Idiom:  scratch one’s head

idiom scratch ones head


Idiom:  scratch one’s head

  • to be confused about or have difficulty understanding something


This idiom provides a way of expressing confusion or uncertainty. For example, if someone says, "I had to scratch my head for a minute before I understood what she was saying," it means that first they were confused, but then after thinking about it for awhile they understood her.

This idiom can also be used to describe a person who is trying to think of a solution to a problem or what to do or how to proceed. For example, "I've been scratching my head all day trying to decide how to solve this problem."

Even though the word "scratch" is used in this phrase, it doesn't actually mean that someone has to scratch their head. An idiom is a metaphor. Using this idiom is just a way of showing that someone is trying to think hard about something or figure something out.

So, when you hear this phrase, don't worry about actually scratching your head - just remember that it means someone is confused or uncertain.

Example sentences

— My dad scratched his head as our dog ran in circles around the house for 20 minutes.

— I was scratching my head when my girlfriend got angry at me for giving her a necklace.

— When I opened my laptop and saw an error message, I scratched my head and hoped that it wasn't too serious.

— When my grandma started using emojis in her text messages, I scratched my head and wondered how she learned to do that.

— We were all scratching our heads when the waiter gave our 12 year old the wine list and asked if he preferred red or white wine.

— When I saw my friend's new tattoo that looked like a misspelled word, I scratched my head and asked if he was sure that was what he wanted.

— The director asked my boss a difficult question during the management meeting. After watching my boss scratch his head for a few moments, I decided to jump in and answer the question for him.

idiom scratch your head

— When I saw a bird with a bright blue feather, I scratched my head and wondered if it was real or a toy.

— After reading the confusing instructions for the new gadget, my wife scratched her head and decided to ask me for help.

— After hearing the strange noise coming from the car engine, my husband started scratching his head and I immediately called the mechanic before he could try to fix it.

— I had to scratch my head for a while to remember where I put my keys this morning.

— When I tried to fix my broken bicycle chain, I scratched my head and wished that I had paid more attention in shop class.

— We all scratched our heads when the teacher said we could take the test separately or together as a group.

I scratched my head when I saw the weather forecast until I realized it was in Celsius instead of Fahrenheit.

— Are English idioms leaving you scratching your head? They are confusing but an important part of the English language. Download Oyster English's FREE idioms eBook to easily learn new idioms today!


  • be at a loss
  • not have a clue
  • without a clue

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