Color Idioms: 29 Awesome Color Idioms to Develop Your English

Color idioms are a fun and creative way to add some color to your everyday conversations. These idioms are phrases that use colors to express a particular meaning or convey a message. They are commonly used in English and can be found in various contexts, including literature, music, and everyday conversations. In this article, we will explore some of the most common color idioms and their meanings.

Color Idioms

Color idioms are common phrases that use colors to convey a particular meaning or message. As English learners, it’s important to understand these idioms as they are frequently used in everyday conversations.

Color Idioms

Cultural context plays a significant role in interpreting color idioms. Different cultures associate different meanings with colors. For example, in Western cultures, the color white is often associated with purity and innocence, while in Asian cultures, it is associated with mourning and death. Therefore, it’s important to understand the cultural context in which the idiom is being used.

Color idioms can be challenging to understand, especially for non-native speakers. However, by breaking down the idiom into its individual words and understanding their meanings, we can gain a better understanding of the idiom’s overall meaning. For example, the idiom “green with envy” means to be jealous. By understanding the meanings of the individual words, we can interpret the idiom as feeling envious to the point of turning green.

It’s important to note that some color idioms have multiple meanings depending on the context in which they are used. For example, the idiom “black and blue” can mean physically bruised, emotionally hurt, or financially struggling. Therefore, it’s important to consider the context in which the idiom is being used to interpret its meaning accurately.

Common Color Idioms

List of great English idioms based on color with their meanings.

1. Red tape

Official or bureaucratic tasks

2. Green with envy

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To be very jealous, envious

3. Gray area

Something that is unclear, undefined

4. Black and blue

Describe something that is badly bruised

5. Golden opportunity

The perfect chance

6. Have the blues

Be sad or depressed

7. Black sheep

A person who is a disgrace to a family or group

8. Out of the blue

Randomly, without warning, surprisingly

9. White lie

A small lie that is told to be polite or avoid hurting someone’s feelings

10. Yellow-bellied

A coward

11. Caught red-handed

To catch someone in the act of doing something

12. To be yellow

To be cowardly

13. To see red

To be very angry

14. Green thumb

To be skilled at gardening

15. Once in a blue moon

Very rarely

Color Idioms

16. Take the red eye

A late night flight that arrives early in the morning

17. Tickled pink

To be extremely pleased

18. Pink slip

A notice of dismissal from employment

19. White elephant

An expensive item that is costly to maintain

20. Silver screen

The film industry

21. Blue collar

Working in a manual labor job

22. Black as night

Somewhere very dark, when it is hard to see anything

23. Black eye

A bruise near one’s eye

24. Black out

Faint

25. Beet red

Dark red

26. Black and white

Straight forward, very clear

27. The green light

Permission

28. In the red

In debt

29. Roll out the red carpet

Treat someone like royalty

Color Idioms in Everyday Conversations

American English

In American English, color idioms are often used to describe emotions, experiences, and situations. Here are some examples:

  • In the red” means to be in debt or have a negative balance in your finances. For example, “I can’t afford to go on vacation this year because I’m still in the red from last year’s expenses.”
  • Green with envy” means to be very jealous of someone else’s success or possessions. For example, “She was green with envy when she saw her friend’s new car.”
  • Blue in the face” means to be very frustrated or exhausted from trying to convince someone of something. For example, “I’ve tried explaining it to him a hundred times, but he still won’t listen. I’m blue in the face!”
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British English

In British English, color idioms are often used to describe physical appearances and conditions. Here are some examples:

  • Red as a beetroot” means to be very embarrassed or ashamed. For example, “I was red as a beetroot when I realized I had walked into the wrong classroom.”
  • Black and blue” means to be bruised or injured. For example, “He fell off his bike and was black and blue all over.”
  • Green around the gills” means to look very sick or nauseous. For example, “She was feeling so ill that she looked green around the gills.”

Color Idioms in Business Communication

In business communication, color idioms are often used to convey messages in a concise and effective manner. Using these idioms can help to make your language more colorful and engaging, while also conveying important information. Here are some common color idioms that you can use in your business communication:

  • In the red: This idiom is used to describe a situation where a company is operating at a loss. For example, “Our company has been in the red for the past few months, but we’re working on a plan to turn things around.”
  • In the black: This idiom is used to describe a situation where a company is operating at a profit. For example, “Thanks to our recent marketing campaign, we’re now in the black and our profits are on the rise.”
  • Green with envy: This idiom is used to describe a feeling of jealousy or envy. For example, “I could tell that my colleague was green with envy when I was promoted to manager.”
  • Grey area: This idiom is used to describe a situation where something is unclear or ambiguous. For example, “The legality of this business practice is a bit of a grey area, so we need to be careful.”
  • White lie: This idiom is used to describe a small lie that is told to avoid hurting someone’s feelings. For example, “I told my colleague that her presentation was great, even though it wasn’t, but it was just a white lie.”
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Frequently Asked Questions

What expressions come from color?

There are many expressions in English that come from color. These expressions are called color idioms. Color idioms are phrases that use colors to convey certain meanings. For example, the idiom “green with envy” means to be very jealous of someone.

What are some phrases you know that are associated with color?

There are many phrases associated with color in English. Some examples include “black and white” which means something is very clear and straightforward, “out of the blue” which means something happens unexpectedly, and “red carpet treatment” which means to treat someone very well and with great respect.

What is the idiom of happy color?

The idiom for a happy color is “in the pink”. This means to be in good health or to be feeling very well.

What is the idiom of to change color?

The idiom for changing color is “to turn a new leaf”. This means to start over or to make a fresh start.

What are some common red color idioms?

Some common red color idioms include “caught red-handed” which means to be caught in the act of doing something wrong, “in the red” which means to be in debt or to have financial losses, and “red flag” which means a warning sign.

What are some common blue color idioms?

Some common blue color idioms include “blue in the face” which means to be exhausted from trying to convince someone of something, “out of the blue” which means something happens unexpectedly, and “feeling blue” which means to be sad or depressed.

Last Updated on November 9, 2023

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