bite hand that feeds you If you bite the hand that feeds you, you are unfriendly or do harm to someone who is kind to you. If you say bad things about the person who gives you a job, you bite the hand that feeds you. blot one's copy book Someone who blots their copy-book does something to spoil their good record or reputation. He blotted his copy-book when he was arrested for speeding. on the bottle A person who drinks alcohol often and regularly is on the bottle. John went on the bottle when he lost his job. break every rule in the book If you behave in a completely unacceptable way, you break every rule in the book. Our competitors obtained the contract by breaking every rule in the book. breathe down neck If someone is breathing down your neck, they are watching you too closely and making you feel uncomfortable. The atmosphere at work is not great; the boss keeps breathing down our necks all the time. build bridges If a person builds bridges between opposing groups, they help them to cooperate and understand each other better. A mediator is trying to build bridges between the local community and the owners of the new plant. burn your bridges If you burn your bridges, you do something that will be impossible to rectify in the future. If you refuse the offer, be careful not to burn your bridges by insulting them. They may make a better proposal later. burn the candle at both ends If you burn the candle at both ends, you exhaust yourself by doing too much, especially going to bed late and getting up early. Scott looks exhausted - I'll bet he's been burning the candle at both ends lately. burn your fingers If you burn your fingers (or get your fingers burnt), you suffer financially as a result of foolish behaviour. Jack got his fingers burnt playing on the stock market. bury head in sand If you bury your head in the sand, you refuse to face the unpleasant reality by pretending that the situation doesn't exist. It's no good burying your head in the sand. We've got a problem on our hands. bury the hatchet When people who have had a disagreement decide to forget their quarrel and become friends again, they bury the hatchet. I didn't agree with my colleague's decision, but for the sake of peace I decided to bury the hatchet. butter somebody up When you butter someone up, you flatter them or you are very nice to them, especially if you want to obtain something. He was so keen to get the job that he spent his time buttering up the boss. cap in hand If you do something cap in hand, you ask for something in a very respectful manner. They went to the teacher, cap in hand, and asked for more time to complete their project.
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