General Idioms (Page 3)

Showing 101-150 of 1263 results
Been there, done that
People say this when they have already experienced what is being discussed.
Beg the question
In philosophy "to beg the question" is to assume something to be true that has not yet been proved. I have seen the idiom also to mean that a question is crying out to be asked.
Behind the curve
If you are behind the curve, you  are behind or out of touch with current trends or developments. ('Ahead of the curve' iis the opposite)  
Believe you me
This is an emphatic way of saying 'believe me'.
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.)
Bend over backwards
If someone bends over backwards, they do everything they can to help someone.
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.
Better safe than sorry
This idiom is used to recommend being cautious rather than taking a risk.
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 pale
If something's beyond the pale, it is too extreme to be acceptable morally or socially.
Big picture
The big picture of something is the overall perspective or objective, not the fine detail.
Bit part
If someone has a small or unimportant role in something, they have a bit part.
Bit player
A bit player has a small or unimportant role in something.
Bite off more than you can chew
If you bite off more than you can chew, you take on more responsibilities than you can manage. 'Don't bite off more than you can chew' is often used to advise people against agreeing to more than they can handle.
Bits and bobs
Bits and bobs are small, remnant articles and things- the same as 'odds and ends'.
Bitter end
If you do something to the bitter end, you do it to the very end, no matter how unsuccessful you are.
Blank slate
A blank slate is something that hasn't been developed or described in any detail.
Blessing in disguise
If some bad luck or misfortune ultimately results in something positive, it's a blessing in disguise.
Blood-lust is a strong desire to hurt or kill someone.
Blot your copybook
If you blot your copybook, you make a mistake or do something wrong that will negatively affect someone's opinion of you.
Blow a gasket
If you blow a gasket, you get very angry.
Blow hot and cold
If you blow hot and cold on an idea, your attitude and opinion keeps changing; one minute you are for it, the next you are against.
Blow me down
People say '(well,) blow me down' when you have just told them something surprising, shocking or unexpected. ('Blow me down with a feather' is also used.) 
Blow off steam
(USA) If you blow off steam, you express your anger or frustration.
Blow out of proportion
If something is blown out of proportion, it is exaggerated and people see it as more serious, worse, etc, than it really is.
Blow out of the water
If something, like an idea, is blown out of the water, it is destroyed or defeated comprehensively.
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 stack
If you blow your stack, you lose your temper.
Blow your top
If someone blows their top, they lose their temper.
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.
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.
Bounce ideas
If you bounce ideas off someone, you share your ideas with them to know whether they think they would work.
Box and dice
Box and dice means everything.
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.
Brass tacks
If you get down to brass tacks, you get down to the real business.
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.
Breathe life into
If you breathe life into something, you give people involved more energy and enthusiasm again.  ('Breathe new life' is also used.)
Brevity is the soul of wit
The best way to communicate intelligently is to be concise and not to use unnecessary words.
Bright and breezy
When someone is cheerful and full of energy, they are bright and breezy.

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