What does 头 in 搞得头 / 弄得头 / 睡过头

For example in this sentence: 可是这个密码那个密码,搞得头都大了。

“头” 是 head的意思? “头” 字是个结果补语还是名词?

  • 頭大, big head, means headache.
    – joehua
    Oct 14, 2021 at 8:03
  • Top, as in "over the top" Oct 14, 2021 at 17:46

3 Answers 3


To extend the answer from @r13:

These two following '头' refer to 'a person's head': 搞(弄)得头都大了 - something causes my head swollen(meaning you are headache). 搞(弄)得头都暈了 - something causes my head dizziness/confusion.

In last case, 头 is not 'head': There are several dialects call '小时-hour(Mandarin)' as '钟头' or '中午-noon' as '中午头', but they will be commonly understood by most of Chinese. I'm not sure 'hour' or 'noon' which one exactly referring to, just remember it's related to time. So, 睡过头 - means 'sleep pass the hour' or 'sleep pass the noon', oversleep

  • 1
    Thanks a lot for your explanation!
    – user25207
    Oct 14, 2021 at 16:17
  • 1
    @DrewYang are you saying 睡过头 is derived from something like 睡过钟头? That's interesting. Oct 15, 2021 at 9:31

搞(弄)得头都大了 - something causes headache.

搞(弄)得头都暈了 - something causes dizziness/confusion.

睡过头 - overslept


There are two things happening here. In your example, 可是这个密码那个密码,搞得头都大了, the second half should be parsed as: (搞得)+(头都大了).

It's the same for 弄; see the examples in r13's answer.

Basically, 搞得头 and 弄得头 are not a single grammatical entity.

"头都大了" is an interesting phrase that's worth looking at. I find it a bit hard to translate, my best attempt is "already has a headache". As far as I understand (I may be wrong), it is derived from a) "头大" which is a dialectal word (方言) according to dictionaries; and b) the structure " 都 + predicate + 了 = 已经 + predicate = already + predicate".

"头都暈了", mentioned in other answers, follows the same pattern. ("already dizzy")

The second case is 睡过头 which is a fixed expression that is in dictionaries and means to oversleep.

  • Thanks, in this case if 头大 means headache what for 都 is in middle of 头都大?
    – user25207
    Oct 14, 2021 at 13:24
  • Good question! With the 了, here the 都 means "already", it's another structure: 都 +predicate+了 = 已经 + predicate = already + predicate . (Disclaimer, I'm not an expert, I may be mistaken. ) I think I'll edit my answer tomorrow, I now think it should be parsed as (搞得)+(头都大了). Oct 14, 2021 at 22:34
  • thank you for your comment!
    – user25207
    Oct 15, 2021 at 6:19

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