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Idioms of the week: colors

In this blog series, we’re breaking down common English expressions that are used in everyday conversation, so you’ll be able to expand your language skills and have fun with new English phrases. This week, we prepared a list of idioms in the theme of colors.

1. out of the blue (noun phrase): without warning, unexpectedly
Ex: He showed up out of the blue on my doorstep this morning.

2. a white lie (noun phrase): a lie about a small or unimportant matter that someone tells to avoid hurting another person
Ex: Mary didn’t want to go to the party so she told her friends a little white lie that she wasn’t feeling well and stayed in.

3. red tape (noun phrase): excessive bureaucracy or adherence to rules and formalities
Ex: It took months for him to get a visa, there must have been a lot of red tape involved.

4. blackout (noun phrase): a failure of electrical power
Ex: The entire city is experiencing a blackout after last night’s storm.

5. to show someone’s true colors (verb phrase): to show the real nature or characteristics of a person
Ex: She really showed her true colors when she was rude to the waitress last night.

6. with flying colors (noun phrase): easily and excellently
Ex: She passed the test with flying colors.

7. green with envy (noun phrase): wishing very much that you had what someone else has
Ex: Her new boots make me green with envy, they’re so pretty!

8. a grey area (noun phrase): a situation lacking clearly defined characteristics
Ex: The main points of the contract are clear but a few details are a grey area.

9. black and white (noun phrase): straightforward, very clear
Ex: The situation is black and white: if we win, we go to the playoffs; if we lose, the season is over.

10. catch someone red-handed (verb phrase): to catch a person in the act of doing something wrong
Ex: I caught him red-handed stealing candies at the store.

Try using these idioms the next time you practice your English skills. You’ll find yourself using them more naturally in conversation in no time!