Subscribe to RSS
Idioms & Slang
World Wide Words Weekly
Idioms A - Z
Download Idiom e-Books
Phrasal Verb A -Z
Phrasal Verb Quizzes
The Editor's Blog
Ask a Teacher!
Help for Students
ESL Web Directory
Idiom Category: Colours, Page 1
All cats are grey in the dark
Things are indistinguishable in the dark so appearances don't matter.('All cats are grey at night' is also used.)
Be true blue
If a person/object/situation is considered to be 'true blue', it is considered genuine.
Beyond the black stump
(AU) An Australian idiom idicating that even if you go as far as you can, the black stump is still a little further.
Black and blue
This means bruised, either physically or metaphorically.
Black and white
When it is very clear who or what is right and wrong, then the situation is black and white.
Black as Newgate's knocker
(UK) If things are as black as Newgate's knocker, they are very bad. Newgate was an infamous prison in England, so its door knocker meant trouble.
If there is a black hole in financial accounts, money has disappeared.
Someone who is the black sheep doesn't fit into a group or family because their behaviour or character is not good enough.
Black will take no other hue
Evil can take many disguises but it is always black (evil).
If you vote against allowing someone to be a member of an organisation or group, you are blackballing him or her.
Born to the purple
Someone who is born to the purple is born in a royal or aristocratic family. ("Born in the purple" is also used.)
Boys in blue
The boys in blue are the police.
Brown as a berry
Someone who is very sun tanned is brown as a berry.
To be tired of or fed up with
Catch someone red-handed
If someone is caught red-handed, they are found doing something wrong or illegal.
Rules that restrict access on the basis of race or ethnicity are a color bar.
If you feel blue, you are feeling unwell, mainly associated with depression or unhappiness.
If you go blue, you are very cold indeed. ('Turn blue' is an alternative form.)
Great white hope
Someone who is expected to be a great success is a great white hope.
Green around the gills
If someone looks green around the gills, they look ill.
(UK) Someone with green fingers has a talent for gardening.
If you are given the green light, you are given approval to do something.
(USA) Someone with a talent for gardening has a green thumb.
Green with envy
If you are green with envy, you are very jealous.
The green-eyed monster is an allegorical phrase for somebody's strong jealousy
A greenhorn or someone who is described simply as green lacks the relevant experience and knowledge for their job or task
A grey/gray area is one where there is no clear right or wrong.
Someone who is a Grey Cardinal exerts power behind the scenes, without drawing attention to himself or herself.
Grey/gray matter is the human brain.
(UK) In the UK, the grey pound is an idiom for the economic power of elderly people.
Hot as blue blazes
If something's as hot as blue blazes, it's extremely hot.
In the black
If your bank account is in credit, it is in the black.
In the pink
If you are in very good health, you are in the pink.
In the red
If your bank account is overdrawn, it is in the red.
To emphasise just how black something is, such as someone's hair, we can call it jet-black.
Like white on rice
(USA) If you do something like white on rice, you do it very closely: When Bob found out I had front row tickets for the concert, he stuck to me like white on rice.
If someone looks off colour/color, they look ill.
Once in a blue moon
If something happens once in a blue moon, it happens very rarely indeed.
Out of the blue
If something happens out of the blue, it happens suddenly and unexpectedly.
Paint the town red
If you go out for a night out with lots of fun and drinking, you paint the town red.
If someone receives a pink slip, they receive a letter telling them they have lost their job.
Pot calling the kettle black
If someone hypocritically criticises a person for something that they themselves do, then it is a case of the pot calling the kettle black.
A purple patch is a period of time when someone or something is successful and doing well.
Put more green into something
(USA) To put more green into something is to spend more or to increase investment in it.
Ragged blue line
(USA) This term was used to signify the Union forces (who wore blue uniforms) in the American Civil war .
Red letter day
A red letter day is a one of good luck, when something special happens to you.
Red light district
The red light district is the area of a town or city where there is prostitution, sex shops, etc.
If someone sees red or the red mist, they lose their temper and self-control completely.
Red rag to a bull
If something is a red rag to a bull, it is something that will inevitably make somebody angry or cross.
This is a negative term for the official paperwork and bureaucracy that we have to deal with.
Suggest an Idiom
Members Get More
- Sign up for free and gain access to many more idioms and slang expressions.
Lost Your Password?
Idioms Discussion Forum
English Phrasal Verbs
English Irregular Verbs
Staff & Contributors
Link to Us
Copyright © 2002 - 2013 UsingEnglish.com
. All rights reserved.
Generated in 0.011 seconds