Update: 2012-11-27 09:58 PM +0630

TIL

TIL English Idiom Collection

idiomB.htm

Collected from various sources by U Kyaw Tun (UKT), M.S. (I.P.S.T., U.S.A.), and staff of TIL (Tun Institute of Learning, http://www.tuninst.net ) for staff and students of TIL Computing and Language Center, Yangon, Myanmar. Not for sale.

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Eidiom-txt-indx.htm

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babe babe in arms babe in the woods baby blues baby boomer back at it back at ya back down back off back on your feet B02 back out back teeth are floating back to square one back to the drawing board back to the grind back up back you back yourself into a corner backpack (business) backroom boys B03 backside back up bad apple bad blood bad breath bad date bad news bad taste in my mouth badmouth bafflegab B04 bag and baggage bag lady bag of tricks bag some rays bagel bah bail me out bail out balance of power balderdash B05 ball her [B] ball-park figure ball's in your court ballistic baloney bam bananas bandwidth bang [B] bang for your buck B06 bang on bank on bankroll baptism by fire bar fly bar hop bar none bar star bare bones bare-faced lie B07 bare your soul barf bark is worse than his bite bark up the wrong tree barnburner bash basket case basta la musica bat a thousand bat an eye B08 bat five hundred bat her eyes bated breath battleaxe batty bawl me out be-all, end-all be my guest be my undoing be off B09 be there be there for me be there or be square be yourself bean pole bear down bear the brunt beat a dead horse beat a hasty retreat beat around the bush B10 beat it beat the pants off beat the rap beat up beat up on beat your head against a stone wall beat your time beater beauty is in the eye of the beholder beauty is only skin deep B11 beck and call become of becomes you bed down beef it up beehive of activity beeline been around been had before you can say Jack Robinson B12 beg off beg to differ beg your pardon beggars can't be choosers begs the question behind bars behind the curve behind the eight ball behind the scenes B13 behind your back being there believe my ears believe my eyes bells and whistles belly up belly up to the bar bellyache below the poverty line belt you B14 bend over backwards bend the rules bend your ear bend your elbow benefit of the doubt beside myself beside the point best interests at heart best laid plans B15 best of both worlds bet on bet on a lame rooster bet you dollars to donuts better half better late than never better off better than a kick in the ass [B] better than sex better the devil you know B16 better to have loved between a rock and a hard place between sixes and sevens between the devil and the deep blue sea betwixt and between bevy of beauties beyond help beyond me beyond repair beyond the call of duty B17 beyond the pale biff/biffy Big Apple big boys big break big bucks big cheese big deal big hairy deal big picture B18 big rig big shot big-sky thinking big time big wheel big wigs Bigfoot bigger fish to fry bigger than life bigger they are B19 bigmouth bilk bimbo binner birdbrain birder birds of a feather flock together birthday suit bit by bit bit off B20 bitch bitch [B] bite me bite off more than you can chew bite the bullet bite the dust bite the hand that feeds you bite your tongue biter (curling) bits and pieces bitten by the same bug bitter end bitter pill blab blabbermouth black eye Black Friday black-listed black mark black out black sheep blackout blank blast blast you blasted bleeding heart blessing in disguise blind date blind leading the blind blood from a stone blood is thicker than water blood is up blood money bloody well blotto blow a bundle blow a kiss blow chunks blow it blow it out of proportion blow it out your ear blow it up (photo) blow job [B] blow me [B] blow me down blow me over blow my cover blow sky high blow snakes (music) blow the lid off blow the whistle blow them away blow this joint blow this Popsicle stand blow to kingdom come blow up blow you away blow you out of the water blow your lid/stack/top blow your mind blow your stones [B] blow your wad blue blue-collar worker blue in the face blue moon blue sky blurt out boarding Bob's your uncle bodacious body language boggle your mind bogof boiling mad bolt from the blue bomb around bomb out bone dry bone of contention bone to pick bone up on bonkers bonzer booboo boobs [B] boogie book worm booked/booked up boom box boom or bust boot it boot up bootleg booze boozing buddies

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babe

From Magnuson
babe --
back on your feet Internet link babe

babe -- darling, honey, girlfriend
"Hi, babe. Want to sit with me?" "Sure, honey. I'd love to."

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babe in arms

From Magnuson
babe in arms --
(See a babe in arms)

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babe in the woods

From Magnuson
babe in the woods --
(See a babe in the woods)

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baby blues

From Magnuson
baby blues --
feeling sad when you are pregnant
After seven months, Karly had the baby blues. She was feeling sad.

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baby boomer

From Magnuson
baby boomer --
a person born during the decade after World War II
Baby boomers will retire in the first decade of the 21st century.

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back at it

From Magnuson
back at it --
having returned to a past habit or occupation, at it again
"I was so glad to hear George quit drinking." "Well, he's back at it."

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back at ya

From Magnuson
back at ya --
I wish you the same as you wished me, ditto, same to you
"Merry Christmas, Val." "Back at ya, Wayne."

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back down

From Magnuson
back down --
yield, not challenge, not stand up to
Ole won't back down from you. He's ready to fight.

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back off

From Magnuson
back off --
do not come closer, do not touch me
Back off, you animal! Don't touch me!

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back on your feet

From Magnuson
back on your feet --
feeling better, recovered from an illness
When you're back on your feet, we want you to return to work.

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B02

back out

From Magnuson
back out --
backroom boys Internet link back out

back out -- decide not to do it, change your mind
If you sign your name, you can't back out. You have to pay.

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back teeth are floating

From Magnuson
back teeth are floating --
have to urinate, need to pee
Please watch for a rest room. My back teeth are floating.

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back to square one

From Magnuson
back to square one --
back to the first step, start from scratch
If you forget to do one of the steps, it's back to square one.

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back to the drawing board

From Magnuson
back to the drawing board --
back to the beginning, back to square one
If this plan fails, it's back to the drawing board. We start again.

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back to the grind

From Magnuson
back to the grind --
return to the job, go back to work
After New Year's, it's back to the grind - the old routine.

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back up

From Magnuson
back up --
go backwards, drive in reverse
I'll back up the truck so we can load it.

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back you

From Magnuson
back you --
support your decision, sign your application
His brother will back him if he needs financing.

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back yourself into a corner

From Magnuson
back yourself into a corner --
put yourself in a bad position, have no escape
If you buy what you can't afford you back yourself into a corner.

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backpack (business)

From Magnuson
backpack (business) --
support, be the parent company
First, GM backpacked Saab. Then they bought the company.

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backroom boys

From Magnuson
backroom boys --
men who play poker and smoke in a room at the back of the store
When the police raided Gino's they arrested four of the backroom boys.

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B03

backside

From Magnuson
backside --
bafflegab Internet link backside

backside -- buttocks, bum, buns
When I was learning to skate, I fell a lot. My backside was sore!

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back up

From Magnuson
backup --
saving information on a computer disk
Don't forget to make a backup disk of all your computer files.

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bad apple

From Magnuson
bad apple --
bad one, rotten one
He's the bad apple in that group. He's always in trouble.

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bad blood

From Magnuson
bad blood --
bad feelings, a negative relationship
John and Fred are bitter enemies. There's bad blood between them.

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bad breath

From Magnuson
bad breath --
unpleasant smell from the mouth, jungle mouth
I've been eating garlic, so I may have bad breath.

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bad date

From Magnuson
bad date --
a man who beats a prostitute, the john
Viki had another bad date. A guy beat her and took her clothes.

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bad news

From Magnuson
bad news --
troublemaker, someone who causes problems
Don't hire him. Everybody says he's bad news.

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bad taste in my mouth

From Magnuson
bad taste in my mouth --
(See a bad taste in my mouth)

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badmouth

From Magnuson
badmouth --
criticize, say bad things about, put down
Don't badmouth employers. Don't criticize your references.

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bafflegab

From Magnuson
bafflegab --
confusing statements, jargon, political language
There was a lot of bafflegab in the speech, a lot of nonsense.

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B04

bag and baggage

From Magnuson
bag and baggage --
balderdash Internet link bag and baggage

bag and baggage -- everything you own, all of one's possessions
The next day, he moved into her apartment - bag and baggage.

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bag lady

From Magnuson
bag lady --
a lady who looks for food and bottles in the streets
Behind the restaurant, a bag lady was digging in the garbage cans.

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bag of tricks

From Magnuson
bag of tricks --
skills, methods, plans; devices to entertain
You need a large bag of tricks to teach the Grade 8 class.

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bag some rays

From Magnuson
bag some rays --
sit or lie in the sunshine, have a sun bath
While you're swimming, I'm going to bag some rays.

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bagel

From Magnuson
bagel --
(See get bageled)

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bah

From Magnuson
bah --
nonsense, it is not true
Bah! There is no tooth fairy!

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bail me out

From Magnuson
bail me out --
help me solve a problem, pay to get me out of jail
If they arrest me, will you bail me out - pay the bail money?

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bail out

From Magnuson
bail out --
quit, leave a project, resign
Tom bailed out when Lan became Project Manager.

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balance of power

From Magnuson
balance of power --
(See the balance of power)

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balderdash

From Magnuson
balderdash --
verbose nonsense
"Please switch off the talk show. It's just balderdash."

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B05

ball her [B]

From Magnuson
ball her [B] --
bang for your buck Internet link ball her [B]

ball her [B] -- have sex with her, lay her
"Hey, Ted. Did you ball her?" "No. All you think about is sex!"

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ball-park figure

From Magnuson
ball-park figure --
(See a ball-park figure)

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ball's in your court

From Magnuson
ball's in your court --
(See the ball's in your court)

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ballistic

From Magnuson
ballistic --
(See go ballistic)

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baloney

From Magnuson
baloney --
false statements, bull, bunk, hogwash
Most of what the speaker said is a lot of baloney - untrue.

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bam

From Magnuson
bam --
a word to describe a hit or collision, pow
The car rolled down the hill and into the wall - bam!

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bananas

From Magnuson
bananas --
very excited, nearly crazy
When we won the cup, the crowd went bananas.

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bandwidth

From Magnuson
bandwidth --
mental capacity, mental energy, brain cells
We need a person with bandwidth, someone who understands complex management relationships.

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bang [B]

From Magnuson
bang [B] --
have sex with, lay
"Did you bang her, Ted?" "If I did, I wouldn't tell you."

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bang for your buck

From Magnuson
bang for your buck --
fun for your money, value for your dollar
You get more bang for your buck at garage sales. They're fun!

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B06

bang on

From Magnuson
bang on --
bare-faced lie Internet link bang on

bang on -- exactly right, very true, correct, spot on
Your answer to Question 3 was bang on. It was correct.

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bank on

From Magnuson
bank on --
depend on, count on
We were banking on more sales to pay for our marketing costs.

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bankroll

From Magnuson
bankroll --
provide the money to begin, front me
If you'll bankroll me, I'll open a bistro on Mars.

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baptism by fire

From Magnuson
baptism by fire --
harsh introduction, rigorous initiation, hit the ground running
On my first day of football camp I had to tackle a 200-pound fullback charging straight at me. It was baptism by fire!

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bar fly

From Magnuson
bar fly --
(See a bar fly)

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bar hop

From Magnuson
bar hop --
drink at many bars in one evening, pub crawl
Our wives were out late last night. They were bar hopping.

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bar none

From Magnuson
bar none --
including all products or people, no exceptions
Apex is the best detergent, bar none.

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bar star

From Magnuson
bar star --
(See a bar star)

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bare bones

From Magnuson
bare bones --
only the necessary things, no extras, bare bones
ACTION CLEAN is a bare-bones operation - a family business.

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bare-faced lie

From Magnuson
bare-faced lie --
(See a bare-faced lie)

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B07

bare your soul

From Magnuson
bare your soul --
bat an eye Internet link bare your soul

bare your soul -- tell the public about your private experiences
To write a good novel, you may have to bare your soul.

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barf

From Magnuson
barf --
vomit, puke, hork, throw up
If I eat another hotdog, I'll barf. I'll be sick.

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bark is worse than his bite

From Magnuson
bark is worse than his bite --
he sounds angry but he is not; do not be afraid of him
Baxter sounds mad, but his bark is worse than his bite.

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bark up the wrong tree

From Magnuson
bark up the wrong tree --
look in the wrong place, do not expect it
If you expect money from him, you're barking up the wrong tree.

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barnburner

From Magnuson
barnburner --
(See a barnburner)

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bash

From Magnuson
bash --
a wild party, a party where people are drunk and noisy
"Did you go to Tina's party?" "Ya. It was a noisy bash."

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basket case

From Magnuson
basket case --
(See a basket case)

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basta la musica

From Magnuson
basta la musica --
stop the music, do not play the music
"Basta la musica!" Papa shouted. "It's too loud!"

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bat a thousand

From Magnuson
bat a thousand --
hit every time at bat, win every competition
I've had two interviews and two offers. I'm batting a thousand!

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bat an eye

From Magnuson
bat an eye --
flinch or blink, show a sign of guilt or shame
When they asked him about the crime, he didn't bat an eye. His expression didn't change.

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B08

bat five hundred

From Magnuson
bat five hundred --
be off Internet link bat five hundred

bat five hundred -- hit half the times at bat, win half the competitions
If you solve five problems out of ten, you're batting five hundred.

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bat her eyes

From Magnuson
bat her eyes --
blink the eyes, blink in a sexy way
Verna just stood there batting her eyes, trying to look sexy.

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bated breath

From Magnuson
bated breath --
(See with bated breath)

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battleaxe

From Magnuson
battleaxe --
cranky woman, a bitch [B]
Marlene - that old battleaxe - is spreading lies about me.

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batty

From Magnuson
batty --
(See drive me batty)

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bawl me out

From Magnuson
bawl me out --
tell me I have been bad, scold me
If I fail math, Dad will bawl me out. He'll give me a lecture.

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be-all, end-all

From Magnuson
be-all, end-all --
trying to be too great, world beater
The new manager thinks he's the greatest - the be-all, end-all.

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be my guest

From Magnuson
be my guest --
have this chair, have that drink, help yourself
Be my guest. Sit here. I can find another chair.

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be my undoing

From Magnuson
be my undoing --
be the cause of my failure; my Achilles heel
Credit cards may be my undoing. My VISA balance is over $5000!

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be off

From Magnuson
be off --
leave, go, off with you
Be off, my dear, or you'll be late for work.

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B09

be there

From Magnuson
be there -- beat around the bush Internet link be there

be there -- be ready, be alert, up for it
The captain of the hockey team shouted to his mates, "Be there, guys! We have to win this game."

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be there for me

From Magnuson
be there for me --
help me when I need it, be supportive, stand by me
"Will you be there for me?" she asked. "I need your support."

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be there or be square

From Magnuson
be there or be square --
if you do not come we will think you are call it square
We're having a party at 7 on Saturday. Be there or be square!

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be yourself

From Magnuson
be yourself --
be natural, behave normally
Don't worry about what to say at the party. Just be yourself.

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bean pole

From Magnuson
bean pole --
tall and thin, string bean
Carl is a bean pole - tall and skinny - just like his father.

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bear down

From Magnuson
bear down --
try harder, bite the bullet
If you bear down a little, you can graduate this year.

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bear the brunt

From Magnuson
bear the brunt --
accept the most blame or responsibility
When we got in trouble, Ed bore the brunt of the blame.

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beat a dead horse

From Magnuson
beat a dead horse --
continue to ask or try when there is no hope
They won't refund your money. You're beating a dead horse.

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beat a hasty retreat

From Magnuson
beat a hasty retreat --
run away from, leave quickly
When the boys heard the siren they beat a hasty retreat.

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beat around the bush

From Magnuson
beat around the bush --
talk without telling the main point
Politicians often beat around the bush. They talk a lot but say little.

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B10

beat it

From Magnuson
beat it -- beauty is only skin deep Internet link beat it

beat it -- go, get lost
Beat it, kid! Get going! Leave!

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beat the pants off

From Magnuson
beat the pants off --
defeat by a large score, blow you away
Ho plays table tennis very well; she'll beat the pants off you.

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beat the rap

From Magnuson
beat the rap --
have the charges removed or dropped, get off
Every time the burglar was caught he was able to beat the rap.

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beat up

From Magnuson
beat up --
hit and injure, defeat badly
She cared for him when he got beat up, trying to ease his pain.

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beat up on

From Magnuson
beat up on --
hit and injure, defeat in a fight
"Why does he beat up on people?" "Because his dad beat up on him."

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beat your head against a stone wall

From Magnuson
beat your head against a stone wall --
try an impossible task, work on a futile project
Preventing war is like beating your head against a stone wall.

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beat your time

From Magnuson
beat your time --
take away your girlfriend or boyfriend
I can't believe that your friend would beat your time.

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beater

From Magnuson
beater --
a car that is in poor condition, clunker
Why does he drive that old beater? He could buy a new car.

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beauty is in the eye of the beholder

From Magnuson
beauty is in the eye of the beholder --
each person has a different idea of what is beautiful, one man's garbage...
To him, the statue is elegant; to me, it's ugly. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder!

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beauty is only skin deep

From Magnuson
beauty is only skin deep --
do not judge a person by physical features, you can't tell a book...
If you want to date a beauty queen, remember that beauty is only skin deep.

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B11

beck and call

From Magnuson
beck and call --
before you can say Jack Robinson Internet link beck and call

beck and call -- (See at your beck and call)

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become of

From Magnuson
become of --
happen to, end up
What became of Ko after he moved? How's he doing?

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becomes you

From Magnuson
becomes you --
looks good on you, is right for you, suits you
That perfume becomes you. It smells good on you.

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bed down

From Magnuson
bed down --
lie down and sleep, find a place to sleep
After grazing in the valley, the deer will bed down on the hill.

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beef it up

From Magnuson
beef it up --
add more bulk, increase the size
"Does this doll look like Santa?" "Yes, if you beef it up a little."

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beehive of activity

From Magnuson
beehive of activity --
(See a beehive of activity)

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beeline

From Magnuson
beeline --
(See make a beeline)

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been around

From Magnuson
been around --
experienced, not naive, wasn't born yesterday
Margo's been around; she can work with the convicts.

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been had

From Magnuson
been had --
cheated, swindled, taken in
If he paid a hundred dollars for that radio, he's been had.

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before you can say Jack Robinson

From Magnuson
before you can say Jack Robinson --
very quickly, in a split second, in no time
Before you could say Jack Robinson, the ghost was gone!

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B12

beg off

From Magnuson
beg off --
behind the scenes Internet link beg off

beg off -- ask to be excused from duty, get out of a task
Some people volunteer to work and then they beg off.

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beg to differ

From Magnuson
beg to differ --
have a different opinion, disagree with
When I stated the cause of the loss, he said, "I beg to differ."

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beg your pardon

From Magnuson
beg your pardon --
excuse me, please do not be offended
I beg your pardon, but I am using this phone booth.

beg your pardon -- what did you say? will you repeat what you said?
Beg your pardon? Did you say you are Paul Newman?

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beggars can't be choosers

From Magnuson
beggars can't be choosers --
people who receive free things should not expect the best
When they complained about the shabby coats, he said, "Beggars can't be choosers."

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begs the question

From Magnuson
begs the question --
suggests this question, leaves this question unanswered
"That's a fine idea," said the Head Mouse, "but it begs the question: Which one of us will put the bell on the cat?"

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behind bars

From Magnuson
behind bars --
in jail, in prison, in the slammer
Behind bars, she didn't have much of a social life.

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behind the curve

From Magnuson
behind the curve --
having lower than average test scores, having a low performance ( the bell curve - a line graph of test scores  )
I was behind the curve when I wrote that test. I'll probably get a low grade.

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behind the eight ball

From Magnuson
behind the eight ball --
in a difficult position, in a predicament, between the devil and...
I'm behind the eight ball with the Tax Department. I deducted college tuition fees from my taxable income, but I didn't pay the fees!
Editor's note:  eight ball -- not eight balls: no copying mistake

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behind the scenes

From Magnuson
behind the scenes --
out of sight, unnoticed, unsung hero
This organization has many people who work behind the scenes helping us to succeed.

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B13

behind your back

From Magnuson
behind your back --
belt you Internet link behind your back

behind your back -- where you cannot see, when you are not here
He says nice things to you, but criticizes you behind your back.

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being there

From Magnuson
being there --
being where good things happen, being in the right place at the right time
Caleb seems to succeed by just being there. Good things happen to him wherever he is.

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believe my ears

From Magnuson
believe my ears --
(See can't believe my ears)

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believe my eyes

From Magnuson
believe my eyes --
(See can't believe my eyes)

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bells and whistles

From Magnuson
bells and whistles --
(See all the bells and whistles)

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belly up

From Magnuson
belly up --
not operating, bankrupt, tits up
Four car dealers went belly up during the recession.

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belly up to the bar

From Magnuson
belly up to the bar --
sit close to the bar, find a chair at the bar
Belly up to the bar, boys. I'd like to buy you a drink.

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bellyache

From Magnuson
bellyache --
complain, whine
Don't bellyache about the referee. Just play your best.

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below the poverty line

From Magnuson
below the poverty line --
not earning enough to survive, very poor, as poor as a church mouse
If husband and wife are earning minimum wage, they're living below the poverty line.

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belt you

From Magnuson
belt you --
hit you, punch you
I should belt you for saying that my sister looks like a dog.

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B14

bend over backwards

From Magnuson
bend over backwards --
best laid plans Internet link bend over backwards

bend over backwards -- do anything to help, try to please, go the extra mile
They'll bend over backwards to find a room for you. They give excellent service.

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bend the rules

From Magnuson
bend the rules --
change the rules to help, look the other way
Ed won't accept late reports. He won't bend the rules.

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bend your ear

From Magnuson
bend your ear --
ask you to listen, buttonhole you
Carl, can I bend your ear for a minute? I have some news.

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bend your elbow

From Magnuson
bend your elbow --
drink beer or liquor, tip a few
Your eyes look red and tired. Bend your elbow last night?

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benefit of the doubt

From Magnuson
benefit of the doubt --
(See the benefit of the doubt)

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beside myself

From Magnuson
beside myself --
very upset, very worried, at loose ends
She was beside herself with grief when her sister died.

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beside the point

From Magnuson
beside the point --
off topic, not related, irrelevant
The brand of cigarette is beside the point. Smoking is the issue.

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best foot forward

From Magnuson
best foot forward --
(See put your best foot forward)

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best interests at heart

From Magnuson
best interests at heart --
thinking of a person's needs, in mind
When I give low grades, I still have your best interests at heart.

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best laid plans

From Magnuson
best laid plans --
(See the best-laid plans)

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B15

best of both worlds

From Magnuson
best of both worlds --
better the devil you know... Internet link best of both worlds

best of both worlds -- (See the best of both worlds)

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bet on

From Magnuson
bet on --
place a bet, gamble
I bet on the bay mare, and she won! I bet $20 on her.

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bet on a lame rooster

From Magnuson
bet on a lame rooster --
bet on a loser, fall for that
If you vote for that guy, you're betting on a lame rooster.

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bet you dollars to donuts

From Magnuson
bet you dollars to donuts --
I will bet dollars, you bet donuts; give you odds
Ben is the fastest runner. I'll bet you dollars to donuts he wins.

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better half

From Magnuson
better half --
spouse, wife or husband
Bring your better half when you visit us. We'd like to meet her.

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better late than never

From Magnuson
better late than never --
it is better to arrive late than not to arrive
"You're an hour late," he said. "Better late than never," I replied.

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better off

From Magnuson
better off --
in better conditions: healthier or wealthier etc.
Are you better off renting an apartment than buying a house?

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better than a kick in the ass [B]

From Magnuson
better than a kick in the ass [B] --
better than punishment, not as bad as it could be, don't knock it
When I told him we had won $10 in the Lotto, he said, "It's better than a kick in the ass."

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better than sex

From Magnuson
better than sex --
very good, excellent, fantastic
"Hey, James. How was skydiving?" "Great! Better than sex!"

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better the devil you know

From Magnuson
better the devil you know... --
a new devil could be worse than the old devil
"Should we fire the coach?" "No - better the devil we know than the one we don't."

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B16

better to have loved

From Magnuson
better to have loved...
-- beyond the call of duty Internet link better to have loved...

better to have loved... -- (See it is better to have loved and lost...)

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between a rock and a hard place

From Magnuson
between a rock and a hard place --
in a difficult position, making a difficult choice, Sophie's choice
If I told the truth, I would lose my friend. I was between a rock and a hard place.

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between sixes and sevens

From Magnuson
between sixes and sevens --
(See at sixes and sevens)

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between the devil and the deep blue sea

From Magnuson
between the devil and the deep blue sea --
in a difficult position, no place to go, between a rock..., Sophie's choice
If he ran, they would shoot him; if he stayed in the shop, the gas would kill him. He was between the devil and the deep blue sea.

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betwixt and between

From Magnuson
betwixt and between --
not able to choose one or the other, ambivalent
Which should I choose - PC or Mac? I'm betwixt and between.

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bevy of beauties

From Magnuson
bevy of beauties --
a group of beautiful women, a few lovelies
Mr. Gable returned to Hollywood and his bevy of beauties.

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beyond help

From Magnuson
beyond help --
lost, cannot be saved
Some addicts are beyond help. They don't want to be helped.

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beyond me

From Magnuson
beyond me --
(See it's beyond me)

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beyond repair

From Magnuson
beyond repair --
ruined, cannot be repaired, a lost cause
That copier is wrecked. It's beyond repair.

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beyond the call of duty

From Magnuson
beyond the call of duty --
(See above and beyond the call of duty)

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B17

beyond the pale

From Magnuson
beyond the pale --
big picture Internet link beyond the pale

beyond the pale -- beyond the limit, over the boundary
His comment went beyond the pale of respect. It was vulgar.

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biff/biffy

From Magnuson
biff/biffy --
washroom, bathroom, the can, the john, the loo
"Is there a biffy on the bus?" "Yes. There, at the back."

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Big Apple

From Magnuson
Big Apple --
(See The Big Apple)

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big boys

From Magnuson
big boys --
powerful men in business, moguls, big shots
If you want to do business with the big boys, you need money.

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big break

From Magnuson
big break --
big chance, a lucky break
She got her big break when a talent scout heard her sing.

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big bucks

From Magnuson
big bucks --
a lot of money, a high price
You'll pay big bucks to rent an apartment near the university.

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big cheese

From Magnuson
big cheese --
the boss, chief cook and bottle washer, head honcho
If you've got a complaint, see the big cheese. He's our manager.

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big deal

From Magnuson
big deal --
important event, major happening
A small fire is a big deal because it can cause a lot of damage.

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big hairy deal

From Magnuson
big hairy deal --
not an important matter, do not make it an issue, big deal
"The teacher's coming!" "So big hairy deal!"

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big picture

From Magnuson
big picture --
(See the big picture)

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B18

big rig

From Magnuson
big rig --
bigger they are... Internet link big rig

big rig -- (See a big rig)

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big shot

From Magnuson
big shot --
rich or important person, VIP, big boys
Randy's a big shot in the movie industry. He owns four studios.

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big-sky thinking

From Magnuson
big-sky thinking --
thinking that includes everything, from horizon to horizon; think outside the box ( coined by Jeffery Phillips  )
Yes, we need to make common-sense decisions, but first let's do some big-sky thinking.

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big time

From Magnuson
big time --
a lot, very much, heavy duty
You've helped me so much. I owe you big time.

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big wheel

From Magnuson
big wheel --
(See a big wheel)

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big wigs

From Magnuson
big wigs --
important persons: judges, presidents etc., VIP
We've asked the big wigs to change their decision.

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Bigfoot

From Magnuson
Bigfoot --
a large ape-man living in the forests of western N. America; Sasquatch
Gary told me he saw Bigfoot's tracks in the sand along the Kootenay River.

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bigger fish to fry

From Magnuson
bigger fish to fry --
more important people to meet or do business with
Don't bother fighting with him. You've got bigger fish to fry.

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bigger than life

From Magnuson
bigger than life --
heroic: stronger, wiser, uglier; larger than life
The characters in most novels seem to be bigger than life.

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bigger they are

From Magnuson
bigger they are... --
(See the bigger they are...)

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B19

bigmouth

From Magnuson
bigmouth --
bit off Internet link bigmouth

bigmouth -- someone who talks too loud, loud mouth
Every crowd has a bigmouth - some guy who yells at the cops.

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bilk

From Magnuson
bilk --
cheat, defraud, ripped off, taken
He bilked me. I gave him $100 for the tickets and he kept the change!

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bimbo

From Magnuson
bimbo --
(See a bimbo)

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binner

From Magnuson
binner --
a person who scavenges in garbage bins, Dumpster diving
Some binners work in pairs. One guy climbs into the bin and hands the stuff to his partner waiting outside.

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birdbrain

From Magnuson
birdbrain --
a person with a tiny brain, dumbo
Hey, birdbrain. Why are you throwing money in the river?

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birder

From Magnuson
birder --
a bird watcher, one whose hobby is watching birds
Some birders were looking at an oriole in a poplar tree.

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birds of a feather flock together

From Magnuson
birds of a feather flock together --
people with similar feelings and attitudes
Art and Don are birds of a feather. They like cars and football.

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birthday suit

From Magnuson
birthday suit --
naked, nude, in the buff
"Do you wear pajamas in bed?" "No. Just my birthday suit."

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bit by bit

From Magnuson
bit by bit --
doing a small amount each time, little by little
Bit by bit, they rebuilt a church that was destroyed by bombs.

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bit off

From Magnuson
bit off --
(See a bit off)

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B20

bitch

From Magnuson
bitch --
bits and pieces Internet link bitch

bitch -- complain, grouse
He tells me I'm always bitching, but I don't complain very much.

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bitch [B]

From Magnuson
bitch [B] --
(See a bitch)

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bite me

From Magnuson
bite me [B] --
I have no respect for you, kiss off, blow me
"Bite me! Take your list of whores and live with them!"

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bite off more than you can chew

From Magnuson
bite off more than you can chew --
begin more tasks than you can complete
When I took the night class, I bit off more than I could chew.

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bite the bullet

From Magnuson
bite the bullet --
try harder, be tougher
Bite the bullet during exam week. Don't party; just study.

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bite the dust

From Magnuson
bite the dust --
die, quit, lose, kick the bucket
Pete was 98 when he bit the dust. He lived for nearly a century.

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bite the hand that feeds you

From Magnuson
bite the hand that feeds you --
be unkind to the one who cares for you or pays you
If you criticize your employer, you bite the hand that feeds you.

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bite your tongue

From Magnuson
bite your tongue --
do not say that, you should not have said that
When I mention Dad's temper Mom says, "Bite your tongue."

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biter (curling)

From Magnuson
biter (curling) --
a rock that is touching the twelve-foot circle
The Heidt rink is lying four - one is a biter.

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bits and pieces

From Magnuson
bits and pieces --
small pieces, odds and ends
Jack built our cabin with bits and pieces - leftover materials.

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B21

bitten by the same bug

From Magnuson
bitten by the same bug --
black out Internet link bitten by the same bug

bitten by the same bug -- have the same interest or hobby
My cousin and I were bitten by the same bug. We collect coins.

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bitter end

From Magnuson
bitter end --
(See the bitter end)

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bitter pill

From Magnuson
bitter pill --
(See a bitter pill)

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blab

From Magnuson
blab --
tell everybody, tell secrets
I told you I like Kevin, and you blabbed it to everybody.

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blabbermouth

From Magnuson
blabbermouth --
a person who tells everything, loud mouth
Sharon - that blabbermouth! She told the whole class I love Bill.

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black eye

From Magnuson
black eye --
an eye injury that causes the skin to turn black
"How'd you get the black eye?" "Fighting - in a hockey game."

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Black Friday

From Magnuson
Black Friday --
the day the stock market crashed (failed) in 1929
In the 1980s, there were days to remind us of Black Friday.

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black-listed

From Magnuson
black-listed --
excluded, not be invited, not allowed to join
Gore was black-listed because he led the demonstration.

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black mark

From Magnuson
black mark --
(See a black mark)

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black out

From Magnuson
black out --
become unconscious, faint, pass out
If I bend over for a long time, I nearly black out when I stand up.

black out -- blessing in disguise Internet link black out

black out -- remove the nameplate and trim from a vehicle
James Dean drove a blacked-out Merc in Rebel Without A Cause.

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black sheep

From Magnuson
black sheep --
the bad one, the one who does bad things
He's the black sheep in that family - always in trouble.

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blackout

From Magnuson
blackout --
(See a blackout)

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blank

From Magnuson
blank --
defeat by preventing any goals, skunk
In soccer, Italy blanked Ireland 2-nil.

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blast

From Magnuson
blast --
(See a blast)

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blast you

From Magnuson
blast you --
scold you, yell at you
Ms. Zank blasted me for using her computer. She was angry.

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blasted

From Magnuson
blasted --
dad-blamed, darn, doggone
Where's the blasted hammer? It's never here when I need it!

From Magnuson
blasted --
drunk, loaded, plastered
On her 40th birthday, she went to the bar and got blasted.

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bleeding heart

From Magnuson
bleeding heart --
one who begs for sympathy for victims, have a soft spot...
Hector is a bleeding heart for wolves. "Save the wolves," he tells people in his speeches.

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blessing in disguise

From Magnuson
blessing in disguise --
(See a blessing in disguise)

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blind date

From Magnuson
blind date
-- blow a kiss Internet link blind date

blind date -- going out with a boy or girl you have not met
Kate met Jeff on a blind date. They got married a year later.

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blind leading the blind

From Magnuson
blind leading the blind --
(See the blind leading the blind)

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blood from a stone

From Magnuson
blood from a stone --
(See get blood from a stone)

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blood is thicker than water

From Magnuson
blood is thicker than water --
blood relationships are stronger than a marriage ceremony
When my wife supported her dad in a fight with me, I said, "So blood is thicker than water."

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blood is up

From Magnuson
blood is up --
excited, angry, ready to fight
Kerry is friendly, but when his blood is up, he's dangerous.

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blood money

From Magnuson
blood money --
money paid to the relative of a murdered person, dirty money
The widow refused to take blood money from the men who murdered her husband.

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bloody well

From Magnuson
bloody well --
very truly, damn well
He bloody well knows my name because I bloody well told him.

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blotto

From Magnuson
blotto --
exhausted, bushed
After studying for twelve hours, she was blotto - very tired.

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blow a bundle

From Magnuson
blow a bundle --
spend a lot of money, lose a lot of money gambling
When Al went to Vegas, he blew a bundle - he lost a lot of money.

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blow a kiss

From Magnuson
blow a kiss --
kiss your hand and blow across it, throw a kiss
Taea can blow a kiss, and she's only eighteen months old!

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blow chunks

From Magnuson
blow chunks
-- blow my cover Internet link blow chunks

blow chunks -- puke, vomit, barf, throw chunks
Juan, my boy, if you go for a ride on that Ferris wheel right after dinner, you'll blow chunks!

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blow it

From Magnuson
blow it --
cause a big mistake, ruin it, screw up
Karen won't blow it this time. She'll skate a perfect program.

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blow it out of proportion

From Magnuson
blow it out of proportion --
exaggerate it, make it bigger than it should be
When Gretzky was traded, the media blew it out of proportion.

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blow it out your ear

From Magnuson
blow it out your ear --
throw it away, it is meaningless or worthless
When I asked Jack about the leader's latest statement, he said, "You can blow it out your ear. He's already changed it."

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blow it up (photo)

From Magnuson
blow it up (photo) --
enlarge it, magnify it
If you want to see details in the photo, blow it up.

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blow job [B]

From Magnuson
blow job [B] --
(See a blow job)

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blow me [B]

From Magnuson
blow me [B] --
you are worth nothing, kiss my ass, fuck off

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blow me down

From Magnuson
blow me down --
I am very surprised, I do not believe it
Well, blow me down, Olive. You can cook spinach, too!

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black out black sheep blackout blank blast blast you blasted bleeding heart blessing in disguise blind date blind leading the blind blood from a stone blood is thicker than water blood is up blood money bloody well blotto blow a bundle blow a kiss blow chunks blow it blow it out of proportion blow it out your ear blow it up (photo) blow job [B] blow me [B] blow me down blow me over

blow me over

From Magnuson
blow me over --
it is unbelievable; far out
He's over 50? Well, blow me over!

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blow my cover

From Magnuson
blow my cover --
reveal my true identity, reveal my hiding place
With a false passport, I can enter Bali, if nobody blows my cover.

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blow sky high

From Magnuson
blow sky high
-- blow up Internet link blow sky high

blow sky high -- upset a lot of people, cause a scandal or riot
This government will blow sky high if people hear these tapes.

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blow snakes (music)

From Magnuson
blow snakes (music) --
play great jazz, improvise creatively
I went to hear jazz at the club, and Guido was blowing snakes.

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blow the lid off

From Magnuson
blow the lid off --
reveal a story, tell some news, break a story
When the defendant confessed, it blew the lid off the murder trial.

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blow the whistle

From Magnuson
blow the whistle --
tell the teacher or the police, squeal
Jimmy knows we stole the keys, but he won't blow the whistle.

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blow them away

From Magnuson
blow them away --
defeat them badly, kick butt
The Russians blew them away in the first game of the series.

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blow this joint

From Magnuson
blow this joint --
leave this building, quit this place
I'm sick of playing billiards. Let's blow this joint.

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blow this Popsicle stand

From Magnuson
blow this Popsicle stand --
leave this place, quit this place
What a boring town! Let's blow this Popsicle stand!

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blow to kingdom come

From Magnuson
blow to kingdom come --
explode and destroy, blow up
There's enough gas in the well to blow us kingdom come!

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blow up

From Magnuson
blow up --
explode using a bomb or dynamite
They plan to blow up that old building because it's unsafe.

From Magnuson
blow up --
become angry, lose your temper
If you criticize Al, he'll blow up. He's very sensitive.

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blow you away

From Magnuson
blow you away
-- blue in the face Internet link blow you away

blow you away -- defeat you easily, beat the pants off
You're going to play chess with Boris? He'll blow you away.

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blow you out of the water

From Magnuson
blow you out of the water --
defeat you, humiliate you
If you challenge his leadership, he'll blow you out of the water.

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blow your lid/stack/top

From Magnuson
blow your lid/stack/top --
become very angry, shout, lose your cool
Don't blow your stack in front of the kids. It's a bad example.

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blow your mind

From Magnuson
blow your mind --
amaze you, astound you, shock you
Watching films of the holocaust will blow your mind.

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blow your stones [B]

From Magnuson
blow your stones [B] --
ejaculate, come
There's more to it than blowing your stones. Sex is an art form.

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blow your wad

From Magnuson
blow your wad --
spend all your money, blow a bundle
He blew his wad on some handmade boots. They cost $700!

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blowout

From Magnuson
blowout --
(See a blowout)

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blue

From Magnuson
blue --
sad, depressed, down, low
"Are you blue, Dear?" "Yes. Jack left me."

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blue-collar worker

From Magnuson
blue-collar worker --
someone who works at a trade, e.g., a plumber
The blue-collar workers will vote for Ed. He's a tradesman.

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blue in the face

From Magnuson
blue in the face --
weakened, tired after trying many times
I called that dog until I was blue in the face. He would not come in.

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blue moon

From Magnuson
blue moon
-- boiling mad Internet link blue moon

blue moon -- rare event, unusual happening, that'll be the frosty Friday
If he ever says thank you there'll be a blue moon in the sky!

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blue sky

From Magnuson
blue sky --
great opportunity, easy life, smooth sailing
We made T-shirts, and people loved them and bought them. From then on, it was blue sky!

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blurt out

From Magnuson
blurt out --
say without thinking, reply quickly
"I did it!" the boy blurted out, and he began to cry.

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boarding

From Magnuson
boarding (hockey) --
checking into the boards, chairman of the boards
Boarding causes serious injuries to hockey players.

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Bob's your uncle

From Magnuson
Bob's your uncle --
no problem as "Bob," a powerful friend or relative, will do it or have it done
When I asked her to give your application to the president, she said, "Bob's your uncle!"

Bob's your uncle -- no problem as "Bob," a powerful friend or relative, will do it or have it done
When I asked her to give your application to the president, she said, "Bob's your uncle!"

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bodacious

From Magnuson
bodacious --
bold, daring, defying the rules, like a daredevil
He's bodacious alright. He rode his skateboard right through traffic!

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body language

From Magnuson
body language --
body movements that show feelings
Your body language tells me that you're tense. Please relax.

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boggle your mind

From Magnuson
boggle your mind --
confuse you, make your head spin
These numbers boggle my mind. I don't understand them.

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bogof

From Magnuson
bogof --
buy one get one free, marketing method, loss leader
If you shop for bogof items you get two for the price of one!

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boiling mad

From Magnuson
boiling mad --
very angry, very upset, hopping mad
By the time the car started, Emil was boiling mad.

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bolt from the blue

From Magnuson
bolt from the blue
-- bonzer Internet link bolt from the blue

bolt from the blue -- (See like a bolt from the blue)

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bomb around

From Magnuson
bomb around --
drive around, drive your car for fun, cruise
"Where have you been?" "Bombin' around in Rod's car."

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bomb out

From Magnuson
bomb out --
fail, not succeed
Most engineers say the electric car is a failure. It bombed out.

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bombed

From Magnuson
bombed --
drunk, hammered, sloshed to the gills
Fay was bombed before she got to the party. She was drunk.

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bone dry

From Magnuson
bone dry --
very dry, as dry as an old bone
Someone had drained the pool. It was bone dry.

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bone of contention

From Magnuson
bone of contention --
point of disagreement, controversial point
Job security is the bone of contention in our discussions.

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bone to pick

From Magnuson
bone to pick --
(See a bone to pick with you)

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bone up on

From Magnuson
bone up on --
study, learn, practise
I have to bone up on my French if we're going to Paris.

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bonkers

From Magnuson
bonkers --
crazy, insane, nuts, wacko
If you watch professional wrestling you must be bonkers!

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bonzer

From Magnuson
bonzer --
good, fine, super, awesome
"Did you enjoy your holiday?" "It was bonzer, mate! We had a great time!"

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booboo

From Magnuson
booboo --
bootleg Internet link booboo

booboo -- (See make a booboo)

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boobs [B]

From Magnuson
boobs [B] --
breasts, tits
Okay, she has lovely boobs. What about her personality?

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boogie

From Magnuson
boogie --
go, walk, drive
Let's boogie on down to the store and rent a video.

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book worm

From Magnuson
book worm --
one who reads a lot, geek
Sarah is quite a book worm. She loves to read history books.

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booked/booked up

From Magnuson
booked/booked up --
no more space or rooms, no vacancy
The Royal Hotel is booked up. Every room is reserved.

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boom box

From Magnuson
boom box --
portable radio, ghetto blaster
We can have music at the beach if you bring your boom box.

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boom or bust

From Magnuson
boom or bust --
either large profits or large losses, rich or poor, feast or famine
In the oil business, it's boom or bust. Some years it's worth more than gold; other years it isn't worth the cost of production!

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boot it

From Magnuson
boot it --
drive fast, highball it, pedal to the metal
If you boot it, Betty won't ride with you. She hates going fast.

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boot up

From Magnuson
boot up --
start or switch on a computer
Wait until I boot up the Mac. Then we can print your letter.

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bootleg

From Magnuson
bootleg --
produced illegally, not authorized, software piracy
If someone offers you bootleg software, don't accept it! You could be sued!

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booze

From Magnuson
booze --
bottom fell out Internet link booze

booze -- liquor, hooch, moonshine
I think Gus has been drinking. His breath smells of booze.

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boozing buddies

From Magnuson
boozing buddies --
friends who drink liquor and party together
In those days, Billy and I were boozin' buddies - pals.

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born tired

From Magnuson
born tired --
tired since birth, always tired
My dad says I was born tired. When the doctor slapped my bum, I just yawned!

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born with a silver spoon in his mouth

From Magnuson
born with a silver spoon in his mouth --
born into a rich family, accustomed to wealth
Jason won't look for a job; he was born with a silver spoon... .

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bosom buddy

From Magnuson
bosom buddy --
close friends, friends who grew up together
Don't criticize Brad, eh. He's my bosom buddy.

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botch it

From Magnuson
botch it --
ruin it, do it wrong, blow it
When you bake bread for the first time, it's easy to botch it.

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bottle drive

From Magnuson
bottle drive --
going to houses asking for pop and liquor bottles
The bottle drive was a success. The girls earned $350.

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bottle man

From Magnuson
bottle man --
a man who finds bottles in garbage cans or Dumpsters
The bottle man walked down the alley pushing a cart full of junk.

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bottle up

From Magnuson
bottle up --
not talk about, keep in your mind
Don't keep all those feelings bottled up inside you. Talk!

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bottom fell out

From Magnuson
bottom fell out --
(See the bottom fell out)

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bottom line

From Magnuson
bottom line
-- bozo Internet link bottom line

bottom line -- the final number, the conclusion
The bottom line is this: we can't afford to expand.

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bottom out

From Magnuson
bottom out --
go down to the bottom, arrive at the low point
The recession will bottom out by the end of the year.

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bottom rung

From Magnuson
bottom rung --
the first step, the lowest position
Jerry, my boy, in this company you start at the bottom rung.

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bottoms up

From Magnuson
bottoms up --
finish your drinks, drink the remainder
"Bottoms up," said his friend. "It's time to go."

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bounce back

From Magnuson
bounce back --
recover from failure or sickness, try again
Lana has the flu, but she bounces back quickly.

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bow out

From Magnuson
bow out --
resign so someone else can serve, step down
When Dad sees that I can manage the firm, he will bow out.

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bowl me over

From Magnuson
bowl me over --
surprise me, blow me down
Well, bowl me over! You've done your homework!

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boy, oh boy

From Magnuson
boy, oh boy --
wow, oh man, holy cow
Boy, oh boy! I'm glad to see you!

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boys will be boys

From Magnuson
boys will be boys --
all boys are the same; boys are rough and noisy, a chip off the old...
When Steve came home with his shirt torn and nose bleeding, his father said, "Boys will be boys."

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bozo

From Magnuson
bozo --
a person who does unusual things, a nerd
Lenny is kind of a bozo. He laughs at the wrong time.

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brain

From Magnuson
brain
-- bread Internet Link brain

brain -- (See what a brain)

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brain drain

From Magnuson
brain drain --
emigration of intelligent people
If Canada's best professors move away, it's called a brain drain.

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brain is fried

From Magnuson
brain is fried --
brain is very tired or ruined by drug abuse
After writing six exams, my brain was fried - too much studying!

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brain storm

From Magnuson
brain storm --
think of ideas together, think tank
Our family decided to brain storm the problem of wasting food.

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brain traffic

From Magnuson
brain traffic --
thoughts and information moving through the brain
I wish I could turn off my mind when brain traffic is too heavy.

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branch office

From Magnuson
branch office --
an office in another location or city
Please contact our branch office in your town or city.

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branch out

From Magnuson
branch out --
open a second office/store, expand a company
Business is very good. It may be time for us to branch out.

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brand new/ brand spanking new

From Magnuson
brand new/ brand spanking new --
not used at all, just off the assembly line
Imagine a brand new Mercedes in an accident. What a shame!

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bravo

From Magnuson
bravo --
great, wonderful, more, encore
"Bravo! Bravo!" the audience roared. They loved Heppner's singing and were shouting for more.

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bread

From Magnuson
bread --
money, cash, dough
Hey, man, we need more bread if we're gonna buy cigarettes.

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bread and butter

From Magnuson
bread and butter --
break and enter Internet Link bread and butter

bread and butter -- the main product, the source of profit
We sell a variety of parts, but the oil filter is our bread and butter.

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breadbasket

From Magnuson
breadbasket --
stomach, belly
The ball hit him just below his chest - right in the breadbasket.

breadbasket -- an area that produces grain, wheatbelt
Saskatchewan is a major wheat producer: Canada's breadbasket.

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break a habit

From Magnuson
break a habit --
stop doing a daily activity: drinking coffee, smoking
Laurie can't seem to break her habit of writing on her hands.

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break a leg

From Magnuson
break a leg --
good luck, have a good performance (Editor's note:  "leg" here comes from the word "legend" and the idiom really means "break a legend" or "may you outperform your previous achievement.")
"Break a leg!" she whispered as he walked on the stage.

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break a promise

From Magnuson
break a promise --
not do as you promised, go back on your word
Trudy never breaks a promise. She is very dependable.

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break a spell

From Magnuson
break a spell --
cause a spell to stop, not be under a spell
I was captivated by her until she smoked. That broke the spell.

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break a story

From Magnuson
break a story --
be first to tell a story, be first to tell some news
The London Times broke the story of Charles's confessions.

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break a sweat

From Magnuson
break a sweat --
begin to sweat or perspire, work up a sweat
For exercise to be beneficial, the athlete must break a sweat.

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break and enter

From Magnuson
break and enter --
break a lock or window to enter illegally, B&E
They were charged with break and enter. They stole some cash.

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break away

From Magnuson
break away --
break out in a rash Internet Link break away

From Magnuson
break away --
move away, go away from, stop doing or using
She tried to break away when the cult leader asked for her savings.

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break curfew

From Magnuson
break curfew --
stay out later than the rules allow
If you break curfew, the coach will remind you of the rules.

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break down

From Magnuson
break down --
fail, not operate, out of order
If that copier breaks down again I'm going to give it away.

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break in

From Magnuson
break in --
operate or drive slowly when it is new
When I bought my first new car, Dad said to break it in carefully.

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break into

From Magnuson
break into --
break a door or window to enter, break and enter
I couldn't believe that my son would break into a store.

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break into song

From Magnuson
break into song --
begin to sing suddenly, sing without warning
One of our teachers used to break into song when he taught poetry.

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break off

From Magnuson
break off --
tell a friend that you wish to stop seeing him
She wonders if she should break off her relationship with Liam.

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break out

From Magnuson
break out --
escape, get away, bust out
He was shot trying to break out of prison - trying to escape.

break out -- happen suddenly, erupt
A riot will break out if you don't talk to the strikers.

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break out in a rash

From Magnuson
break out in a rash --
have a rash appear on your skin
When the temperature goes over 30 the baby breaks out in a rash.

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break the bank

From Magnuson
break the bank
-- breakup Internet Link break the bank

break the bank -- spend all savings, leave no balance
One more expense this month will break the bank.

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break the ice

From Magnuson
break the ice --
relieve the tension, put you at ease
Andy likes to tell a joke to break the ice - to help everybody relax.

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break the law/rules

From Magnuson
break the law/rules --
not obey the law, commit a crime
If you rob a store, you are breaking the law.

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break the record

From Magnuson
break the record --
do better than the previous record
The coach believes Bev can break the record in long jump.

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break the silence

From Magnuson
break the silence --
talk about a secret, tell people the truth
When he accused us of the crime, my brother broke the silence.

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break up

From Magnuson
break up --
not date anymore, not be lovers anymore, breakup
Lan and Chan broke up last night. They had a bad quarrel.

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break your fall

From Magnuson
break your fall --
prevent serious injury when you fall
He fell from the roof, but a tree helped to break his fall.

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break your heart

From Magnuson
break your heart --
cause you to feel very sad and lonely
Marilyn broke my heart. She left me for a younger man.

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breakdown

From Magnuson
breakdown --
sudden health failure, fall apart
After his breakdown, he found an occupation with less stress.

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breakup

From Magnuson
breakup --
separation, divorce, not being partners anymore, break up
Since their breakup, I don't know where to send my Christmas cards.

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breath of fresh air

From Magnuson
breath of fresh air
-- bring an end to Internet link breath of fresh air

From Magnuson
breath of fresh air --
(See a breath of fresh air)

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breath of wind

From Magnuson
breath of wind --
(See a breath of wind)

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breathe a sigh of relief

From Magnuson
breathe a sigh of relief --
feel relieved after a time of worry
When we saw the children were safe, we breathed a sigh of relief.

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breathe down my neck

From Magnuson
breathe down my neck --
watch everything I do, follow me as I work
It's difficult to work with him breathing down my neck.

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breathe easy

From Magnuson
breathe easy --
relax, breathe slower, stop worrying
Mother said, "I won't breathe easy until this plane is on the ground!"

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brick

From Magnuson
brick --
(See a brick)

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bridge the gap

From Magnuson
bridge the gap --
help people communicate, mediate
When the staff and the manager fight, I try to bridge the gap.

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bright

From Magnuson
bright --
intelligent, brainy, sharp
I left the water running. That wasn't a very bright thing to do.

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bright-eyed and bushy-tailed

From Magnuson
bright-eyed and bushy-tailed --
frisky, lively, full of life
Perry is bright-eyed and bushy-tailed tonight. He looks rested.

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bring an end to

From Magnuson
bring an end to --
(See put an end to)

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bring home the bacon

From Magnuson
bring home the bacon
-- broke Internet Link bring home the bacon

bring home the bacon -- bring home a paycheck, support a family
Stan is disabled, so Louise brings home the bacon.

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bring it off

From Magnuson
bring it off --
manage it successfully, carry it off
Don't worry about the project. Mr. Ho can bring it off.

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bring the house down

From Magnuson
bring the house down --
cause a lot of cheering or applause or laughter
If Kurt skates well in Calgary he'll bring the house down.

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bring to a close

From Magnuson
bring to a close --
conclude, finish, wrap up
Now, to bring my presentation to a close, I'll tell you a story.

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bring up

From Magnuson
bring up --
introduce, begin to talk about
Please bring up that point at the meeting. We can discuss it then.

From Magnuson
bring up --
vomit, puke
Did the baby bring up his breakfast? Let me wipe it up.

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bring you up short

From Magnuson
bring you up short --
cause you to stop and think, rebuke you
When I began to criticize Jan, Mother brought me up short.

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broad

From Magnuson
broad --
girl, chick, prostitute
"Where's Mark?" "Over there, with the broads, as usual."

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broad daylight

From Magnuson
broad daylight --
(See in broad daylight)

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broke

From Magnuson
broke --
(See flat broke)

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broken dreams

From Magnuson
broken dreams
-- brush-off Internet Link broken dreams

From Magnuson
broken dreams --
plans that did not work, hopes that died
Their divorce will mean broken dreams for both of them.

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broken record

From Magnuson
broken record --
(See like a broken record)

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brouhaha

From Magnuson
brouhaha --
shouting and fighting, melee, Donnybrook
After the dance, there was a brouhaha in the schoolyard.

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browbeat

From Magnuson
browbeat --
force you to work, harass, hound, on my case
He browbeats his employees. He shouts, "You! Get to work!"

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brown nose [B]

From Magnuson
brown nose [B] --
try to please the manager, suck up to
Some guys brown nose their way to success. But is it success?

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browned off

From Magnuson
browned off --
unhappy, a little bit angry, ticked off
Tran was browned off because we were late. She didn't like that.

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brownie points

From Magnuson
brownie points --
points for doing extra work for the manager
Bruno earns brownie points by offering to help the manager.

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brush cut

From Magnuson
brush cut --
short, level haircut - like a brush on top
Your brush cut looks great - nice and flat on top.

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brush it off

From Magnuson
brush it off --
not let it bother you, not be concerned
When Erik criticizes my family, I just brush it off and walk away.

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brush-off

From Magnuson
brush-off --
(See give him the brush-off)

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brush up on

From Magnuson
brush up on
-- buckle up Internet Link brush up on

From Magnuson
brush up on --
review, relearn or practise; bone up on
The teacher said I should brush up on my spelling - try to improve.

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brush with death

From Magnuson
brush with death --
nearly die, at death's door, on my deathbed
After a close brush with death you'll think that life is precious.

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brush with the law

From Magnuson
brush with the law --
an illegal act, a minor crime
Judd told me about his brush with the law - a shoplifting charge.

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buck

From Magnuson
buck --
dollar, greenback, loonie (Editor's note:  "loonie" -- not "loony" -- is a Canadian word and is not listed in AHTD. The word originated from the picture of a loon -- a Canadian duck -- on one side of the Canadian dollar coin.)
When I earn some bucks, I'm going to buy a stereo.

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boozing buddies born tired born with a silver spoon in his mouth bosom buddy botch it bottle drive bottle man bottle up bottom fell out bottom line bottom out bottoms up bounce back bow out bowl me over boy, oh boy boys will be boys bozo brain brain drain brain is fried brain storm brain traffic branch office branch out brand new/ brand spanking new bravo bread bread and butter breadbasket break a habit break a leg break a promise break a spell break a story break a sweat break and enter break away break curfew break down break in break into break into song break off break out break out in a rash break the bank break the ice break the law/rules break the record break the silence break up break your fall break your heart breakdown breakup breath of fresh air breath of wind breathe a sigh of relief breathe down my neck breathe easy brick bridge the gap bright bright-eyed and bushy-tailed bring an end to bring home the bacon bring it off bring the house down bring to a close bring up bring you up short broad broad daylight broke broken dreams broken record brouhaha browbeat brown nose [B] browned off brownie points brush cut brush it off brush it off brush-off brush up on brush with death brush with the law buck buck fever

buck fever

From Magnuson
buck fever --
nervous, unable to perform well, choke
Every time I play in a competition I get buck fever. I get so nervous.

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From Magnuson
buck stops here --
(See the buck stops here)

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From Magnuson
buck up --
be strong, be positive
Buck up, my friend. You will soon be finished with exams.

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From Magnuson
buckle down --
work harder, try harder, bite the bullet
Next term I'm going to buckle down and get good grades.

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From Magnuson
buckle under --
quit, lose, not try, give up
We're losing, but we won't buckle under. We won't quit.

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From Magnuson
buckle up --
fasten your seat belt, buckle your seat belt
Buckle up. Dad won't drive away until we fasten our seat belts.

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From Magnuson
buckstop (military) -- bull/bullshit/BS [B] Internet Link buckstop (military)

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buckstop (military) -- brass marker placed on the wardroom table in a warship (Editor's note: not listed in AHTD.)
When Ken wants to be served he sits nearest the buckstop.

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From Magnuson
buffalo --
frighten, bluff, intimidate
The director shouts a lot, but don't let him buffalo you.

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From Magnuson
bug (someone) --
bother, irritate, get to me
That scraping noise bugs me. It's quite annoying.

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From Magnuson
bugger all [B] --
nothing, diddly-squat, fuck all
"Hey Giulio, what did you win?" "Bugger all - nothing!"

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From Magnuson
build a better mousetrap --
improve a common product
If you're not an inventor, you try to build a better mousetrap.

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From Magnuson
build up --
increase, raise
Talking with Rudy will build up your confidence. He's positive.

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From Magnuson
built like a brick shithouse [B] --
have a strong body, have a sturdy build
Tyronne plays football. He's built like a brick shithouse.

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From Magnuson
bull in a china shop --
(See a bull in a china shop)

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From Magnuson
bull/bullshit/BS [B] --
a story that is not all true, balderdash
His explanation is a lot of bull. Don't believe it.

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From Magnuson
bully for you -- bun in the oven Internet link bully for you

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From Magnuson
bully for you --
you were lucky, good for you
When I beat Ed at cribbage, he says, "Bully for you!"

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From Magnuson
bum --
buttocks, backside, butt, rear end
"Why did she slap your face?" "Because I pinched her bum."

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From Magnuson
bum rap --
(See a bum rap)

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From Magnuson
bum's rush --
(See the bum's rush)

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From Magnuson
bummer --
(See a bummer)

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From Magnuson
bump and grind (hockey) --
bump other players and work to get the puck
To win hockey games we need players who bump and grind.

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From Magnuson
bump and grind --
walk or dance in a sexy way
A seminude dancer was bumping and grinding under red lights.

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From Magnuson
bump into --
meet by chance, run into
Do you know who I bumped into yesterday? Larry Mason.

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From Magnuson
bumper to bumper --
a lane of vehicles with the bumpers nearly touching
Traffic on Memorial Drive was bumper to bumper at 4:30 today.

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From Magnuson
bun in the oven --
(See a bun in the oven)

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From Magnuson
bundle -- burn the midnight oil Internet Link bundle

From Magnuson
bundle --
(See make a bundle)

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From Magnuson
bundle of nerves --
(See a bundle of nerves)

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From Magnuson
bundle up --
dress warmly, put on winter clothes, rug up
Be sure to bundle up if you go skating on the lake. It's cold!

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From Magnuson
bunk --
false statements, rumors, baloney, bull
They claim that computers can think, but that's a lot of bunk!

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From Magnuson
buns --
buttocks, bum
Tony said Rita has great buns.

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From Magnuson
burbs --
(See the burbs)

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From Magnuson
burn a hole in your pocket --
feel that you have to spend your money
If money burns a hole in your pocket, invest it.

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From Magnuson
burn it in --
throw the ball hard to the catcher, fastball
My hand hurts when you throw so hard. Don't burn it in, eh.

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From Magnuson
burn out --
use too much emotional energy, breakdown
Working too hard can cause a person to burn out.

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From Magnuson
burn the midnight oil --
work or study very late at night
To become a doctor, you have to burn the midnight oil.

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From Magnuson
burn up -- business as usual Internet Link burn up

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From Magnuson
burn up --
become angry, lose your cool
The coach was burned up when I got a penalty for holding.

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From Magnuson
burn your ass [B] --
bother you, irritate you, bug you
You know what burns my ass? Doing my income tax.

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From Magnuson
burn your bridges --
resign without notice, leave no way to return
He can't return to the company. He's burned his bridges.

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From Magnuson
burned --
convicted or punished while involved in crime
Tony got burned when he was a drug dealer. He went to jail.

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From Magnuson
burning question --
(See the burning question)

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From Magnuson
bury the hatchet --
stop arguing or fighting, throw down your arms
When will the English and the French bury the hatchet?

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From Magnuson
bush telegraph --
street gossip, through the grapevine
Arne gets the news through the bush telegraph. People tell him.

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From Magnuson
bushed --
very tired, worn out
After caring for five kids all day, Mom's bushed. She's exhausted.

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From Magnuson
bushwhack --
stop you and rob you, jump, mugged
When he stopped to camp by the stream, two guys bushwhacked him - stole his money and horse.

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From Magnuson
business as usual --
everything is normal, nothing has changed
The morning after the holdup, it was business as usual at the bank.

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From Magnuson
bust my butt -- butter fingers Internet Link bust my butt

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From Magnuson
bust my butt --
work very hard, work my fingers to the bone
She busts her butt to earn a good wage, and he spends it.

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From Magnuson
bust out --
escape, get away, break out
Hey, man. I can bust out of here if you have a rope.

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From Magnuson
busted --
charged by the police, arrested
Shane got busted for trafficking. He sold cocaine to some kids.

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From Magnuson
busy as a beaver --
(See as busy as a beaver)

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From Magnuson
but good --
completely, thoroughly, and how
If somebody hurts her, she'll get revenge, but good!

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From Magnuson
butt --
buttocks, backside, bum
If you tell anybody that I like her, I'll kick your butt.

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From Magnuson
butt in --
intrude, interrupt
When a salesman butts in, tell him to butt out.

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From Magnuson
butt of the joke --
(See the butt of the joke)

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From Magnuson
butt out --
go away, beat it, get lost
We asked him to butt out so we could have a private talk.

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From Magnuson
butter fingers --
unable to catch or hold, cement hands
When Anna dropped the ball, Shelly said, "Butter fingers!"

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From Magnuson
butter up -- buy time Internet Link butter up

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butter up -- be nice to, suck up to
Butter him up before you ask to borrow his car.

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From Magnuson
butter wouldn't melt in his mouth --
he is very calm and clear, he has an air of innocence, cool, smooth talker
When he's talking to voters, butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.

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From Magnuson
button your lip --
do not tell anyone, on the QT
Button your lip about the speeding ticket. Don't tell Dad.

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From Magnuson
buttonhole you --
stop you and talk to you, corner you and bore you
At the meeting, Al buttonholed me and asked me to vote Reform.

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From Magnuson
buy a round --
buy a drink for everyone at the table, this one is on me
When Gina was born, I bought a round for the team. Every player had a drink to honor our baby.

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From Magnuson
buy into --
believe and support, agree to support, come onside
He will buy into our plan if the money goes to needy children.

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From Magnuson
buy out --
buy a business and all the inventory
We knew his business was in debt, so we offered to buy him out.

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From Magnuson
buy that --
believe that, eat that
He says he went to see his friends at the park. I can buy that.

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From Magnuson
buy the farm --
die, kick the bucket, pass away
"Where's Henry?" "Oh, he bought the farm years ago - died of cancer, eh."

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From Magnuson
buy time --
request time to plan, ask for extra time
If we can just buy a little time, maybe the price will go down.

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From Magnuson
buy up -- by and large Internet link buy up

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buy up -- buy all of a product or all the shares in a company
At closing time, Abe comes in and buys up the last shares.

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From Magnuson
buyer's market --
a time when prices are low, soft market
The price of gold is low. It's a buyer's market in precious metals.

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From Magnuson
buzz-kill --
a person who stops the fun, party-pooper
You buzz-kill! Don't talk about air disasters when I'm flying to Rome.

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From Magnuson
buzz off --
go away, beat it, get lost
Next time he asks to borrow something, tell him to buzz off.

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From Magnuson
buzzed --
slightly intoxicated, tipsy
Jane got buzzed on fermented coconut juice. She was happy!

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From Magnuson
buzzword --
new word or expression, the latest jargon, catch phrase
Internet, zero tolerance - these were buzzwords of the 1990s.

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From Magnuson
by a country mile --
by a long distance, by a wide margin
Black Beauty won the race by a country mile. She was far ahead.

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From Magnuson
by a long shot --
(See not by a long shot)

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From Magnuson
by all means --
yes, please do it
By all means, come to the Learning Skills Centre.

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From Magnuson
by and large --
mostly, mainly, most of the time
By and large, chocolate is the favorite flavor.

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From Magnuson
by any means -- by its very nature Internet Link by any means

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by any means -- any way or method, by doing any job
He survived by any means when he first came to Canada.

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From Magnuson
by any stretch... --
(See not by any stretch of the imagination)

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From Magnuson
by cracky --
you listen to what I say, this is the truth, by gosh
We're lost and we have no water!

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From Magnuson
by dint of --
as a result of, because of
By dint of her efforts alone, this family is happy and healthy.

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From Magnuson
by golly --
I am surprised, impressed; by gosh
By golly! She did it. She made a cherry pie!

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From Magnuson
by gosh --
what an experience, this is interesting, by golly
Well, by gosh! This is my first look at Niagara Falls!

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From Magnuson
by guess or by gosh --
any way that is possible, by chance
How did I learn to speak French? By guess or by gosh, that's how.

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From Magnuson
by heart --
memorized every word, down pat
Eva knew the speech by heart. She didn't look at her notes.

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From Magnuson
by hook or by crook --
any way that is possible, by any means
He'll get that car - by hook or by crook! He'll get it somehow.

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From Magnuson
by its very nature --
because of its natural habits, because it is that way
A dog, by its very nature, is dependent on humans.

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From Magnuson
by jove -- by word of mouth Internet Link by jove

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by jove -- it happened, it is amazing
By jove! We reached our goal. We sold 15,000 tickets!

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From Magnuson
by leaps and bounds --
by large amounts, by a lot
The population of Calgary has grown by leaps and bounds.

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From Magnuson
by no means --
not in any way, not by any stretch...
By no means is a car a good investment. It will depreciate.

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From Magnuson
by the by --
(See by the way)

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From Magnuson
by the same token --
judging by the same rule, to be fair to both sides
By the same token, he should help with the housework.

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From Magnuson
by the seat of your pants --
with little money, without planning, a lick and a promise
You can't operate a business by the seat of your pants.

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From Magnuson
by the short hairs --
(See got you by the short hairs)

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From Magnuson
by the skin of their teeth --
by a little, barely
He won the election by one vote, by the skin of his teeth.

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From Magnuson
by the way --
in addition to what I was saying, incidentally
By the way, I heard that Ed is resigning.

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From Magnuson
by word of mouth --
by one person speaking to another, person to person, through the grapevine
News of his birth traveled by word of mouth. Soon everyone knew that Mary had a baby boy.

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From Magnuson
Idioms: bye -- bye for now Internet link bye

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From Magnuson
bye --
goodbye
Bye, Mom. I love you.

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From Magnuson
bye for now --
goodbye but I will see you soon
Bye for now. See you tonight at choir practice.

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End of TIL page