Special Sub-Topic: Colorful Phrases
|If you are caught in the act of a crime, you are said to be "caught ____ - handed".|
red. One legend about the origin of this phrase is that, during a race to the shore of Northern Ireland, - where the winner would be the first to touch the shore -one contestant cut off his hand and flung it on the shore to ensure his team's win.
|If you are showing signs of severe envy, you are "_____ with envy".
green. This phrase has been used for many years. One legend about its origins goes back to Greek times, since the Greeks thought that when you were ill or jealous, your body produced too much bile, which might give your skin a greenish color.
|If you are trying to surrender, you are "waving the _____ flag".|
white. Mention of white flags for surrender was noted by historians from both Rome and China. Those who study flags have suggested that this may have been because armies usually brought colorful banners into war, and the white flag was an obvious contrast to these.
|If a child is throwing a tantrum, he may threaten to "hold his breath until he turns ____."|
blue. If the oxygen content of your blood is low, your skin takes on a bluish color. Although a child may pass out from this act, he will recover and begin breathing normally.
|A person who is a powerful adviser, who acts unofficially or secretly is known as a "______ eminence."|
grey. This phrase originally referred to an adviser of Cardinal Richilieu's. His name was Francois du Tremblay. It was used to refer to du Tremblay's grey robes.
|If you are very pale, you are "as ______ as a sheet"|
white. This phrase began in the 1600s, when most linens were only white.
|If something is very dark it is said to be "as ____ as coal"|
black. This one is pretty obvious, as it comes from the color of coal.
|A colorful way to describe a coward is "_______-bellied"|
yellow. This is said to have begun in England, due to the derogatory description of people born in the "Fens", and who would therefore have had a "yellow" complexion due to that region's climate.
|If you are healthy, you are said to be "in the ______."|
pink. This is often said to be related to the healthy pink cheeks of a newborn, but is also said to have originated in the 16th century, and is related to pink being an abbreviation for "pinnacle". Therefore, someone in the "pink" would be at the "pinnacle" of health.
|If you write a passage which is overly extravagant it is sometimes referred to as "_____ prose."|
purple. This phrase went back to Roman times, and it denoted a portion of a text which was, in comparison, more flowery than the rest of the publication.
Did you find these entries particularly interesting, or do you have comments / corrections to make? Let the author know!
Send the author a thank you or
Submit a correction