English expressions with colors

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How do the British and Americans interpret “the voice” of colors?

1. Expressions with “red”, “purple” and “pink”:

“Red alert”-this expression is used to warn of a sudden and very dangerous situation. If someone is “red in face” this means that they are embarrassed. The expression “paint the town red” means to go out at night to bars, clubs, discos, etc. and have a very good time.

If someone is “purple with rage” or “purple in the face”, they are extremely angry.

Pink is connected with “homosexual men” and is used in expressions such as the “pink pound” which means “the money that homosexual men have available to spend”.

2. Expressions with “green” and “blue”:

“Green belt” is an area of land around a city where building is not allowed, in order to protect fields and woods. If you are “green with envy”, you are very jealous of someone who has something that you want. “Green-eyed monster”-this expression is usually used to mean sexual jealousy. “Your face is green”-this means that you look pale and unhealthy, especially because you are about to vomit.

“Blue rinse”-Old ladies who support the Conservative party in the UK, have “blue rinse” which means that they have their white or grey hair dyed a pale blue color. In the USA, the expression “blue collar” is used to talk about social class. A blue collar worker works in a factory, repairs machines, etc. If you say that someone is “blue with cold”, you mean that they are very cold. “Blue-blooded” means “to have blue blood”. These are people who belong to royal families.

3. Expressions with “white”, “black” and “grey”:

If the face of somebody looks as “white as a sheet”, they are pale because they are ill or very frightened. A “white flag” is traditionally used by people fighting in a battle to show the surrender. This means that they accept that they have been defeated. “White-collar” in the USA, is used to talk about social class. A white-collar worker works in an office.

Black clothes are often worn to social occasions in the evening, when women sometimes wear a “little black dress”(a simple, short, black dress with no sleeves, that is acceptable at most social occasions that happen in the evening or at night) and men sometimes wear a black dinner jacket.

“Black magic” is believed to be magic that uses power of the Devil for evil purposes.

“Black sheep” is a member of a family who chooses to live the life in a way that is different from the other members, and that they disapprove of.

A “grey day” is an unpleasant one because the sky is full of grey clouds.

“Grey vote” means the support of old people in an election.


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