Idioms title

The Idiom Attic - a collection of hundreds of English idioms, each one explained.

"colour" idioms...

See also, the Phrase Thesaurus list of phrases that contain the word colour

and, a list of phrases that relate in some way the word colour

" A red rag to a bull "
Meaning:
A deliberate provocation.
Example:
Telling Putin that he is macho as a response to being small in stature was like a red rag to a bull.
Where did it originate?:
Britain. An allusion to bullfighting, where the bull is provoked by a waved cloth.
Where is it used?:
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   animals  
" Amber nectar "
Meaning:
A slang term for lager.
Example:
I've been in the outback all day rounding up sheep and my throat's as dry as a pommies towel. I'm just about ready to sink a few tinnies of the amber nectar.
Where did it originate?:
Originally the USA but only becoming widely used following its use as an advertising slogan by Foster's Lager, initially in Australia.
Where is it used?:
Worldwide, but rarely by the over 60s.
More idioms about:   drink   australian_origin  
" Brown out "
Meaning:
1. A partial failure of the electricity supply. 2. The exposing of one's buttocks in public.
Example:
1. After the lightning struck there was a puff of smoke and everything went dim. Looks like a brown out.
Where did it originate?:
Australia.
Where is it used?:
Common in Australia, but used elsewhere too.
" Cherry ripe "
Meaning:
Cockney rhyming slang for pipe.
Example:
Get me twenty cigarettes while you are out would you? - and some tobacco for my cherry ripe.
Where did it originate?:
Where is it used?:
Mostly Britain.
More idioms about:   cockney_rhyming_slang  
" Dead white European male "
Meaning:
Derogatory reference to someone who has an unjustified reputation.
Example:
John Ruskin is a hero to some people in the art world but I can't see him as anything other than a dead, white, European male.
More idioms about:   death  
" Get a gold star "
Meaning:
Earn a merit point for doing well.
Example:
Well done Juliet. 100% in your maths test = you are due a gold star.
Where did it originate?:
USA, late 19th century. First found in the US magazine The Ladies' Home Journal.
More idioms about:   effort  
" Ginger Beer "
Meaning:
Cockney rhyming slang for queer.
Example:
Julian is ginger - and I don't mean that he's got red hair.
Where did it originate?:
Where is it used?:
Mostly Britain.
More idioms about:   sex   drink   cockney_rhyming_slang  
" Mellow yellow "
Meaning:
Dried banana peel, used as an intoxicant.
Example:
He's tried everything else - grass, acid, speed, magic mushrooms. Now he's started on mellow yellow.
Where did it originate?:
USA, 1960s. Referred to in the Donovan song of the same name, as 'electrical banana'.
Where is it used?:
Worldwide, as the song title although few are aware of the drug connection.
More idioms about:   reduplication   euphemism  
" Once in a blue moon "
Meaning:
A rare occurrence.
Example:
West Bromwich Albion have won the cup. but only every once in a blue moon.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 19th century.
Where is it used?:
Hear the idiom spoken:
More idioms about:   nature   luck   number  
" Paint the town red "
Meaning:
Go on a boisterous or exuberant spree
Example:
It's the last day of term and everyone wants to party. Why don't we paint the town red?
Where did it originate?:
USA, 19th century.
Where is it used?:
Worldwide, although considered rather old fashioned language
More idioms about:   location   excess  
" Red letter day "
Meaning:
A significant, important or happy day.
Example:
Mom will be a hundred years old on the 23rd. That's a real red-letter day for the family.
Where did it originate?:
Britain - 15th century.
Where is it used?:
More idioms about:   happiness   date  
" Red tape "
Meaning:
Bureaucracy, especially in public business.
Example:
It's hardly worth applying for a grant from the council. There's so much red tape to contend with it will take years.
Where did it originate?:
Britain - 18th century.
Where is it used?:
More idioms about:   business  
" Silver bullet "
Meaning:
A simple and seeming effortless solution to a difficult problem.
Example:
We are thousands in debt. That loan seemed to be the silver bullet that would sort out our problems, but it really wasn't.
Where did it originate?:
USA, 1950s.
Where is it used?:
" Silver fox "
Meaning:
A handsome grey-haired man.
Example:
Richard Gere used to be the typical matinee idol. These days he's a real silver fox.
Where is it used?:
More idioms about:   animals  
" Silver surfer "
Meaning:
An older person who uses the World Wide Web.
Example:
Granny didn't want the iPad we bought her but since we showed her how to Skype the kids in Australia she's become a real silver surfer.
Where did it originate?:
USA, late 20th century.
Where is it used?:
More idioms about:   technology  
" Silver threads amongst the gold "
Meaning:
Blonde hair that is turning grey.
Example:
Thirty years ago Janine had strawberry blonde hair. These days she's going grey, or as she prefers to say silver threads among the gold.
Where is it used?:
Worldwide, but rather old-fashioned.
More idioms about:   the_human_body   euphemism  
" Silver tongued "
Meaning:
Eloquent or persuasive manner of speech.
Example:
Reagan didn't always have much in the way of policies but he certainly could hold a crowd with his silver tongued speeches.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, 16th century.
Where is it used?:
More idioms about:   language   the_human_body  
" White elephant "
Meaning:
An object that appears magnificent but which is a burdensome financial liability.
Example:
The Empire State Building was a remarkable achievement but, for years after it was built, it had few tenants and was really a white elephant for its developers.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, late 19th century.
Where is it used?:
More idioms about:   animals  
" Yellow belly "
Meaning:
A coward.
Example:
He wouldn't fight in WWI. Some said he was a yellow belly, but I'd call him a pacifist.
Where did it originate?:
Britain, late 18th century.
Where is it used?:
More idioms about:   the_human_body  

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