10 Common Colorful Idioms

Colorful idioms are everywhere! Here is a list of ten common colorful idioms, but this is just the beginning! There are so many more that are used in everyday English.

1. Out of the blue– randomly, without warning, surprisingly

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

2. Green with envy– to be very jealous, envious

Example: “Katie was green with envy when she saw you got a new car for your birthday.”

3. Gray area– something that is unclear, undefined

Example: The issue of allowing mobile phones in the classroom is a gray area right now- it could go either way.

4. Caught red-handed– to catch someone in the act of doing something

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

5. Green thumb– to be skilled at gardening

Example: “My mother has a green thumb- she can make anything grow!”

6. Black sheep– to be the outcast, odd one out, unlike the others

Example: “Rachel is the black sheep in the family because she is an artist whereas everyone else is an economist.”

7. Once in a blue moon– very rarely

Example: “Once in a blue moon you will see that mean professor smile.”

8. Take the red eye– a late night flight that arrives early in the morning

Example: “I took the red eye from California to New York last night and now I am exhausted.”

9. Tickled pink– to be extremely pleased

Example: “Your grandma was tickled pink that you called on her birthday!”

10. White lie– 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.

Did we leave out any important colorful idioms that you hear or use often? Let us know in the comments or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter!


Jessica Weeg
Jess is a Public Relations Summer Associate at Voxy, and recently graduated from Indiana University (Go Hoosiers!). She enjoys travelling, cooking, and playing volleyball. “The culture of this company is unbelievable. Everyone is having a lot of fun and working very hard- we’re going to accomplish some great things this summer!”