Idioms – Letter B

–  Idioms – Letter B  –


  • A (Real) Blast From The Past – This is an Adjectival, Metaphorical, Idiomatic and Prepositional Phrasal-Noun which is used to describe something which was a part of, or represents a memory (fond or otherwise) from the past.  This phrase is used when the thing which is it describing has not been thought about for a very long time, has probably been forgotten, and the arrival of which came as a big surprise.

“Seeing my some of my old friends from Grateful Dead Tour was a real blast from the past.  I completely forgot about the week that we travelled together through the redwood forests of Northern California…  (but understandably-so).” 😉

(Just Notice that the word “Real” is often used with this phrase, but is not necessary.)

  • (one’s) Batteries Are Dead – This is an Idiomatic Adjectival Phrase that, used figuratively, means that one no longer has any energy; that he or she is very tired – either physically or mentally…

“I had such a hard day, my batteries are completely dead!”  –  (Notice also that this phrase is separable  –  See Also:  “To Recharge One’s Batteries”)

  • (to be) Beat Up – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Adjectival Phrase which is used to describe someone’s or something’s condition.  When two people get into a physical fight with the intent of actually hurting each other, usually the loser is “beat up”…  So to describe someone or something as “beat up” means that he, she, or it is in a bad condition and is in need of repair.  –  (See Also:  Beat Up” [phrasal verb])  –  Or…   Read Full Post Here

  • (to be) Beyond (one’s) Grasp – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Adjectival Phrase that can be used either literally (beyond the point of being physically able to “grasp” [grab hold of] something) or Idiomatically, not able to comprehend, achieve, attain…

The simple idea of letting people decide for themselves was very difficult and way beyond her grasp.” – [mental capability]

“Without having wealthy parents – being able to go to a good University, was way “beyond his grasp”.” – [physical (financial) ability]

  • (to be) Beyond (one’s) Wildest Dreams – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Adjectival Phrase which expresses that the outcome of a certain situation far exceeds the expectations of that situation.  It implies that the outcome came or has come as a huge surprise because of how wonderful it was or is to the person or people experiencing it…

“I knew that seeing Pearl Jam live in concert in 1992 was going to be awesome, but I didn’t know that it was going to be such a life-changing moment.  It was beyond my wildest dreams.”

  • (to be) Born With A Silver Spoon In (one’s) Mouth – This is an IdiomaticPrepositional & Adjectival Phrasal Verb which is used to express that a person was born into a family and a life of wealth and privilege and has probably never had to work or experience any hardship in his or her life.  It is usually said as a derogatory remark against that person out of jealousy and resentment…

“Most people would agree that Gwyneth Paltrow was born with a silver spoon in her mouth, and that is why people resent almost all of the ridiculous things that she says to the media.”

  • (to) Have Brass Balls – This is an Idiomatic Phrasal-Adjective which is used to mean that someone is gutsy, arrogant, cocky and basically stupid.  People who are all of those things usually and mistakenly think that to have brass balls means that they are manly and brave.  This is because they are not afraid to do stupid things, but they’re wrong…  (because they’re stupid.)  Ultimately, it’s not that other people are afraid to do these stupid things – it’s just that they are smart enough to know that, to do so would be…  well…  stupid. 😀

  • Build The House From The Ground Up” – This Idiomatic Aphorism can also be classified as a Saying, and can be turned into an Interjection and a Phrasal Verb – and is used to express the advice that:  When one is involved in some process or working on some project, that he or she needs to do things in the proper order, and start with the basic (referring to the “base” or foundation) necessities before doing other things which (though they may be more interesting) can only be beneficial after the foundational elements are firmly in place.  – Read the Full Post Here –  (See Also:  “Put The Horse In Front Of The Cart”)

  • Business As Usual” – This is an Idiomatic Adjectival Phrasal-Noun that can be used in a lot of different ways, but it is usually used to describe how “bad” things seem to keep happening over and over again (usually in business and politics.)

“The president was practically worshiped for his “prophecy” of “Change that People Can Believe In…”, but as we can all see, it’s just business as usual.”

  • “Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew” – This Idiomatic Aphorism can also be classified as an Interjection, a Proverb, and a Saying – and can be turned into a Phrasal Verb which implies that…  There is only a certain amount that one person can “chew”, and if one tries to “bite off” more than he or she can “chew”, he or she will end up in a difficult situation and/or will end up wasting (whatever it is he or she is chewing)Idiomatically, it is used to give the advice that:

“One should not accept or take on more than he or she has the capacity and ability to handle at any given moment in time, or in any specific situation”…

If this advice is not heeded, the outcome may not be terrible, but it certainly will not be optimal.  –   Read the Full Post Here

  • (to) Hit/Punch/Push All The Right Buttons – This is an Idiomatic Adjectival Verb Phrase.  Though “Hits”, “Punches” and “Pushes” are all verbs, this is not describing an action but rather is using an action to describe a thing.  In computers, and video games (or even when typing a sentence like this) it is necessary to “Hit”, “Punch” or “Push”… “the right buttons”, in the correct order in order to achieve the desired state…  Therefore, to say that something “hits”/”punches”/”pushes”… “all the right buttons” means that the thing one is describing is exactly what is needed for a particular situation.  –  (See Also:  (something) Ticks All The Boxes)

  • (to be) Mind-Boggling – This is an Idiomatic Adjectival Phrase which is used to describe something (usually something seen or heard) that is so amazing or surprising (either for “good” or “bad”) that is causes one to be so confused that he or she is not able to formulate his or her thoughts for a moment…

“The amount of money that Mark Zuckerberg has made from a free website is just mind-boggling!”

  • (to be) Off The Beaten Path – This Idiomatic Prepositional-Phrase can be either an Adverbial Phrase (to talk about how someone is doing something) or an Adjectival Phrase to describe some thing or process as being a bit different, or out of the ordinary.  This phrase comes from the days when we had more “paths” (or “trails”) than roads.  If the “path” is walked by many people, it will be “beaten” down.  If not it is probably not commonly used.  Therefore – Idiomatically – it is used to say that the place where one “is”, or the way that someone is doing something is not the common way…

“When we travel, we don’t like to be around a lot of other tourists.  We like to get off the beaten path and explore.  This is also how we run our company.  We try to be fresh and innovative and not do things just because that is how everyone else does it.  You could say that we like to get off the beaten path, whenever we do anything.”

  • (to be) On The Ball – This is an Idiomatic and Prepositional Adjectival Phrase which is used to describe when a person is performing at a very high level of skill, efficiency and awareness – often better than expected or anticipated…

“Giuseppe is really on the ball today!  Not only did he manage to finish the project we gave him only three days ago – and do-so better than we had hoped for – but he also managed to find out what the problem was with the internal computer system, AND now he’s installing an application that will save the company over $3000 annually on the cost of IT services!”

  • (to) Tick All The Boxes –This is an Idiomatic Adjectival Verb Phrase.  Though the word “tick” is a verb, this is not describing an action.  Instead it is using the idea of an action to describe the thing.  “Ticking Boxes” is something that is done in a check-list to ensure that something meets all requirements or is up to specification…  So to say that something “Ticks All The Boxes” means that whatever is being described has all of the things necessary to fulfill certain requirements.  –  (See Also: “(to) Hit/Punch/Push All the Right Buttons“)

  • “We’ll Cross That Bridge When We Come To It” This Idiomatic Aphorism is Prepositional and can also be classified as an Interjection, a Proverb, and a Saying, which is used when someone is discussing or worrying about something (situation/condition/etc.) for-which nothing can be done at the moment (just like, one can not “cross a bridge” until he or she has first gotten there.)  And so, talking or worrying about that “something” in the present, is in-no-way beneficial – and, ultimately, is a complete waste of energy…

“So many people spend so much energy worrying about what we will do when the aliens finally invade, but obviously there is nothing we can do about it now…  We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.”  –   Read the Full Post Here

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– ( IdiomsLetter B ) –



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