Dictionary of English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

НазваниеDictionary of English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Дата конвертации05.02.2016
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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 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, the 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 mind

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

Blow your own horn

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

Blow your own trumpet

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

Blow your stack

If you blow your stack, you lose your temper.

Blow your top

If someone blows their top, they lose their temper.

Blue blood

Someone with blue blood is royalty.

Blue-eyed boy

Someone's blue-eyed boy is their favourite person.

Bob\'s your uncle

(UK) 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.

Body politic

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

Bold as brass

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

Bolt from the blue

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

Bone of contention

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

Bone to pick

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.

Boot is on the other foot

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

Born to the purple

Someone who is born to the purple is born in a royal or aristocratic family. ("Born in the purple" is also used.)

Born with a silver spoon in your mouth

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

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 off the walls

If someone's bouncing off the walls, they are very excited about something.

Bouquet of orchids

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

Box and dice

Box and dice means everything.

Box clever

(UK) If you box clever, you use your intelligence to get what you want, even if you have to cheat a bit.

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.

Boys in blue

The boys in blue are the police.

Brain surgery

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

Brass monkey

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

Brass neck

(UK) Someone who has the brass neck to do something has no sense of shame about what they do.

Brass tacks

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

Bread and butter

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


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.

Breathe down your neck

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

Breathe your last

When you breathe your last, you die.

Bridge the gap

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

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 the bacon

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

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 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.

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.

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.

Bull in a China shop

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

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