Phrasal-Adjectives – Letter B (With Prepositions)

–  Prepositional Adjectival Phrases – Letter B  –


  • A (Real) Blast From The Past – This is an Adjectival, MetaphoricalIdiomatic 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.)

  • (to be) Backed Up – This is an idiomatic adjectival phrase which is used to mean the same thing as the adjectives “clogged” and “plugged”.  This phrase is used to describe a toilet, a drain, or any kind of plumbing (including “human” plumbing.)  When a toilet does not flush because too much “stuff” went into it, or a drain in a sink, tub, or shower, no longer drains the water, (or when a human has constipation) we say that it, (or he/she) is *Backed Up*.  –  (See Also:  (to be) “Blocked Up”)

  • (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) Blocked Up – This is an idiomatic adjectival phrase which is synonymous with the adjectives “Clogged”  and “Plugged”.  This phrase probably comes from the literal description of when builders would fill in a door or passage-way with blocks to that one could pass through it again.  This phrase can be used idiomatically to describe anything which has some sort of “blockage” (which is also an idiomatic term which probably came from the same source.)  –  (See Also:  (to be) “Backed Up”)

  • (a) Blow-By-Blow (report/description/commentary) – This is an idiomatic adjectival phrase which probably came from the days before television, when boxing matches where first being reported on, live, on the radio.  As listening to the radio meant that the person had to imagine what the commentator was saying (and boxing matches can often be very fast-paced) it was necessary (in order to report effectively and make it exciting) that the commentator would quickly report everything that was happening…  Compare:  “The boxers have entered the ring.  They are punching each other.  It seems that the first boxer is better, because he has just won the match.”  -Or-  “And the two face-off, they’re trading it back-and-forth, but Louie gets the upper-hand, he’s got George pinned against the rope, he gives him a right, a left, then another right, and then and upper-cut, but OH MY GOSH!!! Louie is coming back, he gives him a right jab, and then another, But George throws an upper-cut, HE MISSES!!! And Louie is back again giving him the pounding of his life, George is staggering, AND HE’S DOWN, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, he’s getting up,  OH!!!! but he falls back down.  THAT’S IT FOLKS, HE’S OUT COLD.  LOUIE is the WINNER!!!!

  • (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 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 Board (With Something) – This is an idiomatic and prepositional Adjectival Phrase which is used to mean that someone is suportive of; in agreement with; and/or committed to some “thing” (project/idea/etc.)

  • (to be) On The Back Burner – This is a phrase which means that something which was previously of greater importance is now, not forgotten or abandoned, but is now of much less priority.  The phrase comes from cooking (on a stove that has four burners.)  When cooking some things, there is a point which that item does not require such focused attention and can be moved to *the back burner* to finish cooking while attention is placed on another item that requires more immediate attention.”

  • (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 be) On The Other Side Of The Block – This is a prepositional adjectival phrase which is used to describe the location of something (usually a building, business, etc.)  A typical city block is a square shape.  So if someone is standing on the western side of the block and the shop that they are looking for is on the Eastern side of the block, then that shop is *on the other side of the block*.


–  ( Phrasal-AdjectivesLetter B )  –



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