English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - B
bricks and mortar
bricks and clicks
trading company (office/shop) is referred to
as a 'brick-and-mortar' business.
'Click companies' refer to internet-based operations.
Companies which do both are called 'bricks and clicks'.
Click businesses are usually more flexible than brick-and-mortar operations.
|bright-eyed and bushy-tailed||A person who is
bright-eyed and bushy-tailed is
very enthusiastic and full of energy.
Gary was fantastic. He arrived bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at 7am
and worked with us all day.
|bring the house down||If you bring
the house down, you give a very
If he sings like that on Saturday, he'll bring the house down.
|bring nothing to the table||If you participate
in negotiations and bring nothing to the
table, you have nothing of interest to
offer the other side.
We'll never reach an agreement if we don't all bring something to the table.
|bring someone to heel||If you force
someone to behave in a disciplined manner,
you bring them to heel.
The boy had always behaved badly, but the new headmaster managed to bring him to heel.
|bring up the rear||Someone who
brings up the rear is the last person
in a group of people who are walking or
The pupils walked calmly down the corridor, with the teacher bringing up the rear.
|broad daylight||If something
happens in broad daylight, it takes
place in the clear light of day when
everyone can see what's going on.
His car was stolen in front of the bank, in broad daylight, and apparently there was not one witness!
|broad as it's long||This expression
means that there is no real difference which
alternative is chosen.
Take the high-speed train, or fly and take a taxi? It's as broad as it's long.
|broad strokes||If something is
described or defined with/in broad
strokes, it is outlined in a very
general way, without any details.
In a few broad strokes he summed up the situation.
|brown as a berry||To say that someone
is as brown as a berry means that
they are very tanned.
Judy came back from her holiday as brown as a berry.
|browned off||If you are
browned off, you are bored, fed up or
Tom is browned off with his job.
|have a brush with||When you have a
brush with something, such as the law,
you encounter or experience it briefly.
Had a brush with the law for speeding a few years ago, but he has had a clean record ever since.
|the bubble has burst||To say that the
bubble has burst means that the success
of an idea, a product or a situation has
The video game was a phenomenal success but the bubble has burst.
|pass the buck||If you say that
someone is passing the buck, you
are accusing them of not taking
responsibility for a problem and expecting
someone else to handle it.
Sam takes the easy way out. Whenever a problem arises, he immediately passes the buck!
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