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English Idioms and Idiomatic Expressions 

Alphabetical List of Idioms - B, page 14
from:  'know which side bread buttered'   to:  'a breeze'

  • know which side your bread is buttered
    • If you know which side your bread is buttered, you know where your interests lie or what will be to your advantage.
      "Paul never argues with his father-in-law. He knows which side his bread is buttered."

  • take the bread out of somebody's mouth
    • If you take the bread out of somebody's mouth, you take away their means of earning a living.
      "The decision to ban street vendors took the bread out of the mouths of many people."

  • bread and butter
    • Your bread and butter is a job or activity that is your main source of income and provides you with enough money to cover your basic needs.
      "I’m a writer but teaching is my bread and butter."

  • on the breadline
    • People who live on the breadline have a very low income or barely enough money to survive.
      (A “breadline” is a group of people waiting in line for the distribution of food.)
      "Due to the recent crisis, there are more people on the breadline than ever before."

  • break your back
    • If you work extremely hard, or put a lot of effort into achieving something, you break your back to do it.
      "If you want the job done well, you should accept to pay more. He's not going to break his back for such a low price!"

  • break the bank
    • If you break the bank, you spend an excessive amount of money, or more than you can afford.
      "Emily and Jack are trying to plan a wedding reception that won't break the bank."

  • break the back of the beast
    • If someone breaks the back of the beast, they succeed in overcoming a major difficulty.
      "After hours of effort, the technicians finally broke the back of the beast and turned the electricity back on again."

  • break fresh ground
    • If you break fresh or new ground, you innovate by introducing or developing a new method or system.
      "Scientists have broken fresh ground in their exploration of outer space."

  • break a habit
    • If you break (or kick/knock) a habit, you give up a habit or stop doing something you do regularly or to which you are addicted.
      "He’s been smoking for so long, it will be hard for him to break the habit."

  • break a leg!
    • This is a humorous way of wishing someone good luck, especially among stage performers.
      "So tonight's the opening night? Break a leg!"

  • break the mould
    • If you change what people expect from a (traditional) situation, especially by doing something original, you break the mould.
      "After generations of doctors in the family, he broke the mould by becoming a fashion designer."

  • break every rule in the book
    • If you behave in a completely unacceptable way, you break every rule in the book.
      "Our competitors obtained the contract by breaking every rule in the book."

  • break out in a cold sweat
    • If you break out in a cold sweat, you begin to perspire a lot, usually from anxiety.
      "I get nervous at the dentist's and usually break out in a cold sweat"

  • breaking and entering
    • This term refers to the fact of entering a building or home illegally by breaking open a window, door, etc.
      "The two men were found guilty of breaking and entering."

  • breathe a sigh of relief
    • When you breathe a sigh of relief, you experience an intense feeling of relief and can now relax because something unpleasant, stressful or worrisome has ended or is no longer a problem.
      "The air traffic controllers breathed a huge sigh of relief when the plane made a successful emergency landing.”

  • breathe down someone's neck
    • If someone is breathing down your neck, they are watching you too closely and making you feel uncomfortable.
      "The atmosphere at work is not great; the boss keeps breathing down our necks all the time."

  • a breeze
    • To say that something was a breeze means that it was very easy or that everything went smoothly.
      "The interview was a breeze - barely 10 minutes and I got the job!"

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