♦️31. bag of tricks
🔸Meaning: all the clever methods by which someone achieves something; a set of resourceful plans.
🔹Example: "Here comes Mother with her bag of tricks. I'm sure she can help us."
◈ Origin: Alluding to the magician's bag of equipment for performing magic tricks.
♦️32. balance the books
[and] balance the accounts
🔸Meaning: (Accounting) to make certain that the amount of money spent is not more than the amount of money received.
🔹Example: "The accountant spent several days trying to balance the books of his company."
♦️33. the ball is in your court
🔸Meaning: it is up to you to make the next decision or step.
🔹Example: "I gave you my offer, so now the ball is in your court."
◈ Origin: From tennis, where you must play the ball back to the opponent's court whenever it comes into yours.
♦️34. be on the ball
🔸Meaning: to be aware of and understand what is happening and able to react quickly.
🔹Example: "The new publicity manager is really on the ball."
♦️35. (a) ball of fire
🔸Meaning: a person who is full of energy and enthusiasm.
🔹Example: "She was a ball of fire and got the garage cleaned out in one afternoon."
♦️36. jump on the bandwagon
(Also,) get or climb on the bandwagon
🔸Meaning: to become involved in an activity which is successful so that you can get the advantages of it yourself.
🔹Example: "The success of the product led many firms to try to jump on the bandwagon."
◈ Origin: This expression came about because politicians used to ride on a moving stage in a parade. As they passed by people, their supporters would join their "bandwagon" by hopping aboard.
♦️37. (be) barking up the wrong tree
🔸Meaning: to focus on the wrong target or in the wrong direction.
🔹Example: "You're barking up the wrong tree if you're expecting us to lend you any money."
◈ Origin: Alludes to a dog in pursuit of an animal, where the animal is in one tree and the dog is barking at another tree.
♦️38. bat a thousand (US)
🔸Meaning: to be very successful; have a perfect record.
🔹Example: "The salesman was batting a thousand during his sales trip to Europe."
♦️39. batten down the hatches
🔸Meaning: to lock oneself securely in for a while (like during a storm); prepare for a difficult situation.
🔹Example: "This winter’s going to be so cold that we’ll all have to batten down the hatches and get comfortable inside."
◈ Origin: From a nautical expression meaning, literally, to seal the hatches against the arrival of a storm.
♦️40. be that as it may (formal)
🔸Meaning: an expression to say, “even if something is true . . .”
🔹Example: "I know that he has tried hard; be that as it may, his work is just not good enough."