Commonly Used Color Idioms in English

A lot of English idioms use colors to describe feelings. Below are common color idioms in English.

Color Idioms

To see red: Very angry

  • We probably use red to describe anger because people’s faces turn red when they are angry. Imagine you became so angry your eyes became red, too. Then you might begin to “see red.”

Example: Sarah was seeing red when her computer suddenly crashed.

Green with envyWanting something someone else has

  • I’m not sure why people are green when they are envious, but this is a very common saying.

Example: When John brought home his expensive car, his neighbor Tom was green with envy.

To feel blueSad

  • You can also “be blue.”

Example: After Julian’s boyfriend left her, she felt blue and cried all the time.

Yellow-belliedCoward, not brave

  • Belly means stomach. If your belly is yellow, you are not brave. This idiom isn’t used as much nowadays as it was in the past.

Example: He was a yellow-bellied cowboy. He always ran away from a fight.

Tickled pink: Very happy

  • When someone is tickled, he feels very excited and happy. Perhaps your skin becomes pink when you feel happy.

Example: David asked Mary to marry him. He was tickled pink when she said yes.

Golden opportunityThe perfect chance

Example: Instead, it is underedited and overpriced: the publishers missed a golden opportunity.

Black sheepA person who is a disgrace to a family or group

Example: John is the black sheep in our family. He almost ended up in jail a few times when we were younger.

Common Color Idioms | Image

Color Idioms

Commonly Used Color Idioms in English 1

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