use your loaf

use your loaf

Meaning | Synonyms

  • To tell someone to use their brain more in analysing what they are doing.
  • To use common sense.
  • This phrase is used in an angry tone.
  • It is an old fashioned UK way of talking to tell someone to be more mindful.
  • ‘Loaf’ here is equivalent to ‘head’.

Example Sentences

  1. I do not like it that you talk about people’s disabilities so often. You ought to use your loaf and understand that you may be hurting someone’s sentiments.
  2. Is it so hard to use your loaf and understand how much pain she is going through currently?
  3. “I do not mind going through it again but when writing the exam you will need to use your loaf and get it right”, said the angry mother to her daughter.


In World War One, the soldiers would dig trenches and hid in it for days until the firing reduced or stopped. If a soldier in this situation wanted to come out he could not risk his head out first since he would very likely be shot and killed. Soldiers would use a loaf of bread and stick it out first to see if the snipers are still around. This is when loaf became a synonym for this phrase to come into existence.

This idiom was originated in United Kingdom of Great Britain.

U 2 Comments


AuthorRichard West writes on 31st December 2018

As a Londoner, I’d always assumed it was Cockney-rhyming slang: loaf of bread = head. Eric Partridge supports this origin. Do you have actual citations for your alternative theory?

AuthorDon Shears writes on 20th December 2018

Actually this is totally wrong the origin, it came from the Essex rifle men in the Napoleon wars where they would use a loaf to flush out french snipers by sticking the loaf on the end of a bayonet with a hat on. Once they located the sniper they would take them out.

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