18 Colour Idioms in English

Here you will learn 18 colour idioms in English. Tickled pink meaning, red herring meaning, see red meaning and more.

Listen to 2 podcasts episodes from Speak Better English with Harry podcast.

18 Colour Idioms in English

18 Colour idioms in English. Tickled pink meaning. White elephant meaning. From intermediate to advanced English with www.englishlessonviaskype.com #learnenglish #englishlessons #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles #อังกฤษ #английский #aprenderingles #english #cursodeingles #учианглийский #vocabulário #dicasdeingles #learningenglish #ingilizce #englishgrammar #englishvocabulary #ielts #idiomas

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Hi there. This is Harry. Welcome back to Speak Better English with Harry podcast where I try to help you understand a little better the use of the English language by helping you and explaining English expressions, idioms, phrasal verbs and business English phrases.

So what do I have for you now? In this post we’re going to look at the colour idioms in English.

1. BLACK MARKET

Meaning: buying and selling something illegally, particularly something that is difficult or impossible to obtain otherwise

Example:

His latest movie is not in cinemas yet but I was able to get a copy on the black market. 

2. BLACKLEG

Meaning: somebody who breakes the rules of a strike, somebody who is going against his fellow workers during a strike

If there’s a strike on in the local factory and everybody’s out on strike. They are picketing the factory, so they hope that no workers will cross the picket line. But if somebody crosses the picket line and goes into work because he’s being offered an incentive by the bosses, they call him a blackleg.

Example:

For three months, while the big strike of the engineers was in progress, Green, who was a blackleg, decided to work.

18 Colour Idioms in English

3. TO GET THE GREEN LIGHT

Meaning: to grant or to receive a permission to do something

Well, when we’re talking about green light were usually referring to traffic lights and then most traffic lights. We have the sequence of red, orange, yellow are orange, yellow and green. Okay, so green is for go. So when you get the green light for a project that means green for go at everybody has agreed to go with it and you can start the project.

Example:

I submitted that project last week and the boss told me today that I got the green light to start. I’m really excited. 

4. TO BE GREEN WITH ENVY

Meaning: to have a desire to have something that somebody else has and wish you would have that

Example:

I was green with envy when I saw John new set of golf clubs.

18 Colour Idioms in English

18 Colour idioms in English. Tickled pink meaning. White elephant meaning. From intermediate to advanced English with www.englishlessonviaskype.com #learnenglish #englishlessons #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles #อังกฤษ #английский #aprenderingles #english #cursodeingles #учианглийский #vocabulário #dicasdeingles #learningenglish #ingilizce #englishgrammar #englishvocabulary #ielts #idiomas

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5. GREY MATTER

Meaning: we use this expression to refer to our intellect or our brains

Example:

Why don’t you sit down or spend a few hours or even a night thinking about it using your grey matter.

Why don’t you apply your grey matter to the problem? = Why don’t you think about it?

6. BLACK AND WHITE

Meaning: something that is pretty obvious, something that you can see and understand quite clearly like old-fashioned newspapers

Example:

I think it’s black and white, really. It’s quite easy to understand. It shouldn’t present any problems to anybody.

7. IN THE RED

Meaning: it’s a reference to our bank accounts. So usually when we’re in the red means we have overdrawn a bank account. We have no money.

Example:

I’m in the red again. It always happens to me in the last few days of the month.

18 Colour Idioms in English

8. OFF COLOUR

Meaning: feeling a little unwell

Example:

What’s wrong with you today? You look a little off colour. 

When somebody is off colour they are not quite themselves.

9. ONCE IN A BLUE MOON

Meaning: something that doesn’t happen so frequently something that doesn’t happen so often

Example:

I used to read newspapers a lot but now only get it once in a blue moon.

10. PAINT THE TOWN RED

Meaning: to go a little bit wild, to have a bit of a party and have a bit of fun

Example:

When quarantine is over, I’ll take you out and we’ll paint the town red.

11. RED HERRING

Meaning: something that diverts your attention from the issue you should be concentrating on, something unimportant that distracts you  

Example:

The process itself was a red herring that is unlikely to ever materialise.

We thought that was a red herring and that Claire was lying to cover up the real situation.

Red Herring Meaning

Red herring meaning in English. 18 Colour idioms in English. Tickled pink meaning. White elephant meaning. From intermediate to advanced English with www.englishlessonviaskype.com #learnenglish #englishlessons #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles #อังกฤษ #английский #aprenderingles #english #cursodeingles #учианглийский #vocabulário #dicasdeingles #learningenglish #ingilizce #englishgrammar #englishvocabulary #ielts #idiomas

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12. RED-LETTER DAY

Meaning: a really important day, a day when something really important is going to happen

Example:

The day Paul got promoted in the army was a red-letter day for him.

13. SEE RED

Meaning: to get really annoyed or angry or frustrated

Example:

Jack saw red when he caught his ex-wife in the arms of another man.

14. TO BE TICKLED PINK

Meaning: to be very happy, very pleased or to be delighted with something

Example:

My mother was really tickled pink when she got flowers and chocolates on Mother’s Day.

Tickled Pink Meaning

Tickled pink meaning. 18 Colour idioms in English. Tickled pink meaning. White elephant meaning. From intermediate to advanced English with www.englishlessonviaskype.com #learnenglish #englishlessons #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles #อังกฤษ #английский #aprenderingles #english #cursodeingles #учианглийский #vocabulário #dicasdeingles #learningenglish #ingilizce #englishgrammar #englishvocabulary #ielts #idiomas

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15. A WHITE ELEPHANT

Meaning: something that is a waste of time, waste of money, something useless, unwanted or of no great value

Example:

The new factory was a white elephant project constructed at a massive cost and designed to fail.

16. A WHITE-COLLAR WORKER

Meaning: office workes not doing any physical work

It is a throwback to the old days of the industrial Revolution when the management wore white colours on their shirt. These were the days when the shirts had a detachable collar so you could wash and starch the colour separately to the shirt. So management, those in the offices had white colours on. And the ordinary workers had a blue collar. So it was the distinguished between the workers and the management.

Example:

Usually, white-collar workers are entitled to continued remuneration in the event of sickness.

17. WHITEWASH

Meaning: to cover up, to hide something, to try and avoid something being noticed.

Example:

The money spent on that new monument in the centre of townwas a complete waste of time. I guarantee that the government would try to whitewash over that.

18. WITH FLYING COLOURS

Meaning: to be really, really successful

Example:

He passed his exams with flying colours.

Probation was not a problem for him, he passed it with flying colours.

So that’s that’s our colour idioms in English.I’ll give them to you once more:

  • black market
  • blackleg
  • to get the green light
  • to be green with envy
  • grey matter
  • black and white
  • in the red
  • off colour
  • once in a blue moon
  • paint the town red
  • red herring
  • red-letter day
  • to see red
  • to be tickled pink
  • white elephant
  • a white-collar worker
  • whitewash
  • with flying colours

If you want to contact me, I’m always happy to hear from you. Please include some of your suggestions. Talk to you soon.

18 Colour Idioms in English

18 Colour idioms in English. Tickled pink meaning. White elephant meaning. From intermediate to advanced English with www.englishlessonviaskype.com #learnenglish #englishlessons #EnglishTeacher #vocabulary #ingles #อังกฤษ #английский #aprenderingles #english #cursodeingles #учианглийский #vocabulário #dicasdeingles #learningenglish #ingilizce #englishgrammar #englishvocabulary #ielts #idiomas

More information

For more information on English grammar rules, English collocations and English idioms, check out the links below:

English idioms about HOME

IELTS Sports vocabulary words

Direct and Indirect questions in English

Hyphens in English

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