Colour Idioms

Here is a list of colour idioms. Each idiom is followed by its meaning/definition and example sentences.

Black out: loss of electricity; complete darkening of a room when lights are put out; sudden loss of memory

  • Yesterday’s black out was due to unexpected problems with electricity production.

Go green with envy

To go green with envy is to be very jealous of objects belonging to other people.

  • Susie will go green with envy when she sees your new car.

Be yellow

Be a coward

  • Don’t expect him to come to your rescue when you are in trouble. He’s yellow.

Red tap

Delay in public affairs because there is too much attention to rules

  • A lot of people want to adopt babies. It is the red tape that discourages them.

Black sheep

Person of bad character

  • James was neither brilliant nor hardworking. His Dad always treated him like a black sheep.

Roll out the red carpet

Give the best treatment

  • Mr. Mathews is going to take over as the next chairman. Be sure to roll out the red carpet when he arrives.

Green belt

The countryside around a city

  • We are planning to buy a new home in the green belt.

Black and white

When something is black and white, it is clear, simple and understandable.

  • The situation is not as black and white as you think.

Feel blue

To feel blue is to be depressed

  • I’m feeling rather blue these days. I must really find something to cheer me up.

White lie

A small insignificant lie

  • There is no harm in telling a white lie.

Give the green light

To give the green light is to approve a project.

  • The project can’t start until the government gives the green light.

 

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