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).

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