English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - B
|kick the bucket||To kick the
bucket is a lighthearted way of talking
He will inherit when his grandfather kicks the bucket!
|buckle down||If you buckle
down, you apply yourself with
determination to hard work and give it hour
If you want to pass your exams, you'll have to buckle down and do some serious work.
|nip in the bud||If you nip
a problem or an unacceptable situation
in the bud, you stop it at an early
stage, before it develops or becomes worse.
He wanted to be a clown, but his parents soon nipped that idea in the bud.
|build bridges||If a person
builds bridges between opposing groups,
they help them to cooperate and understand
each other better.
A mediator is trying to build bridges between the local community and the owners of the new plant.
|take the bull by the horns||To take the
bull by the horns means that a person
decides to act decisively in order to deal
with a difficult situation or problem.
When the argument turned into a fight, the bar owner took the bull by the horns and called the police.
into doing something
|A person who is
bulldozed into doing something is
forced to do it, especially by being bullied
The immigrants we bulldozed into accepting the work.
|bundle of nerves||If you describe
someone as a bundle of nerves, you
mean that they are very nervous, tense or
My son is doing his driving test today. Needless to say he's a bundle of nerves!
|burden of proof||The burden of
proof is the necessity imposed by the
law to prove that what one says is true.
The burden of proof lies with the claimant.
|burn your bridges||If you burn
your bridges, you do something that
will be impossible to rectify in the future.
If you refuse the offer, be careful not to burn your bridges by insulting them. They may make a better proposal later.
|burn the candle at both ends||If you burn the
candle at both ends, you exhaust
yourself by doing too much, especially going
to bed late and getting up early.
Scott looks exhausted - I'll bet he's been burning the candle at both ends lately.
|burn your fingers||If you burn
your fingers (or get your fingers
burnt), you suffer financially as a
result of foolish behaviour.
Jack got his fingers burnt playing on the stock market.
|on the back burner||If you put a
project or issue on the back burner,
you decide to deal with it at a later date
because you do not consider it to be that
urgent or important.
When Julie was offered a promotion she put her MBA plans on the back burner.
|burning question||What everyone is
asking, and what we all want to know about,
is called the burning question.
Who leaked the information? That's the burning question!
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