English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions
Alphabetical List - B
|bury head in sand||
If you bury your head in the sand,
you refuse to face the unpleasant reality by
pretending that the situation doesn't exist.
It's no good burying your head in the sand. We've got a problem on our hands.
|bury the hatchet||
When people who have had a disagreement
decide to forget their quarrel and become
friends again, they bury the hatchet.
I didn't agree with my colleague's decision, but for the sake of peace,
I decided to bury the hatchet.
|business as usual||After an unpleasant
or unexpected event, this expression means
that everything is continuing in a normal
way, in spite of the difficulties.
It was business as usual at the supermarket the day after the hold-up.
|business before pleasure||This
expression means that it is considered
preferable to finish one's work before going
to relax and enjoy oneself.
I'd love to have lunch with you but I've got a report to finish - business before pleasure I'm afraid!
|business is business||This is a way of
saying that in financial and commercial
matters, friendship or personal feelings
should not be allowed to have any influence.
I'll hire your brother only if he is the best candidate. I'm sorry but business is business!
|busman's holiday||A busman's
holiday is when you spend your spare
time or your holidays doing the same sort of
activity as you do in your job.
My husband is a chef, so for him time off with the family is often a busman's holiday!
|butter somebody up||When you butter
someone up, you flatter them or you are
very nice to them, especially if you want to
He was so keen to get the job that he spent his time buttering up the boss.
|butter wouldn't melt in your mouth||If you say that
someone looks as if butter wouldn't melt
in their mouth, you mean that they look
completely innocent, but that they are
capable of doing unpleasant things.
The boy who stole the purse looked as if butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.
|butterflies in your stomach||If you have
butterflies in your stomach, you are
feeling very nervous.
At the beginning of an exam, I always have butterflies in my stomach.
|buy a lemon||If buy something,
especially a car, that is defective,
unsatisfactory, constantly gives trouble or
stops running after a short time, you
buy a lemon.
The car I bought was a real lemon. It broke down two weeks later.
|by degrees||If something
happens or develops by degrees, it
happens gradually or little by little as
time goes by.
By degrees their business relationship grew into friendship.
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