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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions


Alphabetical List - B 

(Idioms B page 9 :  bite the dust  →  blamestorming)

bite the dust The expression 'bite' or 'hit the dust' is a humorous way of referring to death.
It's a story about an old cowboy who hits the dust during a train robbery.
bite off more than you can chew If you bite off more than you can chew, you try to do something that is too difficult for you, or more than you can manage.
As soon as I started to translate the report, I realized that I had bitten off more than I could chew.
get a second bite at the cherry This expression means that you get a second opportunity to do
or try something.
He was eliminated in the semi-finals, but he'll get a second bite at the cherry next year.
bite the hand that feeds you If you bite the hand that feeds you, you are unfriendly or do harm to someone who is kind to you.
If you say bad things about the person who gives you a job, you bite the hand that feeds you.
bite someone's head off If you bite someone's head off, you criticize them strongly (and perhaps unfairly).
I worked 10 hours a day all week and my boss bit my head off for not doing my share of the work!
bite one's tongue If you bite your tongue, you try not to say what you really think or feel.
It was difficult for me not to react; I had to bite my tongue.
bitten by the bug If you develop a sudden interest or enthusiasm for something, you are bitten by the bug.
My dad decided to take up golf and was immediately bitten by the bug.
once bitten twice shy This is said by someone who has had an unpleasant experience which has made them more cautious.
I'm never going to get married again.  Once bitten, twice shy!
bitter pill to swallow Something very unpleasant or difficult to accept is a bitter pill to swallow.
Losing his job after organizing the merger was a bitter pill to swallow.
black market The black market refers to the illegal buying and selling of goods or currencies.
Be careful of what you buy on the black market - it's not always good quality.
black out If you black out, you lose consciousness.
When Tony saw the needle, he blacked out.
black sheep The black sheep is one who behaves very differently or badly, and is considered disreputable by the other members of the family.
Joe was the black sheep of the family, always getting into trouble.
black tie event This expression refers to a formal event at which men are required to wear a dinner jacket, or tuxedo, and a black bow tie.
I need to know if it's going to be a casual get-together or a black tie event.
in black and white To say that something is in black and white means that there is written proof of it.
It's an obligation.  It's in black and white in your contract.
blamestorming A discussion among a group of people who try to determine who
or what is to blame for a particular mistake, failure or wrongdoing, is called 'blamestorming'.
A blamestorming session took place following the unfavourable reviews in the press.
...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