Give the Shirt Off One’s Back

Meaning of Idiom ‘Give the Shirt Off One’s Back’ To give (someone) the shirt off one’s (your, his, her) back is to give anything or everything you have; to be extremely generous and helpful; to be willing to sacrifice to help others. 1Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.,2Pare, May. Body Idioms … Read more

Backseat Driver

An expression in use since at least the 1920’s. Meaning of Backseat Driver Idiom A backseat driver is a person who insists on telling the driver what to do, how to drive, what roads to take, etc., regardless if the driver wants the advice or not. This expression refers to said person being annoying. The … Read more

Backfire (on someone)

Meaning of Idiom ‘To Backfire (on someone)’ When something, such as a plot, plan, project, situation, or idea unexpectedly produces a bad result which harms the person carryng out the plot, plan, idea, etc. it is said to have backfired on that person; a failure which results in an undersired result.1Spears, Richard A., and Luc Nisset. McGraw-Hill’s … Read more

Back To The Drawing Board

Meaning of Idiom ‘Back to the Drawing Board’ Back to the drawing board means that an effort has failed and it is time to start over from the beginning, or nearly from the beginning, and devise a new plan or approach. To go back to the drawing board is to go back to the initial … Read more

Back To Square One

Meaning of Idiom ‘Back to Square One’ To go back to square one means to return to the beginning and repeat something, usually after a plan or effort completely fails; to start over. 1McIntosh, Colin. Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Cambridge University Press, 2013. 2Bengelsdorf, Peter. Idioms in the News – 1,000 Phrases, Real Examples. N.p.: Amz Digital Services, 2012. … Read more

Back the Wrong Horse

Also: Bet on the wrong horse Meaning of Idiom Back the Wrong Horse: to make the wrong choice concerning who or what you support and to support a person or action that is later unsuccessful; to make a wrong choice; to guess wrongly concerning the final outcome. 1McIntosh, Colin. Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary. Cambridge University Press, 2013. … Read more

Back On Your Feet

In use since the 1800’s Meaning This idiom is related to a number of other idioms pertaining to being ‘on one’s feet.’ To be back on your feet is to have made a full recovery from an illness, or to have become fully adjusted to a new situation, such as a move, a new job, … Read more

Back Burner, (Put Something On the)

Also: Front Burner Meaning of Idiom ‘Put Something on the Back Burner’ To put something on the back burner is to give it a lower priority or to delay giving it attention or working on it; Something that is on the back burner is not forgotten, it is simply a lower priority than other things. … Read more