High praise. It"s a metaphorical use of head to mean what"s had within -- brains and also the good sense to usage them.

You are watching: Good head on your shoulders meaning

Also heard:

You have actually an excellent head on your shoulders. You have actually an excellent head for .

For example, from The Ponca Tribe by J. H. Howard:

he chiefs would apallude the leader. He was schosen from among the bravest warriors. He had actually to have actually a great head and not to do things rashly or else the whole tribe would certainly experience.


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When someone claims "you have a great head for something" they mean you have a organic capability to carry out something well.

It has the same interpretation as "have a knack for something".

If you intend someone mirrors intelligence and also excellent judgement instead of a distinct talent, use clever or smart.


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Here are some situations wright here you can prefer this idiom over a single word, clever or smart.

If you desire to convey the "great judgment" part.If you want to usage good head for something (somepoint specific).If the look and feel (or sound) of an idiomatic expression appeals to you more than a one-word summary does -- in the specific conmessage.
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In 1978 I mutual the bandstand also (on alto saxophone) with trombonist Frank Rosolino in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He had actually simply done a clinic (percreating and teaching) at a local high school or college, and this was a jam session which adhered to that. When I finiburned playing, he shelp to me, "You have a good head." I was so flabbergasted to gain a compliment from one of the greatest jazz trombonists in the human being, that I didn"t also ask him what he expected. Probably the above summary of "brains and also the excellent feeling to use them" (as soon as improvising) would certainly be the best definition.

Sad to say, Frank"s life ended tragically later on that year.


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