8 Common Idioms In English Starting With B

Here are some popular idioms in English.

1. Bread winner

The breadwinner is the person who earns the most money to support the rest of the members of the family.

• During these troubled financial times no family can depend on just one breadwinner.
• Rahul’s father died when he was just 16. He has been the sole breadwinner of the family ever since.
• Sonia has to work three jobs in a day because she is the only breadwinner of her family.

2. Break even

The term break even is used to refer to a situation when there is neither success nor loss. Businesses break even when they make neither profit nor loss.

• They were ahead of us in the first half, but in the second half we also scored a goal and caught up with them. In the end, we broke even and the match ended in a tie.
• The business took over two years to break even. Prior to that, there were more expenses than profits.
• I bought that flat for 1,500,000 rupees and sold it for exactly the same amount some two months later. Well, at least I broke even.
• I didn’t make any profit, but at least I broke even.

3. Break the ice

To break the ice is to do something that would make people feel a lot more comfortable. For example, when strangers meet for the first time, they might feel some awkwardness. In such a situation, you can break the ice, by introducing yourself or telling a nice joke.

• I tried to tell a joke to break the ice, but few people were amused.
• Sometimes you just need to flash a nice smile to break the ice.

4. Bring home the bacon

To bring home the bacon is to earn money to support one’s family.

• I haven’t come across any woman who will willingly marry a guy who can’t bring home the bacon.
• Why don’t you go out and get a job? I want you to bring home the bacon.
• Now that Joe has lost his job, someone else needs to bring home the bacon.
• Go out and get a job if you want to bring home the bacon.

5. Bring up

To bring a topic up is to mention it during a conversation. To bring children up is to raise them.

• Don’t forget to bring up this issue during the next meeting.
• I don’t want you to bring up this matter when Susie is around.
• She works hard because she has to bring up four children.
• She was brought up by her grandparents.
• Children brought up in a joint family system tend to have better social skills than those raised in nuclear families.

6. Budget crunch

The expression budget crunch is used to refer to situations where there is not enough money to cover all the expenses.

• How can you justify buying an expensive car during this budget crunch?
• Although we are right in the middle of a budget crunch, the situation should improve in a short while.
• If we can’t find a good financier this budget crunch is going to last.
• We will have to reduce our expenses if we want to get out of this budget crunch.

7. Bull in a china shop

A bull is an animal known for its brute strength. Bulls aren’t always careful, though. The expression a bull in a china shop is used to refer to a clumsy person who breaks things accidentally. They are not exactly bad or incapable, but because of their clumsiness they are not capable of handling anything delicate.

China shop is a place from where you can buy beautiful crockery made of china clay. The noun crockery can be used to refer to pots, plates, cups and other dishes made of baked clay.

• Reena is a real bull in a china shop. Don’t let her touch your precious crockery. She will break them.

The term bull in a china shop can also be used to refer to a thoughtless person.

• Rohit is a bull in a china shop. He will do all sorts of stupid things.
• I was not surprised to hear that Ron has been sacked by his employer. He is a bull in a china shop.

8. Burns me up inside

If a problem burns you up inside, it causes a lot of emotional suffering to you.

• I worked very hard but when I failed to get a promotion, it really burned me up inside.
• I can’t stand seeing her dating some other guy. It really burns me up inside.
• I was crazy about her so it really burned me up inside when she told me that she was seeing some other guy.

The expressions burn me and burn me up also mean the same.
• Although it burns me up, I pretended to be happy for my friend. We had both applied for the same job. She got it but I didn’t.

Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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