Color Idioms List with Meanings, Examples, & PDFs

Download ESL Books and Free PDFs

Amazon LogoOrder your copy of the books on Amazon! Click here.

Color Idioms List

Download the Color Idioms List & PDF Worksheets

PDF Color Idioms PDF

View the updated web-version of the color idioms list in the table below.

The idiom worksheets and games are also free to download.

  • Download and print the PDFs.
  • Use the materials for interactive learning activities in class.
  • Students can also complete the worksheets to review or for self-study.

Color Idiom Worksheets for ESL Students

PDF Worksheet A: Defining Idioms & Writing Sentences with Idioms

PDF Worksheet B: Reading Idioms in Context & Describing Meanings

Fun Color Idiom Games for the Classroom

PDF Color Idioms Crossword

PDF Color Idioms BINGO

PDF Color Idioms Checklist (for BINGO)

39 Idioms and Phrases About Colors

*Updated: March 2020

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Idiom / PhraseMeaningExample Sentence
as white as a sheetvery fearful or anxiousWalter went as white as a sheet when he saw Hank get shot.
beet redembarrassed or angryDarren went beet red when he saw the scratch on his car.
black and bluehurt physically or mentallyBoth during and after the relationship, I felt so black and blue.
black and whiteabsolute termsThe contract that you signed is in black and white. You must agree to the terms.
black holesome place or situation in which things are lostNever take hard drugs. It's a black hole you can't escape from.
black marketillegal marketplaceA lot of fake cigarettes are sold in the black market.
black outlose consciousnessShe knocked her head on the floor and blacked out!
black sheepunaccepted group memberTom was the black sheep of the family and preferred to do things on his own.
black tie eventformal eventMost big award's ceremonies are black tie events.
blue-collarmanual laborHe got a blue-collar job working as a mechanic.
born with a silver spoonfrom a rich familySara was born with a silver spoon, but she became a drug addict.
every cloud has a silver liningbe optimisticShe got fired but found a better job she. Every cloud has a silver lining.
feel bluefeel sadBarbara felt blue after breaking up with her boyfriend.
give the green lightgive permissionShe gave her son the green light to join the police academy.
golden opportunitya good chance for achievementHe had a golden opportunity to win the game on the penalty shot.
grass is always greener on the other sideothers always have it betterWhenever she complains about her hometown, I remind her that the grass is always greener on the other side.
green thumbtalent for gardeningYour flowers live so long because of your green thumb.
grey areavague or unclearThe store's return policy is such a grey area. I don't understand their rules.
in the blackprofitableFacebook has been in the black ever since the company went public.
on a silver platterwhole-heatedly or easilyHe was offered the new job on a silver platter, but he didn't take it.
once in a blue moonrarelyThe truck driver visits his kids once in a blue moon.
out of the bluesuddenlyHer ex-boyfriend called her out of the blue during her honeymoon.
paint the town redhave funIt's finally the weekend! Let's paint the town red!
pitch blackvery darkYou should always sleep in a room that is pitch black.
pot calling the kettle blackto hypocritically criticizeDonald says the news is fake but that's like the pot calling the kettle black.
raise a white flagsurrenderI decided to raise a white flag and stop arguing with my wife.
red herringsomething that draws attention away from an important topicThe President's gambling addiction was just a red herring for the pipeline problems.
red taperules which hinder progressThere is a lot of red tape involved with starting a business.
red-letter dayan important dayMy graduation was a red-letter day for my parents.
roll out the red carpetgreet someone with great respectThey rolled out the red carpet during the President's inauguration.
see redto be enragedBobby saw red when his brother broke his phone.
silver screenthe movie industryAngelina always wanted to star on the silver screen.
talk a blue streaktalk a lotWomen who are close friends can talk a blue streak on the phone.
true colorsactual character or personalityI saw her true colors when she donated to the local charity.
white collaroffice laborMost white-collar workers don't get much sunshine.
white elephantuseless possessionMy old DVD player is a white elephant. I only watch Netflix now.
white liea harmless lieShe told her boss a white lie when she said she had a doctor's appointment.
white-collaroffice laborMost white-collar workers don't get much sunshine.
yellow-belliedcowardlyDon't be so yellow-bellied. It's only a small spider!

Extra Examples of Color Idioms in Use

Do you want to read more examples and sentences with color idioms?

Try entering the expressions in a corpus database or language app.

We highly recommend the following corpus resources and tools:

Watch on YouTube: Color Idioms and Expressions in English

View more Idioms and Phrases on ESL Expat

View the complete list of English idioms and phrases.