To be 'head over heels' is to be very excited. In a literal sense the expression also refers to turning cartwheels to demonstrate one's excitement. When first coined it wasn't used that way though and referred exclusively to being temporarily the wrong way up. It is one of many similar phrases that we use to describe things that are not in their usual state - ' upside-down ', ' topsy-turvy ', 'topple up tail', 'arse over tea-kettle', 'bass-ackwards' etc. Herbert Lawrence's Contemplative Man , is the first known citation of 'head over heels':. The first mention of love comes after the time that the phrase had crossed the Atlantic.
HEAD OVER HEELS (IN LOVE) | definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Completely, thoroughly, as in They fell head over heels in love. This expression originated in the s as heels over head and meant literally being upside down. It took its present form in the s and its present meaning in the s. They are always suspended over a precipice, dangling by a slender thread that shows every sign of snapping. The gunman hardly broke stride as he nonetheless shot Merabet in the head, killing him. And now, similarly, former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee: "Bend over and take it like a prisoner!