Let’s take a look at some of the most common business idioms starting with B.


Don’t forget to click on the links at the bottom for the rest.

back on one’s feet

meaning – healthy after being unwell or have money after being in financial difficulties
example – Libby has a job, she’ll be back on her feet in a few months.

Business idioms and expressions - back on one’s feet

back to basics

meaning – revert to simple ideas/activities
example – We’re going back to basics this week; you all failed the advanced grammar test.

business idioms in English - back to basics

back to square one

meaning – start again from the beginning because of failure
example – My fiancé and I split after 12 years together. It’s back to square one.

business idiom list - back to square one meaning

back to the drawing board

meaning – start again at the beginning after an attempt has failed
example – We were gazumped on the house we wanted, looks like it’s back to the drawing board.

Business Idioms Starting with B - back to the drawing board meaning


meaning – physically demanding
example – We’ve done a lot of backbreaking work in the garden. We deserve a beer.

business idiom - backbreaking

bags of time

meaning – have lots of time
example – Hurry up and get in the car. We haven’t got bags of time.

business idiom - bags of time

balance the books

meaning – ensure the credit/debit figures are correct
example – I balance the books for a top beauty company.

Business idioms and expressions - balance the books

ball in one`s court

meaning – someone else has to make the decision or deal with the problem/responsibility
example – I paid for his rehab and got him a job, the ball is in his court now.

business idiom - ball in one`s court

ballpark figure

meaning – an approximate figure
example – The ballpark figure is 500 guests, it could be a lot more.

Business Idioms Starting with B - ballpark figure meaning

bang for one’s/the buck

meaning – good value for money
example – Let’s go to the curry house on Vincent Street. We’ll get more bang for our buck there.

business idiom - bang for one’s buck

bank on someone/something

meaning – rely on someone/something happening
example – I’ve just lost my job; I’m banking on my family to help me.

business idioms in English - bank on

bark up the wrong tree

meaning – pursue the wrong thing
example – I think you’re barking up the wrong tree, James is definitely gay.

business idiom - bark up the wrong tree

bat for someone

meaning – support/help/defend someone
example – Do you think you could bat for me and speak to your boss? I really need this job.

Business idioms and expressions - bat for someone

beat someone at their own game

meaning – use a similar strategy to your competitors/enemies
example – I’m offering weekend discounts at my salon to beat the competition at their own game.

business idiom - beat someone at their own game

behind the scenes

meaning – things that happen out of the view of the public
example – Watch the news at 7, we’ll be going behind the scenes at an abattoir in Devon.

Business idioms and expressions - behind the scenes

bend over backwards

meaning – make a great effort to help someone
example – I’ve always bent over backwards for my neighbours, but when I need a favour, they say no.

business idioms in English - bend over backwards

between a rock and hard place

meaning – in a predicament, faced with two unpleasant alternatives
example – Nigel is between a rock and a hard place. It’s divorce or stay together and be miserable.

business idiom - between a rock and hard place

big cheese

meaning – a very important person
example – The big cheese is coming tomorrow. please make sure you arrive on time.

business idiom list - big cheese

big picture

meaning – the whole perspective of an issue/situation
example – Look at the big picture. If you keep giving him chocolate, you’ll have huge vet bills down the line.

business idiom - big picture


meaning – an important person
example – Make sure you’re polite to that guy in the pink shirt, he’s a government bigwig.

big expressions list - bigwig meaning

bite the bullet

meaning – face a tough situation with courage, despite discomfort or fear
example – It looks like I’ll have to bite the bullet and ask for that pay rise.

Business Idioms Starting with B - bite the bullet meaning

black and white

meaning – something is clear, straightforward
example – The rules are black and white. If you cheat, you will be removed from the school.

business idioms and expressions - black and white

black market

meaning – buying and selling illegal goods
example – A girl in my uni sold her kidney on the black market to pay for her course.

business idiom - black market

blank cheque

meaning – a signed cheque where the amount of money can be inserted
example – My parents gave me a blank cheque so I can buy furniture for my new flat.

business idiom - blank cheque


meaning – be surprised in a negative way
example – We were all blindsided by his decision to quit the panel.

blindside meaning and example

blow by blow account

meaning – a detailed description of an event
example – Sit down, I want a blow by blow account of your date last night.

business idiom - blow by blow account

blow one’s own trumpet

meaning – boast about one’s own skills/achievements
example – Grace is always blowing her own trumpet. She’s not even good at acting.

business idiom - blow one’s own trumpet

blow someone away/be blown away

meaning – amaze someone
example – I watched a really good film about aliens, the special effects blew me away.

business idiom - blow someone away

bottom falls out

meaning – something suddenly ends/stop being successful
example – You need to close the deal today; the chief won’t be happy if the bottom falls out.

business idiom - bottom falls out

bottom line

meaning – the most important factor
example – The bottom line is that she wants kids, and I don’t. I can’t see a future for us.

business idiom list - bottom line


meaning – a group discussion to think of ideas
example – We’re having a meeting tomorrow to brainstorm ideas for the business.

Business idioms starting with B - brainstorm meaning

break even

meaning – the minimum number of sales needed to cover costs
example – The business is running at a loss; I’m not even breaking even.

business idioms in English - break even

breathe down someone’s neck

meaning – monitor someone closely in an irritating way
example – My mum caught me smoking so she’s been breathing down my neck ever since.

bring something to the table

meaning – provide something useful/beneficial
example – We’ll arrange a meeting where everyone can bring their ideas to the table.

bring the curtain down on

meaning – end something
example – She brought the curtain down on her 40-year career in showbusiness.

business idiom - bring the curtain down on meaning

broke/flat broke

meaning – have no money
example – I can’t come on holiday this year. I’m flat broke.

business idiom - broke/flat broke

build bridges

meaning – improve relationships/reconcile hostile people/groups
example – I need to build bridges with my neighbours, I hate falling out with people.

business idiom - build bridges meaning

burn bridges

meaning – behave badly so there is no chance to return to that situation in the future
example – I shouted and swore at the boss. He won’t have me back; I’ve burnt my bridges.

business idiom - burn bridges

burn the midnight oil

meaning – work late into the night
example – I’ve burnt the midnight oil a lot recently, I’ll be glad when my exams are over.

business idiom - burn the midnight oil meaning

business as usual

meaning – things continue as normal even in difficult circumstances
example – The office was broken into. Let’s clean up what we can and it’s business as usual.

corporate idioms/business idiom - business as usual

buy someone off

meaning – pay someone to do something for you, bribe
example – The gangster bought off the jury so he wouldn’t be charged with money laundering.

business idiom - buy someone off

buyer’s market

meaning – a market where there are more sellers than buyers and prices are low
example – Let’s buy a car, prices are at rock bottom. It’s a buyer’s market at the moment.

business idiom - buyer’s market

by the book

meaning – strictly follow the rules and regulations
example – Jax does everything by the book, he’s so boring.

business idiom in English - by the book meaning

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