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IDIOMS - PAGE B
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IDIOM: back to the drawing board
MEANING: to start over
EXAMPLE: Well, this idea didn't work, so I guess it's back to the drawing board.
IDIOM: back to the salt mines
MEANING: to start working again after a break
EXAMPLE: Hey guys, break time is over. Back to the salt mines!
IDIOM: to bad-mouth
MEANING: say unkind, spiteful, (and probably untrue) things about someone
EXAMPLE: Steve is bad-mouthing Jack because he's jealous of him, but Jack is really a nice guy.
RELATED: to talk trash about someone
IDIOM: (one’s) bark is worse than one's bite
MEANING: someone sounds scarier than they really are.
EXAMPLE: Don't be afraid of my father; his bark is worse than his bite. He's really a big teddy bear!
IDIOM: bark up the wrong tree
MEANING: to look in the wrong place for a solution; to proceed under a misapprehension; to misdirect one's efforts
EXAMPLE: I was trying to find my keys in the bedroom, but I was barking up the wrong tree. They were in the kitchen.
IDIOM: be a piece of cake
MEANING: be very easy
EXAMPLE: Our final exam was a piece of cake. I thought it would be more difficult than that.
RELATED: as easy as pie
IDIOM: be used to (+ -ing/noun)
MEANING: to be accustomed to something; something is normal for you
EXAMPLE: My Japanese students are used to eating soup for breakfast, but that seems strange to me because most Americans are used to eating cereal or eggs for breakfast.
IDIOM: (be) beat
MEANING: to be very tired, or exhausted
EXAMPLE: I've had a long day. I'm beat!
RELATED: (be) dead tired
IDIOM: to beat around the bush
MEANING: to avoid giving a direct answer, or evade something
EXAMPLE: Some people give bad news by beating around the bush, but I prefer the news directly.
RELATED: to dance around the issue
IDIOM: to beat (one's) brains out
MEANING: to try very hard to understand or do something
EXAMPLE: Can you figure out the answer to this algebra problem? I've been beating my brains out with it, but I just can't find the correct answer! I'm really frustrated.
IDIOM: Beats me!
MEANING: I have no idea!
EXAMPLE: Lee: "What time's the meeting?"
Jack: "Beats me! Let's ask Susan."
IDIOM: before long
EXAMPLE: Before long your English will be much better!
RELATED: in no time
IDIOM: (get) bent out of shape
MEANING: to be upset about something
EXAMPLE: "Hey, I know you're angry about failing the test, but don't get so bent out of shape.
I'm sure that your next test will be better.
IDIOM: bite off more than (one)can chew
MEANING: try to do more than (one) can manage
EXAMPLE: Sara's work is behind schedule. I think she bit off more than she can chew.
IDIOM: blabbermouth (n)
MEANING: a very talkative person--especially one who gossips or tells secrets
EXAMPLE: My cousin is a big blabbermouth! She told my sister about my secret money.
IDIOM: to blow (one's) stack
MEANING: to become extremely angry
EXAMPLE: Angie came in late to work three times this week. Her supervisor blew her stack and fired her. I hope Angie learns to be more prompt!
IDIOM: to blow (one's) top
MEANING: to become extremely angry
EXAMPLE: Angie came in late to work three times this week. Her supervisor blew her top and fired her. I hope Angie learns to be more prompt!
RELATED: to have a cow
IDIOM: (be) blue / to feel blue
MEANING: to feel depressed and sad
EXAMPLE: When Nell's dog died, she was blue for several weeks. She felt blue for a long time.
IDIOM: boom box (n)
MEANING: portable cassette/CD player
EXAMPLE: We brought our boom box to the party and everybody danced for three hours.
IDIOM: the bottom line
MEANING: the most important piece of information
EXAMPLE: "I'm sorry Peter, but the bottom line is that you are failing all of your classes because you don't study hard enough."
RELATED: in a nutshell
IDIOM: Break a leg!
MEANING: Good luck!
EXAMPLE: I heard that your test is tomorrow. Break a leg!
ORIGIN: Dancers believed that it was bad luck to wish someone "Good luck" before a performance, so they told the dancer, "Break a leg!" instead.
IDIOM: to break (one's) heart
MEANING: to give (one) very bad news, or make (one) feel very bad, sad or dissappointed
EXAMPLE: "Joe broke his mother's heart when he dropped out of school."
IDIOM: broke (adj)
MEANING: to have no money
EXAMPLE: "No, you can't borrow ten dollars. I'm completely broke until Friday."
MEANING: dollar(s), money
EXAMPLE: I need 10 bucks for my lab project.
IDIOM: to bug (one)
MEANING: to annoy; to bother; to pester
EXAMPLE: "Hey! I'm trying to finish this. Don't bug me!"
IDIOM: (be) bull-headed
MEANING: to be stubborn; inflexible
EXAMPLE: Steve is very bull-headed. He won't take anyone's advice but his own.
IDIOM: a bundle (n)
MEANING: a lot of money
EXAMPLE: The university tuition in California costs a bundle! It's far too expensive!
RELATED: cost (one) an arm and a leg
IDIOM: to burn the midnight oil
MEANING: to study or work until very late at night, or all night long
EXAMPLE: Jen: "Why has George been burning the midnight oil so often lately?"
Stan: "He needs the overtime pay. His car payment is overdue."
IDIOM: (be) bushed
MEANING: to be very tired; exhausted
EXAMPLE: I've had a long day. I'm bushed!
RELATED: (be) beat
IDIOM: by (one)self
MEANING: without help; all alone
EXAMPLE: "Jennie made these cookies all by herself."
IDIOM: by the skin of (one's) teeth
MEANING: to barely succeed in doing something.
EXAMPLE: I finished my project by the skin of my teeth. I didn't realize that it would take that long!
back and forth
behind the 8-ball
believe it or not
bend over backwards
bite the bullet
bite the dust
born with a silver spoon in one's mouth
break the ice
breath of fresh air
bring home the bacon
brush up on
bury the hatchet
by hook or by crook
by the way