on one's head

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Prepositional phrase[edit]

on one's head

  1. Assumed or borne, as a responsibility or something blameworthy.
    • 1898, George Bernard Shaw, Caesar and Cleopatra, act V:
      CLEOPATRA (vehemently): He has shed the blood of my servant Ftatateeta. On your head be it as upon his, Caesar, if you hold him free of it.
  2. Assigned by government authorities as a bounty or penalty.
    • 1810, Sir Walter Scott, "The Lady of the Lake," Canto Fourth, XVII:
      My father is a man
      Outlawed and exiled, under ban;
      The price of blood is on his head.
    • 1872, Mark Twain, Roughing It, ch. 9:
      There wasn'ta man around there but had a price on his head and didn't dare show himself in the settlements.
    • 1989, Larry Rohter, "Fighting in Panama; Noriega Seeks Asylum at Vatican Embassy," New York Times, 25 Dec.:
      The Bush Administration had made the capture of General Noriega a principal objective, putting a $1 million bounty on his head.
    • 2007, "Demon dacoit resurrected, sent back to underworld," Daily Times (Pakistan), 13 Dec.:
      There was a Rs 2.5 million reward on his head.

Related terms[edit]