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"Living´s not waiting until the storm ceases, but learning how to dance in the rain"....

"Cuándo el mundo te deprima, observa lo que te rodea com objetividad. Avanza de manera positiva y recuerda que eres tú quien lleva las riendas".

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quinta-feira, 16 de fevereiro de 2012

Idioms about colors


Black and white:

MEANING: think of everything or judge everything as either good or bad
"He tries to see everything in black and white although he knows this is impossible.”

To black out:

MEANINGS: 1. to darken by putting out or dimming electric lights
2. to lose consciousness
1. During the war people in the cities were forced to black out their windows so that the enemy aircraft could not see them.
2. Suddenly the man blacked out during the parade and had to be helped to a quiet place.

Black sheep (of the family):

MEANING: a person who is a disgrace or embarrassment to a family or group

The man is the black sheep in his family and is the only member who has not had a successful career and life.

In the black:

MEANING: successful or profitable

The company has been in the black since they began to adopt many new ideas to cut costs.


To appear/happen out of the blue:

1. to arrive unexpectedly, usually after a long absence.
2. to happen very suddenly and unexpectedly
1. “My brother suddenly appeared out of the blue yesterday. We hadn’t seen him for years.”
2. “I was driving home when out of the blue a deer jumped out in front of my car. I braked just in time to avoid it. We were both very lucky not to be hurt.”

To blue pencil something:

MEANING: to censor something.

”Reports on the mistreatment of the political prisoners were blue pencilled by the authorities”

A blue-eyed boy:

MEANING: critical description of a boy/young man who has been singled out for special favours by someone in authority.

”John is a real blue-eyed boy. The team manager always gives him special treatment. It isn’t fair to the rest of us.”

A bolt from the blue:

MEANING: some unexpected bad news.

“It came like a bolt from the blue that they are getting divorced.”

To look / feel blue:

MEANING: – to look / feel depressed or discontented.

“Things are looking blue for Tom these days. His wife has left him.”

Blue in the face:

MEANING: to make a huge but vain effort to win a person’s agreement.

“I told him he was making a mistake until I was blue in the face but he wouldn’t listen.”

Once in a blue moon:

MEANING: to occur extremely rarely or only once in a life-time.

”My brother only rings home once in a blue moon. I wish he would ring our parents more often”

Men/boys in blue:

MEANING: the police because of the colour of their uniforms.

“Let’s get out of here! The boys in blue are coming.”


To be browned off:

MEANING: to be bored, annoyed at something

I’m browned off with this place. There is nothing to do here.


To be colorless:

MEANING: to lack personality, to be boring.
“Nothing he said stands out in my memory. I’m afraid he’s a dull, colourless man.’

To be off colour:

MEANING: to be not quite at one’s best, to feel queasy or slightly ill.

“She’s a little off colour today because she was up very late last night and had too much to drink!.”

To give/lend colour to:

MEANING: to make (an account, story, explanation, etc.) more credible or more believable.

"The broken window on the ground floor lent colour to her story that
her house had been burgled”

A highly colored report:

MEANING: a report that is exaggerated or biased.
“I read the government’s highly colored report on the great state of the health services.”

To see someone in his true colours:

MEANING: to understand someone’s true character, often for the first time.

"As soon as he made a fuss about returning her money, I saw him in his true colours.”

To show oneself in one’s true colours:

MEANING: to reveal one’s true nature.

“‘When he lost his temper at the party, he showed himself in his true colours”

With flying colours:

MEANING: with great success, with distinction.

“We were all expecting him to fail, but he passed with flying colours.”

To paint in bright/dark colours:

MEANING: to describe something in a flattering or unflattering way.

“My brother pretended he was doing well financially and painted his life there in the brightest colours.”


To be green:

MEANING: inexperienced, immature
He is rather green and doesn’t have enough experience to drive the large piece of machinery yet.

Green with envy:

MEANING: full of envy, very jealous

I was green with envy when I heard that she would be going to London for a month while I had to stay and work.

Give someone the green light:

MEANING: give permission to go ahead with a project
We were finally given the green light to begin setting up the new project.

Get the green light:

receive permission to go ahead with a project

We got the green light to go ahead with the new advertising campaign.

Grass is always greener on the other side:

a place that is far away or different seems better than where we are now

He realized that the grass is always greener on the other side when he saw that his new job wasn’t perfect and had its own problems too.

Green belt:

MEANING: an area of fields and trees around a town

The city has a policy of increasing the green belt around the city.

Green thumb:

MEANING: a talent for gardening, ability to make things grow

She has a green thumb and is able to grow one of the best gardens in our neighborhood.


A golden opportunity

MEANING: a great opportunity that might never come again
This is a golden opportunity to make a business deal with that big company.

A golden handshake:

MEANING: a large sum of money paid to a retiring manager or director, or to a redundant worker.

The company chairman received a huge golden handshake on retiring.

A golden boy:

MEANING: a young man idolized for a great skill, usually in sport.

“David Beckham is the golden boy of English soccer”


Tickled pink:

MEANING: be very pleased, thrilled, delighted
She was tickled pink that you made the effort to go and visit her when you were in town.

Pink slip:

  1. a piece of paper giving notice of dismissal from employment; any dismissal from employment. : Example: I got a pink slip today. I guess I had it coming.
  2. As a transitive verb:
    to dismiss someone from employment  Example: They pink slipped the whole office force today.
  3. As a noun:
    a learner's permit for driving an automobile. (In some U.S. states.).Example:  You can't even drive in your own driveway without a pink slip.

To be shown the red card:

MEANING: to be dismissed from your job.
“The accountant was shown the red card for hiding company money.”

To be in the red:

MEANING: to have an overdraft, to be in debt.

”I am overdrawn again. I hate being in the red.”

To catch someone red-handed:

MEANING: to catch someone in the act of committing a crime, usually a theft.

"The manager caught the new employee red-handed taking money out of the box.”

To look through rose-coloured/tinted spectacles:

MEANING: to see things in a flattering or over-optimistic light.

“It annoys me that she sees everything through rose-coloured spectacles, but
she would feel differently if she had to live there.”

To see red:

MEANING: to react with uncontrollable rage against someone or something.

“John saw red when he saw his girlfriend laughing with another guy.”

Red tape:

MEANING: bureaucratic delay, excessive attention to rules and regulations, often resulting in injustice to the ordinary citizen.

“I want to start a new business but the red tape involved is very frustrating.”

To see the red light:

MEANING: to recognize approaching danger, the red light being a danger signal.

“When the doctor warned his patient that further drinking would damage his liver, the man saw the red light and quit.”

Paint the town red:

MEANING: go out and party and have a good time

" When my cousin came to visit us we decided to go out and paint the town red.”

Roll out the red carpet:

MEANING: greet a person with great respect, give a big welcome

When Nelson Mandela visited Washington, they rolled out the red carpet and gave him a great welcome.

A redneck

MEANING: an ignorant, insensitive person.

“Our new co-worker is a real redneck. He doesn’t seem to know anything about life.”


The silver screen:

MEANING: the cinema
Valentino was one of the earliest stars of the silver screen.


As white as a sheet:

in a state of great fear

You look like you’ve just seen a ghost. Your face is as white as a sheet.

White elephant:

MEANING: a useless possession

The new stereo that he bought is a white elephant and he doesn’t need it at all.

White as a ghost:

MEANING: very pale because of fear, shock, illness etc.

My sister became white as a ghost when she saw the man at the window.

A white lie:

MEANING: a harmless lie (told to be polite or to do something not seriously wrong)

I told my boss a white lie and said that I was sick yesterday when actually I wasn’t.

A white-collar worker:

MEANING: a professional or office worker who wear a shirt with a white collar.

“The recession has hit factory workers (blue-collar workers) much harder than white-collar workers.”



MEANING: extremely timid, cowardly
He is a yellow-bellied coward and never is willing to fight for what is right.

A yellow streak:

MEANING: cowardice in character

He has a yellow streak running down his back and is not a good person to expect to support you when things become difficult.

To yellow/to be yellow: 

Meaning: to lose courage, to get cold feet.
Bill was going to ask Susan out, but when she came in, he simply yellowed.

(Main source: http://www.learn4good.com/languages/evrd_idioms/id-c.htm)

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