English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Showing 201-250 of 335 results for letter 'B'
Blow smoke
(USA) If people blow smoke, they exaggerate or say things that are not true, usually to make themselves look better.
Blow the cobwebs away
If you blow the cobwebs away, you make sweeping changes to something to bring fresh views and ideas in.
Blow the whistle
If somebody blows the whistle on a plan, they report it to the authorities.
Blow your mind
Something that will blow your mind is something extraordinary that will amaze you beyond explanation.
Blow your own horn
If you blow your own horn, you boast about your achievements and abilities. ('Blow your own trumpet' is an alternative form.)
Blow your own trumpet
If someone blows their own trumpet, they boast about their talents and achievements.  ('Blow your own horn' is an alternative form.)
Blow your stack
If you blow your stack, you lose your temper.
Blow your top
If someone blows their top, they lose their temper.
Blue blood
Someone with blue blood is royalty.
Blue skies
A overly enthusiastic outlook or disposition. The sales team had blue skies projections for their deals, although not many of those deals were signed.
Blue-eyed boy
Someone's blue-eyed boy is their favourite person.
Bluestocking
An intellectual woman is a bluestocking.
Boardinghouse reach
Boardinghouse reach is the ability to reach a long distance across a table to get food. We've used it in our family for as long as I can remember, when you reach across someone's plate, "Pardon my boardinghouse reach".
Bob's your uncle
(UK) This idiom means that something will be successful: Just tell him that I gave you his name and Bob's your uncle- he'll help you.
Body politic
A group of people organised under a single government or authority (national or regional) is a body politic.
Boil to the surface
If a problem or issue boils to the surface, it emerges at a particular time and needs to be discussed or resolved.
Bold as brass
Someone who is as bold as brass is very confident and not worried about how other people will respond or about being caught.
Bolt from the blue
If something happens unexpectedly and suddenly, it is a bolt from the blue.
Bone of contention
If there is an issue that always causes tension and arguments, it is a bone of contention.
Bone to pick
If you have a bone to pick with someone, you are annoyed about something they have done and want to tell them how you feel.
Boot is on the other foot
When the boot's on the other foot, a person who was in a position of weakness is now in a position of strength.
Born on the wrong side of the blanket
A child born on the wrong side of the blanket is illegitimate- his or her parents were not married at the  time of the birth.
Born on the wrong side of the tracks
Someone whose is born on the wrong side of the tracks is from the poor part of town.
Born to the purple
Someone who is born to the purple is born in a royal or aristocratic family. ("Born in the purple" is also used.)
Born with a silver spoon in your mouth
If you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you are born into a rich family.
Both ends meet
If you make both ends meet, you live off the money you earn and don't go into debt.
Bottom line
In accountancy, the bottom line is net income, and is used idiomatically to mean the conclusion.
Bottoms-up
Equivalent to 'Cheers' when drinking with someone.
Bounce ideas
If you bounce ideas off someone, you share your ideas with them to know whether they think they would work.
Bounce off the walls
If someone's bouncing off the walls, they are very excited about something.
Bouquet of orchids
Id someone deserves a bouquet of orchids, they have done something worthy of praise.
Box and dice
Box and dice means everything.
Box clever
(UK) If you box clever, you use your intelligence to get what you want, even if you have to cheat a bit.
Box of fluffy ducks
(NZ) Used when something is working well or going your way. If you are happy, you are a box of fluffy ducks. Also can be shortened to 'a box of fluffies'.  
Boxing and coxing
If people are boxing and coxing, they are sharing responsibilities so that one of them is working while the other isn't. It can also be used when couples are sharing a house, but their relationship has broken down and when one is at home, the other stays out.
Boys in blue
The boys in blue are the police.
Boys will be boys
Boys will be boys means that boys, or men, will behave in certain ways, often noisily or irresponsibily.
Brain drain
When organisations or countries can pay higher salaries to attract talented people from poorer countries, there's a brain drain, a loss of talent.
Brain surgery
If something is not brain surgery, it isn't very complicated or difficult to understand or master.
Brass monkey
If it's brass monkey weather, or cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, it is extremely cold.
Brass neck
(UK) Someone who has the brass neck to do something has no sense of shame about what they do.
Brass tacks
If you get down to brass tacks, you get down to the real business.
Bread and butter
Bread and butter issues are ones that affect people directly and in a very important way.
Bread and circuses
Activites that entertain people and distract them from problems to keep them from complaining or protesting are bread and circuses.
Breadwinner
Used to describe the person that earns the most money. For example - She's the breadwinner in the family.
Break a leg
This idiom is a way of wishing someone good luck.
Break even
If you break even, you don't make any money, but you don't lose any either.
Break ground
If you break ground, or break new ground, you make progress, taking things into a new area or going further than anyone has gone before. 'Ground-breaking' is used an adjective.
Break the back of the beast
If you break the back of the beast, you accomplish a challenge.
Break the ice
When you break the ice, you get over any initial embarrassment or shyness when you meet someone for the first time and start conversing.

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