Colour idioms

  • A white lie : A ‘little’ or ‘harmless’ lie told in order to be polite and avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

For example : I just wanted to get out of work so I told my boss a little white lie.

  • White elephant : something that is of no use.

For example : My dad bought a new CD player for me, but it’s a white elephant

  • White as a ghost : someone who is very pale because of pain, fear, shock or illness.

For example : I didn’t think the movie was that scary, but my friend was as white as a ghost!

  • In the black : Meaning successful or profitable.

For example : Their company has been in the black ever since the new CEO took over.

  • Blackball someone : to reject someone socially.

For example : Their hospital has been blackballed ever since that scandal was all over the newspapers.

  • Black sheep : to describe a person who is the ‘odd one out’ of a group.

For example : she has always been the black sheep in her family, she has a completely different personality to all of them.

  • Blue blood : Used to describe someone from a noble, aristocratic or wealthy family.

For example : Many of the blue bloods in our town were invited to the royal wedding.

  • Feel blue : When someone looks or feels depressed or discontented.

For example : You seem really blue. Is there something you’d like to talk about?

  • Once in a blue moon : To occur extremely rarely, or only once in a lifetime.

For example : My brother is working in Africa, he hardly ever has the time to call us. My parents only hear from him once in a blue moon.

  • Blood red : Used to describe the deep red colour of something.

For example : She was wearing a beautiful dress with blood red lipstick to match.

  • To see red : To react with uncontrollable rage against someone or something.

For example : Adam saw red when he heard someone shouting at his mother.

  • Get the green light : When someone receives, or is given, permission to go ahead with something.

For example : We have been given the green light by the Marketing Executive to go ahead with the new advertising campaign.

  • Green belt : An area of fields and trees around a town.

For example : Our city has a policy of increasing the green belt around it.

  • Pink Slip : A termination notice received from a job.

For example : They gave me my pink slip last week, so I’ve got to find a new job now.

  • In the pink of something : Meaning in very good health.

For example : My grandmother looked ever so well when I saw her, she was in the pink of condition.

  • A golden opportunity : An opportunity that may never present itself again.

For example : Think carefully about what you’re going to do, this is a golden opportunity, and you don’t want to mess it up!

  • Golden boy : a young man idolised for a great skill, usually in sport.

For example : By many of his fans, Wayne Rooney is seen as the golden boy of his football team.

Published by rashaadwan

English language teacher who will help you to improve your English skills and to learn more about the language

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