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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List - B

(Idioms B page 6 :  beggars can't be choosers  → beside yourself)

beggars can't be choosers This expression means that you should not reject an offer if it is the only possibility you have. You have no choice.
"Beggars can't be choosers!"
behind bars Someone who is behind bars is in prison.
If you hang around with that gang, you'll find yourself behind bars in
no time!
behind closed doors If something takes place behind closed doors, it is done privately, with no observers or intruders.
The matter was discussed behind closed doors.
behind the times A person who is behind the times has old-fashioned ideas and does not keep up with modern life in general.
Jane doesn't have a mobile phone.  She's completely behind the times.
ring a bell If something rings a bell, it is vaguely familar to you, but you can't remember the exact details.
John Bentley?  The name rings a bell but I don't remember him.
with bells on If you go somewhere with bells on, you are delighted and eager to go there.
Of course I'll be there - with bells on!
below the belt An action or remark described as below the belt is considered to be unfair or cruel.
Politicians sometimes use personal information to hit their rivals below the belt.
tighten your belt If you need to tighten your belt, you must spend less money or be careful how you spend it because there is less available.
Another bill? I'll have to tighten my belt this month!
under one's belt If you have something under your belt, you have acquired experience or have satisfactorily achieved something.
You've got to have some work experience under your belt before you can hope to get a permanent job.
bend over backwards If you bend over backwards, you try very hard to do something, especially to please somebody.
The manager bent over backwards to try to make Jack stay, but Jack wouldn't change his mind.
bend the truth If you bend the truth, you say something that is not entirely true.
Ok, I bent the truth a bit.  I told him it was my natural colour, but I didn't say that my hairdresser helped me to keep it natural!
benefit of the doubt If you give someone the benefit of the doubt, you choose to believe that the person is innocent, honest or telling the truth, because there is no evidence to the contrary.
Although he found it hard to believe Tom's explanation, the teacher decided to give him the benefit of the doubt.
bent out of shape If you get bent out of shape, you become annoyed or upset about something that is usually not that important or cannot be avoided.
Don't get bent out of shape if you're delayed.  We'll wait for you.
beside yourself If you are beside yourself (with an emotion), you lose your self-control because of the intensity of the emotion you are feeling.
He was beside himself with grief when he lost his son.
...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