Perhaps from the habit of soldiers poking their heads out of army troop trains to make smart remarks, or in reference to a turtle drawing its head inside its shell for protection. Australian from circa 1930.
- (figuratively, Australia, New Zealand) To withdraw; to discontinue what one is doing or saying; to back off.
- I really should have pulled my head in once they produced that evidence.
- 1968, John Rowe, Count Your Dead, 2003, page 68,
- “Come on. Get yer gear off. Get yer gear off like mine,” the fanstopper Australian shouted, standing and pointing to his own bare chest. Two of his friends pulled him back down into his chair.
- “Pull your head in,” one of them said.
- 2011, Barry Hall, Michael Cowley, Pulling No Punches, unnumbered page,
- ‘But you have got to pull your head in a little bit,’ he said. ‘We love your aggression and your toughness, but all the other stuff is hurting you – we need to pull you into line.’
- 2012, Brendan Fevola, Adam McNicol, Fev: In My Own Words, unnumbered page,
- Denis also told me to me pull my head in on The Footy Show, but that was never going to happen. I loved being the class clown on that show too much.