Common Color Idioms To Boost Your Vocab

Anyone who seeks to add more ‘color’ to their understanding and usage of the English language, it is highly recommended to learn as many idioms as possible. Though you can get your point across without using idioms, the nuances, subtleties, and history of the language can only be understood if you are aware of idiomatic usage. So here goes, some common color idioms to embellish your vocabulary:

Green with envy

Meaning: To be extremely jealous or envious

Usage: Rohan turned green with envy when he heard Shashwat, a student of Pep Talk India, speak English fluently.

Out of the blue

Meaning: Totally unexpectedly, without warning

Usage: The students were blissfully enjoying their vacation when, out of the blue, the exams were announced by the college authorities.

Gray area

Meaning: A situation or activity where the rules are not defined or known.

Usage: Kartik asked for some leeway in the internal exams owing to his poor health, but his instructor was wary of taking any action since it was a gray area.


Meaning: Official bureaucratic procedure or routine that results in delay or inaction on a project.

Usage: India is placed at a lowly 130 position on the economic freedom index rankings owing to excessive red-tapism prevailing in the country.

Red-carpet treatment

Meaning: Very special or royal treatment.

Usage: After donning some high-end designer clothes, Mayank was given the red-carpet treatment everywhere he went.

Give the green light

Meaning: Give the approval or permission to someone to proceed with a certain task or action.

Usage: The latest season of Game of Thrones was greenlit by HBO.

Pot calling the kettle black

Meaning: A situation in which a person criticizes or accuses someone for doing something that they themselves are guilty of.

Usage: The politician calling his rival “corrupt to the core” was a case of the pot calling the kettle black after the CBI raid revealed black money stored at his home.

Black sheep

Meaning: A member of the family who is regarded as a disgrace or embarrassment

Usage: Vishal was considered the black sheep of the Kapoor family because of his addiction to drugs.

Once in a blue moon

Meaning: Happening very rarely

Usage: What’s the point of purchasing a limited edition PS4 if you will use it once in a blue moon?

Tickled pink

Meaning: When you are extremely pleased with something.

Usage: Harshita was tickled pink when she heard of her promotion by the manager.

White lie

Meaning: A lie thought to be insignificant and justified, especially when it results in avoiding hurting the feelings of someone.

Usage: Tushar told Shivani that her voice was mellifluous. He had to tell this white lie because he was wary of her volatile temper and tantrums.

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[button link=”” color=”lightblue” newwindow=”yes”] 10 Idioms for Difficult Situations[/button]

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