From an American sitcom Friends S08E13

Phoebe thought Joey liked her, so she went to Joey's to talk about this affair. But as the conversation went on, it turned out that it was Rachel that Joey liked, instead of Phoebe. After knowing that, Phoebe said, "Beat me over the head with it."

I don't understand the meaning of it. If she just wanted to express that message made her confused, just like using something beat her head, why did she use the preposition "over"? Specifically, for this sentence: "He beat me over the head with a stick", I would interpret it as "He brandished a stick over my head, just as menace, it didn't touch my head", so I feel "beat me on the head with it" is better to convey "I'm confused". Is there anything wrong?

2 Answers 2


The expression beat me over the head with it is used when someone states the obvious, usually a painful truth. It's close to the expression rub it in, when someone goes on and on about something that is painfully obvious.

As for over the head, there are three prepositions that are used in this context, at least in American English:

to hit someone...

on the head (with ones hand or with an object)

over the head (with an object)

upside the head (colloquial/southern/black usage, with the hand or with an object)


My interpretation of "Beat me over the head with it" is that it is being used sarcastically to mean "don't rub it in," "don't add insult to injury," or plainly "don't make me feel worse about something by reminding me of it."

  • That's exactly right.
    – user8543
    Commented Jul 23, 2014 at 21:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .