, and its trade? Alas! the devil's sooner raised than laid. So strong, so swift, the monster there's no gagging: Cut Scandal's head off, still the tongue is wagging. Proud of your smiles once lavishly bestow'd, Again our young Don Quixote takes the road; To show his gratitude he draws his pen, And seeks his hydra, Scandal, in his den. For your applause all perils he would through— He'll fight—that's ...
— The School For Scandal • Richard Brinsley Sheridan

... from a hint from a Huron girl, and the rest from the Intendant's Secretary. Men cannot keep secrets that women are interested in knowing! I could make De Pean talk the Intendant's head off his shoulders, if I had him an hour in my confessional. But all my ingenuity could not extract from him what he did not know—who that mysterious lady is, her name ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... a source on which I can rely, that French has newly conceived the atrocious project of tempting her into the coach-house by meat and kindness, and there, from an elevated portmanteau, blowing her head off. This I mean sternly to interdict, and to do so to-day as a work ...
— The Life of Charles Dickens, Vol. I-III, Complete • John Forster

... couldn't suppress his sense of humor. He could not, or would not, keep from laughing, even when he was supposed to be blowing the head off a Boche. He was properly disciplined and put out of the game, and we went on with our maneuvers to the accompaniment of the clicking cameras until the photographers had gathered in a fine lot ...
— In the Claws of the German Eagle • Albert Rhys Williams

... calculating attention to the details of marksmanship belied by the fierce joy in his brilliant black eyes, ceased firing at Terry's shouted command and detached eight of his man, who caught up some frightened ponies and raced through the woods to head off the ...
— Terry - A Tale of the Hill People • Charles Goff Thomson

... my journey. Surrender at once, and I will take you with me. If you don't I will set this dog to bite your head off!" ...
— Japanese Fairy Tales • Yei Theodora Ozaki

... friends, in creating our womankind the Maker of us all was beyond doubt actuated by laudable and cogent reasons; so that I can merely lament my inability to fathom these reasons. I shall obey the Queen faithfully, since if I did otherwise Sire Edward would have my head off within a day of his return. In consequence, I do not consider it convenient to oppose his vicar. To-morrow I shall assemble the tatters of troops which remain to us, and to-morrow we march northward to inevitable defeat. To-night I am sending a courier into Northumberland. ...
— Chivalry • James Branch Cabell

... the boy said to Sunny, as he set him carefully down. "Now you take my advice and trot along home and get on dry shoes and stockings. You'll be sneezing your head off to-morrow, if you ...
— Sunny Boy and His Playmates • Ramy Allison White

... I'm here somewhere but he can't tell exactly where," Grumpy said to himself. "He can yelp his head off, ...
— The Tale of Grumpy Weasel - Sleepy-Time Tales • Arthur Scott Bailey

... on me. I wouldn't have said a word if I'd known that you were here," said Cashel, dejectedly. "Lie down and be walked over; that's what you think I'm fit for. Another man would have twisted his head off." ...
— Cashel Byron's Profession • George Bernard Shaw

... to hurt a man so that he should not do in future what he is hurt for doing, and it is also quite reasonable to cut a man's head off when he is injurious or dangerous to society. These punishments have a reasonable meaning. But what sense is there in locking up in a prison a man perverted by want of occupation and bad example; to place ...
— Resurrection • Count Leo Tolstoy

... continually on the alert to head off zealous but injudicious women who were determined to commit the suffrage movement to the various ologies and isms of the day, and especially to personal matters. Even a woman so intellectually great as Mrs. Stanton could not be relied upon always to make her individual ...
— The Life and Work of Susan B. Anthony (Volume 2 of 2) • Ida Husted Harper

... be insulted at that, and asked: 'Do you think I would eat after a d—d Nigger?' I replied: 'I have not thought at all on the subject, and, moreover, I don't quite understand you, as I can't find that last word in the dictionary.' He then took up a glass and said he would knock my head off. I told him to throw as soon as he pleased, and as soon as he got through I would throw mine. The commandant of the table here interfered and ordered us to stop creating a disturbance at the table, and gave me to understand that ...
— Henry Ossian Flipper, The Colored Cadet at West Point • Henry Ossian Flipper

... doubt that it would be advisable," Carroll answered thoughtfully. "As I've pointed out, you have spent a good deal of the cash you got when you turned the Clermont over to the company. In fact, that's one reason why I didn't try to head off this timber-hunting scheme. You can't spend much over the search, and if the spruce comes up to expectations, you ought to get it back. It would be a fortunate change, after your extravagance ...
— Vane of the Timberlands • Harold Bindloss

... big snake by Torrey Creek corral. The boys got betting pretty lively that I dassent make my word good as to dealing with him, so I loped my cayuse full tilt by Mr. Snake, and swung down and catched him up by the tail from the ground, and cracked him same as a whip, and snapped his head off. You've saw it done?" ...
— The Virginian - A Horseman Of The Plains • Owen Wister

... glad to know one person in the country who doesn't gabble his head off. You haven't answered any of my questions, and you've made me feel as if you'd found a dangerous, wild woman that morning. It isn't very flattering, but I ...
— Sawtooth Ranch • B. M. Bower



Words linked to "Head off" :   foreclose, prevent, preclude, forestall, forbid



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