Colors are seen in many different ways depending on where you're from. In English speaking countries, for example, envy is green, while in Germany it's yellow. Because colors are also tied strongly to our emotions, we see them in many different idioms. Be careful though! Just because a color idiom may seem to be the same as one in your own language, doesn't mean it is (the example from class today was great: in English speaking countries "green-eyed" means envious, in Russia it means someone is a witch"!)

Here's some vocabulary to help:

Nouns for Feelings and States:



Anger
Art/creativity
Authority
Bad luck
Balance
Beauty
Calm
Celebration
Children
Gold
Compassion
Courage
Cowardice
Cruelty
Danger
Death
Decadence
Deceit
Desire
Earthy
Energy
Eternity
Evil
Excitement
Family
Femininity
Fertility
Flamboyance
Freedom
Friendly
Fun
Good Luck
Gratitude
Growth
Happiness
Healing
Illness
Jealousy
Joy
Love
Loyalty
Luxury
Money
Mourning
Mystery
Nature
Passion
Peace
Power
Purity
Royalty
Strength
Success
Trust
Warmth
Wisdom

external image 955_coloursculture.png

Color idioms:

Black sheep: Jim was always the black sheep of the family. He was the only one who was interested in art.
Blacklist: If you are blacklisted by an industry, you'll never work in it again.
Blue-blood: A noble or aristocrat
Green-eyed/green-eyed monster: Ben hasn't spoken to Mary since she got promoted. Sounds like the green-eyed monster to me!
Yellow: I could never go bungee jumping! I'm too yellow.
Have the blues: I always get the blues on dark, rainy days.
Carte blanche: My professor gave us carte blanche on our project: we can do anything we want!
Green behind the ears: My first month at uni I was really green behind the ears. I didn't know how anything worked and needed a map to get around.
in the pink: I've been in the pink ever since I got a new job offer!
blue-eyed: Mike thinks that the world is a good place full of good people, but I think he's too blue-eyed.
green light: The government gave the green light on the new policy after the people voted.
white lie: He was so embarrassed that he had had ketchup on his face all day that I told a white lie and said nobody could notice it.
see red: I get angry when I read about police brutality, but when it happens to students I really see red.
gray area: Many people believe that animal testing for medicine is an ethical gray area...on one hand it helps people, on the other its hurting animals.
red tape: It took me years to get through all the red tape and get my visa.
whitewash: After the scandal, the politician tried to whitewash the situation by claiming he didn't know about the pay-off.
golden opportunity: Hopefully you'll all get a golden opportunity for your dream jobs after uni!
to see the world through rose-colored glasses: Jane always sees the world through rose-colored glasses, she always sees the best in every situation.