Is there a word or a phrasal verb that describes the action of covering your head for protection? I am not sure if this is warranted but "covering your head with both of your hands" is a mouthful, so I was wondering if it was possible to shorten it.

  • Do you mean to get down?
    – Cardinal
    May 30, 2019 at 1:08
  • just the upper arm movements
    – Sayaman
    May 30, 2019 at 1:23
  • 1
    "Duck and cover" is what it's called when you both get down and cover your head, but you can't just use "cover" by itself.
    – Laurel
    May 30, 2019 at 3:17
  • There is no single word for this action. The common phrase is to "cover one's head with one's hands/arms".
    – Andrew
    May 30, 2019 at 4:41

1 Answer 1


Shield: a person or thing providing protection.

"John was like a human shield, jumping in between the attackers and the unsuspecting victim"

synonyms: protection, guard, defence, cover, screen, shade, safety, security, shelter, safeguard, support, bulwark, protector

"He could only use his hands to shade his bald head from the blistering sun"

verb:protect from a danger, risk, or unpleasant experience.

"She pulled the construction hat over her head to shield herself from the falling debris but was unlucky and lost a thumb in the process."

  • You can "shield" any body part, or, really, any thing. Nothing about it refers to specifically protecting the head.
    – Andrew
    May 30, 2019 at 4:39
  • he asked how he could shorten it, most people wouldn't shield their heads with their feet. I tried to be creative with my sentences lol
    – Hani Umer
    May 30, 2019 at 4:43

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