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Head out

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on December 28, 2005

In Reply to: Head out posted by Kurt on December 28, 2005

: Does anyone know where the phrase "Head out" - as in leave, exit, go - come from?

It comes from almost every kind of transport before the internal combustion engine. To go anywhere by boat, you steer the ship's "head" (i.e. the bows) in the direction you want to go. So you "head in to port" or "head out to sea". Similarly, on land, when riding or driving a cart or carriage, you have to turn your horses' heads in the direction you are going. So it's quite natural to say "head out", "head off", "head towards" and so on.