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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List of Idioms - B 

(Idioms B page 4 :  battle of wills   →  beat a dead horse)

battle of wills A conflict, argument or struggle where both sides are determined to win is described as a battle of wills.
When they separated, neither party would make concessions - it was a battle of wills.
be full of beans A person who is full of beans is lively, healthy and active.
He may be getting old but he's still full of beans. 
be my guest This expression is used to give someone permission to do something.
If you'd like to use the phone, be my guest. 
be-all and end-all To say that something is not the be-all and end-all means that it is not what matters most or what is most essential.
Good schools are not the be-all and end-all of educating a child. 
be that as it may This expression means that what the speaker says may be true but it will not change the situation.
OK. Fewer people may come because of the bad weather, but be that as it may, it's too late to cancel the show. 
bear the brunt A person who bears the brunt of something is the one who suffers the most when something bad or unpleasant happens.
When things go wrong, his assistant always has to bear the brunt of his anger.  
bear fruit If something bears fruit, it produces positive or successful results.
After years of hard work, his research finally began to bear fruit.  
bear in mind If a person asks you to bear something in mind, they are asking you to remember it because it is important.
You must bear in mind that the cost of living is higher in New York. 
bear with a sore head If someone is behaving like a bear with a sore head, they are very irritable and bad-tempered.
When his team lost the match, Brad was like a bear with a sore head. 
beard the lion in his den If you visit someone important in the place where they work, in order to challenge him/her or obtain something, you beard the lion in his den.
If he continues to refuse my calls, I'll have to beard the lion in his den.  
beat one's brain out If someone beats their brains out, they try very hard to understand something or solve a problem.
My grandmother beats her brains out every evening trying to do the crossword puzzle in the newspaper.  
beat around the bush This expression is used to tell someone to say what they have to say, clearly and directly, even if it is unpleasant.
Stop beating around the bush. Just tell me what has been decided! 
beat/flog a dead horse To say that someone is beating a dead horse means that they are wasting time and effort trying to do or achieve something that is impossible.
 Mark is beating a dead horse trying to get his money reimbursed.
The company has gone bankrupt! 
...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