like a hole in the head


like a hole in the head


  • to have absolutely no need for something
  • emphasizing that getting something unnecessary would only cause more problems
  • the term is mostly used with ‘need‘ for something that is not useful at all

Example Sentences

  1. I need a new friend is like a hole in the head, I am good to be single.
  2. I need another pair of black shoes like a hole in the head. But I am buying them anyway.
  3. Keeping another pet is like a hole in the head for me, I already have many.
  4. With all of the new restructuring going on we need another client like a hole in the head. But corporate is only worried about money.
  5. My cousin is like a hole in the head but still I like her.
  6. I remember how much trouble she made me and I miss herĀ like a hole in the head.


It is related to being shot. If a bullet penetrates your head it will leave a hole. Nobody wants a hole in their head. The original expression can probably be traced back to Yiddish (a language used by Jewish people before the holocaust.) The Yiddish saying is:

“Ich darf es vi a loch in kop” (I need it like a hole in the head).

The phrase was often used by Jewish writers. One of the earliest examples found is spoken by a character in Clifford Odets’s play:

Awake and Sing! (1933) “I need a wife like a hole in the head.”

There are various varieties of the idiom tracing back to the 1600s.

“As much need of it as he has of the pip [a disease] or of a cough”, from John Ray’s English Proverbs (1678).

Share your opinions4 Opinions

I agree Peter! It’s a 7000 yr treatment for various things from headaches to mental illness. If they didn’t want a hole in their head, could it be because they didn’t want to be known for having an illness?

‒ Christa June 21, 2023

Shame on Ayin Raah for repeating the Blood Libel as though it were true. This myth has led to great evils throughout centuries of history. Perpetuating the myth serves only to perpetuate the evil.

‒ Repetition Is Not Truth March 2, 2022

This comes from Jewish Ritual Murder like they did to Simon of Trent.

‒ Ayin Raah March 11, 2021

Maybe the derivation comes from the medical practice of trepanning, drilling holes in the skull to cure various ailments. Many doctors favoured this practice for thousands of years and some patients believed it beneficial but the benefit derived from the placebo effect.

‒ Peter June 28, 2020

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