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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List - B 

(Idioms B page 10 :   blank cheque  →   blow away cobwebs)

blank cheque If you give someone a blank cheque, you authorise them to do what they think is best in a difficult situation.
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 have advantages.
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 ability.
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 really angry.
His condescending attitude made my blood boil!
makes your blood run cold If something makes your blood run cold, it shocks or scares you
a lot.
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 to obtain.
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 tears 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!
...back next...
Lists B B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B10 B11 B12 B13 B14 B15 B16 B17
more alphabetical lists ... 
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X-Y-Z