Idioms with Colour

Idioms with Colour

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 the word 'colour'

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


Written and voiced by Mary Mironova

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Idioms with Colour

Hi, my dear friends!
Today I'd really like to tell you about a few idioms with the word 'colour'.

I have a feeling you're a little off-colour today and I want to cheer you up. Did you call the doctor? What did he tell you to do?

Did you hear a colour idiom? I did. 'To be off-colour'. What does it mean? If a person is off-colour, he or she isn't feeling very well. What should we tell a person who is feeling off-colour? That's right, we should tell this person to get better.

When was the last time you were off-colour?

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Today I congratulated my friend on finally getting her Master's Degree. She passed all her exams with flying colours and graduated with honors!

So how did she pass her exams? That's right, she passed with flying colours. What does that mean? Did she just barely pass? No, she has a very good mark! She passed easily and very successfully. That's what the expression 'to pass with flying colours' actually means.

Do you usually pass your exams with flying colors?
What advice would you give to a person who wanted to pass their English test with flying colours?

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I have an acquaintance, everybody loves her and thinks that she is charming, but the truth is – she's a horrible person. She lies to everybody's face, and people don't even realize it. Someday I'll show her in her true colours!

What does 'show someone in their true colours' mean?
It means 'to reveal someone's real character', especially if it is unpleasant.

Have you ever shown someone in their true colours?
Do you think that politicians and celebrities are shown in their true colours in the media?

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Janet is sailing under false colours. She hasn't told her new boss that she lied at the job interview, and that she actually doesn't know German.

So is Janet honest? No, she isn't. She's lying to people, she's pretending that she knows something she doesn't.
So what does ' sail under false colours' mean?
You're absolutely right, it means 'to pretend to know something or be something you're not in order to deceive someone'. Ships used to sail under a flag of a different coluor if they wanted the other country's ship to think of them as friends. That's where the expression comes from.

Have you ever sailed under false colours at your job?
Do you think it's a good idea to sail under false colours in a relationship with a boyfriend or girlfriend? Why?

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Julie went on vacation with her boyfriend, but the hotel wasn't very nice, and the food was simply revolting! When Julie came back she told her friends about her holiday, and she painted it in bright colours, telling them about the good weather and the wonderful guided walks.

Her friends were really jealous! They didn't know anything about the bad hotel and the horrible food. Julie presented her vacation in a very flattering and good way, so her friends thought it was really good.
So what does ' paint something in bright colours' mean? It means to describe something in a very flattering way.

Do you sometimes paint your trips in bright colours?
I always try to paint my life in bright colours to my mother, so she wouldn't get worried.

Great! Now you know some expressions with 'colour'!

Hope your life is colourful! Улыбаюсь