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English Idioms & Idiomatic Expressions

Alphabetical List - B 

(Idioms B page 16 :   kick the bucket  →  burning question)

kick the bucket To kick the bucket is a lighthearted way of talking about death.
He will inherit when his grandfather kicks the bucket!
buckle down If you buckle down, you apply yourself with determination to hard work and give it hour full attention.
If you want to pass your exams, you'll have to buckle down and do some serious work.
nip in the bud If you nip a problem or an unacceptable situation in the bud, you stop it at an early stage, before it develops or becomes worse.
He wanted to be a clown, but his parents soon nipped that idea in the bud.
build bridges If a person builds bridges between opposing groups, they help them to cooperate and understand each other better.
A mediator is trying to build bridges between the local community and the owners of the new plant.
take the bull by the horns To take the bull by the horns means that a person decides to act decisively in order to deal with a difficult situation or problem.
When the argument turned into a fight, the bar owner took the bull by the horns and called the police.
bulldoze somebody
into doing something
A person who is bulldozed into doing something is forced to do it, especially by being bullied or intimidated.
The immigrants we bulldozed into accepting the work.
bundle of nerves If you describe someone as a bundle of nerves, you mean that they are very nervous, tense or worried.
My son is doing his driving test today.  Needless to say he's a bundle of nerves!
burden of proof The burden of proof is the necessity imposed by the law to prove that what one says is true.
The burden of proof lies with the claimant.
burn your bridges If you burn your bridges, you do something that will be impossible to rectify in the future.
If you refuse the offer, be careful not to burn your bridges by insulting them.  They may make a better proposal later.
burn the candle at both ends If you burn the candle at both ends, you exhaust yourself by doing too much, especially going to bed late and getting up early.
Scott looks exhausted - I'll bet he's been burning the candle at both ends lately.
burn your fingers If you burn your fingers (or get your fingers burnt), you suffer financially as a result of foolish behaviour.
Jack got his fingers burnt playing on the stock market.
on the back burner If you put a project or issue on the back burner, you decide to deal with it at a later date because you do not consider it to be that urgent or important.
When Julie was offered a promotion she put her MBA plans on the back burner.
burning question What everyone is asking, and what we all want to know about, is called the burning question.
Who leaked the information? That's the burning question!
...back next...
Lists B B1 B2 B3 B4 B5 B6 B7 B8 B9 B10 B11 B12 B13 B14 B15 B16 B17
more alphabetical lists ...