Letter B – Glossary of English Slang

–  Glossary of English Slang  –


(a) Ball-Park (estimate/figure) – This is a phrasal adjective which comes from the world of baseball.  The “Ball Park” is the area that the players play in.  Usually used with the words “estimate” or “figure”, this phrase means:  An estimate/figure that is very rough and understood to be not exact with the possibility of being pretty far of.  It is used before there is enough information to formulate a more exact figure…  It is used because sometimes a player hits the ball, and it doesn’t go where he would want it to, but it’s still “in the *ball park*” so it’s not completely bad.  The same thing sometimes happens in business.

(to be) Beat Up – 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])

Big Brother – This is a term that was first used in the book “1984 by George Orwell”.  In the book, Big Brother was a character, but throughout the years, the term has evolved to mean the government and the secret (or not so secret) organizations that monitor everything that the general population does on a day-to-day basis.  The perfect example of this is what was done in the United States after the 9/11 “attacks”, when the government passed the Patriot Act:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patriot_Act  and much earlier with the formation of the NSA:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Security_Agency

(a) Block-Buster – (often spelled “blockbuster”) This Slang Term is a Phrasal-Noun which comes from the movie industry to describe a movie which is very very successful.  The term probably came from the situation of when so many people are so excited to see a movie that they will literally be lined up down the block in front of the movie theater (which does not happen anymore due to the way that movie theaters are constructed now.)  Now this phrase can be used to describe any product which is very successful as soon as it is released, but is mostly used for movies.

Brass Balls – This is a slang phrasal-noun, which is used to refer to someone who is “gutsy“, arrogant, “cocky” and basically stupid.  People who are all of those things mistakenly think that to have “brass balls” means that they are “manly” and brave, 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, they’re just smart enough to know that, to do so would be…  well…  stupid. 😀

(to) Bomb This is a slang-term which comes from the world of show-business and is used to say that something (usually a performance / movie / album / etc.) was either terribly performed or just terribly un-successful.

“Even though she probably thought that she had a great performance – as far a actual talent is concerned – Miley Cyrus absolutely bombed in her monumental performance where she showed the world that she has chosen to become a trashy whore.

(a) Bottom-Feeder  Besides being a term to describe the type of fish and aquatic creatures (catfish, clams, mussels, shrimp, etc.) who “feed” off of the “bottom” of the lake, sea, ocean, etc. (on the waste particles of other creatures – which is why they are considered to be “dirty”), this is also a slang term for lawyers.  Specifically the ones who take or create “questionable” or “dishonest” legal cases.  Such as accident cases wherein the pain and suffering of the “victim” is greatly exaggerated.

(a) “Something” Buff To describe someone as a “buff” of something (eg. “Literature-Buff”, “Movie-Buff”) just means that they are very knowledgeable about that thing, and are very interested or passionate about it.  This term is most commonly used with the word “movie”…  “John is a real movie-buff!  He knows everything there is to know about any movie you ask him about.”

(to) Bug (someone) – As a bug flying around your head is really annoying and bothersome – this phrasal verb is used to mean:  To annoy someone…  “It really bugs me when you keep asking me ‘why?’ over and over again.  Go play outside!”

Business Transparency – This term is a common business catch-phrase used to describe a way of practicing business, such that all business practices and intentions are disclosed openly to the public.  This is done with the motivation to “prove” the morality and legality of the business’ practice, but is often more of a focus for company’s whose practices actually are (or were) NOT moral or legal.  “After the Enron scandal, business transparency has become more and more important to not only the public, but also to the people running the companies.”

(one’s) First (Big) Break – This is an idiomatic phrasal noun which describes the situation or the thing that presents a person with his or her opportunity for success (usually assured.)…  It is fabled that the legendary Blues musician, Robert Johnson – Who has inspired such other legendary greats as Led Zeppelin and Eric Clapton – got his first big break, when he met the devil at “The Cross-roads” and sold his soul.  It is not clear whether he sold his soul for musical talent or for fame, but it is certainly true that he received both in addition to enormous amounts of respect.”  –  (This phrase almost always contains the adjective “big”.)

(to be) MindBoggling – See: Slang – Letter “M”, for “Mind”

Rock-Bottom – This is a slang phrasal noun which is used to mean:  The very lowest point, whether literal of figurative.  This is usually used to talk about the most difficult point in a person’s life…  “People in Alcoholics Anonymous say that a person has to hit *rock-bottom* before he or she is able to make really positive and permanent change in his or her life.”

–  ( English Slang – Letter B )  –

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