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Wrap Your Head Around: Meaning of the Fun Idiom!

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To “wrap your head around” – I have always found this phrase funny. Our head is not a thread or something which can get wrapped. Actually, that’s what’s fun about such phrases & idioms. There is no connection between the literal & figurative meaning whatsoever! So, today, we will unwrap the meaning of one such phrase.

What does ‘wrap your head around’ mean?

‘Wrap your head around’ is an idiomatic expression that is used to refer to the feeling you have when you have to comprehend and accept something difficult, confusing, complicated, unfamiliar, strange, or challenging. For example, “Tony can’t wrap around the fact that his parents are divorced.”

In this article, I have tried to compile everything you need to know about ‘Wrap your head around’ expression and present it in as simple words possible. Hope you’ll enjoy reading it. Let’s dig in!

What Does it Mean to ‘Wrap Your Head Around’ Something?

We saw that ‘Wrap your head around’ is an idiomatic expression. So, what is an idiomatic expression? Why and where do we use it?

In simple words, “idioms” or “idiomatic expressions” are expressions or words that convey something very different from what it’s literal meaning suggests. Let me put it in simple words:

When we cook veggies, we add salt & peer to make them tasty. Without salt & pepper too, they are ideally ready-to-eat. But, salt & pepper makes us want to eat them!

Idiomatic expressions are like Salt & pepper in writing.

The primary function of salt and pepper in cooking is to enhance the taste of the food; similarly, to spice things up in the English language, we use words or groups of words called “idioms”. Ironically, ‘idioms’ are famous for their figurative and non-literal ways to convey emotions and meanings faster than any phrase, to be taken in its literal sense! So, if somebody asks you to ‘spill the beans’, you don’t have to rush to the kitchen and fetch beans. Having understood what idioms are, let’s talk about the ‘Wrap your head around’!

‘Wrap your head around’ is an idiom that came into common usage in the twentieth century. It is synonymous with “getting one’s head around” something which was in common parlance before “wrapping one’s head around” came into usage.

Let’s examine the meaning and usage of “wrap your head around” and I assure you, it’ll be a piece of cake!

“Wrap one’s head around” is a verb synonymous to “get my head around”, basically meaning ‘to comprehend’ or ‘try to understand’ something twisted or confusing. Can’t wrap your head around that yet? Don’t you worry, let’s take a few examples for the sake of clarity.

Examples of ‘Wrap Your Head Around’ Usage in a Sentence

 What is the first word that comes to your mind as you think of wrapping? Most of you’d say, ‘gift’, absolutely right. So, when we talk of wrapping one’s head around something it means that one is trying to accept or comprehend something that seems strange. For example: “Have you got your head around your new school yet?” or “I couldn’t wrap my head around what happened at the party yesterday.” Or “She is still trying to wrap her head around his sudden change of behavior towards her.”

As the above examples convey, next time you are finding it difficult to interpret or accept something out of the ordinary, you say, “I can’t wrap my head around this.”

More Examples:

  • “Don’t worry about me, I have wrapped my head around that a long time ago!”
  • “Justin has a hard time wrapping his head around the math homework.”
  • “Man, that is absurd! I can’t wrap my head around it.”
  • “It was hard. But, he had to wrap his head around the fact that he was not a little boy anymore!”
  • “It is difficult starting college… adjusting to the schedule and wrapping your head around everything that’s going on the campus.”
  • “When did the situation get so complicated. Just give me a minute to wrap my head around it.”

What are Other Sayings or Expressions for ‘Wrap One’s Head Around’?

Here are some synonyms that you can use instead of ‘wrap one’s head around’:

  • To get one’s head around something
  • To understand and accept
  • To understand and admit

How to Remember the Right Usage of ‘Wrap Your Head Around’?

English idioms are fairly simple to remember if you understand their usage. Here is a simple trick to help you fixate your brain on it.

  1. The human head is not something that can be wrapped around something, right.
  2. But, our head has a brain in it.
  3. And, the brain has neurons that look like threads.
  4. Threads can be wrapped around stuff.
  5. When we look at Neurons, we think of stuff like Brain, Knowledge, Brilliance, Etc.
  6. So, if we are “wrapping our neurons around something, it is probably because we want to understand it.

Of course, the whole thing above is nonsensical. But, I bet the next time you hear that expression, you’ll think of this stupid way I just explained.


English idioms & expressions like ‘Wrap Your Head Around’ are not just important for improving communication but are so fun to learn. We use phrases that make almost no sense literally but make our language beautiful figuratively.

If you enjoy reading this article, you might also enjoy ‘Elephant In The Room?

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About Me

Jui Shirvalkar-Chandurkar

Founder, A Good Library

Documenting my study notes in this cute little study library here!

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