Meaning of head money in English:

head money

Pronunciation /ˈhɛd ˌmʌni/


  • 1Money paid as a poll tax or capitation fee; specifically one paid by a tenant or vassal to a lord or superior. Compare "headage", head penny . Now chiefly historical.

  • 2Money paid for each person brought, captured, killed, etc.; a financial reward offered for capturing or killing someone, a bounty; specifically money paid for each prisoner taken at sea.


Early 16th century; earliest use found in 2nd Baron Berners (c1467–1533), soldier, diplomat, and translator. From head + money.