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Ok, look at these pictures

A man may have been in a standing position & suddenly fell off with his head coming into contact with the floor first before other parts of his body (back, legs, etc).

enter image description here enter image description here

fall (verb): 2 STOP STANDING/WALKING ETC [intransitive] to suddenly go down onto the ground after you have been standing, walking, or running, especially without intending to

I fell and hit my head.

slip/stumble/trip etc and fall

He slipped and fell on the ice.

fall down
Lizzie fell down and hurt her knee.
Peter was playing by the river when he fell in (=fell into the water).

fall to/on your knees (=move down to the ground so that your body is resting on your knees)

She fell to her knees beside his body.


dive: 1 JUMP INTO WATER to jump into deep water with your head and arms going in first dive into/off etc

She dived into a pool.

Diving off the cliffs is dangerous.


So do we say "She fell on her head", "She fell with her head onto the floor", "She fell and hit her head onto the floor" or "She dived into the floor" or "She fell & dived into the floor" (but for "dive" people do it on purpose not accidentally like "fall")?

  • to fall head first – Lambie Jan 6 at 15:19
  • @Lambie, this is interesting, but is it more common than "fell & landed on the head" – Tom Jan 6 at 15:52
  • An infant might fall head-first onto the floor. Not an adult. Falling and hitting your head: could be any part of the head. Fall head first means the head hits the surface first. head first is associated also with diving: diving head-first into the water, jumping feet-first into the water. [falling off his head is very strange, it doesn't exist.] – Lambie Jan 6 at 16:19
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"Dive" implies more deliberation than "fall", true, though you may hear "fall" if the dive was made to look like a fall.

In the image, to me this looks very deliberate and seems to be an actual "move", so I think it would actually be just:

She did a headstand.

Following the additional pictures, I would say this as:

She fell and landed on her head.

She fell on her head.

I prefer the first version of the two above (and don't think the second is anywhere near as idiomatic - it's not as clear in its meaning).

"She fell and hit her head" wouldn't work as she could have hit her head anywhere without landing on it (e.g., on the wall or a table, etc.). "She fell on her head" has a similar problem actually, though it still makes sense.

The "landed" in "She fell and landed on her head" makes it very clear that her head hit the floor first.

For the image with the warning cone, you may also hear this as:

He slipped and landed on his head.

| improve this answer | |
  • I have just added more pictures – Tom Jan 6 at 15:16
  • I updated my answer. – Chris Mack Jan 6 at 15:20
  • Fall and landed on her head? That would be neck breaking, probably. If you "land" on your head, you have gone down head first. If you hit your head after you fall, chances are you will survive.....I personally disagree with landing on one's head unless you are describing a near-death-inducing fall. – Lambie Jan 6 at 16:21
  • @Lambie: OP states "head coming into contact with the floor first before other parts of his body", and to me "landing on ones head" would be the best way to describe it without ambiguity. I do see your point, and think that if it were more of a silly accident and not a mortal fall, this would be reflected in a more humourous/playful/tongue-in-cheek tone of voice. – Chris Mack Jan 6 at 16:25
  • The OP is mistaken about the English used to describe what happens in his first picture. He absolutely wants "fell on her head". Fine by me. That pole dancer fell on her head. – Lambie Feb 14 at 23:47
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  • The man slipped and fell, landing ultimately on his head.
  • He slipped and fell, hitting his head [on the floor].
  • The man hit his head when he fell down.

In the posted picture, he fell and then hit his head.

I have never heard of a person falling on a floor and having their head hit the floor first. The shoulder would hit the ground first and the head second. Unless that person were upside down when he or she fell.

For the head to hit the floor first, it would be something like this:

  • The man shot over the handle bars head first.
  • The trapeze artist fell on his head.
  • The infant was dropped on his head.
  • The child fell head-first out of the tree. [He was hanging upside down]
  • The child fell head-first off the monkey bars.

If you google this, you will find "fell and hit his head" is the most likely phrase.

In picture 2, the pole dancer fell on her head. Period.

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  • do we have adverbs such as "legs-first" or "arms-first", etc.? – Tom Jan 9 at 3:20

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