ESL PRINTABLES * GRAMMAR TESTS * VOCABULARY TRAINING * LISTENING COMPREHENSION * READING COMPREHENSION * OTHER ESL TOOLS

 




AMERICAN IDIOMS (B)

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  




Bachelor pad:
An apartment where a single man lives alone.

Back in the day:
Many years ago; a long time ago. "Back in the day, we used to pay much more for plasma TVs."

(To be) back on one's feet:
(To) recover (from an illness). ex: "You'll be back on your feet in no time."

Back to the drawing board:
A phrase that is said when you have to start some process from the beginning (usually after having failed in the previous attempt). ex: "Well, that didn't work... Looks like it's back to the drawing board."

Backhanded compliment:
An insult disguised as a compliment. ex: "Hey, don't feel bad! You're not as fat as you used to be!

Backstabber (n.):
A person who says bad things about you behind your back.

(To) badmouth/bad-mouth:
To verbally criticize; to knock; to talk badly of. ex: "She's such a negative person - All she does is badmouth people all day."

Baggage (n.):
Short for "emotional baggage", which is a collection of painful memories, experiences, mistrust, etc. carried around as a result of negative past experiences/relationships. ex: "I wouldn't get involved with her. She's got a lot of baggage."

Behind bars:
In jail. ex: "The robbers were caught, and are now behind bars."

(a) ball-park/ballpark figure:
A rough estimate. ex: "Can you give me a ball-park figure of what this project will cost?"

(To get/jump on the) bandwagon:
To begin to like something/start doing something because it's popular, "hip", or everyone else is doing it. ex. "Everyone's jumping on the tablet bandwagon."

(To) bank on something:
To count or rely on something.

(To) bark up the wrong tree:
To ask the wrong person; to make the wrong choice. ex. "The gangster told the cops they were barking up the wrong tree in thinking he was responsible for the robbery."

Bash (n.):
Party.

(A) basket-case:
A very nervous person; someone at the verge of being neurotic. ex. "All the stress from the divorce turned John into a basket case."

(To) be a fan of someone/ something:
To like, idolize, admire someone/ or something. ex. "I'm not a big fan of heavy metal music."

(To) be in one's element:
To be completely comfortable doing something; to do something that comes very naturally to someone. ex. "When it comes to speaking in public, the Senator is in his element."

(To) be the case:
To be a reality. To be the way things are. ex: "I wish I had a million dollars, but that's not the case."

(To) be up to no good:
To be planning something bad, mischievous, etc. ex. "I could tell from the look in his eyes that he was up to no good."

Beat (adj.):
Tired. ex: "Man, I'm beat. I'm going to bed."

(To) beat around the bush:
To avoid getting to the point. ex. "Stop beating around the bush and tell me what you really think."

(To) beg to differ:
A polite way of saying "to disagree", most often heard in the phrase "I beg to differ!"

(To be) behind (someone):
To be in the past. To no longer be the case. ex. "I used to smoke, drink, and take drugs, but all that is behind me now."

(To get) behind (someone/something):
To support (someone/something). ex: "I'm behind you on this."

Believe it or not:
Used at the beginning sentence to state that something is true whether one chooses to believe it or not. ex. "Believe it or not, I still care for her."

Bent out of shape:
Upset/agitated. ex: "Don't get all bent out of shape over that."

Big fish in a little sea:
A person who's famous/ well-known but only in an unimportant place (city or area).

(To give someone a) big hand:
To applaud (for someone) energetically. To give (someone) a big round of applause. ex: "Let's give our performers a big hand!"

Big fish in a little sea:
A person who's famous/ well-known but only in an unimportant place (city or area).

(To have a) big mouth:
To not be able to keep a secret. ex. "Don't tell her anything. She's got a really big mouth."

Big-shot (noun/adjective):
An important person. ex. "All the big-shots at headquarters never listen to what we have to say."; "A big-shot reporter."

(A) Bimbo:
A foolish/empty girl. The term "male bimbo" is also used. ex. "John only talks about his car and his clothes. He's a real male bimbo."

(The) birds and the bees:
Sex; human reproduction. ex. "It's about time I talked to my son about the birds and the bees."

(A) bite to eat:
A snack, some food. ex. "Let's go grab a bite to eat before we go to the game."

(To) bite the hand that feeds you:
To do harm to someone who helps you.

(To) bite one's tongue:
To struggle not to say something that you want to say. ex. "I wanted to tell her everything, but I had to bite my tongue because I had promised Bill I would not (tell her)."

Black sheep (of the family):
The worst or least accepted member of a family. ex. "Peter is the black sheep of his family."

(A) blast:
A great time; a fun time. ex. "We had a blast at the party last night."

(To) blow:
To lose is a wasteful way/ to waste. ex: "Sarah blew all her money on gambling."

(To) blow (someone) away:
To really impress (someone). ex: "We were all blown away by her performance."

(To) blow someone's cover:
To reveal someone's secret, or true identity. ex. "The spy was very careful not to blow her cover."

(To) blow (something) out of proportion:
To make (something) seem much more important than it actually is. ex: "Of course his reaction was extreme! He always blows things out of proportion."

(To) blow (someone) out:
In SPORTS - to win by a big margin, by a lot of points. ex: "Q: How did the Lakers do? A: They were blown out by the Bucks."

B.O.:
Short for "body odor" - the foul smell from one's armpits, especially when one doesn't shower/wash. ex: "The woman sitting beside me had really bad B.O."

(To) bolt (for):
To run (towards). ex: "As soon as I turned around, he bolted for the door."

Booze:
Alcohol.

(to) boss (someone) around: To be bossy towards (someone); to constantly tell (someone) what to do. ex: "She tends to boss people around. That's why it's not easy to be her friend."

Break (n.):: Stroke of luck. ex: "We got a big break in the case today!"

(To) break even:
To neither win nor lose. ex. "Michael thought he would lose $200, but he ended up breaking even."

(To) break it up:
To end a fight. ex: "All right, break it up, you two!"

(To) break new ground:
To do something that hasn't been done before; to innovate. ex. "Dr. Davis was breaking new ground in cancer research."

(To) break someone's heart:
To cause someone (strong) emotional pain. ex. "Fiona broke James' heart when she refused to marry him."

(To) break the news to someone/ to break "it" to someone:
To tell someone some important news, usually bad news. ex. "I hate to be the one to break it to you, but your wife has been cheating on you."

Broke (adj.):
Having no money. ex: "He should really get a job. He's always broke!"

Bum (n.):
Mendicant; Homeless person.

Bummed (adj.):
Disappointed; Dejected ex: "He was really bummed about having lost the game."

'Burbs (n.pl):
Short for "suburbs"; ex: "Tina lives in the 'burbs with her folks."

(To really) burn someone up:
To really upset someone. ex: "It really burns me up when he talks to me in that tone of voice."

Burnt out:
Exhausted from doing something too much and too intensely (especially used when speaking about work, etc.) ex: "He was completely burnt out after working for three weeks straight."

(To) burst into tears:
To start crying suddenly. ex. "She burst into tears when she heard the news."

(To) bust:
To nail; To catch; ex: "He got busted for driving drunk."




ESL worksheets for students and teachers

OUR OTHER WEBSITES:
EnglishLiteracySite.com (ENGLISH)
BusinessEnglishSite.com (ENGLISH)
ESLPDF.com (ENGLISH)
EnglishForMyJob.com (ENGLISH)
LearnSpanishFeelGood.com (SPANISH)
LearnPolishFeelGood.com (POLISH)

OTHER ESL WEBSITES / ADVERTISE WITH US / LINK TO US / ABOUT US / CONTACT: info (at) learnenglishfeelgood.com

(c) 2006-2021 LearnEnglishFeelGood.com unless otherwise stated. REPOSTING ANY OF OUR CONTENT ONLINE IS NOT ALLOWED. Please see our content policy before sharing our content.