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Cliches starting with B

ClicheMeaning
babe in the woodsA babe in the woods is a way of saying that someone is na
back against the wallBack against the wall, which is usually quoted as with their back against the wall means to be in a serious situation with very few possibilities of action. Having your back against the wall means that you are stuck in a difficult situation and you dont have man ways in which to react to it. If you have your back against the wall, you only have one way to go which is forward. Sometimes this direction is difficult, thus the meaning behind the saying.
back in a secBack in a sec is a modern slang term for coming back soon. When someone says they will be back in a sec, they are using sec as an abbreviation for second. In other words, they will be back very quickly, not literally in a second. It is also sometimes used as an exaggerated version of explaining how quickly they will be gone and is very commonly used in todays language.
back in the saddleBack in the saddle is a cliche term used when saying you are now going to be doing something you havent done in a while, but used to do quite often. Being back in the saddle can be in reference to many different things such as studying in college, trying to reach a goal, being involved in various activities or organizations, or anything else someone was once involved in, stopped, and wants to get back in to.
back to square oneBack to square one is a cliche idiom term which is referencing going back to the beginning or starting again. This cliche is used for many different situations in which a person attempted to do something but it did not work out as planned, therefore they must start again from the beginning and do it again. Square one indicated they are starting at one, at the beginning.
back to the drawing boardBack to the drawing board is a way of saying you are starting again but with a new plan or a new design. Literally speaking, the term is talking about going to the drawing board for a new design such as possibly in architecture for a certain type of building. When speaking figuratively, the saying is talking about anything where you attempted something, but failed and must go back and try again.
bad to the boneBad to the bone is a cliche that has been around for a few decades and was used most often in the 1980s and 1990s. Bad to the bone means to be completely and utterly bad and evil or pure evil. By saying you are bad to the bone; you are saying right down to the bare bone, this person is bad. In other words, they are bad through and through and completely pure evil.
badge of honorA badge of honor is a medal or token signifying an awarded honor or distinction, which is sometimes used in this very literal sense. In the figurative sense, a badge of honor can be any type of award or honor that has been issued to someone for a job well done. For instance, risking your life to save someone elses and having a scar left behind is your badge of honor.
bags all packed and ready to goBags all packed and ready to go is a fairly literal cliche that means you are ready to go somewhere. If you think of it literally, it is a way someone explains their bags (luggage) is packed and they are ready to leave for their trip. It can also be used figuratively when saying they are ready and prepared for any type of situation.
balls to the wallHaving your balls to the wall means to push the limit, go all out and go full speed towards something. Most people will assume this colorful phrase is in reference to the testicles, but in actuality it is speaking about fighter planes whose balls are the knobs on the top of the planes throttle control. To push it forward, it means to apply full throttle and go at full speed.
banging your head against a brick wallBanging your head against the wall is not a literal term; rather it is used figuratively to explain how frustrated you are that you are wasting your time to accomplish something that is hopeless. It is also used in other situations where you feel agitated, frustrated or like everything you are attempting to do is pointless because it wont get you anywhere.
baptism by fireBaptism by fire, also known as baptism of fire, is an ancient phrase which is a reference to a soldiers first experience under fire in battle, and originated in 1822 as a translation of the French phrase bapteme du feu. Baptism by fire is often used in modern language when describing a soldier or persons first time under attack.
bare bonesBare Bones means to have the very bare elements of something or the bare essentials. When you are bare bones, you have nothing but your bones which is how this cliche originated. In modern language, it is often used when describing how you are not prepared for extravagant things; rather you only have the bare essentials and necessities available to you. Bare bones is used in a variety of different situations when describing you only have the bare essentials with you whether literally or figuratively.
bark is worse than the biteBark is worse than their bite is a way of saying that someone who gets angry and shouts doesnt necessarily take action. It is often used for people who vocalize their feelings of anger and frustration much like a dogs bark, but who will not get physical when they are angry, as a dog would when he bites out of anger. This type of person often does not take action, but vocally sounds very angry.
barking up the wrong treeWhen someone says you are barking up the wrong tree they are saying that you are making a mistake or a false assumption. This can be in talking to someone based on an assumption that may be false, or making a mistake in what you are trying to achieve. Barking up the wrong tree is a cliche commonly used when someone has been attempting something and you have prior knowledge it will not be successful.
bat out of hellBat out of hell is a cliche that is used when someone is moving extremely quickly without much thought about the consequences, or moving quickly out of panic. While a bat out of hell is a phrase for many different situations, it is most commonly said to someone who always drives very fast with little worry about the consequences of their speed or who constantly drives so quickly they seem panicked.
bat the idea aroundBat the idea around or batting the idea around is a cliche used when discussing something back and forth. It is most commonly used in relation to a business meeting or board meeting in which various ideas are thrown around between several different individuals. When there is an idea to be discussed in various ways, back and forth from different individuals, they are batting the idea around.
bats in the belfryBats in the belfry is an older idiom that is used to describe someone who is crazy, unusual, eccentric or simply different than other people. In modern day language it is not a common cliche, but in the past decades it was often used to describe a person who seemed slightly different than everyone else. As with a bat that is in a belfry, this person acts slightly odd or crazy and very eccentric.
batten down the hatchesBatten down the hatches is a cliche used to describe when you are preparing for trouble or an upcoming disaster. It can be used literally in preparing for an upcoming storm, or figuratively in reference to any type of troublesome situation you are preparing for. It dates back to when battens served to confine the edges of tarpaulins close down to the sides of hatches in order to prepare for troublesome storms.
battle royalBattle royal is an idiom which traditionally refers to a battle or fight between three or more people which is fought until there is just one fighter standing. Most recently, battle royal is a cliche used more generally as a way to refer to a fight between large numbers of people who are not organized into any type of faction. Battle royal is a cliche often used in action-style combat movies and television shows.
be it ever so humble, theres no place like homeBe it ever so humble, theres no place like home is a cliche which is referring to the fact that no matter how simple or humble a home is, it is still home. The phrase is used for a home (whether house, condo or apartment) is not extravagant or elegant with fine things, but more simple with inexpensive furnishings and that no matter how simple or poor it seems, it is still meaningful as being a home.
be there or be squareBe there or be square is a cliche referring to a party or special occasion or event in which anyone who has a certain type of social status or popularity will be at this special function. A square is the slang term for someone who is uncool, unpopular or unhip, otherwise a more simple type of person. So when speaking of be there or be square, if the person does not go to this function, they are considered to be uncool.
beat around the bushBeat around the bush is a cliche used when referring to avoiding coming to a certain point or answer. It is a way of describing someone putting off the inevitable, procrastinating or making a short story into a very long and drawn out one. It is often used when telling someone to stop wasting time with frivolous information and just get to the point of the story or whatever it is they are trying to say.
beat the bushesBeat the bushes is an idiom not as commonly used today as it was several decades ago. When someone says they are beating the bushes, it means to be looking very hard to achieve something by looking everywhere for someone or something. The term beat the bushes originates from looking for something in a forest type area where they beat the bushes as a way to look in every place possible for someone or something.
beating a dead horseBeating a dead horse is a common cliche which is used to explain that someone is bringing up a situation over and over again which is already over. It is often used in conversation when an argument has been solved or a compromise has been reached, yet the person continues to bring it up, thus beating the dead horse. The meaning of this cliche is that once something is already dead, you dont need to continue to beat it.
beats meBeats me, often referred to as it beats me means that someone does not know the answer to a question they were just asked, they are stumped by a situation or question, or they just cannot figure it out. Being beat, otherwise being won over (rather than beat as in abused) is often used when asked a question about how something works or looking for an answer that the person is confused about.
beauty is in the eye of the beholderBeauty is in the eye of the beholder is a cliche often used when referring to an individuals beauty and how others perceive them. This phrases meaning is that different people will have different ideals in what they think is beautiful which range from hair and eye color, skin color, face shape, and many other physical traits which one person will think is beautiful, while another person will not.
beauty is only skin deepBeauty is only skin deep is the cliche that is referring to the concept of physical beauty being superficial. The meaning behind this phrase is that beauty, in reference to physical beauty, is only physical and only skin deep. There is many other types of beauty on the inside which people do not pay so much attention to, making physical beauty very superficial and not as important as inner beauty.
bee in her bonnetBee in her bonnet is an old cliche which is referring to being preoccupied or obsessed with an idea. If you think of it literally, a bee in someones bonnet would make them obsessed with getting the bee out of their bonnet, where they are not able to do or think about anything else. Figuratively, this phrase is used when someone is so preoccupied with one thing, they cant concentrate on anything else.
been hit with an ugly stickBeen hit with an ugly stick is an insulting type of cliche which is meaning that someone is unattractive. It is a colorful phrase which has been used as a way to describe how ugly or unattractive somebody is by saying they were hit with an ugly stick. It has been used quite commonly in the past few decades, but is not used as often nowadays.
been there, done thatBeen there, done that is a cliche used when referring to something being discussed that the person has already experienced. Not only are they saying they have been through that before (as in they have been there and done that before) the saying is also referring to the fact that the topic is boring to them and they are complacent about what is being discussed because they have already been through it.
beggars cant be choosersBeggars cant be choosers is a cliche often used to refer to the fact that when you receive something you have been asking for, you should not complain about what you are given. It is a phrase often used when someone begs for something over and over again, quite vocally and publicly, but then when they receive what they begged for, it is not what they imagined it to be or not as much as they wanted (such as monetary value) and then complain about it.
behind the eight ballBehind the eight ball is an idiom to describe being in a very difficult position in which it is nearly impossible to escape. The phrase refers to the game of pool in which if your ball is behind the eight ball, you will most certainly lose as if you hit the ball, and it in turn hits the eight ball, you lose the game. It is a way to describe how difficult of a position you are in; one of which does not have many positive outcomes.
bent out of shapeTo be bent out of shape is a figurative way of saying someone is angry or insulted. It is often used when someone is so angry or agitated that they are exaggerating how insulted they are by what someone has said or done to them. If you think of something bending out of shape in the literal sense, it would be very difficult and cause anger which is where the root of the phrase comes from.
best foot forwardBest foot forward is a cliche term in which you are embarking on a journey or an important task with purpose and gusto. It is often used in a sentence such as Just put your best foot forward in which refers to giving advice to someone that when they want to complete an important task or goal, they should start it off with optimism, gusto or complete the task with purpose.
bet your bottom dollarBet your bottom dollar is a phrase which is speaking of being very sure of the outcome. In the literal sense, betting your bottom dollar means to bet your last coin. If you think of it figuratively, it means that the outcome is practically guaranteed as you would not bet your bottom dollar or the rest of your money unless it was a sure thing. When someone uses this phrase, they mean you can be sure what they say is fact.
better halfBetter half is a cliche often used when describing someones spouse. Although talking about someones better half is most commonly used and traditionally used when referring to ones spouse, in modern day language it is also used when referring to anyone they are very close to. Their better half can be a girlfriend or boyfriend, partner, best friend, or even a sibling they are close to. However, it still remains that a persons better half is their spouse or significant other.
better late than neverBetter late than never is a cliche which is describing that you should do something even if you are late at getting it done. The meaning of this phrase is that completing something late, although being late is not preferred, is much better than not doing it at all. The phrase is often used when someone is saying they do not want to do something because they are at an old age (such as going to college) when the response would be that it is better to do it late than not at all.
better safe than sorryBetter safe than sorry is a cliche which is warning someone that they should be extremely cautious in order to avoid regretting the consequence. Better safe than sorry is often used as a warning when someone is about to attempt something dangerous, and you want to tell them to proceed with caution. It is a way of saying it is better to be safe just in case, than to not be safe and regret something happening later.
better than everBetter than ever is a cliche which is used when referring to something that has happened which is the best so far, or better than anything of its kind that has happened before. This phrase can be used in reference to anything such as an item, a person, a conversation or anything which is seen as being better than ever. The phrase is most commonly used when describing ones mood or the state of their life being the best ever.
Better the devil you know than the devil you dont.Better the devil you know than the devil you dont is an idiom when is referring to a choice you have to make which is difficult because both choices are unpleasant. The meaning of the phrase is that it is better to choose the choice which is more familiar to you than one that isnt, even in the case when both choices are very unpleasant. The unfamiliar choice is more likely to turn out worse than the familiar one.
betting the farmBetting the farm is a cliche used when describing something you think you will most definitely bring you success. By using the term betting the farm they are talking about spending nearly all of their money and assets on something because they are so sure of it and can nearly guarantee the success, that they are willing to take this big of a risk. It is often used in reference to taking a big risk which is worth it due to the high chance of success.
between a rock and a hard placeBetween a rock and a hard place is a cliche which is referring to being in a difficult situation with almost no way to get out of it. Between a rock and a hard place literally means to be stuck between two places with very little chance of getting out. Figuratively, this is used in the same manner in which your options in order to get out of this difficult situation, are both unpleasant and may be unsuccessful.
between the devil and the deep blue seaBetween the devil and the deep blue sea is an idiom which is referring to dilemma in which you must choose between two undesirable and unpleasant situations. This cliche is similar to the cliche between a rock and a hard place but is simply another way to phrase it, though more uncommon than a rock and a hard place. It means to be stuck in a situation which unpleasant ways to get out of it.
beyond the paleBeyond the pale is a cliche used when describing something that is unacceptable and something outside the agreed standards of decency. The term pale is often used as something that is good, na
big as a houseBig as a house is an idiom used for describing something or someone t hat is very large, as houses tend to be things that are very big. Big as a house is often used when exaggerating how large someone is, such as an overweight person. It is also used in many other connotations when trying to describe just how large something is, when adjectives for how large something is, cannot describe the severity of the size.
big as lifeBig as life is a cliche often used when describing that someone or something has appeared dramatically or in a surprising way. It is also used as someone who is as big as life, such as someone who has a large presence in front of other people, whether due to being eccentric, extravagant or attention-getting in some other way. Things that are big as life are typically things which arrive dramatically.
big brother is watchingBig brother is watching is a cliche that is commonly used to describe a government or organization that tries to control each part of a persons life. Big brother is watching began as a campaign against the invasion of privacy from the government in terms of Internet privacy and related types of privacy, and is now a cliche for anything that takes away a persons right to have a private life and keep details hidden.
big fish in a small pondBig fish in a small pond is a cliche which refers to people whoa re very important but only within a small circle of influence. Being a big fish in a small pond means to be the leader, a head of a group, or have president and powerful status, yet only in a very small circle of friends, group of people, or small number of people who are influenced by your power.
big man on campusBig man on campus is a cliche which has both literal and figurative meanings and uses. Literally, big man on campus is referring to an important male (or female figuratively) on a college campus as someone who is powerful or popular and has influence on others. Figuratively, the cliche is used for anyone who has this kind of power or influence in a place or situation such as in the workplace. The phrase is often used in a derogative or sarcastic manner.
birds of a feather flock togetherBirds of a feather flock together is an idiom used to describe that people with similar opinions and taste will congregate in groups. The phrase is most commonly used to describe people who all believe in the same thing or have common interests and how they will flock together, otherwise stay close to each other in groups or cliques as this is how they feel most comfortable and get along best together.
bite off more than you can chewTo bite off more than you can chew means to take on more responsibilities than you can handle. The cliche is often used in reference to people who to agree a variety of tasks or take on a large number of responsibilities and who honestly think they can handle, but then it turns out they took on too much and are unable to be successful in all of these tasks. It is often a warning to people who agree to do more than they can realistically handle.
bite the bulletBite the bullet is a cliche used when referring to someone accepting the inevitable, no matter how difficult the situation is. Biting the bullet is most commonly used when someone knows that the result of the upcoming action will be painful, negative or include a hardship but they must do it anyway because the resulting pain is inevitable.
bite the dustBite the dust is the cliche used when talking about someone who has fallen to the ground, is wounded or most commonly, is dead. When speaking of biting the dust, you can literally picture someone laying down on the ground biting the dust, or dirt in this case, which is where this cliche originated. To bite the bust, typically means someone who has died though it can also be used for someone who has simply fallen to the ground.
bite your tongueTo bite your tongue is a figurative way of saying not to say anything out loud, usually in reference to not saying something offensive, insulting, or hurtful to someone else. When you are asked to bite your tongue, that person is asking you to keep your opinions to yourself, when you are thinking of something negative or hurtful to say to someone about a specific situation; biting your tongue means to be quiet and keep these thoughts to yourself.
black as coalBlack as coal is a cliche used when describing that something is very dark or black. Rather than simply saying something dark or black, saying something is black as coal, is a way to explain the severity of how black or dark something is. This is in reference to the fact that coal is very dark and black; typically the blackest of black, therefore when someone says something is black as coal, they mean as black as possible.
blaze a new trailTo blaze a new trail means to do something in which nobody has ever done before. This is a cliche often used when someone is going to do something new never done before and it is something that will be very important for other people. The phrase blaze a new trail can be for any type of situation or goal in which something brand new is done, and can even be partly literal such as exploring a new walking or riding trail for the first time.
bleeding heartA bleeding heart, rather than being literal, is a figurative way to label someone as being sympathetic. A person who is liberal whether in a political or emotional sense, is something who is overly sympathetic to other people and extremely open-minded to other types of people. In politics, a bleeding heart liberal is someone who is open to things others may not be such as gay marriage, abortion and other types of human rights.
blind as a batBlind as a bat is a cliche which refers to the severity of how blind a person is, though it is usually a way of exaggerating someone not able to see well or who has poor sight without their eyeglasses on. This phrase is most commonly used when describing a persons poor eyesight in a specific situation, but can also be a figurative way of explaining the inability to recognize problems or other bad situations.
blood brothersBlood brothers is a cliche used to describe one or two people that vow mutual fidelity and trust to each other through a ceremony of blending each others blood. To be blood brothers, two people typically draw blood by using a sharp object such as a pin, and rub the two injuries together, thus rubbing their blood together and becoming blood brothers. It is a term used for two people whoa re close like friends, but not blood related.
blood is thicker than waterBlood is thicker than water is a cliche used to describe the importance of people who you are blood related to. It is often used in reference to direct relatives having stronger obligations and a stronger importance than people outside of the family. Many times, people use this phrase when in a disagreement about whether to side with the opinion or actions of someone in the family, as opposed to someone who is not in the family.
blood moneyBlood money is money which is gained at the cost of another persons life or livelihood. Blood money can be in reference to many different situations in which a monetary value was gained after someones life was taken from them, or if just their livelihood was. It is also blood money when money is paid by a killer as compensation to the next of kin of a murder victim.
blood on your handsTo have blood on your hands means that you are responsible for somebodys death or guilty of causing somebodys death. The phrase can be viewed as literal, where if your hands were the ones who killed a person, you would have blood on your hands. Figuratively, you can simply be the person responsible or guilty for the ending of someones life, or the end of their livelihood.
blood sweat and tearsBlood, sweat and tears is a cliche which is commonly used when something takes a lot of effort and sacrifice and will be very difficult to complete. This phrase is in reference to an extremely difficult task that is physically exhausting and may literally take sweat, tears and possibly blood to complete. The cliche is used figuratively to describe how difficult a task or job will be to finish.
blow this jointBlow this joint is a saying which is used to leave an area very quickly. It is often spoken by the person who is about to leave a place suddenly and will announce it by saying I am going to blow this joint. The phrase originated in the 1960s and 1970s when it was commonly used as a way to tell people they were about to leave the joint, with the joint typically being a night club or dance club type of place.
blowing/tooting his own hornTooting ones own horn, also called blowing their horn, means to be brag or boast about ones self. This cliche is typically used in reference to telling someone not to toot their own horn as bragging is considered being conceited, or thinking very highly of ones self and is often frowned upon. Tooting or blowing your horn can mean you often brag r boast about your talents, skills or other good qualities.
blue in the faceBlue in the face is a cliche that is typically preceded by specifics about the current topic at hand, is a way to say that the person they are speaking to is not going to listen or acknowledge what they are trying to say. For instance, if someone says something like I can explain it until I am blue in the face they are trying to tell the other person that no matter how much they explain it, it wont matter.
blue mondayBlue Monday is a cliche often used to describe how unpleasant Mondays are for people who are in school or who work Monday to Fridays. Monday is often seen as being sad and depressing, otherwise blue, since it is the end of the weekend and the beginning of the workweek or school week. People often refer to Mondays as blue Mondays as a way to describe how unpleasant Mondays are for them.
blushing brideA blushing bride is a cliche used for new brides, often as a general statement about a bride before, during or after her wedding day. The phrase originated for brides because they were virgins and uncomfortable with sexual intercourse, therefore would blush during their wedding because they knew their guests knew about her wedding night; however in recent years, it has become more of a general term for any bride.
bone of contentionBone of contention is a cliche issued when something continues to be disputed and no compromise or agreement can ever be reached. To have a bone of contention means that there is a topic of disagreement between you and another person or group of people and no agreement is ever achieved. The bone of contention is the topic with which is never agreed upon. This can be a disagreement between 2 people or a larger group.
bored to tearsIf you are bored to tears, it means so you are so bored that it is causing you to be sad, angry or agitated and thus bringing you to tears. Being bored to tears can also mean to be a combination between being bored and tired, which will lead you to tears. Bored to tears is a cliche often used a way to describe the severity of how bored you are, by exaggerating it and insisting you are coming to tears (crying) over how bored you are.
born and raisedBorn and raised in reference to a location or place, means that you were born and nurtured through childhood in this place. When someone says they were born and raised in a place, such as I was born and raised in Salt Lake City this person is saying they were not only born in Salt Lake City, but their family lived in this city and they were thus raised throughout their childhood and possibly teenage years in the same city.
born with a silver spoon in your mouthBorn with a silver spoon in your mouth is a cliche which refers to someone who has had many opportunities growing up they didnt earn through hard work, as these opportunities were available from the influence of their family. The phrase typically refers to people who were born into a family of money or power, where they were raised with monetary value and materialistic possessions that were handed to them and they did not work for and earn themselves.
born yesterdayBorn yesterday is a cliche which is used to show that someone is na
bottom lineBottom line is a cliched phrase which is the final outcome of a process, discussion or situation and often the most important or fundamental aspect of any given situation. Individuals typically talk about the final outcome of something being the bottom line, as in it is the last straw (the last attempt or last chance given) or the final outcome and most important outcome of what is being discussed.
bottoms upBottoms up is a phrase which is most often used as an informal drinking toast. Typically people will say bottoms up when they are about to take a drink, most commonly a shot or the remainder of their beer or other alcoholic drink as a way to say they will drink it all in one drink. Bottoms up is also used as an informal drinking toast when the drink is not alcoholic, though more common with alcoholic beverages.
boys will be boysBoys will be boys is a cliche which explains that certain acts by boys and men should not be surprising because boys or men typically behave in this way. It usually in reference to something that males will stereotypically do such as being dirty, messy, rude or unpleasant in another way. It can also be used more lightheartedly in regards to what boys or men like to do such as enjoying sports or cars.
brain drainBrain drain is a cliche term, also known as human capital flight, which is the large-scale migration of a large group of people with technical skills or knowledge. The reasons for brain drain are usually including two different aspects each which respectively come from countries and individuals. The most common term for this is human capital flight but the phrase brain drain is the slang term for it.
brain dumpBrain dump is a slang word which has become somewhat of a cliche to describe a hurried explanation of a job, skill, system, or software engineering subject. Brain dump is the way someone describes something new to someone else, as they will dump a lot of information on someone which can often be overwhelming to them. When something is taught in a hurried way without pause, it is known as a brain dump.
brand spankin newBrand spankin new is the slang cliche term for something that is completely and entirely new. Brand spankin new is simply another way of explaining that something is new, and is a term that has been around since about the 1980s. While it is not as commonly used in todays language, some people, usually young adults, will calls things or people or situations brand spankin new.
break a legBreak a leg is a common idiom used in theatre to tell someone good luck, but is also used in other situations where you want to wish someone good luck in their future endeavor. Break a leg began in theatre because wishing someone good luck in the theatre industry is considered a superstition. By saying break a leg, they hope to counterbalance the superstition, thus breaking a leg would be good luck rather than bad.
bring home the baconBring home the bacon is a cliche which is commonly used to refer to earning money, primarily for a persons family. Bring home the bacon originated in the 1950s when the price of bacon was quite high, and households that regularly had bacon with their meals were said to be financially stable and successful. Over the years, bring home the bacon is more of a generalized term for earning money for the household.
buckle downBuckle down is the idiom used to apply ones self with determination in a project or future endeavor. Buckling down is often used when talking about getting down to it, working hard, or starting on work. You will often hear it spoken by someone who is about to start studying for a school project or wants to commit their time to their occupation, in which they will say they are going to buckle down and get it done.
buckle underBuckle under, as opposed to buckle down, is a cliche which is used for describing a situation which you have consented to doing but quite reluctantly. This is when you are willing to do something or get some work done, but arent entirely thrilled about. If you are given a project at work which you are reluctant to do but have agreed to taking on, you might say that you are buckling under; such as buckling under the pressure.
built like a tankBuilt like a tank is the cliched term referring to a person or vehicle that is built like a tank, in other words extremely strong or big. Tanks have the reputation of being very strong, dependable and rather large which is hard to bring down by enemies. For this reason, the cliche built like a tank can be to describe a person who is very large and muscular or an object or vehicle built in the same way.
built to lastBuilt to last is the cliched term that is commonly used when describing something that is built to last for a very long time or was built to outlive or outlast all of the other buildings similar to it or in the same area. Built to last is a literal term describing the quality of something that was built whether that be a building or architecture, electronic machine or other type of item. It has become a cliched term for anything built to last a long time.
bummerBummer is a common slang term that is used to express frustration or disappointment over a situation. Bummer is usually said in a sympathetic way over something that has happened to someone else and in response to them telling you about it. Thats a bummer or what a bummer are some of the most common ways that bummer is used. Bummer has become a common slang term making it a well-known cliche in modern language.
burn the midnight oilTo burn the midnight oil means to stay up late working, such as at work or studying for school. It is usually said pertaining to school work, such as in college when you stay up very late working on homework or school projects. The phrase dates back to when people would stay up light at night using an oil lamp for lighting in their room. The phrase is still used today when describing how they stayed up late working or studying, even though using an oil lamp is not what is assumed.
burning her candle at both endsBurning her candle at both ends, or burning a candle at both ends, means to work very hard on something and stay up late at night working on it. The phrase refers to one end of the candle being lit for work done in the daylight, and the other end of the candle for work done at night. If someone (she in this instance) works late at night, they have more than likely worked during the day and the night.
burning rubberBurning rubber is the cliche used for driving very fast to get somewhere. Burning rubber began as a literal term as when you drive very fast, especially when turning or changing lanes, the tires of your vehicle will cause rubber burns on the asphalt, hence the term burning rubber. Burning rubber is now used as a general statement about driving very fast, whether they literally burn rubber or not.
burning up the trackBurning up the track is the cliched term used when referring to driving very fast, which is similar to the cliche burning rubber. When someone is driving fast on a track (such as a car racing rack) it is known as burning up the track, which nowadays is used to generalize going fast, whether driving or not. It is most commonly used for someone driving fast, however, not as common as the term burning rubber.
bury the hatchetTo bury the hatchet means to settle your differences with an adversary. Bury the hatchet is a cliche which has been around for many decades as a way to explain coming to a compromise and settling any kind of argument you have had with someone who you consider an adversary, enemy or just your competition. Bury the hatchet isnt as common nowadays as it used to be, but is still used fairly often.
bury your head in the sandTo bury your head in the sand is a figurative way to say you are refusing to confront or acknowledge a problem. Literally, when you bury your head in the sand you are blind and deaf to everything around you and have no recollection of what is going on. Therefore when used as an idiom, this phrase means basically the same thing, as you want to ignore the problems and negative atmosphere that surrounds you and remain oblivious to it.
busting a gutBusting a gut is a cliche often used as a way to say you are working very hard, often to the point where you are straining yourself in order to accomplish something. This is a figurative phrase in which you are physically working extremely hard which may be tough on your body and can cause physical strain and abuse from the work. Busting a gut may also be used in instances where you work hard, not necessarily physically but emotionally as well.
busy as a beeIf you are busy as a bee, you are extremely busy at what you are trying to accomplish, typically with a lot to do in a very short amount of time. If you watch the way a bee moves, it will fly back and forth and around in circles at a very fast pace, especially when it is near a beehive and harvesting honey. Figuratively, to be busy as a bee, you are acting like a busy bumblebee in the way you are constantly moving to get things done.
busy hands are happy handsBusy hands are happy hands is a cliche which means to stay busy in order to be happy. It is the thought that doing physical work and keeping busy will give you a more positive outlook on life. The phrase is often used to motivate individuals into having more busy lives with physical and creative types of work, rather than spending their days being sedentary. It is also rooted from the concept that you raise your endorphins during physical labor and exercise which can make you happy.
but enough about me ...But enough about me is a way to take a conversation from talking primarily about you to then talking about the other person. This is often spoken during a first date where you are getting to know the other person and feel like you have been speaking a lot about yourself, and as a segway to asking them about their life. It can also be said in other ways of getting to know someone else such as at work or school.
but seriouslyBut seriously is said in the middle or beginning of a sentence where the purpose is to prove how serious you really are, and that although it may seem far-fetched, you are not making a joke. It is most commonly said when saying something that seems fantasized or outlandish and you want to make it a point that you are being completely and absolutely serious. But seriously is usually the beginning of a sentence followed by what you are talking about.
butter him upButter him up, also said like butter them up, or butter her up, is a way to say you are flattering someone in order for personal future gain. When you are buttering someone up, you are complimenting and flattering them, saying only positive things and sugar-coating various things (sugar coating as in making the situation more positive than it is) in order to achieve personal gain such as getting something accomplished at work or school.
butterflies in his stomachButterflies in his (or her) stomach is the expression used when you feel a feeling of nerves and agitation. Typically when someone is nervous, their heartbeat reacts by pounding faster and harder, similar to heart palpitations. These heart palpitations and nervous stomach cause you to feel flutters inside your stomach which feel very similar to butterflies. For this reason, the feeling of a nervous stomach is also called butterflies in the stomach.
buy the farmBuy the farm is an idiom often used to describe a person who has died, most commonly in combat. The phrase comes from the idea that a soldier who has died in combat would benefit his family due to the monetary value given to the family of a deceased soldier during combat; the money might have been used to pay off the familys mortgage, such as their farm or farmhouse. It is sometimes used in past sense such as bought the farm.
by all means, after youBy all means, after you is a phrase used when telling someone they can go first. By all means in this cliche is referring to the word certainly and after you in the phrase is literal. Therefore, the phrase is telling someone they can certainly go first, and is often used by individuals with good manners and want to allow someone else to go before them whether it is in line at the grocery store, or to go through the shops door first.
by and largeBy and large is a cliche which is referring to generally speaking with all other things considered. By and large is talking about on the whole, when speaking generally about something and when all options have been exhausted and everything including all details about the subject has been considered. It might appear in a sentence where they have come to a conclusion by and large.
by hook or by crookBy hook or by crook is a phrase which is referring to something happening with any means necessary, including possible illegal and foul means. By hook or by crook means either by fair or foul, in other words, they will get the job done no matter what it takes whether good or bad. The phrase is used most often in older crime solving and cop shows or movies about detectives solving a crime.