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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Alphabetical List of Idioms - B, page 12
from:  'in the same boat'   to:  'bored to tears'

  • in the same boat
    • If two or more parties are in the same boat, they are in the same unpleasant or difficult situation.
      "When the factory closed down, the workers all found themselves in the same boat."

  • miss the boat
    • If you miss the boat, you fail to take advantage of an opportunity because you don't act quickly enough.
      "I managed to get my order through before the end of the special offer - but I nearly missed the boat!"

  • bodice-ripper
    • A novel, usually on a historical theme, with a plot that involves romantic passion between a vulnerable heroine and a rich, powerful male character, is called a bodice-ripper.
      "The novel is a bodice-ripper set in the French revolution."

  • the mind boggles
    • The expression 'the mind boggles' is used as a reaction to something you find amazing or difficult to understand.
      "She crossed the Atlantic alone - can you imagine? - the mind boggles!"

  • boil the ocean
    • To “boil the ocean” means to waste time on a task or project that is unnecessary, not worth doing or impossible to achieve.
      "I expect you to do the job well but don’t try to boil the ocean!"

  • bold as brass
    • Someone who is as bold as brass behaves without shame or embarrassment.
      "Bold as brass, he refused the gift and handed it back to his mother-in-law."

  • a bolt from the blue
    • To refer to something as a bolt from the blue means that it happened totally unexpectedly.
      "The chairman's resignation came as a bolt from the blue."

  • a bone of contention
    • A bone of contention is a matter or subject about which there is
      a lot of disagreement.
      "The salaries have been agreed on, but opening on Sundays is still a bone of contention."

  • (have a) bone to pick with somebody
    • If you have a bone to pick with someone, you are annoyed with them about something and want to talk to them about it.
      "Mark wants to see the boss. He says he's got a bone to pick with him."

  • make no bones about it
    • If you make no bones about something, you don't hesitate to say something in a frank and open way.
      "I made no bones about it. I told him his offer was unacceptable."

  • book smart
    • If you say that someone is ‘book smart’ you mean that they have a lot of knowledge acquired from books or study but have little pratical experience or social skills.
      "The new manager may be book smart but he has no idea how to deal with people. "

  • a closed book
    • The expression a closed book is used to describe someone or something difficult to know or understand, or that you know little about.
      "Julia is something of a closed book. I know nothing about her. She’s a very private person - a mystery to me!"
      "Modern art will always be a closed book to me."

  • an open book
    • If you describe someone as an open book, you find it easy to know what they are thinking and feeling. Nothing is hidden.
      "We could see immediately that she was delighted with the proposal. Her face was an open book."

  • bring someone to book
    • If you bring someone to book you punish them or make them account for doing something wrong.
      "Tony was brought to book after the presentation. He hadn't prepared it carefully enough."

  • cook the books
    • A person who cooks the books is one who changes the facts or figures in the financial accounts, often in order to steal money.
      "The actor discovered after a while that his agent was cooking the books."

  • do something by the book
    • Someone who does something by the book does it
      "If you want it done right, ask James. He does everything by the book!"

  • have your nose in a book
    • If you have your nose in a book, you are totally concentrated on the book you are reading.
      "Julie had her nose in a book during the whole journey."

  • hit the books
    • Someone who hits the books makes a determined effort to study seriously, especially before an exam
      "I'd love to come to the beach with you but I'm afraid I've got to hit the books!"

  • in somebody's good or bad books
    • If you are in somebody's good or bad books, you have their approval or disapproval.
      "I'm in my wife's bad books at the moment because I forgot our wedding anniversary."

  • read someone like a book
    • If you can read someone like a book, you are able to understand easily what they are thinking or feeling.
      "Eva has been my best friend since we were children. I can read her like a book!"

  • take a leaf out of someone's book
    • If you take a leaf out of someone's book, you behave like them or follow their example.
      "You should take a leaf out of Hugo's book and start to work harder. "

  • the oldest trick in the book
    • A well-known and much-used trick which is still effective today is called the oldest trick in the book.
      "He made noise to attract my attention while his accomplice stole my wallet - the oldest trick in the book!"

  • you can't judge a book by its cover
    • This expression means that you should not form an opinion about something from its appearance only.
      "He leads a very simple life but in fact he's an extremely rich man. You can't judge a book by its cover!"

  • a bookworm
    • Someone who loves books and spends a lot of time reading is called a bookworm.
      "A book would be the ideal gift. My mother has always been a bookworm."

  • lick somebody's boots
    • To say that one person licks another person's boots means that they are trying to please that person, often in order to obtain something.
      "There's no need to lick the manager's boots. Just do your job!"

  • too big for one's boots
    • A person who is getting too big for their boots is behaving as if they were more important than they really are.
      "Tom's really getting too big for his boots since he got a promotion - he hardly says hello any more!"

  • bored to tears (to distraction/to death/silly)
    • If you find something so dull and uninteresting that it makes you sad enough to cry, you are bored to tears.
      "I could see that my son was bored to tears by the historical documentary."

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More Idioms: 

 alphabetical lists B ... 

 more alphabetical lists... 

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