A TO Z IDIOMS

Idioms beginning with B

  • Babe In Arms

    Meaning: A baby being carried

  • Babe In The Woods

    Meaning: An innocent, naive person

  • Babe Magnet

    Meaning: A man to whom women are attracted

  • Baby Blues

    Meaning: Blue eyes.

  • Baby Boomer

    Meaning: A person born in the years following World War II, when there was a temporary marked increase in the birth rate

  • Babysitter Test

    Meaning: An evaluation of the ease of use of household appliances, especially remote control devices

  • Back And Forth

    Meaning: Dialogue, negotiations

  • Back At You

    Meaning: Same to you (used to return a greeting or insult)

  • Back Burner (On The)

    Meaning: Not urgent; set aside until later

  • Back Forty

    Meaning: Remote, inaccessible land

  • Back in the Day

    Meaning: Formerly, when I was younger, in earlier times

  • Back Of Beyond

    Meaning: A remote location

  • Back Office

    Meaning: Support services for a business

  • Back on One’s Feet

    Meaning: Physically healthy again

  • Back to Square One

    Meaning: Back to the start

  • Back to Square One

    Meaning: Forced to begin something again

  • Back to the Drawing Board

    Meaning: Forced to begin something again

  • Back to the Salt Mine(s)

    Meaning: We have to go back to work.

  • Back to the Salt Mines

    Meaning: It’s time for me (us) to go back to work

  • Back the Wrong Horse

    Meaning: To support the losing side

  • Backing and Filling

    Meaning: Delaying a decision by making small changes or arguing about small details

  • Backseat Driver

    Meaning: A passenger in a car who gives unwanted advice to the driver is called a backseat driver.

  • Backseat Driver

    Meaning: Someone who likes to give (often annoying) advice to the driver of a car, or the leader of some other enterprise

  • Bad Apple

    Meaning: A discontented, trouble making, or dishonest person

  • Bad Blood

    Meaning: Enmity or hatred that stems from something in the past

  • Bad Egg

    Meaning: Someone who is not to be trusted

  • Bad Taste In One’s Mouth

    Meaning: Unease, a feeling that something unspecified is wrong in a situation

  • Bag of Tricks

    Meaning: A set of methods or resources

  • Bail Out

    Meaning: To rescue someone from a bad situation, to shield someone from the consequences of his or her actions

  • Ball and Chain

    Meaning: 1. One’s spouse (derogatory but often affectionate); 2. an ongoing burden

  • Ballpark Figure

    Meaning: A rough estimate

  • Banner Year

    Meaning: A year marked by strong successes

  • Bang for Your Buck

    Meaning: Value for money

  • Bang for Your Buck

    Meaning: Value for your money

  • Bang One’s Head Against the Wall

    Meaning: Try repeatedly to do something without making progress

  • Baptism by Fire

    Meaning: A difficult task given right after one has assumed new responsibilities

  • Bar Fly (or Barfly)

    Meaning: Someone who spends much of his or her time in bars

  • Bare One’s Heart (Soul)

    Meaning: To confess one’s deepest secrets

  • Bark Up the Wrong Tree

    Meaning: Pursue a mistaken approach or belief; be wrong in a course of action

  • Basket Case

    Meaning: So upset or stunned that one is unable to function; in a hopeless condition

  • Bat/Play for Both Teams

    Meaning: To be bisexual.

  • Bat/Play for the Other Team

    Meaning: To be homosexual.

  • Batten Down the Hatches

    Meaning: Prepare for a storm

  • Batten Down the Hatches

    Meaning: Prepare for a storm

  • Be A Barrel of Laughs

    Meaning: To be fun, funny, and pleasant.

  • Be A Cold Day In Hell

    Meaning: (Something that) will never happen

  • Be An Item

    Meaning: Two people are an item when they are having a romantic relationship

  • Be Footloose and Fancy-Free

    Meaning: To be free of responsibilities, including romantic commitments

  • Be Head Over Heels (In love)

    Meaning: Be in love with somebody very much

  • Be in Seventh Heaven

    Meaning: Extremely happy

  • Be in Two Minds (about something)

    Meaning: To not be certain about something, or to have difficulty in making a decision

  • Be Like Chalk and Cheese

    Meaning: Things or people who are very different and have nothing in common

  • Be Lovey – Dovey

    Meaning: Expressing your love in public by constantly kissing and hugging

  • Be on the Mend

    Meaning: Be improving after an illness

  • Be Snowed Under

    Meaning: Be extremely busy with work or things to do

  • Bean Counters

    Meaning: Accountants, finance professionals in an organization

  • Bean Counters

    Meaning: Accountants, finance professionals in an organization

  • Beat Around the Bush

    Meaning: To speak in a roundabout way in order to avoid confronting an unpleasant topic

  • Beat Someone To The Draw

    Meaning: To accomplish or obtain something more quickly than someone else

  • Beat Someone to the Punch

    Meaning: Do something before or faster than someone else

  • Beat the Drum for (Something)

    Meaning: Speak in favor of something to try to generate support

  • Beauty Is Only Skin Deep

    Meaning: External appearance is a superficial basis for judging someone

  • Bed of Roses

    Meaning: A comfortable situation

  • Bedroom Eyes

    Meaning: An expression of the eyes that seems to invite sex

  • Bee in One’s Bonnet

    Meaning: Someone who has a bee in their bonnet has an idea which constantly occupies their thoughts.

  • Beggar Thy Neighbor

    Meaning: To do something beneficial for oneself without worrying about how it affects others

  • Behind the Eight (or 8) Ball

    Meaning: At a serious disadvantage

  • Behind the Scenes

    Meaning: In a way not apparent to the public

  • Behind the Times

    Meaning: Old-fashioned

  • Bell the Cat

    Meaning: Take on a difficult or impossible task

  • Bells And Whistles

    Meaning: Attractive but unnecessary features of a product

  • Belly Laugh

    Meaning: Loud, hearty laughter

  • Bend an Elbow

    Meaning: Drink alcoholic beverages at a tavern

  • Best (Greatest) Thing Since Sliced Bread

    Meaning: An innovative development

  • Best of Both Worlds

    Meaning: Combining two qualities that are usually separate

  • Bet One’s Bottom Dollar (On Something)

    Meaning: Be certain that something will happen

  • Bet the Farm

    Meaning: Risk everything; spend all one’s money on something in hopes of success

  • Better late Than Never

    Meaning: It implies that a belated achievement is better than not reaching a goal at all.

  • Between a Rock and a Hard Place

    Meaning: Caught between two undesirable options

  • Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

    Meaning: In a difficult position

  • Beyond the Pale

    Meaning: Too morally or socially extreme to accept

  • Beyond the Shadow of a Doubt

    Meaning: Absolutely certain

  • Big Apple

    Meaning: An informal name for New York City

  • Big Brother

    Meaning: Government, viewed as an intrusive force in the lives of citizens; government spying

  • Big Cheese

    Meaning: An important person in a company or organization

  • Big Deal

    Meaning: An important event or accomplishment

  • Big Fish

    Meaning: An important person

  • Big Picture

    Meaning: A wide perspective; a broad view of something

  • Big time

    Meaning: If you do something big time, you do it to a great degree.

  • Birds of a Feather

    Meaning: People having similar characters, backgrounds, interests, or beliefs.

  • Bird’s-Eye View

    Meaning: A view from above; a broad perspective on something

  • Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

    Meaning: Try to do more than one is capable of doing

  • Bite the Bullet

    Meaning: To do something even though it involves pain, discomfort, or difficulty

  • Bite the Hand That Feeds You

    Meaning: Act badly toward someone who has helped you

  • Bitter Pill to Swallow

    Meaning: An unpleasant fact that one must accept

  • Black and White

    Meaning: A clear distinction between good and bad, positive and negative

  • Black Eye

    Meaning: A mark of shame

  • Black Sheep

    Meaning: A person who does not fit into a group, especially a family

  • Black-and-Blue

    Meaning: Bruised, showing signs of having been physically harmed

  • Blank Check

    Meaning: Permission to spend or do whatever one wishes; carte blanche

  • Blind Date

    Meaning: When two people who have never seen each other before go on a date

  • Blinded by Love

    Meaning: When a person is so madly in love with somebody that they can’t see the person’s faults or negative characteristics

  • Blood and Thunder

    Meaning: A dramatic, spectacular performance

  • Blow Away the Cobwebs

    Meaning: If something blows away the cobwebs, it makes you feel more lively and refreshes your ideas.

  • Blow Hot and Cold

    Meaning: Shift one’s level of enthusiasm repeatedly

  • Blow Off Steam

    Meaning: To express anger and frustration in a way that does no damage

  • Blow One’s Top

    Meaning: Lose one’s temper

  • Blow One’s Stack

    Meaning: To lose one’s temper and explode in anger

  • Blow the Cobwebs Away (or Out of Something)

    Meaning: Make space for fresh ideas, encourage something new

  • Blow the Whistle

    Meaning: Reporting an illegal or unacceptable activity to the authorities

  • Blow Up

    Meaning: Explode

  • Blow Your Own Trumpet

    Meaning: Brag; emphasize one’s own contributions

  • Blue Blood (adj. blue-blooded)

    Meaning: Person of aristocratic background

  • Blue Eyed Boy

    Meaning: A person who is a favorite of those in authority; someone whose mistakes are forgiven

  • Blue Light Special

    Meaning: 1. a temporary sale at a discount store. 2. a traffic stop by the police.

  • Bob’s Your Uncle

    Meaning: The rest is easy; you’re almost finished

  • Bolt From the Blue

    Meaning: Something completely unexpected

  • Bone Dry

    Meaning: Completely dry, totally without moisture

  • Born on The Wrong Side of the Blanket

    Meaning: Born to parents who were not married

  • Borrow Trouble

    Meaning: Take needless risks, invite problems

  • Bottom of the Barrel

    Meaning: Low-quality choices

  • Boy Toy

    Meaning: A young man who is the lover of an older, often wealthier woman (see toyboy)

  • Boys will be Boys

    Meaning: A phrase of resignation used when boys get into trouble or are stereotypically reckless or rowdy

  • Brainstorm

    Meaning: To generate many ideas quickly

  • Break a Leg

    Meaning: Good luck! This is used for a stage performer-or for anyone else who is about to give some kind of a performance, such as an important speech

  • Break Out in A Cold Sweat

    Meaning: To perspire from fever or anxiety

  • Break the Bank

    Meaning: Exhaust one’s financial resources

  • Break The Ice

    Meaning: To get something started, particularly by means of a social introduction or conversation

  • Break up/ Split up (With Somebody)

    Meaning: End the relationship

  • Bring Home the Bacon

    Meaning: Earn money for one’s family

  • Bringing a Knife to a Gunfight

    Meaning: Underequipped or unprepared

  • Brush Under the Carpet

    Meaning: Attempt to temporarily conceal a problem or error

  • Bucket List

    Meaning: Things you want to see or do before you die

  • Bull in a China Shop

    Meaning: A clumsy or tactless person

  • Bump in the Road

    Meaning: A temporary problem, a small setback

  • Bundle Up

    Meaning: Put on lots of warm clothing

  • Burn One’s Bridges

    Meaning: Leave a job or a relationship on such bad terms that one does not stay in contact

  • Burn the Candle at Both Ends

    Meaning: To work too hard, with possible bad consequences for one’s health

  • Burn the Candle at Both Ends

    Meaning: Work very long hours

  • Burn the Midnight Oil

    Meaning: To work late into the night

  • Burn the Midnight Oil

    Meaning: Working late into the night

  • Bury (Hide) One’s Head In the Sand

    Meaning: Ignoring something that’s obviously wrong, not facing reality

  • Bury the Hatchet

    Meaning: Make peace, agree to end a dispute

  • Business as Usual

    Meaning: A normal situation (whether related to business or not), typically restored after some change

  • Busman’s Holiday (UK)

    Meaning: A working vacation

  • Busman’s Holiday

    Meaning: A vacation where you do the same thing you do at work, a working vacation

  • Busted Flush

    Meaning: A failure, someone or something that seemed promising but did not develop well

  • Butter Wouldn’t Melt in (Someone’s)

    Meaning: Mouth This person is cool in manner, prim and proper

  • Buy a Pig in a Poke

    Meaning: To buy something with no prior inspection

  • Buy Time

    Meaning: Cause a delay in something with the aim of improving one’s position

  • By a Whisker

    Meaning: By a very short distance

  • By All Means

    Meaning: Of course, certainly

  • By Hook or by Crook

    Meaning: By some possibly dishonest means

  • By the Skin of One’s Teeth

    Meaning: Barely escaping disaster

  • By Word of Mouth

    Meaning: Via personal communications rather than written media