English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - B
|blank cheque||If you give someone
a blank cheque, you authorise them
to do what they think is best in a difficult
Tom was given a blank cheque and told to negotiate the best deal possible.
|wet blanket||To refer to someone
as a wet blanket means that they
spoil other people's fun, or make an event
less enjoyable than it could have been.
Come on Mike! Don't be such a wet blanket. You're spoiling the party!
|blessing in disguise||This
expression refers to something that is
unpleasant at first but later turns out to
Missing the plane was a blessing in disguise - that's how he met his wife. She was a hostess on the next flight!
|blind alley||If you go up a
blind alley, you follow an ineffective
course of action which leads nowhere or
produces no results.
The suspect's 'revelations' lead the police up a blind alley.
|blind as a bat||Someone whose
vision is very poor, or who is unable to see
anything, is (as) blind as a bat.
Without his glasses, the old man is as blind as a bat.
|blind leading the blind||This expression
describes a person with very little ability
trying to help or guide a person with no
Don't ask Sofia to translate it. She hardly speaks a word of English herself. It would be the blind leading the blind.
|blind someone with science||If someone tries to
blind you with science, they
confuse you with their knowledge by using
difficult or technical words.
When you ask Tim for a simple explanation, he blinds you with science.
|blink of an eye||If something
happens in the blink of an eye, it
happens nearly instantaneously, with hardly
enough time to notice it.
The pickpocket disappeared in the blink of an eye.
|on the blink||If a machine is
on the blink, it is not working
properly and needs servicing or repair.
What a nuisance! The photocopier is on the blink again.
|blockbuster||Something that is
outstanding, impressive or particularly
successful, such as a film or a book ,is
called a blockbuster.
The TV series was a blockbuster.
|makes your blood boil||If something
makes your blood boil, it makes you
His condescending attitude made my blood boil!
|makes your blood run cold||If something
makes your blood run cold, it shocks or
The look in the prisoner's eyes made my blood run cold.
|blood out of a stone||This expression
refers to something that is very difficult
Negotiating a reduction from that company is like getting blood from a stone!
|blood, sweat and tears||A project or action
which involves blood, sweat and
requires a lot of effort and hard work.
His success wasn't due to luck; it was blood, sweat and tears all the way.
|blot one's copy-book||Someone who
blots their copy-book does something to
spoil their good record or reputation.
He blotted his copy-book when he was arrested for speeding.
|blow away the cobwebs||If something
blows away the cobwebs, it makes you
feel more lively and refreshes your ideas.
Let's get out of the house. A walk on the beach will blow away the cobwebs!
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