Color idioms in English
BLUE, a bolt from the blue also a bolt out of the blue
something that you do not expect to happen and that surprises you very much.
Example: The news that they had got married was a bolt from the blue. He seemed to be very happy in his job, so his resignation came as a bolt out of the blue.
black and blue
if a person or part of their body is black and blue, their skin is covered with bruises (= black marks caused by being hit)
Example: He was beaten black and blue at boarding school.
someone who has blue blood is from a family of the highest social class
Example: He has a fair bit of blue blood coursing through his veins.
of the lower class or working class; of a job or a worker, having to do with manual labor. (Also, when used as an attributive adjective, often blue-collar. Compare this with white collar)
Example: His parents were both blue-collar workers. He was the first person in his family to go to college. They bought a house in a nice, settled, blue-collar neighborhood.
(until you are) blue in the face
for a long time
Example: The attorneys can talk until they’re blue in the face, but I don’t think they’ll convince the jury that this guy is innocent. You can argue yourself blue in the face but it isn’t going to change my opinion.
once in a blue moon
Example: My sister lives in Alaska, so I only get to see her once in a blue moon. I don’t know why I bought that CD-ROM for my computer – I only ever use it once in a blue moon.
true-blue (American & Australian)
if someone is true-blue, they support something or someone completely
Example: Tom’s true-blue – he won’t let us down. They want control of the company to remain in true-blue American hands.
the boys in blue (British & Australian)
Example: The boys in blue were round again last night, asking questions.
born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth
Born into wealth and privilege.
Example: James doesn’t know anything about working for a living; he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth. Most of the students at the exclusive private college were born with silver spoons in their mouths.
Every cloud has a silver lining.
You can derive some benefit from every bad thing that happens to you. (You can also refer to the silver lining of a particular cloud, the benefit you can derive from a particular misfortune.)
Example: I’m sorry your business is going badly, but don’t despair. Every cloud has a silver lining. When Mary’s friends visited her in the hospital, they tried to cheer her up, but Mary never could find the silver lining in the cloud of her illness.
a silver-tongued person speaks to someone in a pleasant way and praises them in order to persuade them to do what they want (always before noun)
Example: He was a silver-tongued orator who convinced many people to support him.
on a silver platter
without work or effort
Example: The Internet provides huge quantities of information on a silver platter, but you don’t know if it’s accurate or true.
in the pink (of condition) and *in the pink (of health)
in very good health; in very good condition, physically and emotionally.
Example: He recovered completely from his surgery and has been in the pink ever since. She was lively and active and in the pink of condition.
a pink slip (American)
a letter from your employer which tells you that you do not have a job any more
Example: It was Christmas time when Miller got his pink slip from the company.
pink-collar jobs are jobs that women usually do, often in offices and for little money
Example: Most women returning to work after raising children, head for pink-collar jobs in sales and service.
in the pink (of something)
very strong and operating well It was almost a miracle that after his bout with pneumonia,
Example: He was back in the pink of health. These men are in the pink of condition, and the army wants to keep them that way. Our business is in the pink these days.
be in the pink (old-fashioned)
to be very healthy
Example: I wasn’t well last week, but I’m back in the pink, I’m pleased to say.