Idioms with Black

Idioms with Black

LEVEL 3, 4, 5 |

This new series will make it easier for you to learn idioms with different colours. 

This episode foucuses on idioms with 'black'. 

Learn 5 idioms with 'black' in just 5 minutes!


Written and voiced by Mary Mironova

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Idioms with Black

Hello, guys!

I would like to continue our color idioms series, and today I will tell you about idioms with another color.
What color is the sky at night? What color is wet ground? What color is an unlucky cat?
Yes, black. So today I want to tell you about idioms with black.

David got into a fight the other day. Now he has a black eye.

What is a black eye? Is David's eye actually black? No, of course it isn't. Somebody hit him in the eye, and now it is bruised. He has a black eye.

Have you ever had a black eye? Have you ever given anyone a black eye?

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The fight ended suddenly when David's opponent blacked out. He was not able to do anything, he was just lying on the floor. He had fainted.

So what happened to David's opponent? David knocked him out. That guy became unconscious, he fell down and sort of went into a small coma, or sleep, or whatever you want to call it. 'To black out' means to faint, to become unconscious.

Have you ever blacked out?

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David had fought with John because John had called David's sister Karen the black sheep of the family. David was offended, and he stood up for Karen. Karen is a good person, honest and kind. So John's words were a lie.

Who is 'the black sheep of the family'? Is it something good or bad? Actually, you're right. It's bad. It means 'the worst member of the family'.

Do you have a black sheep in your family?

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Last night I woke up because I was thirsty. I went to get a drink of water and I fell down because it was pitch black. Now I'm black and blue all over!

So why did I fall down? Because it was pitch black in the hall. What does ' pitch black' mean? Can you guess?
Yay! It means 'completely dark', without any light.

Do you like being in pitch black places?

I fell down in the darkness and hurt myself. Now I'm black and blue all over. What does 'black and blue' mean? I think we already discussed it in my previous podcast! Can you remember what it means?

Good job, you have a good memory. It means 'with bruises all over your body'.

So have you ever fallen down in the dark and become black and blue all over?

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I had been writing a book for some time and I sent it to different publishers. They all refused to publish my book, and I was very upset. I lost all hope of ever seeing my book in print. I was shocked when I received a letter saying that my book had been accepted! 

“Jenny, I can't believe it!” I screamed, showing the letter to my best friend. “Tell me – is it true?”
“Yes, look, it's here in black and white.” Jenny comforted me, pointing at the letter.

Did you spot a 'black' idiom here?
I did. ' In black and white'. What do you think it means?
It means 'written on paper'. Paper is white, ink is black. So in black and white means 'with ink on paper'.

What is the last thing you've seen in black and white?

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Sometimes I'm a little bossy. And I hate it when other people are bossy towards me. Once, a friend tried to tell me what to do, and I told her to stop being bossy. “Look, the pot calling the kettle black!” she exclaimed.

What does that mean? 'the pot calling the kettle black'. It means 'to criticize for some bad features which you also have or some bad things which you also did'.

I'm bossy, and I criticized my friend for being bossy. So I was the pot which was calling the kettle (my friend) black. A pot is like a saucepan, and it was usually black because the food was cooked on an open fire. Also, the kettle with water was heated on an open fire. So the pot was black and the kettle was black, too. That's where this idiom comes from.

Have you ever had a situation when the pot called the kettle black?

So now you know some idioms about black. Hope you'll use them!
Good luck! Thanks for listening.

Don't miss our next color idiom podcast!