Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Head of Cattle.

 Head and Shoulders.Head over Heels (To turn). 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Head of Cattle.
 
Cattle are counted by the head; manufacturing labourers by hands, as “How many hands do you employ?” horses by the nose (See NOSE); guests at dinner by the cover, as “Covers for ten,” etc. (See NUMBERS, HAND.)   1
   In contracting for meals the contractor takes the job at so much “a head”—i.e. for each person.   2
 


 Head and Shoulders.Head over Heels (To turn). 

 
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