Home Reference Idioms B Idioms Beginning With: 'B'
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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. Break your duck (UK) If you break your duck, you do something for the first time. Break your heart If someone upsets you greatly, they break your heart, especially if they end a relationship. Breakneck speed If something happens at breakneckspeed, it happens very quickly, often at dangerous speed. Breathe down your neck If someone follows you or examines what you're doing very closely, they are breathing down your neck. Breathe life into If you breathe life into something, you give people involved more energy and enthusiasm again. ('Breathe new life' is also used.) Breathe your last When you breathe your last, you die. Brevity is the soul of wit The best way to communicate intelligently is to be concise and not to use unnecessary words. Bridge the gap If you bridge the gap, you make a connection where there is a great difference. Bright and breezy When someone is cheerful and full of energy, they are bright and breezy. Bright as a button A person who is as bright as a button is very intelligent or smart. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed If someone's bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, they are full of energy and enthusiasm. Brighten up the day If something brightens up your day, something happens that makes you feel positive and happy all day long. Bring a knife to a gunfight If someone brings a knife to a gunfight, they are very badly prepared for something. Bring home If you bring something home, you explain it or make it very clear. Bring home the bacon A person who brings home the bacon earns the money that a family live on. Bring on board To make people embrace the ideas intended by the leader or agree to join a team or project is to bring them on board. Bring someone to book If somebody is brought to book, they are punished or made to account for something they have done wrong. Bring someone to heel If you bring someone to heel, you make them obey you.('Call someone to heel' is also used.) Bring the curtain down If you bring the curtain down on something, you bring it to a end. Bring the house down Something that brings the house down is acclaimed and praised vigorously. Bring to the table If you bring something to the table, you make a contribution or an offer in a discussion or negotiation. Broad church If an organisation is described as broad church, it is tolerant and accepting of different opinions and ideas. Broad strokes If something is described or defined with broad stokes, then only an outline is given, without fine details. Broke as a joke and it ain't funny This idiom in my opinion describes how it's not funny to be without a cent and just uses broke and joke as rhyming words that help explain this idiom a lot better. Broken record When someone sounds like a broken record, they keep on repeating the same things. ('Stuck record' is also used.) Broken reed If something or someone fails to give you the support you were hoping for, they are a broken reed. Brown as a berry Someone who is very sun tanned is brown as a berry. Brown nose When someone tries to make themselves popular with somebody, usually in a position of authority, especially by flattering them, they are brown nosing. Browned off To be tired of or fed up with Brownie points If you try to earn Brownie points with someone, you do things you know will please them. Brush under the carpet If you brush something under the carpet, you are making an attempt to ignore it, or hide it from others. Brush with death If someone comes very close to dying but live, they have a brush with death. Buck stops here The buck stops here is used to say that this is the point where responsibility lies or the person who is responsible. Buggles' turn (UK) If it Buggles' turn, someone gets promotion through length of service rather than ability, especially in the British civil service. Build bridges If you build bridges, you help people, institutions, groups, etc, that did not get on to improve their relationships. Built like a Mack Truck (USA) This is a common phrase used in the US among its citizens to refer to something that is rugged and solidly built that will provide years of reliable service. It can be a reference to a person, building, piece of furniture, a structure, etc. Bull in a China shop If someone behaves like a bull in a China shop, they are clumsy when they should be careful. Bull market A bull market is a period when investors are optimistic and there are expectations that good financial results will continue. Bull session If you have a bull session, you have an informal group discussion about something. Bull-headed If you're a bull-headed, you're stubborn or inflexible. Bums on seats The people who have paid to watch a performance are bums on seats. Bun in the oven If a woman has a bun in the oven, she is pregnant. Bundle of nerves Someone who is a bundle of nerves is very worried or nervous. Bur under my saddle A bur under your saddle is something that annoys you or spurs you into action.('Burr' is an alternative spelling.) If you have a question about idioms, ask us about it in our . 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