from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Slang The image of a person, as on a television documentary or news show, who talks at length directly to the camera and usually appears on the screen with only the head and upper part of the body visible.
  • n. Slang The person thus televised.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A pundit who discusses issues of the day, especially one on TV.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a talker on television who talks directly into the cameras and whose upper body is all that is shown on the screen


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • The talking head for that announcement was Lew Parmina, his father’s closest associate and expected successor.

    Command Decision

  • One evening I received a call from Dominick Dunne, the reporter-novelist whose daughter had been murdered years ago and who had emerged as a crusty talking head during the O.J. marathon.

    The Beach House

  • “A few months ago,” writes Joan Swirsky from someplace look, if you’re going to send me e-mail, it would help regional dialectologists if you said where you’re from, “it seemed that every talking head I saw on TV started using the expression at the end of the day.

    The Right Word in the Right Place at the Right Time

  • That got him the usual invites to the usual talking head roundtables—he was getting pretty good at it—but he passed that night because, well, because he too felt some combat fatigue; it had been a nerve-rattling few weeks, and he knew his career hung in the balance.

    A Bob Lee Swagger eBook Boxed Set

  • I wonder if that talking head is Gammis Turek after a haircut.”

    Command Decision


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  • video behind?

    January 6, 2012

  • Cinematographers' slang for interview footage of a subject's head and shoulders. It has come to be used as shorthand for pundit.

    Traditionally, this is a locked down, medium shot.

    January 25, 2009