lead someone by the nose

lead someone by the nose :

play ball

work willingly with others

cooperate – informal

The literal sense is of play ball is play a team ball game such as baseball or cricket.

start the ball rolling

set an activity in motion

make a start

the whole ball of wax

everything – North American informal

a whole new ball game

a completely new set of circumstances – informal

The phrase originated in North America where a ball game is a baseball match.

1989 – Looks - Making the film was a whole new ball game... for Kylie.

go ballistic

fly into a rage – informal

1998 - New Scientist - The French nuclear industry, local authorities around La Hague and some government agencies went ballistic. Viel was fiercely condemned for his findings.

go down like a lead balloon = go over like a lead balloon

(especially of a speech, proposal or joke) fail

be a flop – informal

1996 - Prospect - Simon Jenkins's book, Accountable to None, has gone down like a lead balloon with most Conservative reviewers.

when the balloon goes up

when the action or trouble starts – informal

before the balloon goes up

before the action or trouble starts – informal

The balloon alluded to is probably one released to mark the start of an event.

1959 – Punch - The international rules of war are apt to be waived when the balloon goes up.

lead someone a dance = lead someone a merry dance

cause someone a great deal of trouble or worry – British

1993 - Isidore Okpewho – Tides - I will be content to lead my friends at the NSS a merry dance if only to get even with them for messing me up the way they did.

lead someone by the nose

control someone totally, especially by deceiving them – informal

in the ballpark

in a particular area or range – informal

The phrase originated in the USA where a ballpark is a baseball ground.

the bamboo curtain

an impenetrable political, economic and cultural barrier between China and non-Communist countries

Formed on the pattern of the iron curtain - this phrase dates back to the 1940s.

banana republic

a small tropical state especially one in central America whose economy is regarded as wholly dependent on its fruit-exporting trade


go bananas

become extremely angry or excited

go mad – informal

1992 - Jim Lehrer - A Bus of My Own – I predicted John Erlichman would probably go bananas when he testified the next day.

second banana

the second most important person in an organization or activity, informal - chiefly North American

top banana

the most important person in an organization or activity - informal - chiefly North American

The two expressions above originated in US theatrical slang. The top banana was originally the comedian who topped the bill in a show, while the second banana was the supporting comedian.

slip on a banana skin

make a silly and embarrassing mistake.

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