bury head in the sand

bury one’s head in the sand

Meaning

  • hide from the truth
  • intentional naivety 
  • to play dumb
  • to avoid circumstances
  • avert shame
  • to act stupid
  • refuse to think about an unpleasant situation, hoping that it will improve so that you will not have to deal with it.

Example Sentences

  1. Finals begin in a week and if I continue to bury my head in the sand, I’ll be taking this class again next semester.
  2. The couple knew that their relationship was deteriorating, but with their heads buried in the sand, they kept dragging it along.
  3. A popular cheerleader at school let out a huge burp today during an assembly. She’ll probably bury her head in the sand for the rest of the year.
  4. When our supervisor gathered us all and asked who the last person was to scan the incoming shipment, Brad had his head buried in the sand because he knew that meant he had done something wrong.
  5. Parents and the principal claimed that ragging was being ignored and accused the warden of burying her head in the sand.
  6. During a financial crisis, it can be tempting to bury your head in the sand and avoid dealing with the problem entirely.
  7. Brad resolved to get to the bottom of the matter rather than bury his head in the sand.
  8. He’s a problem solver in most situations, but in your case, he wanted to bury his head in the sand.

Origin

Being one of the older verified origins; this one date back to the early Roman Empire (Circa 30 A.D.–50 A.D.). It was recorded by Gaius Plinius Secundus, also known as “Pliny the Elder”. He was an author and naturalist who spent most of his time traveling, studying, and writing about the natural world. It was his mistaken inference that ostriches would hide their heads in the bushes to avoid the danger that became the common misconception we know of today.

Gaius’ misconceived notion of where their heads were buried changed from the bushes to the sand, due to an increased understanding of ostrich behavior throughout the years. Though not for defensive purposes, ostriches do insert their heads into the ground. Being flightless birds, they cannot build elevated nests as most birds do. Rather, they are forced to dig holes in which they lay their eggs. If you see an ostrich with its head in a hole, it’s because it is checking on its babies and turning the eggs.

With this knowledge in mind, it’s not too impractical to suggest that maybe Pliny the Elder was burying his head in the sand to avoid his lack of attention to detail regarding the natural world.

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Meaning: to have an important standing in society

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