bang head against wall

bang head against wall

Synonyms | Variants

  • bang head against a brick wall
  • hit head against a brick wall
  • beat head against a brick wall


  • to be frustrated in your efforts to change something or make something happen
  • to keep trying to do something, without success
  • telling someone (e.g. a child) something, or asking them to do something, when they don’t listen or refuse to do it
  • making effort but going nowhere, and getting very frustrated
  • to be repeatedly prevented from achieving a goal
  • continually finding yourself blocked from getting what you want

Example Sentences

  1. Trying to keep this place clean and tidy is like hitting my head against a brick wall.
  2. I’m just beating my head against a brick wall here – I’ll never finish this on time.
  3.  If I were you I would give up trying to persuade the Principal. You’re just hitting your head against a brick wall.
  4.  That child never listens! Trying to teach him anything is like banging my head on a brick wall.
  5. I keep saying that I’m stepping down as secretary next year, but it’s like banging my head against a brick wall. Nobody else wants to do it, so they ignore me and hope that I’ll stay on in the post.


The phrase is said to have originated in the late 1500’s.

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