green Idioms


get the green light

- to receive a signal to start or continue something

We got the green light to begin a study of the security problems at our school.

give (someone) the green light

- to give someone permission to proceed with a project

The city gave us the green light to begin the new project.

grass is always greener on the other side (of the fence)

- a place or situation that is far away or different seems better than one's present situation

The man believes that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence and he always wants to change jobs.


- to be inexperienced or immature

The young man is rather green and does not have enough experience to drive the large machinery.

green around the gills

- looking sick

My friend looked green around the gills after the long bus ride.

green belt

- an area of fields and trees around a town

Our city has a policy to increase the green belt around the city.

green-eyed monster

- jealousy

The woman was consumed by the green-eyed monster and it was affecting her life.

green thumb

- a talent for gardening, the ability to make things grow

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

green with envy

- to be very jealous, to be full of envy

I was green with envy when I heard that my cousin would be going to London for a week.


- an untrained or inexperienced or naive person

The young man is a greenhorn and he has much to learn about his new job.

have the green light

- to have a signal to start or continue something

The company finally has the green light to start the project.

pink Idioms


in the pink (of condition)

- in very good health

My grandmother was in the pink of condition when I saw her.

look at the world through rose-colored glasses

- to see only the good things about something, to be too optimistic

My friend always looks at the world through rose-colored glasses and he does not believe that some people are dishonest.

pink slip

- a termination notice from a job

I received my pink slip last week and I am now looking for a new job.

see pink elephants

- to see things which are not really there because they are only in your imagination

The man was seeing pink elephants according to those who listened to his story.

see the world through rose-colored glasses

- to see only the good things about something, to be too optimistic

The man sees the world through rose-colored glasses and thinks that everything is wonderful.

tickled pink

- to be very pleased or delighted by someone or something

"My mother was tickled pink that you visited her when you were in town."

red Idioms


as red as a cherry

- bright red

The car was as red as a cherry after its new paint job.

as red as a poppy

- bright red

The mark on my arm was as red as a poppy.

as red as a rose

- intensely red

The morning sunrise was as red as a rose.

as red as a ruby

- deep red

The office assistant was wearing lipstick that was as red as a ruby.

as red as blood

- deep red

The stain on the carpet was as red as blood.

catch (someone) red-handed

- to catch someone in the middle of doing something wrong

The woman was caught red-handed when she tried to steal some cosmetics.

ears are red

- one's ears are red from embarrassment

My ears were red after hearing what the teacher said about me.

in the red

- to be in debt, to be unprofitable

The company has been in the red for three years now.

like waving a red flag in front of a bull

- what you are doing will definitely make someone angry or upset

Talking about the city mayor with my father is like waving a red flag in front of a bull. He hates the city mayor.

out of the red

- out of debt

Our company is finally out of the red and we are now making money.

paint the town red

- to 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.

red-carpet treatment

- to receive special or royal treatment

I always receive the red-carpet treatment when I go and visit my aunt.


- an airplane flight that leaves late at night and arrives early in the morning

We caught the red-eye flight last night and we are very tired today.

a red flag

- a signal that something is not working properly or correctly

The fallen trees along the road raised a red flag for the safety inspectors.

red herring

- an unimportant matter that draws attention away from the main subject

Talking about the other issue was a red herring that did not do anything to deal with today's problem.


- very hot, creating much excitement or demand

The new video game is red-hot and many people are waiting to buy one.

red in the face

- embarrassed

I became red in the face when the teacher asked me a question.

red-letter day

- a day that is memorable because of some important event

It was a red-letter day when my sister received her graduation diploma.

red tape

- excessive formalities in official business

Many businesses complain about the red tape that they must deal with in order to get anything done with the government.

roll out the red carpet

- to greet a person with great respect, to give a big welcome to someone

The government rolled out the red carpet when the politician came to visit.

see red

- to become very angry

My boss saw red when I told him that I would not be coming to work today.

white Idioms


as white as a ghost

- very pale because of fear or shock or illness

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

as white as a sheet

- very pale

I felt terrible this morning and in the mirror I looked as white as a sheet.

as white as the driven snow

- very white

The fur on the dog was as white as the driven snow.

black and white

- either good or bad, either one way or the other way, oversimplified

Our boss sees everything in black and white.

carte blanche

- the freedom or permission to do what you want (blanche means white in French)

The new manager was given carte blanche to change the policies in her department.

in black and white

- in writing, officially

I put down my complaint in black and white.

put (something) down in black and white

- to write the details of a contract or something on paper

I asked the buyer to put the offer to buy my car down in black and white.

raise a white flag

- to indicate that you have been defeated and that you want to give up

The soldiers raised a white flag and surrendered to the enemy.

wave a white flag

- to indicate that you have been defeated and that you want to give up

The soldiers were waving a white flag when they surrendered to the enemy.

white elephant

- a useless possession (that often costs money to maintain)

The new airport is a white elephant and nobody wants to use it.

white lie

- a harmless or small lie told to be polite or to avoid hurting someone's feelings

I told my supervisor a white lie yesterday and said that I was sick when actually I was not.

white sale

- the selling of towels or sheets at a reduced price

We went to the white sale at the department store to buy some new sheets.

white-tie event/affair

- an event that requires guests to wear formal dress such as men wearing white bow ties with formal evening dress

I attended a white-tie dinner in honor of the president of our university.

whitewash (something)

- to cover up or gloss over faults or errors or wrongdoing

The government was accused of trying to whitewash the scandal about the illegal money.

yellow Idioms


have a yellow streak

- to be cowardly

The man has a yellow streak and he will not defend you if you are having a problem.


- extremely timid, cowardly

The man is yellow-bellied and is never willing to fight for what is right.