Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.

EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR HEAD-ACHE

The third morning he returned on board, complaining of a head-ache and shivering.

"She has a head-ache; don't talk to her," said Harriet, decidedly.

She then gloomily resolved to plead an head-ache, and not to appear.

Eugenia excused herself from returning, pleaded a head-ache, and went to bed.

No, I don't, Caudle: it's your club that gives you the head-ache: it's your smoke, and your—well!

I'm sure the last time you came home, I had the head-ache for a week.

Many persons in the habit of using them complain of giddiness and head-ache.

For a head-ache, drink, the inn-keepers exclaim, at the Koch-brunnen!

Mothers gone to bed with a head-ache and fathers gone to the lodge.

A head-ache is a lugubrious thing; and how are you, Gratian?

WORD ORIGIN

Old English heafodece; see head (n.) + ache (n.). Colloquial sense of "troublesome problem" is first recorded 1934.