Idioms Beginning With: 'B'
results for letter 'B
- Babe in arms
- A babe in arms is a very young child, or a person who is very young to be holding a position.
- Babe in the woods
- A babe in the woods is a naive, defenceless, young person.
- Baby boomer
- (USA) A baby boomer is someone born in the years after the end of the Second World War, a period when the population was growing very fast.
- Back burner
- If an issue is on the back burner, it is being given low priority.
- Back foot
- (UK) If you are on your back foot, you are at a disadvantage and forced to be defensive of your position.
- Back number
- Something that's a back number is dated or out of fashion.
- Back the wrong horse
- If you back the wrong horse, you give your support to the losing side in something.
- Back to back
- If things happen back to back, they are directly one after another.
- Back to square one
- If you are back to square one, you have to start from the beginning again.
- Back to the drawing board
- If you have to go back to the drawing board, you have to go back to the beginning and start something again.
- Back to the salt mines
- If someone says they have to go back to the salt mines, they have to return, possibly unwillingly, to work.
- Back to the wall
- If you have your back to the wall, you are in a difficult situation with very little room for manoeuvre.
- Back-handed compliment
- A back-handed compliment is an insult or negative statement disguised as a compliment. For example "This dress doesn't fit me anymore so it would be great on you!"
- Back-of-the-envelope calculation
- A back of the envelope calculation is a figure that was arrived at quickly or by using estimation--as if someone had grabbed the first scrap of paper they found and made a quick guess.
- Backseat driver
- A backseat driver is an annoying person who is fond of giving advice to the person performing a task or doing something, especially when the advice is either wrong or unwelcome.
- Bad Apple
- A person who is bad and makes other bad is a bad apple.
- Bad blood
- If people feel hate because of things that happened in the past, there is bad blood between them.
- Bad egg
- A person who cannot be trusted is a bad egg.
Good egg is the opposite.
- Bad hair day
- If you're having a bad hair day, things are not going the way you would like or had planned.
- Bad mouth
- (UK) When you are bad mouthing,you are saying negative things about someone or something.('Bad-mouth' and 'badmouth' are also used.)
- Bad shape
- If something's in bad shape, it's in bad condition. If a person's in bad shape, they are unfit or unhealthy.
- Bad taste in your mouth
- If something leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth, you feel there is something wrong or bad about it.
- Bad workers always blame their tools
- "A bad worker always blames their tools" -
If somebody does a job badly or loses in a game and claims that they were let down by their equipment, you can use this to imply that this was not the case.
- Bag and baggage
- Bag and baggage means all your possessions, especially if you are moving them or leaving a place.
- Bag of bones
- If someone is a bag of bones, they are very underweight.
- Bag of nerves
- If someone is a bag of nerves, they are very worried or nervous.
- Baker's dozen
- A Baker's dozen is 13 rather than 12.
- Bald as a coot
- A person who is completely bald is as bald as a coot.
- Ball is in your court
- If the ball is in your court, it is up to you to make the next decision or step.
- Balloon goes up
- When the balloon goes up, a situation turns unpleasant or serious.
- Ballpark figure
- A ballpark figure is a rough or approximate number (guesstimate) to give a general idea of something, like a rough estimate for a cost, etc.
- Balls to the walls
- (USA) If you do something balls to the wall, you apply full acceleration or exertion.
- Banana republic
- Banana republic is a term used for small countries that are dependent on a single crop or resource and governed badly by a corrupt elite.
- Banana skin
- (UK) A banana skin is something that is an embarrassment or causes problems.
- Band-Aid on a bullet wound
- (USA) If you put Band-Aid on a bullet wound, you attempt to deal with a serious problem in an inadequate way.('Band-Aid on a gunshot wound' is also used.)
- Bandit territory
- An area or an industry, profession, etc, where rules and laws are ignored or flouted is bandit territory.
- Baptism of fire
- A baptism of fire was a soldier's first experience of shooting. Any unpleasant experience undergone, usually where it is also a learning experience, is a baptism of fire.
- Bar fly
- A bar fly is a person who spends a lot of time drinking in different bars and pubs.
- Bare your heart
- If you bare your heart to someone, you tell them your personal and private feelings. ('Bare your soul' is an alternative form of the idiom.)
- Barefaced liar
- A barefaced liar is one who displays no shame about lying even if they are exposed.
- Bark is worse than their bite
- Someone who's bark is worse than their bite may well get angry and shout, but doesn't take action.
- Barking up the wrong tree
- If you are barking up the wrong tree, it means that you have completely misunderstood something or are totally wrong.
- Barkus is willing
- This idiom means that someone is willing to get married.
- Barrack-room lawyer
- (UK) A barrack-room lawyer is a person who gives opinions on things they are not qualified to speak about.
- Barrel of laughs
- If someone's a barrel of laughs, they are always joking and you find them funny.
- Basket case
- If something is a basket case, it is so bad that it cannot be helped.
- Bat an eyelid
- If someone doesn't bat an eyelid, they don't react or show any emotion when surprised, shocked, etc.
- Bated breath
- If someone says they're waiting with bated breath, they're very excited and find it difficult to be patient.('Baited breath' is a common mistake.)
- Bats in the belfry
- Someone with bats in the belfry is crazy or eccentric.
- Batten down the hatches
- If you batten down the hatches, you prepare for the worst that could happen to you.
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