Entries linking to head-shrinker
Old English heafod "top of the body," also "upper end of a slope," also "chief person, leader, ruler; capital city," from Proto-Germanic *haubid (source also of Old Saxon hobid, Old Norse hofuð, Old Frisian haved, Middle Dutch hovet, Dutch hoofd, Old High German houbit, German Haupt, Gothic haubiþ "head"), from PIE root *kaput- "head."
Modern spelling is early 15c., representing what was then a long vowel (as in heat) and remained after pronunciation shifted. Of rounded tops of plants from late 14c. Meaning "origin of a river" is mid-14c. Meaning "obverse of a coin" (the side with the portrait) is from 1680s; meaning "foam on a mug of beer" is first attested 1540s; meaning "toilet" is from 1748, based on location of crew toilet in the bow (or head) of a ship.
Synechdochic use for "person" (as in head count) is first attested late 13c.; of cattle, etc., in this sense from 1510s. As a height measure of persons, from c. 1300. Meaning "drug addict" (usually in a compound with the preferred drug as the first element) is from 1911.
To be over (one's) head "beyond one's comprehension" is by 1620s. To give head "perform fellatio" is from 1950s. Phrase heads will roll "people will be punished" (1930) translates Adolf Hitler. Head case "eccentric or insane person" is from 1966. Head game "mental manipulation" attested by 1972.
Middle English shrinken, from Old English scrincan "to draw in the limbs, contract spontaneously, shrivel up; wither (through death, age, disease, etc.), pine away" (class III strong verb; past tense scranc, past participle scruncen), from Proto-Germanic *skrink- (source also of Middle Dutch schrinken, Swedish skrynka "to wrinkle"), probably from PIE root *sker- (2) "to turn, bend."
Originally it had a causal form, shrench (compare drink/drench). The sense of "become reduced in size" is recorded from late 13c. The meaning "draw back, recoil" (early 14c.) often was in reference to the behavior of snails; the meaning "flinch, wince, draw back from fear or shame" is by mid-14c. The transitive sense of "cause to shrink, make to appear smaller" is from late 14c.
Shrink-wrap "clingy thin plastic film" used in food packaging is attested from 1961 (shrinking-wrap is by 1959). Shrinking violet "shy person" is attested by 1882.
mid-15c., "a wrinkle;" 1580s, "an act of shrinking;" from shrink (v.). The slang meaning "psychiatrist, psychotherapist" (by 1966) is from head-shrinker.
updated on October 10, 2017
Dictionary entries near head-shrinker