English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
results for letter 'B
- Burr up the ass
- (USA) If you have a burr up your ass, you are very upset about something that has happened and intend to do something about it to correct it.
- Burst at the seams
- To be filled to or beyond normal capacity: This room will be bursting at the seams when all the guests arrive.
- Burst your bubble
- If you correct someone's ignorant or delusional belief, you burst their bubble.
(Bust someone's bubble is also used.)
- Bury the hatchet
- If you bury the hatchet, you make peace with someone and stop arguing or fighting.
- Bury your head in the sand
- If someone buries their head in the sand, they ignore something that is obviously wrong.
- Busman's holiday
- A busman's holiday is when you spend your free time doing the same sort of work as you do in your job.
- Bust my chops
- When someone says that they're not going to bust their chops, it means they are not going to work that hard or make much effort.
- Busted flush
- Someone or something that had great potential but ended up a useless failure is a busted flush.
- Busy as a beaver
- If you're as busy as a beaver, you're very busy indeed.
- Busy as a bee
- If you are as busy as a bee, you are very busy indeed.
- Butt naked
- If someone is butt naked, they have no clothes on at all, often when they can be seen.
- Butt of a joke
- If something or someone becomes the butt of a joke it or they are not taken seriously anymore.
- Butter wouldn't melt in their mouth
- If someone looks as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouth, they look very innocent.
- Someone who has butterfingers is clumsy and drops things.
- Butterflies in your stomach
- The nervous feeling before something important or stressful is known as butterflies in your stomach.
- Button your lip
- If you button your lip, you keep quiet and don't speak. It is also used as a way of telling someone to shut up.
- Buy the farm
- When somebody has bought the farm, they have died.
- By a hair's breadth
- If a person escapes from some danger by a hair's breadth, they only just managed to avoid it. The breadth is the thickness of a hair, so they probably feel somewhat lucky because the margin between success and what could easily have been failure was so close.
- By a long chalk
- (UK) If you beat somebody by a long chalk, you win easily and comfortably.
- By a mile
- If you miss, lose, win, etc, something by a mile, there is a considerable difference in standard oir performance between you and the others. ('By miles' is also used.)
- By a whisker
- If you do something by a whisker, you only just manage to do it and come very near indeed to failing.
- By and large
- By and large means usually or generally.
- By cracky
- A term used by rural folks in years past to emphasize a matter of importance or urgency. An example: 'By cracky, you need to get out there in the field with that mule and plow and finish the sod-busting before dark.'
- By dint of
- This means 'as a result of' or 'because of':
It would be good to think he'd risen to position of Chief Executive by dint of hard work.
- By heart
- If you learn something by heart, you learn it word for word.
- By hook or by crook
- If you are prepared to do something by hook or by crook, you are willing to do anything, good or bad, to reach your goal.
- By leaps and bounds
- Something that happens by leaps and bounds happens very quickly in big steps.
- By the back door
- If something is started or introduced by the back door, then it is not done openly or by following the proper procedures.
- By the book
- If you do something by the book, you do it exactly as you are supposed to.
- By the by
- This is used as a way of introducing an incidental topic in a conversation or to say that something is irrelevant. ('By the bye' is also used.)
- By the numbers
- If something is done by the numbers, it is done in a mechanical manner without room for creativity.
- By the same token
- If someone applies the same rule to different situations, they judge them by the same token:
If things go well, he's full of praise, but, by the same token, when things go wrong he gets furious.
- By the seat of your pants
- If you do something by the seat of your pants, you achieve something, but only by a narrow margin or do something without advance preparation.
- By the skin of your teeth
- If you do something by the skin of your teeth, you only just manage to do it and come very near indeed to failing.
- By word of mouth
- If something becomes known by word of mouth, it gets known by being talked about rather than through publicity or advertising, etc.
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