Idioms Beginning With: 'B'
101 - 150
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Bell the cat To bell the cat is to perform a difficult or impossible task. Bells and whistles Bells and whistles are attractive features that things like computer programs have, though often a bit unnecessary. Bells on (USA) To be somewhere with bells on means to arrive there happy and delighted to attend. Belly up If things go belly up, they go badly wrong. Below par If something isn't up to standard, or someone isn't feeling or doing very well, they are below par. Below the belt If someone says something that is cruel or unfair, it is below the belt, like the illegal punches in boxing. Below the fold If a news story is not important, it will be below the fold- in the lower half of the page of a newspaper.('Beneath the fold' is also used.) Below the salt If someone is below the salt, they have a low social position. Salt was expensive in medieval times and only placed on the high table where the wealthy and powerful ate. Belt and braces (UK) Someone who wears belt and braces is very cautious and takes no risks. Belt and suspenders (USA) Someone who wears belt and suspenders is very cautious and takes no risks. Bend over backwards If someone bends over backwards, they do everything they can to help someone. Bend someone's ear To bend someone's ear is to talk to someone about something for a long-enough period that it becomes tiresome for the listener. Benjamin of the family The Benjamin of the family is the youngest child. Bent as a nine bob note (UK) A person who is as bent as a nine bob note is dishonest. The reference comes from pre-decimalisation in UK (1971), when a ten shilling (bob) note was valid currency but no such note as nine shillings existed. Beside the point If something is beside the point, it's not relevant to the matter being discussed or considered. Beside themselves If people are beside themselves, they are very worried or emotional about something. Beside yourself If you are beside yourself, you are extremely angry. Best of a bad bunch The best that could be obtained from a list of options that were not exactly what was required. Best of both worlds If you have the best of both worlds, you benefit from different things that do not normally go together. Best thing since sliced bread If something is the best thing since sliced bread, it is excellent. ('The greatest thing since sliced bread' is also used.) Bet the farm If you bet the farm, you risk everything on something you think will succeed. Bet the ranch (USA) If you bet the ranch, you risk everything on something you think will succeed. Bet your bottom dollar (USA) If you can bet your bottom dollar on something, you can be absolutely sure about it. Better be the head of a dog than the tail of a lion This means that it is better to be the head or at the top of something that isn't very important or prestigious than a small or unimportant member of something big. Better half Your better half is your husband or wife. Better late than never This idiom suggests that doing something late is better than not doing it at all. Better safe than sorry This idiom is used to recommend being cautious rather than taking a risk. Better than a kick in the teeth If something is better than a kick in the teeth, it isn't very good, but it is better than nothing. Better than a stick in the eye If something is better than a stick in the eye, it isn't very good, but it is better than nothing. Better the devil you know This is the shortened form of the full idiom, 'better the devil you know than the devil you don't', and means that it is often better to deal with someone or something you are familiar with and know, even if they are not ideal, than take a risk with an unknown person or thing. Between a rock and a hard place If you are caught between a rock and a hard place, you are in a position where you have to choose between unpleasant alternatives, and your choice might cause you problems; you will not be able to satisfy everyone. Between the devil and the deep blue sea If you are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, you are in a dilemma; a difficult choice. Between you and me and the cat's whiskers This idiom is used when telling someone something that you want them to keep secret. Beyond a shadow of a doubt If something's beyond a shadow of a doubt, then absolutely no doubts remain about it. Beyond belief If people behave in such a way that you find it almost impossible to accept that they actually did it, then you can say that their behaviour was beyond belief. Beyond our ken If something's beyond your ken, it is beyond your understanding. Beyond the black stump (AU) An Australian idiom idicating that even if you go as far as you can, the black stump is still a little further. Beyond the pale If something's beyond the pale, it is too extreme to be acceptable morally or socially. Big Apple (USA) The Big Apple is New York. Big bucks If someone is making big bucks, they are making a lot of money. Big cheese The big cheese is the boss. Big Easy (USA) The Big Easy is New Orleans, Louisiana Big fish An important person in a company or an organisation is a big fish. Big fish in a small pond A big fish in a small pond is an important person in a small place or organisation. Big girl's blouse A person who is very weak or fussy is a big girl's blouse. Big hitter A big hitter is someone who commands a lot of respect and is very important in their field. Big nose If someone has a big nose, it means they are excessively interested in everyone else's business. Big picture The big picture of something is the overall perspective or objective, not the fine detail. Big time This can be used to with the meaning 'very much'- if you like something big time, you like it a lot. Bigger fish to fry If you aren't interested in something because it isn't important to you and there are more important things for you to do, you have bigger fish to fry. If you have a question about idioms, ask us about it in our . If you know of an idiom that you would like to be listed here, please use our online form to Idioms Discussion Forum suggest an idiom. Members Get More
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