Idioms are an essential part of any language, adding richness, depth, and cultural significance. These colorful expressions often have origins rooted in historical events, folklore, or simply the imaginative nature of human language. Among the diverse range of idioms, color idioms stand out as particularly captivating and evocative. They bring vivid imagery to our conversations, allowing us to paint pictures with words.
In this article, we will explore some popular color idioms and unravel their meanings and origins.
|1||beet red||dark red (usually to describe face)||My sister’s face turned beet red when I caught her singing in front of a mirror.|
|2||black and blue||bruised and beaten||We found the poor guy black and blue near the train tracks.|
|3||black and white||straight forward, very clear||The rules we gave the kids were black and white. No answering the phone or the door.|
|4||black out||faint||I always black out at the sight of blood.|
|5||black sheep||the odd or bad member of the group||My oldest brother was the black sheep in our family. He dropped out of school at fifteen.|
|6||born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth||born into a rich family||Keiko hasn’t worked a day in her life. She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth.|
|7||catch red handed||catch someone in the act of doing something wrong or illegal||The kids were caught red handed stealing chocolate bars.|
|8||golden opportunity||the perfect chance||The models’ conference was a golden opportunity for me to sell my beauty products.|
|9||grass is always greener on the other side||you always want what you don’t have||I always wanted to go to university, but now I wish I had time to get a job. Grass is always greener on the other side.|
|10||grey area, gray area||something without a clear rule or answer||Writing personal email in the office is a grey area that needs to be discussed at the next meeting.|
|11||the green light||permission||The builders were given the green light to begin the tower.|
|12||green with envy||very jealous||I am green with envy over Julio’s new wardrobe.|
|13||(have a) green thumb||be skillful in the garden||You can tell by her flower garden that Sheila has a green thumb.|
|14||have the blues||be sad or depressed||I always have the the blues during the winter time.|
|15||in the dark||unaware||Antoine left his wife in the dark about their honeymoon destination until they got to the airport.|
|16||in the red||in debt||When we were in the red we almost had to sell the house.|
|17||once in a blue moon||very rarely||We only go out for dinner once in a blue moon.|
|18||out of the blue||unexpectedly||I got a phone call from a long lost cousin out of the blue last week.|
|19||red tape||official or bureaucratic tasks||There is still some red tape to deal with in terms of the inheritance.|
|20||red eye||an airplane flight that takes off after midnight||I caught the red eye so that I would see the sunrise over the mountains.|
|21||roll out the red carpet||treat someone like royalty||When relatives come to town my grandmother rolls out the red carpet.|
|22||rose coloured glasses||unrealistic view||Paula imagines Hollywood with rose coloured glasses.|
|23||see red||be very angry||I saw red when that guy grabbed my sister’s purse.|
|24||tickled pink||very pleased and appreciative||My mom was tickled pink when my father brought roses home for her.|
|25||true colours||real self||Suzanne doesn’t show her true colours when we have guests over.|
|26||white lie||an innocent lie to||We told Grandma that her cake protect another person’s feelings was delicious, which was actually a white lie.|
|27||with flying colours||with distinction||I passed my road test with flying colours.|
Color idioms enrich our language and provide a vibrant palette of expressions. They add depth, imagery, and cultural references to our conversations. Exploring the origins and meanings behind these idioms not only deepens our understanding of language but also gives us a glimpse into the historical, literary, and cultural contexts in which they emerged.
So the next time you hear or use a color idiom, take a moment to appreciate the vivid imagery and cultural heritage it represents.