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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List - B 

(Idioms B page 14  :  know which side your bread is buttered  →  a breeze)

know which side your bread is buttered If you know which side your bread is buttered, you know where your interests lie or what will be to your advantage.
Jack never argues with his father-in-law.  He knows which side his bread is buttered.
take the bread out of
somebody's mouth
If you take the bread out of somebody's mouth, you take away their means of earning a living.
The decision to ban street vendors took the bread out of the mouths of many people.
on the breadline People who live on the breadline have a very low income or barely enough money to survive.
Due to the recent crisis, there are more people on the breadline than
ever before.
break your back If you work extremely hard, or put a lot of effort into achieving something, you break your back to do it.
If you want the job done well, you should accept to pay more.  He's not going to break his back for such a low price!
break the back of the beast If someone breaks the back of the beast, they succeed in overcoming a major difficulty.
After hours of effort, the technicians finally broke the back of the beast and turned the electricity back on again.
break fresh ground If you break fresh ground, you innovate by introducing or developing a new method or system.
Scientists have broken fresh ground in their exploration of outer space.
break a leg! This is a humorous way of wishing someone good luck, especially among stage performers.
So tonight's the opening night?  Break a leg!
break the mould If you change what people expect from a (traditional) situation, especially by doing something original, you break the mould.
After generations of doctors in the family, he broke the mould by becoming a fashion designer.
break every rule in the book If you behave in a completely unacceptable way, you break every rule in the book.
Our competitors obtained the contract by breaking every rule in the book.
break out in cold sweat If you break out in a cold sweat, you begin to perspire a lot, usually from anxiety.
I get nervous at the dentist's and usually break out in a cold sweat.
breaking and entering This term refers to the fact of entering a building or home illegally by breaking open a window, door, etc.
The two men were found guilty of breaking and entering.
breathe down someone's neck If someone is breathing down your neck, they are watching you too closely and making you feel uncomfortable.
The atmosphere at work is not great; the boss keeps breathing down
our necks all the time.
a breeze To say that something was a breeze means that it was very easy or that everything went smoothly.
The interview was a breeze - barely 10 minutes and I got the job!
...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