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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List of Idioms - B

(Idioms B page 3 :  ballpark figure  →  battle lines)

ballpark figure If someone gives a ballpark figure, they give an approximate number or a rough estimate of the cost of something.
I don't know exactly how much it will cost, but a ballpark figure would be around $100 000.
(load of) baloney This term refers to idle talk, or pretentious, untrue or insincere statements that nobody can believe.
That's a load of baloney!  I don't believe a word of it! 
bandit territory A geographical area where law enforcement is practically impossible, because people ignore all rules, is called 'bandit territory'.
There are a certain number of bandit territories in the world where travellers are advised not to go. 
jump on the bandwagon If a person or organisation jumps on the bandwagon, they decide to do something when it is already successful or fashionable.
When organic food became fashionable, certain stores were quick to jump on the bandwagon and promote it.  
bane of one's life To say that something is the bane of your life means that it is the cause of your problems or your unhappiness.
The heating system is always breaking down. It's the bane of my life! 
bang one's head against a brick wall If you bang or knock your head against a brick wall, you continue vainly to try to achieve something in spite of several unsuccessful attempts.
I've been banging my head against a brick wall trying to explain the internet to my grandmother! 
bar fly A bar fly is someone who spends a lot of time drinking in bars and pubs.
You'll find Johnny down at the pub - he's a real bar fly. 
bare one's soul If you bare you soul (or heart) to someone, you reveal your innermost thoughts and feelings to them.
Mike couldn't keep things to himself any longer. He decided to bare his soul to his best friend. 
barefaced liar Someone who lies easily, with a total lack of shame, is a barefaced liar.
That barefaced liar stole my watch and said he'd found it! 
barking up the wrong tree A person who is barking up the wrong tree is doing the wrong thing, because their beliefs or ideas are incorrect or mistaken. 
The police are barking up the wrong tree if they think Joey stole the car - he can't drive!
basket case A person whose agitated mental state leaves them helpless or unable to cope with things is called a basket case.
 Jenny will turn into a basket case if this stressful situation continues. 
bats in the belfry If you say that somebody has bats in the belfry, you mean that they are eccentric or crazy.
He comes up with the craziest ideas - he's got bats in the belfry!
bated breath If you wait for something with bated breath, you are both anxious and excited about an imminent event.
We waited with bated breath for the winner to be announced. 
batten down the hatches When you batten down the hatches, you prepare yourself for trouble or a forthcoming difficult period, like a ship preparing for a storm.
Here comes that trouble-making guy. Batten down the hatches!  
battle lines are drawn This expression is used to say that opposing groups are ready to defend the reason behind the conflict.
The battle lines have been drawn between those who accept the changes and those who are against the proposed reforms.  
...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