IDIOMS AND PHRASES 23

IDIOMS AND PHRASES

1. By hook or by crook  (by one means or another) He is determined to obtain first division in his class by hock or by crook.
2. Bear the brunt of  (to bear the main shock of) The poor have to bear the brunt of increasing prices.
3. Bell the cat  (to take first step at personal risk) Many people can boast of their bravery, but very few can bell the cat.
4. Bid defiance  (to ignore) Rohan bade defiance to his father’s wish of becoming a doctor and instead became an engineer.
5. Blow one’s trumpet  (to praise oneself) No one likes to talk to those who are always blowing ‘their own trumpet.
6. Break the news  (to give bad news) He broke the news of her husband’s death very gently so as to lessen the intensity of the shock.
7. Burn a hole in one’s pocket  (money spent quickly) Money given to a spendthrift only burns a hole in his pocket.
8. Bury the hatchet  (to make peace) India and Pakistan must bury the hatchet to bring about peace to the region.
9. Beside oneself  (to feel excessively) Due to the accidental death of his wife he was beside himself with grief.
10. Bad blood  (bitter relations) The riots have created bad blood between the two communities in India.
11. Black and blue  (to beat mercilessly) The thief was beaten black and blue by the police.
12. Beat about the bush  (to talk in a roundabout manner) We should always come to the point and should not beat about the bush.
13. Beat the air  (to make useless efforts) Some speakers merely beat the air in speech while preaching.
14. Build castles in the air  (to make visionary schemes) Many people who live in dreams build castles in the air and do not succeed in life.
15. Break the ice  (to speak first after prolonged silence) In the meeting Rajesh broke the ice and suggested the plan to solve the problem.
16. Bring to book  (to punish, to call to account) The manager was bought to book for his negligence.
17. Breathe one’s last  (to die) He breathed his last in the prime of his life.
18. Back stairs influence  (by unfair means) These days many persons are given good posts through back stairs influence.
19. Bird’s eye view  (concise view) We had a bird’s eye view of the whole fair from the top of a giant wheel.
20. Bolt from the blue  (sudden or unexpected shock) The news of her husband’s death in the air crash came to her as a bolt from the blue.
21. Burn one’s boats  (point of no return) We had burnt our boats by declaring that we were not going to sign C.T.B.T.
22. By the by  (by the way) By the by, what is your age?
23. Be upto  (to be equal to) He is upto all the tricks of the trade to grind his own axe.
24. Bated breath  (in anxiety, expectancy) The fate of the match hung in balance and everybody waited for the result with bated breath.
25. Bandy words  (to wrangle, to argue) Obedient children don’t bandy words with their parents when they are advised.
26. Bee in one’s bonnet  (to be fussy) She seems to have a bee in her bonnet because she is always finding faults with others.
27. Bite the dust  (to be defeated) Pakistan had to bite the dust in the final of the World Cup.
28. Blue stocking  (educated but pedantic lady) No body likes to mix with her because she is a blue stocking.
29. Book worm  (a person in the habit of pouring over books) He has no time for social activities because he is a book worm.
30. Bring down the house  (receive applause) Though it was his maiden speech, he brought down the house because of his oratory skill.
31. Brow beat  (to bully) The President of the college union always tries to brow’ beat the students opposed to him.
32. Bad egg  (a worthless) He comes of a noble family but he himself is a bad egg.

Leave a Reply