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Chris -- 2018-04-11

#1 2009-11-19 18:41:10

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1581

"head over hills" for head over heels

I’m not sure what to make of this one I came across: “head over hills” in love. I doesn’t appear to be connected to head for the hills. Some are falling head over hills. A real image, or one of the lesser categories I forget the definitions of (pail/flounder/...)?

Twilit fanfic
don’t make her fall head over hills for him yet.
( … pid=530993)

Dating forum
i may give it a try instead of being the one always head over hills for someone.
( … n-you.html)

Dating legal advice forum
We’re head over hills in love with one another. She’s MUCH more mature than most 16 year olds, BUT her parents hate me.
( … 50016.html)

Korean soap opera review
once again, i was floating in a world of fantasy… a world where an ordinary girl meets a handsome rich guy who falls head over hills in love with her



#2 2009-11-19 20:42:31

From: Victoria, BC
Registered: 2007-08-28
Posts: 2641

Re: "head over hills" for head over heels

I think “pail” is the term you seek. But see … hp?id=3526

“Head over hills” in love comes pretty close to being an eggcorn, though. And a two-bagger. Heading over the hills might be an extravagant act induced by passion.

Hatching new language, one eggcorn at a time.



#3 2009-11-19 21:17:14

From: California
Registered: 2005-10-25
Posts: 1665

Re: "head over hills" for head over heels

I guess I’m the forum’s resident contrarian, but I’m also a sentimentalist—and this looks to me like a fairly reasonable eggcorn. Metaphors of buoyancy or elevation are often used to express romantic bliss: “I’m walking on air”; “She makes me me feel ten feet tall”; “I’m over the moon”; “He’s got his head in the clouds,” etc. I have no trouble imagining that such ideas may help motivate this reshaping.That picture of a floating head may seem to partake of the surreal, but it wouldn’t really be all that weird for an English idiom to use “head” synecdochally for the self as a whole.

This is the kind of reshaping that makes me realize that some of my co-linguals just aren’t subjecting certain elements of their language to much conscious scrutiny. “Head” and “heels” feel like a fairly transparent metaphorical pairing to me, but I’m kinda grateful that some others are more imaginative.



#4 2009-11-19 22:01:11

Peter Forster
From: UK
Registered: 2006-09-06
Posts: 1019

Re: "head over hills" for head over heels

Walking for example 10,000 miles for the loved one, or to the ends of the earth seem pretty well established, and being head over the hills in love looks like an extension, or rather a commencement of such a declaration. I like it, and now I’ll have that Proclaimers song punctuating each stray thought for the next 12 hours.



#5 2009-11-19 23:03:32

From: Mexico
Registered: 2007-10-11
Posts: 2198

Re: "head over hills" for head over heels

I’m with Pat here. The notion of the specifically mental/intellectual faculties being suspended (over something?) and rendered null by love is a very old one: he’s crazy about her/nuts over her/mad for her/completely besotted by her …. So the head is likely the standard synechdochal stand-in for the brains instead of/besides a stand-in for the self as a whole.
The phrase “over the hills and far away” may be involved too, with its notion of distance as well as its air of insouciance. If a person has “gone loony” through love, his head being (or dancing) over the hills and far away feels like a very natural metaphor/synecdoche.

*If the human mind were simple enough for us to understand,
we would be too simple-minded to understand it* .

(Possible Corollary: it is, and we are .)



#6 2009-11-20 07:04:31

David Bird
From: Montréal, QC
Registered: 2009-07-28
Posts: 1581

Re: "head over hills" for head over heels

Great responses. This might be an opportune moment to slip in another image: egg balancing. Kem’s link on another post about thinking outside the box leads to the egg-balancing stories of the Egg of Columbus and the Egg of Li Chun.



#7 2016-09-16 17:44:49

Dixon Wragg
From: Cotati, California
Registered: 2008-07-04
Posts: 1322

Re: "head over hills" for head over heels

Here’s a variation I recently encountered:

“While Siegel-Schwall (head-over-heals in love with the blues) was in residency with the masters, like Howlin Wolf, Muddy Waters, and Willie Dixon…”
Corky Siegel’s site

But unless someone here can think of an image that makes eggcornish sense for this substitution, I’ll have to assume it’s just a typo or spelling error.



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