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    #1

    hit us over the head

    Hi,

    Like California in the 1970s — when Alice Waters collaborated with farmers, foragers and cheesemakers on the food at Chez Panisse — the South today has just the right combination of climate, culinary skill, regional chic and receptive audience.

    Even Hurricane Katrina played a key role in reviving interest in the region’s food traditions. “It came just as the farm-to-table movement was really taking hold,” said Randy Fertel, a New Orleans native and food writer. “The storm hit us over the head with the truth: that we could lose the whole tradition, and we’d better take care of it.”

    (Southern Farmers Vanquish the Clichés; The NY Times)


    What does "hit us over the head" mean in the above?
    What is the meaning of "over the head"?

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    #2

    Re: hit us over the head

    It's awkwardly stated, but it means made us realize something or brought this to our attention.

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #3

    Re: hit us over the head

    If you literally "hit someone over the head with something" you actually do hit their head with an object. I'll admit that I don't know why "over" is the preposition used!

    When used metaphorically, if you hit someone over the head with a fact, then you mean something like telling them the fact in a very obvious way or making it extremely clear. It might be something that they didn't really understand in the past, you have tried to explain it a few times but maybe you have been too complicated. In the end, you might spell it out in words of one syllable to make sure they understand.

    In the example you gave, I think it's the case that the people concerned knew "the truth" - that they could lose the tradition (whatever that is) but they ignored the fact. However, when the storm hit, it suddenly and very clearly made them realise the importance of that truth in a very sudden and forceful way. They were metaphorically "hit over the head with the truth".

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    #4

    Re: hit us over the head

    It means the same as being hit on the head. The idea is that a blow to the head can change one's thinking or cause someone to remember something. This doesn't happen in real life, of course, but in movies or TV shows, it sometimes does.

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    #5

    Re: hit us over the head

    Thank you all.

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