idioms starting with b

299+ Idioms Starting with B | List with Meaning

An idiom is a phrase or expression that typically presents a figurative, non-literal meaning attached to the phrase; but some phrases become figurative idioms while retaining the literal meaning of the phrase.

Here are the list of idioms starting with B.

Idioms Starting with B

1. Babe in arms

Meaning: A babe in arms is a very young child, or a person who is very young to be holding a position.

2. Babe in the woods

Meaning: A babe in the woods is a naive, defenseless, young person.

3. Baby boomer

Meaning: 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.

4. Back burner

Meaning: If an issue is on the back burner, it is being given low priority.

5. Back foot

Meaning: If you are on your back foot, you are at a disadvantage and forced to be defensive of your position.

6. Back Number

Meaning: Something that’s a back number is dated or out of fashion.

7. Back the wrong horse

Meaning: If you back the wrong horse, you give your support to the losing side in something.

8. Back to back

Meaning: If things happen back to back, they are directly one after another.

9. Back to square one

Meaning: If you are back to square one, you have to start from the beginning again.

10. Back to the drawing board

Meaning: If you have to go back to the drawing board, you have to go back to the beginning and start something again.

11. Back to the salt mine

Meaning: If someone says they have to go back to the salt mine, they have to return to work.

12. Back to the wall

Meaning: If you have your back to the wall, you are in a difficult situation with very little room for man oeuvre.

13. Backseat driver

Meaning: 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.

14. Bad Apple

Meaning: A person who is bad and makes other bad is a bad apple.

15. Bad blood

Meaning: If people feel hate because of things that happened in the past, there is bad blood between them.

16. Bad egg

Meaning: A person who cannot be trusted is a bad egg. Good egg is the opposite.

17. Bad hair day

Meaning: If you’re having a bad hair day, things are not going the way you would like or had planned.

18. Bad mouth

Meaning: When you are bad mouthing,you are saying negative things about someone or something.(‘Bad-mouth’ and ‘badmouth’ are also used.)

19. Bad shape

Meaning: If something’s in bad shape, it’s in bad condition. If a person’s in bad shape, they are unfit or unhealthy.

20. Bad taste in your mouth

Meaning: If something leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth, you feel there is something wrong or bad about it.

21. Bad workers always blame their tools

Meaning: “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.

22. Bag of bones

Meaning: If someone is a bag of bones, they are very underweight.

23. Bag of nerves

Meaning: If someone is a bag of nerves, they are very worried or nervous.

24. Baker’s dozen

Meaning: A Baker’s dozen is 13 rather than 12.

25. Bald as a coot

Meaning: A person who is completely bald is as bald as a coot.

26. Ball is in your court

Meaning: If the ball is in your court, it is up to you to make the next decision or step.

27. Ballpark figure

Meaning: 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.

28. Balls to the walls

Meaning: If you do something balls to the wall, you apply full acceleration or exertion.

29. Banana republic

Meaning: 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.

30. Banana skin

Meaning: A banana skin is something that is an embarrassment or causes problems.

31. Bandit territory

Meaning: An area or an industry, profession, etc, where rules and laws are ignored or flouted is bandit territory.

32. Baptism of fire

Meaning: 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.

33. Bar fly

Meaning: A bar fly is a person who spends a lot of time drinking in different bars and pubs.

34. Bare your heart

Meaning: 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.)

35. Barefaced liar

Meaning: A barefaced liar is one who displays no shame about lying even if they are exposed.

36. Bark is worse than their bite

Meaning: Someone who’s bark is worse than their bite may well get angry and shout, but doesn’t take action.

37. Barking up the wrong tree

Meaning: If you are barking up the wrong tree, it means that you have completely misunderstood something or are totally wrong.

38. Backus is willing

Meaning: This idiom means that someone is willing to get married.

39. Barrack-room lawyer

Meaning: A barrack-room lawyer is a person who gives opinions on things they are not qualified to speak about.

40. Barrel of laughs

Meaning: If someone’s a barrel of laughs, they are always joking and you find them funny.

41. Basket case

Meaning: If something is a basket case, it is so bad that it cannot be helped.

42. Bat an eyelid

Meaning: If someone doesn’t bat an eyelid, they don’t react or show any emotion when surprised, shocked, etc.

43. Bated breath

Meaning: 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.)

44. Batten down the hatches

Meaning: If you batten down the hatches, you prepare for the worst that could happen to you.

45. Battle of nerves

Meaning: A battle of nerves is a situation where neither side in a conflict or dispute is willing to back down and is waiting for the other side to weaken. (‘A war of nerves’ is an alternative form.)

46. Be all ears

Meaning: If you are all ears, you are very eager to hear what someone has to say.

47. Be careful what you wish for

Meaning: If you get things that you desire, there may be unforeseen and unpleasant consequences.(‘Be careful what you wish for, lest it come true.’ and ‘Be careful what you wish for; you may receive it.’ are also used.)

48. Be on the pig’s back

Meaning: If you’re on the pig’s back, you’re happy / content / in fine form.

49. Be out in force

Meaning: If people are out in force, they are present somewhere in large numbers.

50. Be out in left field

Meaning: To be out in left field is not to know what’s going on. Taken from baseball, when youngsters assign less capable players to the outfield where the ball is less likely to be hit by a young player. In business, one might say, ‘Don’t ask the new manager; he’s out in left field and doesn’t know any answers yet.’

51. Be that as it may

Meaning: Be that as it may is an expression which means that, while you are prepared to accept that there is some truth in what the other person has just said, it’s not going to change your opinions in any significant manner.

52. Be true blue

Meaning: If a person/object/situation is considered to be ‘true blue’, it is considered genuine.

53. Be up the spout

Meaning: If a woman is up the spout, she is pregnant.

54. Bean counter

Meaning: A bean counter is an accountant.

55. Bear fruit

Meaning: If something bears fruit, it produces positive results.

56. Bear market

Meaning: A bear market is a period when investors are pessimistic and expect financial losses so are more likely to sell than to buy shares.

57. Bear the brunt

Meaning: People who bear the brunt of something endure the worst of something bad.

58. Beard the lion in his own den

Meaning: If you confront a powerful or dangerous rival on their territory, you are bearding the lion in his own den.

59. Beat about the bush

Meaning: If someone doesn’t say clearly what they mean and try to make it hard to understand, they are beating about (around) the bush.

60. Beat someone to the draw

Meaning: If you beat someone to the draw, you do something before they do.

61. Beat swords into plowshares

Meaning: If people beat swords into plowshares, they spend money on humanitarian purposes rather than weapons. (The American English spelling is ‘plowshares’)

62. Beat the daylights out of someone

Meaning: If someone beats the daylights out of another person, they hit them repeatedly. (‘Knock’ can also be used and it can be made even stronger by saying ‘the living daylights’.)

63. Beat the rap

Meaning: If you beat the rap, you escape conviction and punishment for a crime or something you have done wrong.

64. Beat to the punch

Meaning: If you beat someone to the punch, you act before them and gain an advantage.

65. Beat your brains out

Meaning: If you beat your brains out, you think hard about something but cannot solve, understand or remember it.

66. Beating a dead horse

Meaning: If someone is trying to convince people to do or feel something without any hope of succeeding, they’re beating a dead horse. This is used when someone is trying to raise interest in an issue that no-one supports anymore; beating a dead horse will not make it do any more work.

67. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Meaning: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder means that different people will find different things beautiful and that the differences of opinion don’t matter greatly.

68. Beauty is only skin deep

Meaning: This idiom means that appearances can be deceptive and something that seems or looks good may turn out to be bad.

69. Beck and call

Meaning: Someone who does everything for you, no matter when you ask, is at your beck and call.

70. Bedroom eyes

Meaning: Someone with bedroom eyes has a sexy look in their eyes.

71. Bee in your bonnet

Meaning: If someone is very excited about something, they have a bee in their bonnet.

72. Bee’s Knees

Meaning: If something is the bee’s knees, it’s outstanding or the best in its class.

73. Beeline for

Meaning: If you make a beeline for a place, you head there directly.

74. Been in the wars

Meaning: If someone has been in the wars, they have been hurt or look as if they have been in a struggle.

75. Been there, done that

Meaning: People say this when they have already experienced what is being discussed.

76. Beer and skittles

Meaning: People say that life is not all beer and skittles, meaning that it is not about self-indulgence and pleasure.

77. Before the ink is dry

Meaning: If people make an agreement or contract and then the situation changes very quickly, it changes before the ink is dry.

78. Before you can say Jack Robinson

Meaning: The term Jack Robinson represents ‘a short amount of time’. When you do something before you can say Jack Robinson, you do it very quickly.

79. Beg the question

Meaning: 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.

80. Beggars can’t be choosers

Meaning: This idiom means that people who are in great need must accept any help that is offered, even if it is not a complete solution to their problems.

81. Behind bars

Meaning: When someone is behind bars, they are in prison.

82. Behind closed doors

Meaning: If something happens away from the public eye, it happens behind closed doors.

83. Behind someone’s back

Meaning: If you do something behind someone’s back, you do it without telling them.

84. Behind the eight ball

Meaning: A difficult position from which it is unlikely one can escape.

85. Behind the times

Meaning: Someone that is behind the times is old-fashioned and has ideas that are regarded as out-dated.

86. Believe in the hereafter

Meaning: A belief in the hereafter is a belief in the afterlife, or life after death. It is, therefore, associated with religions and the soul’s journey to heaven or to hell, whichever way being just deserts for the person based on how they led their life.

87. Bells and whistles

Meaning: Bells and whistles are attractive features that things like computer programs have, though often a bit unnecessary.

88. Bells on

Meaning: To be somewhere with bells on means to arrive there happy and delighted to attend.

89. Belly up

Meaning: If things go belly up, they go badly wrong.

90. Below par

Meaning: If something isn’t up to standard, or someone isn’t feeling or doing very well, they are below par.

91. Below the belt

Meaning: If someone says something that is cruel or unfair, it is below the belt, like the illegal punches in boxing.

92. Belt and braces

Meaning: Someone who wears belt and braces is very cautious and takes no risks.

93. Belt and suspenders

Meaning: Someone who wears belt and suspenders is very cautious and takes no risks.

94. Bend over backwards

Meaning: If someone bends over backwards, they do everything they can to help someone.

95. Bend someone’s ear

Meaning: To bend someone’s ear is to talk to someone about something for a long enough period that it becomes tiresome for the listener.

96. Benjamin of the family

Meaning: The Benjamin of the family is the youngest child.

97. Beside the point

Meaning: If something is beside the point, it’s not relevant to the matter being discussed or considered.

98. Beside themselves

Meaning: If people are beside themselves, they are very worried or emotional about something.

100. Beside yourself

Meaning: If you are beside yourself, you are extremely angry.

101. Best of a bad bunch

Meaning: The best that could be obtained from a list of options that were not exactly what was required.

102. Best of both worlds

Meaning: If you have the best of both worlds, you benefit from different things that do not normally go together.

103. Best thing since sliced bread

Meaning: If something is the best thing since sliced bread, it is excellent. (‘The greatest thing since sliced bread’ is also used.)

104. Bet your bottom dollar

Meaning: If you can bet your bottom dollar on something, you can be absolutely sure about it.

105. Better half

Meaning: Your better half is your husband or wife.

106. Better late than never

Meaning: This idiom suggests that doing something late is better than not doing it at all.

107. Better safe than sorry

Meaning: This idiom is used to recommend being cautious rather than taking a risk.

108. Better than a kick in the teeth

Meaning: If something is better than a kick in the teeth, it isn’t very good, but it is better than nothing.

109. Better than a stick in the eye

Meaning: If something is better than a stick in the eye, it isn’t very good, but it is better than nothing.

110. Better the devil you know

Meaning: 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.

111. Between a rock and a hard place

Meaning: 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.

112. Between the devil and the deep blue sea

Meaning: If you are caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, you are in a dilemma; a difficult choice.

113. Between you and me and the cat’s whiskers

Meaning: This idiom is used when telling someone something that you want them to keep secret.

114. Beyond a shadow of a doubt

Meaning: If something’s beyond a shadow of a doubt, then absolutely no doubts remain about it.

115. Beyond belief

Meaning: 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 behavior was beyond belief.

116. Beyond our ken

Meaning: If something’s beyond your ken, it is beyond your understanding.

117. Beyond the black stump

Meaning: An Australian idiom indicating that even if you go as far as you can, the black stump is still a little further.

118. Beyond the pale

Meaning: If something’s beyond the pale, it is too extreme to be acceptable morally or socially.

119. Big Apple

Meaning: The Big Apple is New York.

120. Big bucks

Meaning: If someone is making big bucks, they are making a lot of money.

121. Big cheese

Meaning: The big cheese is the boss.

122. Big Easy

Meaning: The Big Easy is New Orleans, Louisiana

123. Big fish

Meaning: An important person in a company or an organization is a big fish.

124. Big fish in a small pond

Meaning: A big fish in a small pond is an important person in a small place or organization.

125. Big girl’s blouse

Meaning: A person who is very weak or fussy is a big girl’s blouse.

126. Big hitter

Meaning: A big hitter is someone who commands a lot of respect and is very important in their field.

127. Big nose

Meaning: If someone has a big nose, it means they are excessively interested in everyone else’s business.

128. Big picture

Meaning: The big picture of something is the overall perspective or objective, not the fine detail.

129. Big time

Meaning: This can be used to with the meaning ‘very much’- if you like something big time, you like it a lot.

130. Bigger fish to fry

Meaning: 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.

131. Bird in the hand is worth two in the bush

Meaning: ‘A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush’ is a proverb meaning that it is better to have something that is certain than take a risk to get more, where you might lose everything.

132. Bird’s eye view

Meaning: If you have a bird’s eye view of something, you can see it perfectly clearly.

133. Bird-brain

Meaning: Someone who has a bird-brain, or is bird-brained, is stupid.

134. Birds and the bees

Meaning: If a child is taught about the birds and the bees, they are taught about sex.

135. Birds of a feather flock together

Meaning: This idiom means that people with similar interests will stick together.

136. Birthday suit

Meaning: If you are in your birthday suit, you are naked.

137. Bit between your teeth

Meaning: If you take or have the bit between your teeth, you take or have control of a situation. (Bit = piece of metal in a horse’s mouth)

138. Bit part

Meaning: If someone has a small or unimportant role in something, they have a bit part.

139. Bit player

Meaning: A bit player has a small or unimportant role in something.

140. Bite off more than you can chew

Meaning: 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.

141. Bite someone’s head off

Meaning: If you bite someone’s head off, you criticism them angrily.

142. Bite the bullet

Meaning: If you have to bite the bullet, you have to accept or face something unpleasant because it cannot be avoided.

143. Bite the dust

Meaning: This is a way of saying that somebody has died, especially if they are killed violently like a soldier in battle.

144. Bite your lip

Meaning: If you have to bite your lip, you have to make a conscious effort not to react or to keep quiet about something that displeases you.

145. Bite your tongue

Meaning: If you bite your tongue, you refrain from speaking because it is socially or otherwise better not to.

146. Bits and bobs

Meaning: Bits and bobs are small, remnant articles and things- the same as ‘odds and ends’.

147. Bitter end

Meaning: If you do something to the bitter end, you do it to the very end, no matter how unsuccessful you are.

148. Bitter pill to swallow

Meaning: A bitter pill to swallow is something that is hard to accept.

149. Black and blue

Meaning: This means bruised, either physically or metaphorically.

150. Black and white

Meaning: When it is very clear who or what is right and wrong, then the situation is black and white.

151. Black as New gate’s knocker

Meaning: If things are as black as New gate’s knocker, they are very bad. New gate was an infamous prison in England, so its door knocker meant trouble.

152. Black hole

Meaning: If there is a black hole in financial accounts, money has disappeared.

153. Black sheep

Meaning: Someone who is the black sheep doesn’t fit into a group or family because their behavior or character is not good enough.

154. Blackball

Meaning: If you vote against allowing someone to be a member of an organization or group, you are blackballing him or her.

155. Blank Cheque

Meaning: If you are given a blank cheque, you are allowed to use as much money as you need for a project.

156. Bleeding edge

Meaning: Similar to ‘cutting edge’, this implies a technology or process that is at the forefront or beyond current practices. However, because it is unproven, it is often dangerous to use (hence the ‘bleeding’).

157. Bleeding heart

Meaning: A bleeding heart is a person who is excessively sympathetic towards other people.

158. Bless your pointy little head

Meaning: This expression is used as to patronize someone, especially when they don’t realist that they’re not very clever.(‘Bless your pointed little head’ is also used.)

159. Blessing in disguise

Meaning: If some bad luck or misfortune ultimately results in something positive, it’s a blessing in disguise.

160. Blind acceptance

Meaning: If people accept thing blindly, they accept them without questioning them at all.

161. Blind as a bat

Meaning: If you are in total darkness and can’t see anything at all, you are as blind as a bat.

162. Blind leading the blind

Meaning: When the blind are leading the blind, the people in charge of something don’t know anything more than the people they are in charge of, when they should have greater knowledge.

163. Blind-sided

Meaning: If you are blind-sided, an event with a negative impact takes you completely by surprise.

164. Blink of an eye

Meaning: If something happens in the blink of an eye, it happens so fast it is almost impossible to notice it.

165. Blood and thunder

Meaning: An emotional speech or performance is full of blood and thunder.

166. Blood from a turnip

Meaning: It is impossible to get something from someone if they don’t have it, just as you cannot get blood from a turnip.

167. Blood is thicker than water

Meaning: This idiom means that family relationships are stronger than others.

168. Blood is worth bottling

Meaning: If an Australian says to you “Your blood is worth bottling”, he/she is complimenting or praising you for doing something or being someone very special.

169. Blood out of a stone

Meaning: If something is like getting blood out of a stone, it is very difficult indeed.

170. Blood, sweat and tears

Meaning: If something will take blood, sweat and tears, it will be very difficult and will require a lot of effort and sacrifice.

171. Blow a gasket

Meaning: If you blow a gasket, you get very angry.

172. Blow by blow

Meaning: A blow-by-blow description gives every detail in sequence.

173. Blow hot and cold

Meaning: 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.

174. Blow me down

Meaning: 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.)

175. Blow off steam

Meaning: If you blow off steam, you express your anger or frustration.

176. Blow out of the water

Meaning: If something, like an idea, is blown out of the water, it is destroyed or defeated comprehensively.

177. Blow smoke

Meaning: If people blow smoke, they exaggerate or say things that are not true, usually to make themselves look better.

178. Blow the cobwebs away

Meaning: If you blow the cobwebs away, you make sweeping changes to something to bring fresh views and ideas in.

179. Blow the whistle

Meaning: If somebody blows the whistle on a plan, they report it to the authorities.

180. Blow your mind

Meaning: Something that will blow your mind is something extraordinary that will amaze you beyond explanation.

181. Blow your own horn

Meaning: If you blow your own horn, you boast about your achievements and abilities. (‘Blow your own trumpet’ is an alternative form.)

182. Blow your own trumpet

Meaning: If someone blows their own trumpet, they boast about their talents and achievements. (‘Blow your own horn’ is an alternative form.)

183. Blow your stack

Meaning: If you blow your stack, you lose your temper.

184. Blow your top

Meaning: If someone blows their top, they lose their temper.

185. Blue blood

Meaning: Someone with blue blood is royalty.

186. Blue-eyed boy

Meaning: Someone’s blue-eyed boy is their favorite person.

187. Bob’s your uncle

Meaning: This idiom means that something will be successful: Just tell him that I gave you his name and Bob’s your uncle- he’ll help you.

188. Body politic

Meaning: A group of people organized under a single government or authority (national or regional) is a body politic.

189. Bold as brass

Meaning: Someone who is as bold as brass is very confident and not worried about how other people will respond or about being caught.

190. Bolt from the blue

Meaning: If something happens unexpectedly and suddenly, it is a bolt from the blue.

191. Bone of contention

Meaning: If there is an issue that always causes tension and arguments, it is a bone of contention.

192. Bone to pick

Meaning: If you have a bone to pick with someone, you are annoyed about something they have done and want to tell them how you feel.

193. Boot is on the other foot

Meaning: When the boot’s on the other foot, a person who was in a position of weakness is now in a position of strength.

194. Born to the purple

Meaning: Someone who is born to the purple is born in a royal or aristocratic family. (“Born in the purple” is also used.)

195. Born with a silver spoon in your mouth

Meaning: If you are born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you are born into a rich family.

196. Both ends meet

Meaning: If you make both ends meet, you live off the money you earn and don’t go into debt.

197. Bottom line

Meaning: In accountancy, the bottom line is net income, and is used idiomatically to mean the conclusion.

198. Bounce ideas

Meaning: If you bounce ideas off someone, you share your ideas with them to know whether they think they would work.

199. Bounce off the walls

Meaning: If someone’s bouncing off the walls, they are very excited about something.

200. Bouquet of orchids

Meaning: Id someone deserves a bouquet of orchids, they have done something worthy of praise.

201. Box and dice

Meaning: Box and dice means everything.

202. Box clever

Meaning: If you box clever, you use your intelligence to get what you want, even if you have to cheat a bit.

203. Boxing and coxing

Meaning: 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.

204. Boys in blue

Meaning: The boys in blue are the police.

205. Brain surgery

Meaning: If something is not brain surgery, it isn’t very complicated or difficult to understand or master.

206. Brass monkey

Meaning: If it’s brass monkey weather, or cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey, it is extremely cold.

209. Brass neck

Meaning: Someone who has the brass neck to do something has no sense of shame about what they do.

210. Brass tacks

Meaning: If you get down to brass tacks, you get down to the real business.

211. Bread and butter

Meaning: Bread and butter issues are ones that affect people directly and in a very important way.

212. Breadwinner

Meaning: Used to describe the person that earns the most money. For example – She’s the breadwinner in the family.

213. Break a leg

Meaning: This idiom is a way of wishing someone good luck.

214. Break even

Meaning: If you break even, you don’t make any money, but you don’t lose any either.

215. Break ground

Meaning: 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. ‘Groundbreaking’ is used an adjective.

216. Break the back of the beast

Meaning: If you break the back of the beast, you accomplish a challenge.

217. Break the ice

Meaning: When you break the ice, you get over any initial embarrassment or shyness when you meet someone for the first time and start conversing.

218. Break your duck

Meaning: If you break your duck, you do something for the first time.

219. Break your heart

Meaning: If someone upsets you greatly, they break your heart, especially if they end a relationship.

220. Breathe down your neck

Meaning: If someone follows you or examines what you’re doing very closely, they are breathing down your neck.

221. Breathe life into

Meaning: If you breathe life into something, you give people involved more energy and enthusiasm again. (‘Breathe new life’ is also used.)

222. Breathe your last

Meaning: When you breathe your last, you die.

223. Bridge the gap

Meaning: If you bridge the gap, you make a connection where there is a great difference.

224. Bright and breezy

Meaning: When someone is cheerful and full of energy, they are bright and breezy.

225. Bright as a button

Meaning: A person who is as bright as a button is very intelligent or smart.

226. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

Meaning: If someone’s bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, they are full of energy and enthusiasm.

227. Brighten up the day

Meaning: If something brightens up your day, something happens that makes you feel positive and happy all day long.

228. Bring a knife to a gunfight

Meaning: If someone brings a knife to a gunfight, they are very badly prepared for something.

229. Bring home the bacon

Meaning: A person who brings home the bacon earns the money that a family live on.

230. Bring on board

Meaning: To make people embrace the ideas intended by the leader or agree to join a team or project is to bring them on board.

231. Bring someone to book

Meaning: If somebody is brought to book, they are punished or made to account for something they have done wrong.

232. Bring someone to heel

Meaning: If you bring someone to heel, you make them obey you.(‘Call someone to heel’ is also used.)

233. Bring the house down

Meaning: Something that brings the house down is acclaimed and praised vigorously.

234. Bring to the table

Meaning: If you bring something to the table, you make a contribution or an offer in a discussion or negotiation..

235. Broad church

Meaning: If an organization is described as broad church, it is tolerant and accepting of different opinions and ideas.

236. Broad strokes

Meaning: If something is described or defined with broad stokes, then only an outline is given, without fine details.

237. Broke as a joke and it ain’t funny

Meaning: 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.

238. Broken record

Meaning: When someone sounds like a broken record, they keep on repeating the same things. (‘Stuck record’ is also used.)

239. Broken reed

Meaning: If something or someone fails to give you the support you were hoping for, they are a broken reed.

240. Brown nose

Meaning: When someone tries to make themselves popular with somebody, usually in a position of authority, especially by flattering them, they are brown nosing.

241. Browned off

Meaning: To be tired of or fed up with

242. Brownie points

Meaning: If you try to earn Brownie points with someone, you do things you know will please them.

243. Brush under the carpet

Meaning: If you brush something under the carpet, you are making an attempt to ignore it, or hide it from others.

244. Buggles’ turn

Meaning: If it Buggles’ turn, someone gets promotion through length of service rather than ability, especially in the British civil service.

245. Bull in a China shop

Meaning: If someone behaves like a bull in a China shop, they are clumsy when they should be careful.

255. Bull market

Meaning: A bull market is a period when investors are optimistic and there are expectations that good financial results will continue.

256. Bull session

Meaning: If you have a bull session, you have an informal group discussion about something.

257. Bull-headed

Meaning: If you’re a bull-headed, you’re stubborn or inflexible.

258. Bums on seats

Meaning: The people who have paid to watch a performance are bums on seats.

259. Bun in the oven

Meaning: If a woman has a bun in the oven, she is pregnant.

260. Bundle of nerves

Meaning: Someone who is a bundle of nerves is very worried or nervous.

261. Bur under my saddle

Meaning: A bur under your saddle is something that annoys you or spurs you into action.(‘Burr’ is an alternative spelling.)

262. Burn rubber

Meaning: If you burn rubber, you drive very fast to get somewhere.

263. Burn the candle at both ends

Meaning: Someone who burns the candle at both ends lives life at a hectic pace, doing things which are likely to affect their health badly.

264. Burn the midnight oil

Meaning: If you stay up very late working or studying, you burn the midnight oil.

265. Burn your bridges

Meaning: If you burn your bridges, you do something that makes it impossible to go back from the position you have taken.

266. Burn your fingers

Meaning: If you burn your fingers, you suffer a loss or something unpleasant as the result of something you did, making you less likely to do it again.

267. Burning question

Meaning: A burning question is something we all want to know about.

268. Burst at the seams

Meaning: To be filled to or beyond normal capacity: This room will be bursting at the seams when all the guests arrive.

269. Bury the hatchet

Meaning: If you bury the hatchet, you make peace with someone and stop arguing or fighting.

270. Bury your head in the sand

Meaning: If someone buries their head in the sand, they ignore something that is obviously wrong.

271. Bushman’s holiday

Meaning: A bushman’s holiday is when you spend your free time doing the same sort of work as you do in your job.

272. Bust my chops

Meaning: 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.

273. Busted flush

Meaning: Someone or something that had great potential but ended up a useless failure is a busted flush.

274. Busy as a beaver

Meaning: If you’re as busy as a beaver, you’re very busy indeed.

275. Busy as a bee

Meaning: If you are as busy as a bee, you are very busy indeed.

276. Butt naked

Meaning: If someone is butt naked, they have no clothes on at all, often when they can be seen.

277. Butt of a joke

Meaning: If something or someone becomes the butt of a joke it or they are not taken seriously anymore.

278. Butter wouldn’t melt in their mouth

Meaning: If someone looks as if butter wouldn’t melt in their mouth, they look very innocent.

279. Butterfingers

Meaning: Someone who has butterfingers is clumsy and drops things.

280. Butterflies in your stomach

Meaning: The nervous feeling before something important or stressful is known as butterflies in your stomach.

281. Button your lip

Meaning: 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.

282. Buy the farm

Meaning: When somebody has bought the farm, they have died.

283. By a hair’s breadth

Meaning: 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.

284. By a long chalk

Meaning: If you beat somebody by a long chalk, you win easily and comfortably.

285. By a whisker

Meaning: If you do something by a whisker, you only just manage to do it and come very near indeed to failing.

286. By and large

Meaning: By and large means usually or generally.

287. By cracky

Meaning: 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.’

288. By dint of

Meaning: 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.

289. By heart

Meaning: If you learn something by heart, you learn it word for word.

290. By hook or by crook

Meaning: 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.

291. By leaps and bounds

Meaning: Something that happens by leaps and bounds happens very quickly in big steps.

292. By the back door

Meaning: If something is started or introduced by the back door, then it is not done openly or by following the proper procedures.

293. By the book

Meaning: If you do something by the book, you do it exactly as you are supposed to.

294. By the by

Meaning: 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.)

295. By the numbers

Meaning: If something is done by the numbers, it is done in a mechanical manner without room for creativity.

296. By the same token

Meaning: 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.

297. By the seat of your pants

Meaning: 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.

298. By the skin of your teeth

Meaning: If you do something by the skin of your teeth, you only just manage to do it and come very near indeed to failing.

299. By word of mouth

Meaning: 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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