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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List - B 

(Idioms B page 17 :   bury head in sand  →  by degrees)

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 obtain something.
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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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