Idioms with colors in English: A complete list + video

Idioms with colors in English add a splash of fun to this language! Just like a rainbow, they make our sentences more colorful and interesting. For example, when someone says “feeling blue,” it doesn’t mean they turned into the color blue, but that they’re feeling a little sad. Or if they say “green with envy,” it doesn’t mean they turned into a green monster, but that they’re jealous. These color idioms help us express our feelings in a creative way, making our conversations as bright as a field of wildflowers!

What we know about the use of colors in English is that they are mainly used as adjectives for describing the appearance of things or people. But there are some expressions and color idioms in English that are mainly used by native English speakers. In this lesson, we are going to learn some of these idioms and expressions.

What are idioms?

Idioms are words that are a group of words that have a meaning different than the direct meaning of the words themselves. For example, if something is a piece of cake, it doesn’t mean that it’s actually like a cake! It means that it’s very easy to do.

– With POC English, learning English is a piece of cake (learning English is easy).

So, if you know the meaning of “piece” and the meaning of “cake”, it doesn’t help you. You need to know the meaning of the phrase “piece of cake”. That’s why you have to learn idioms.

It’s worth mentioning that if you want to learn more about English idioms and take your English to the next level, take the POC English online English learning class and improve your speaking, reading, writing, and listening skills.

We also have a great course for students who want to get a great score in the IELTS exam. Take our IELTS preparation course and get the best results!

Now we are going to learn some English idioms with color.

How many color idioms are there?

Here is the list of color idioms in English:


White lie: This item of idioms with colors in English means a small lie that is told to be polite or avoid hurting someone’s feelings.

Example: “I didn’t like her dress, but I told a white lie because I didn’t want to offend her.


To Get the Green Light: to grant or to receive permission to do something

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


In The Red: 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 have been in red during the last two months because I was jobless.



Now pay attention to the following conversation in which the mentioned English idioms with color are used:


A party is held for a company’s employees


A: Hey! Look at the boss’s dress. It’s so ridiculous.

B:  Shshsh!! I know. But we should tell him a white lie. We need to get the green light for our new project. We are in red and need to apply this project.

A: yes. You’re right dude!! ….. Hi Mr. Smith. Such a nice dress! It really suits you.




Learn more: Read the article about idioms about cats in English


Now let’s learn about other idioms with colors in English:

Tickled pink : This item of color idioms in English means to be extremely pleased

Example: “My brother was tickled pink that he could pass the test”

Example: My younger sister was tickle pink after her new gifts arrived


To Feel blue: This idiom is also in the list of color idioms in English that means to feel sad or depressed about something.

Example: After rejection from the college my friend felt blue.


Once in a blue moon: very rarely

Example: “Once in a blue moon my friends and I gather together because we are living in different countries.”


With Flying Colors: to be really, really successful

Example: He passed his exams with flying colors.

Example: The IELTS was challenging for him, he passed it with flying colors.


The following conversation shows how you can use these list of color idioms in your conversations:


Two students after an exam


Thomas: It was so great. I think I passed the exam with flying colors. I am so tickled pink. How about you John?

John: I screwed it up. I feel blue. It happens once in a blue moon for me to fail an exam. But I think this was the time!




Learn more: What are the health idioms in English?


Let’s get familiar with the other idioms with colors in English:

To be Caught red-handed: to catch someone in the act of doing something

Example: “He was caught red-handed while stealing those candy bars.”


Out of the blue (OF color idioms in English): randomly, without warning, surprisingly

Example: “That storm came out of the blue and I didn’t have an umbrella!”


A White-Color Worker: office workers not doing any physical work

Example: During the COVID-19 pandemic white-collar workers were working from home rather than the workplace.


Red tape (Of idioms with color in English):  Too much formal paperwork to do something.

Example: When people apply for a visa for another country, there’s usually a lot of red tape.


Black market: The area where illegal things such as drugs and guns are bought and sold.

Example: People who can’t buy a gun legally with a permit usually can buy one on the black market.



Pay attention to the following conversation so that you become more familiar with the use of this list of color idioms:


Two workers are discussing a new illegal business


A: Let’s start selling medications/drugs on the black market. It brings a lot of money. We can ditch the red tape.

B: No way dude! We will be caught red-handed. They will understand when we get rich out of the blue! We are just ordinary white color workers.




Learn more: Get familiar with the funny idioms in English


Now you can test your understanding of colorful idioms by taking the quiz:

Quiz of the lesson: English idioms with color

We were camping in beautiful scenery on a sunny day. But it started raining …….

✅ Out of the blue

✅ Once in a blue moon

✅ With flying colors


These days due to economic recession ordinary workers are…….

✅ Tickled pink

✅ In red

✅ Caught red-handed


People are always complaining about the long ……when they are applying for job permission.

✅ Black market

✅ Red tape

✅ White color workers

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