Archive for March, 2012

Digital Dialects

There are times you have to sit in front of the computer-waiting for something like an e-mail- but you cannot find anything useful to do and you just kill your time on Facebook or Twitter, looking at 500 photos of one of your friends 🙂 It happens to me a lot, that’s why I bookmark the useful websites and blogs that I come across on internet. You wouldn’t believe when you hear how many websites there are that can teach you any language at the basic level. I discovered one and I immediately bookmarked it 🙂 I also recommend you to do so. There are some language exercises with audio feature as well, such as Turkish 🙂 You can also test yourself with plays after learning 15-20 new words. I hope you enjoy this website.

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Do You Want to Rearrange Your Words?

Until recently, I hadn’t know what anagram is. I stumbled upon a website which rearranges the letters of any word that you write. This is amazing because this website shows more options than one can think just looking at the letters. I like it a lot and I want to share it with you. Maybe you also enjoy seeing how many options one may have!

What is an Anagram?

noun: A word or phrase formed by rearranging the letters of another word or phrase.

verb: To rearrange letters in such a way. To anagrammatize.

How does it work?

You just type the word you want:

Then you click on “Get anagrams” to see how many words you can have by rearranging the positions of the letters:

The only thing I do not like is that you can sometimes have words without any meaning (at least in English). I guess the computer gives all the possible rearrangements regardless of their meanings.

Anyway, it is a good and an interesting service especially for us, the language lovers. You can give it a try- after all it is free 🙂

Click here to try.

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After Reading This, Take a Little Break

We, as the computer community- or whatever you call it, do not know how to take a break! Between translations or computer-based tasks, we directly go and sign in Facebook or Twitter, we read blogs or watching some videos. This just cannot be a break because what makes you tired is the computer itself. It is very important to comfort ourselves with another way other than social media, otherwise our performance gets poorer after a couple of hours. Just think about the system when you were a primary school student. In Turkey, there is at least a 10 mins break after a 40 mins lecture in primary and high school (in university, it is completely up to the professor though). I guess, this period is defined by the scientists. Anyway, to cut it short, I found a good article by SDE Translation, telling the importance of taking breaks regularly. I also want to thank the auther for this wonderful article. I paste the parts that I find most interesting. You can always read the whole article by clicking the link at the bottom:

– … And then there comes the odd “tired day”. These are days when I  just feel like I can’t achieve much and just want to doze off. “I’m really too tired to work but this translation has to be done by such and such date, so if I rest now, I’ll never finish on time.” Many of us probably understand the feeling.

– Then there are the financial needs and worries. “I’ll never be able to pay this or this or that if I allow myself to take a break!”

– he work I force myself to do when I’m tired is of alesser quality, less creative, and is produced slower than when I’m rested. Moreover, I’m not as good at noticing details, not as sharp when I’m tired.

–  I quickly saw the benefit of focusing on people for a while, and letting my body and my brain relax and take it easy.

–  Life pass by very fast when you’re busy and if you don’t make time to think about priorities, you might wake up one day wondering where it has all gone. I work to live, not the other way round. I love my job and I work hard, but I also know there’s more to life than being stuck in front of an LCD screen typing away on a keyboard.

–  It has happened to me that after working several hours on a text, I took a break and after the break I could notice big mistakes right away that I hadn’t seen before. Sometimes I can be stuck on a word or expression and after getting away for a while, I have better ideas and can solve problems more quickly.

– By taking a break, I don’t mean going on Facebook or Twitter, reading blogs or answering emails, but shifting attention. Doing something else, completely different by getting away from the computer.

– Try not to eat too many sweets, cakes, biscuits, crisps and the like (That is actually challenging for me) during your breaks but eat fruits and veggies instead, it’s brain food.

– If you can, go somewhere for the week-end, or a week, or more, during which you focus on people and don’t think about work. You’ll feel even more motivated and inspired when you come back!

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Conflicting English Proverbs

Our ancestors always found a summarizer sentence or phrase for any kind of situation in life. They said “the pen is mightier than sword” for emphasizing the importance of education and bureaucracy instead of ignorance and war. This is a very good saying; however, it seems that they were a little bit confused! Since they also said “actions speak louder than words”. They just do not have one attitude towards the life, but they have multiple attitudes towards different situations. Please do not get me wrong, I have no intention of joking about our old people. However, this piece of information (down below) proves that we, as people, can justify almost any actions we make. It is just funny and it does not require thinking so deeply. Just enjoy the proverbs below and see how conflicting we can be! The source of this image is not certain, but I want to thank the creator of it. I hope you enjoy!

 

 

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Keep up with the Latest English!

Not just English but every language produces new sayings and the grammer rules. This is quite normal because “everything is changing” and the language itself is a living thing. In my opinion, it is not true to label the changes as “mistakes”. It is just hard to witness a change, we all have a language habit and the new generation is replacing our habits with new patterns and rules. Maybe, the next generation will not suffer as much as we do 🙂 I do not have solid ideas about the new rules or patterns. I am trying to keep up with novelties and enjoying to see how far a language can be  flexible. Crawford Kilian wrote a wonderful article explaining this issue. I pasted only the part about the changes. I recommend you to read the whole article if you are interested. You can find the link at the bottom of the page as usual.

1. “Thank you very much.” “No problem.” In Old English, the answer would be: “You’re welcome.”

2. “Me and him went to the Canucks game.” In Old English, “me” and “him” are in the objective case, not the subjective; in New English, “I” and “me” and “he” and “him” are interchangeable: “Dad gave he and I tickets to the Canucks game.”

3. “Snow and sleet is falling on the Coquihalla.” Old English treats a compound subject as plural. New English doesn’t know what a compound subject is.

4. “The Sedins played great in the third period.” In Old English, verbs take adverbs, not adjectives: “The Sedins played brilliantly in the third period.”

5. “You did real good in your presentation, you’re sure to make the sale.” In Old English, you do real good when you donate to the Red Cross, and you do really well when your presentation impresses your audience. Also, in Old English, you put a period or semicolon between one independent clause and another if you don’t want to use a conjunction like “so.”

6. “We’ve done alright since we moved to Calgary.” In Old English, “alright” is alwrong. We say “all right.”

7. “The company has less full-time employees, but the amount of part-timers has grown.” In Old English, “less” and “amount” apply only to non-count nouns like “flour” and “wealth.” It says “fewer employees” and “number of part-timers.”

8. “The committee made a fulsome study of the problem.” In Old English, “fulsome” means insincerely flattering. In New English, it somehow means “full.”

9. “She’s an alumni of Simon Fraser.” In Old English (and Old Latin), “alumni” is the male plural of “alumnus,” and she must be an alumna of SFU.

10. “So I’m like, ‘What’s your problem?'” In Old English, “I’m like” is pronounced “I said.”

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Do You Feel Confident About Your English Pronunciation? Try this.

When I was just a freshman in university, my public speaking teacher brought this to the class. It was quite hard at that time, actually as a second thought, it still is 🙂 It is a very funny poem by Gerard Nolst Trenité about English pronunciation and irregularities.  This is a very long one, so just go as far as you can. After fifteen stanzas or so, you just cannot pronounce even the easiest words… Do you want to try and share your comments with me? Looking forward to them 🙂

Gerard Nolst Trenité – The Chaos (1922)

Dearest creature in creation
Studying English pronunciation,
   I will teach you in my verse
   Sounds like corpsecorpshorse and worse.

I will keep you, Susybusy,
Make your head with heat grow dizzy;
   Tear in eye, your dress you’ll tear;
   Queer, fair seerhear my prayer.

Pray, console your loving poet,
Make my coat look new, dear, sew it!
   Just compare hearthear and heard,
   Dies and dietlord and word.

Sword and swardretain and Britain
(Mind the latter how it’s written).
   Made has not the sound of bade,
   Saysaidpaypaidlaid but plaid.

Now I surely will not plague you
With such words as vague and ague,
   But be careful how you speak,
   Say: gush, bush, steak, streak, break, bleak ,

Previous, precious, fuchsia, via
Recipe, pipe, studding-sail, choir;
   Wovenovenhow and low,
   Scriptreceiptshoepoemtoe.

Say, expecting fraud and trickery:
Daughterlaughter and Terpsichore,
   Branch, ranch, measlestopsailsaisles,
   Missilessimilesreviles.

Whollyhollysignalsigning,
Sameexamining, but mining,
   Scholarvicar, and cigar,
   Solarmicawar and far.

From “desire”: desirableadmirable from “admire”,
Lumberplumberbier, but brier,
   Topshambroughamrenown, but known,
   Knowledgedonelonegonenonetone,

OneanemoneBalmoral,
Kitchenlichenlaundrylaurel.
   GertrudeGermanwind and wind,
   Beau, kind, kindred, queuemankind,

Tortoiseturquoisechamois-leather,
Reading, Readingheathenheather.
   This phonetic labyrinth
   Gives mossgrossbrookbroochninthplinth.

Have you ever yet endeavoured
To pronounce revered and severed,
   Demon, lemon, ghoul, foul, soul,
   Peter, petrol and patrol?

Billet does not end like ballet;
Bouquetwalletmalletchalet.
   Blood and flood are not like food,
   Nor is mould like should and would.

Banquet is not nearly parquet,
Which exactly rhymes with khaki.
   Discountviscountload and broad,
   Toward, to forward, to reward,

Ricocheted and crochetingcroquet?
Right! Your pronunciation’s OK.
   Roundedwoundedgrieve and sieve,
   Friend and fiendalive and live.

Is your r correct in higher?
Keats asserts it rhymes Thalia.
   Hugh, but hug, and hood, but hoot,
   Buoyantminute, but minute.

Say abscission with precision,
Now: position and transition;
   Would it tally with my rhyme
   If I mentioned paradigm?

Twopence, threepence, tease are easy,
But cease, crease, grease and greasy?
   Cornice, nice, valise, revise,
   Rabies, but lullabies.

Of such puzzling words as nauseous,
Rhyming well with cautious, tortious,
   You’ll envelop lists, I hope,
   In a linen envelope.

Would you like some more? You’ll have it!
Affidavit, David, davit.
   To abjure, to perjureSheik
   Does not sound like Czech but ache.

Libertylibraryheave and heaven,
Rachellochmoustacheeleven.
   We say hallowed, but allowed,
   Peopleleopardtowed but vowed.

Mark the difference, moreover,
Between moverploverDover.
   Leechesbreecheswiseprecise,
   Chalice, but police and lice,

Camelconstableunstable,
Principledisciplelabel.
   Petalpenal, and canal,
   Waitsurmiseplaitpromisepal,

SuitsuiteruinCircuitconduit
Rhyme with “shirk it” and “beyond it”,
   But it is not hard to tell
   Why it’s pallmall, but Pall Mall.

Musclemusculargaoliron,
Timberclimberbullionlion,
   Worm and stormchaisechaoschair,
   Senatorspectatormayor,

Ivyprivyfamousclamour
Has the a of drachm and hammer.
   Pussyhussy and possess,
   Desert, but desertaddress.

Golfwolfcountenancelieutenants
Hoist in lieu of flags left pennants.
   Courier, courtier, tombbombcomb,
   Cow, but Cowper, some and home.

Solder, soldier! Blood is thicker“,
Quoth he, “than liqueur or liquor“,
   Making, it is sad but true,
   In bravado, much ado.

Stranger does not rhyme with anger,
Neither does devour with clangour.
   Pilot, pivot, gaunt, but aunt,
   Fontfrontwontwantgrand and grant.

Arsenic, specific, scenic,
Relic, rhetoric, hygienic.
   Gooseberry, goose, and close, but close,
   Paradise, rise, rose, and dose.

Say inveigh, neigh, but inveigle,
Make the latter rhyme with eagle.
   MindMeandering but mean,
   Valentine and magazine.

And I bet you, dear, a penny,
You say mani-(fold) like many,
   Which is wrong. Say rapier, pier,
   Tier (one who ties), but tier.

Arch, archangel; pray, does erring
Rhyme with herring or with stirring?
   Prison, bison, treasure trove,
   Treason, hover, cover, cove,

Perseverance, severanceRibald
Rhymes (but piebald doesn’t) with nibbled.
   Phaeton, paean, gnat, ghat, gnaw,
   Lien, psychic, shone, bone, pshaw.

Don’t be down, my own, but rough it,
And distinguish buffetbuffet;
   Brood, stood, roof, rook, school, wool, boon,
   Worcester, Boleyn, to impugn.

Say in sounds correct and sterling
Hearse, hear, hearken, year and yearling.
   Evil, devil, mezzotint,
   Mind the z! (A gentle hint.)

Now you need not pay attention
To such sounds as I don’t mention,
   Sounds like pores, pause, pours and paws,
   Rhyming with the pronoun yours;

Nor are proper names included,
Though I often heard, as you did,
   Funny rhymes to unicorn,
   Yes, you know them, Vaughan and Strachan.

No, my maiden, coy and comely,
I don’t want to speak of Cholmondeley.
   No. Yet Froude compared with proud
   Is no better than McLeod.

But mind trivial and vial,
Tripod, menial, denial,
   Troll and trolleyrealm and ream,
   Schedule, mischief, schism, and scheme.

Argil, gill, Argyll, gill. Surely
May be made to rhyme with Raleigh,
   But you’re not supposed to say
   Piquet rhymes with sobriquet.

Had this invalid invalid
Worthless documents? How pallid,
   How uncouth he, couchant, looked,
   When for Portsmouth I had booked!

Zeus, Thebes, Thales, Aphrodite,
Paramour, enamoured, flighty,
   Episodes, antipodes,
   Acquiesce, and obsequies.

Please don’t monkey with the geyser,
Don’t peel ‘taters with my razor,
   Rather say in accents pure:
   Nature, stature and mature.

Pious, impious, limb, climb, glumly,
Worsted, worsted, crumbly, dumbly,
   Conquer, conquest, vase, phase, fan,
   Wan, sedan and artisan.

The th will surely trouble you
More than rch or w.
   Say then these phonetic gems:
   Thomas, thyme, Theresa, Thames.

Thompson, Chatham, Waltham, Streatham,
There are more but I forget ’em
   Wait! I’ve got it: Anthony,
   Lighten your anxiety.

The archaic word albeit
Does not rhyme with eight-you see it;
   With and forthwith, one has voice,
   One has not, you make your choice.

Shoes, goes, does *. Now first say: finger;
Then say: singer, ginger, linger.
   Realzealmauve, gauze and gauge,
   Marriagefoliagemirageage,

Hero, heron, query, very,
Parry, tarry fury, bury,
   Dostlostpost, and dothclothloth,
   JobJobblossombosomoath.

Faugh, oppugnant, keen oppugners,
Bowingbowing, banjo-tuners
   Holm you know, but noes, canoes,
   Puisnetruismuse, to use?

Though the difference seems little,
We say actual, but victual,
   SeatsweatchastecasteLeigheightheight,
   Putnutgranite, and unite.

Reefer does not rhyme with deafer,
Feoffer does, and zephyrheifer.
   DullbullGeoffreyGeorgeatelate,
   Hintpintsenate, but sedate.

GaelicArabicpacific,
Scienceconsciencescientific;
   Tour, but our, dour, succourfour,
   Gasalas, and Arkansas.

Say manoeuvre, yacht and vomit,
Next omit, which differs from it
   Bona fide, alibi
   Gyrate, dowry and awry.

Seaideaguineaarea,
PsalmMaria, but malaria.
   Youthsouthsoutherncleanse and clean,
   Doctrineturpentinemarine.

Compare alien with Italian,
Dandelion with battalion,
   Rally with allyyeaye,
   EyeIayayewheykeyquay!

Say aver, but everfever,
Neitherleisureskeinreceiver.
   Never guess-it is not safe,
   We say calvesvalveshalf, but Ralf.

Starry, granarycanary,
Crevice, but device, and eyrie,
   Face, but preface, then grimace,
   Phlegmphlegmaticassglassbass.

Basslargetargetgingiveverging,
Oughtoust, joust, and scour, but scourging;
   Ear, but earn; and ere and tear
   Do not rhyme with here but heir.

Mind the o of off and often
Which may be pronounced as orphan,
   With the sound of saw and sauce;
   Also soft, lost, cloth and cross.

Pudding, puddle, puttingPutting?
Yes: at golf it rhymes with shutting.
   Respite, spite, consent, resent.
   Liable, but Parliament.

Seven is right, but so is even,
HyphenroughennephewStephen,
   Monkeydonkeyclerk and jerk,
   Aspgraspwaspdemesnecorkwork.

A of valour, vapid vapour,
S of news (compare newspaper),
   G of gibbet, gibbon, gist,
   I of antichrist and grist,

Differ like diverse and divers,
Rivers, strivers, shivers, fivers.
   Once, but nonce, toll, doll, but roll,
   Polish, Polish, poll and poll.

Pronunciation-think of Psyche!-
Is a paling, stout and spiky.
   Won’t it make you lose your wits
   Writing groats and saying “grits”?

It’s a dark abyss or tunnel
Strewn with stones like rowlockgunwale,
   Islington, and Isle of Wight,
   Housewifeverdict and indict.

Don’t you think so, reader, rather,
Saying latherbatherfather?
   Finally, which rhymes with enough,
   Thoughthroughboughcoughhoughsough, tough??

Hiccough has the sound of sup
My advice is: GIVE IT UP!

Color Idioms and Phrases in English

 

Thanks to Stumbleupon, I discovered another great website which includes all the idioms and phrases related to different colors. This piece of information is created by Alan S. Kennedy and he listed all the idioms and phrases, language by language and color by color. You can find tens of languages on the web site but I paste here only the English ones because it is our common point. Since it is a project, I kind of tend to trust it more compared to bilingual online dictionaries 🙂 Maybe I am wrong, I do not know. You can also consult this website when you have a doubt while translating a phrase including colors. I am sure, you will find many idioms/phrases that surprise you. I learned many interesting stuff from this website. I hope you also like it and contribute with your comments. 

white noise

static noise

white as a sheet

scared, sick, surprised

white as a ghost

scared

white-collar

related to “desk jobs”

a white flag

surrender

to whitewash something

to mask the negative parts

white wine

wine from green or yellow grapes

a white Christmas

snow on Christmas day

a white wedding

a traditional western-style wedding where the bride wears a white gown

a white person

a person of Caucasian race

white-hot

extremely hot OR popular

a white paper

an authoritative report on a issue

a white elephant

a useless knick-knack OR an expensive, useless thing

white as the driven snow

innocent (often used sarcastically about corruption)

white with rage

extremely enraged

to bleed someone white

to take everything someone has, esp. money

showing the white feather

acting cowardly

a white-knuckle ride

a dangerous, nerve-wracking, scary ride

that’s mighty white of you (old-fashioned)

that’s good of you

lily-white

unmistakably Caucasian OR blameless, goodly

white horses (surfing)

patches of white foam made by breaking waves

white trash (American)

(offensive) uneducated, socio-economically disadvantaged Caucasian people

whiter than white (British)

righteous, innocent

a white pointer (Australian)

a topless female sunbather

to blackmail someone

to threaten to reveal secrets unless payment is made

black magic / the black arts

magic used for malevolent purposes

the pot calling the kettle black

someone criticizing someone else for a quality they themselves possess

the black market

illegal/underground sales and purchases

little black book

book of contacts, esp. past or potential dates

a black sheep

the outcast or disgrace in a group

black tie

formal clothing e.g. a tuxedo

black humor

jokes about death or illness

a black day

a day when something bad happens

to be in black and white

to be written down officially

to be black and white (a situation)

to be clear

in the black

profitable

a black mood

a bad, grumpy mood

a black eye

a bruised eye

to blacklist someone

to prevent someone from being hired

to blackball someone

to shut someone out from group participation

black and blue

bruised

a black look

an angry/disapproving facial expression

as black as night

very dark black

pitch black

very dark black

a black person

a person of African heritage

black ops

extralegal covert activity, done in the dark (military/politics)

black-hearted

cruel, evil, mean

a black mark

an indication of wrongdoing

to blacken someon’es name

to suggest/indicate a person’s wrongdoing

the Black Death

The Bubonic Plague

Black Friday (U.S.)

The day after American Thanksgiving when many stores have sales

the black dog (Irish)

a bad mood

beyond the black stump (Australian)

the back of nowhere, far from anything

in the red

unproftable OR negative financial balance, owing money

a redhead

a person with orange-colored hair

red light district

area with prostitutes

to see red

to be furious

red with rage

furious

to turn/go red

become embarassed

a red herring

a false clue

to paint the town red

to dine, dance, experience fun in a town or city

a red flag

a signal that something is wrong

roll out the red carpet

give a big welcome

red tape

unnecessary/excessive bureaucracy

not one red cent

no money at all

a red letter day

a special day

a scarlet woman

a sinful woman

scarlet fever

an infection with group A streptococcus bacteria.

red-hot

very hot OR very popular

red card

(soccer) to give someone their final warning

red alert

a serious warning of danger

a red-blooded male

a virile, manly male person

like a red rag/flag to a bull

provoking/aggravating anger

red (adjective)

communist

bleed red ink (British)

debt

red in tooth and claw (British)

the wild, violent aspect of the natural world

redshirting (U.S.)

delaying an athlete’s participation in sports order to lengthen his/her period of eligibility

a red state (U.S.)

a state whose residents are politically more Republican

a redneck (U.S.)

an uneducated, rural white American

a red-bone (U.S.)

a light-skinned black woman

the red eye (U.S.)

the overnight flight between west and east coast

green with envy

very envious

the green-eyed monster

jealousy

to give the green light

to give approval to proceed

to be green (in a position)

to be inexperienced, a rookie

to be green (policy)

to be environmentally aware

the green room

room in a theater or studio where guests/performers wait to go on

to turn green

to be naseous

green around the gills

sick-looking

a greenbelt

an area of nature around a city

greens

vegetables

a green

a golf course

a greengrocer

a person/store that sells vegetables & fruit

the grass is always greener on the other side

other people’s possessions/situations always seem better than your own

to greenwash something

to deceptively make practices/policies seem more environmentally friendly

little green men

stereotypical/humorous description of space aliens

as sure as God made little green apples

very certain

colorless green ideas sleep furiously

(Linguistics) Noam Chomsky’s oft-quoted example of a sentence with good grammar but no meaning

to have green fingers (British)

to be good with plants/gardens

to have a green thumb (U.S.)

to be good with plants/gardens

a greenie (Australian)

an environmentally aware person

a green card (U.S.)

legal residency staus

a greenhorn (U.S.)

an inexperienced or young person

greenbacks (U.S.)

dollars

yellow

cowardly

a yellow streak

cowardice

yellow-bellied

cowardly

yellow journalism

disreputable, sensationalistic journalism

a yellow card

(soccer) to give someone a first warning

the yellow peril

(offensive, archaic) the fear that Asian people will outnumber/displace Caucasian people

a yellow dog Democrat (U.S.)

a voter who always votes Democrat in every election

out of the blue

suddenly, unexpectedly

a bolt from the blue

a sudden/unexpected thing

to be blue

to be sad

a blue funk

a feeling of melancholy

the blues

sadness OR a 3 chord style of music

once in a blue moon

infrequently

blue-collar

related to manual labor or the working class

a blue blood

an aristocratic person

to talk a blue streak

to talk a lot

to turn blue

to have difficulty breathing

blue with cold

feeling very cold

until you’re blue in the face

having lost your patience

blue chip stock

stock of an established/finanically sound company

working blue

performing using foul language

a blue movie

a pornographic film

a blueprint (for something)

a design, a guide

true blue

faithful

blue on blue

in military: friendly fire

into the wide/wild blue yonder

to an unknown/faraway place

blue balls (lewd)

male sexual frustration due to unfulfilled sexual urges

to turn the air blue

to swear a lot

between the devil and the deep blue sea

a dilemma

the boys in blue

the police

the thin blue line

the police

a blue state (U.S.)

a state whose residents are politically more Democrat

a blue (British)

a Tory

to scream blue muder (British)

to express yourself angrily

a blue-eyed boy (British)

a male who can do no wrong, who is favored by authority

having a blue (Australian)

having a fight

make a blue (Australian)

make a mistake

a brown-noser

a sycophant

in a brown study

being contemplative; daydreaming

browned off (British)

annoyed

purple prose

flowery, romantic writing

born in the purple

born into a high ranking/aristocratic family

the Purple Heart (U.S.)

a U.S. military honor badge

a purple patch (British)

a period of exceptionally high achievement

agent orange

a defoliant used in herbicidal warfare

Orangemen (Irish)

Protestant fraternal organization

in the pink of health

very healthy

tickled pink

very pleased

a pinko

a communist

to see the world through rose-colored glasses

to see the world through an optimistic filter

rosy

positive, optimistic,

to get a pink slip

to be fired

the pink pound (British)

consumer spending by gay people

grey area

unclear

grey matter

the brain

to give someone grey hairs

to try someone’s patience

gray market

sale of products via nonstandard distribution channels or at an unofficial price

grey nomads (Australian)

retirees who travel around the country

the silver screen

the movies

a golden boy

a well-regarded, successful man

a golden handshake

monetary incentive to join a company

a golden parachute

money given to an executive leaving a company

golden ears

great listening ability to discern quality or commerciality

a golden shower (lewd)

urinating on a sexual partner

a golden mean

the desirable middle (between extremes of excess and deficiency)

off-color

inappropriate, crude

to show your true colors

to reveal your true self or feelings

a colorless person

a boring person

colorful (e.g. tale, history, life)

event-filled and interesting

colorful language

vivid or expletive-filled language

to pass with flying colors

to do very well

local color

having typical characteristics of the local area

color commentary

facts & comments about athletes during a broadcast

a horse of a different color

a completely different thing/idea

a country’s colors

the colors of a national flag

For other languages and for the rest of the list, click here.

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white noise

static noise

white as a sheet

scared, sick, surprised

white as a ghost

scared

white-collar

related to “desk jobs”

a white flag

surrender

to whitewash something

to mask the negative parts

white wine

wine from green or yellow grapes

a white Christmas

snow on Christmas day

a white wedding

a traditional western-style wedding where the bride wears a white gown

a white person

a person of Caucasian race

white-hot

extremely hot OR popular

a white paper

an authoritative report on a issue

a white elephant

a useless knick-knack OR an expensive, useless thing

white as the driven snow

innocent (often used sarcastically about corruption)

white with rage

extremely enraged

to bleed someone white

to take everything someone has, esp. money

showing the white feather

acting cowardly

a white-knuckle ride

a dangerous, nerve-wracking, scary ride

that’s mighty white of you (old-fashioned)

that’s good of you

lily-white

unmistakably Caucasian OR blameless, goodly

white horses (surfing)

patches of white foam made by breaking waves

white trash (American)

(offensive) uneducated, socio-economically disadvantaged Caucasian people

whiter than white (British)

righteous, innocent

a white pointer (Australian)

a topless female sunbather

to blackmail someone

to threaten to reveal secrets unless payment is made

black magic / the black arts

magic used for malevolent purposes

the pot calling the kettle black

someone criticizing someone else for a quality they themselves possess

the black market

illegal/underground sales and purchases

little black book

book of contacts, esp. past or potential dates

a black sheep

the outcast or disgrace in a group

black tie

formal clothing e.g. a tuxedo

black humor

jokes about death or illness

a black day

a day when something bad happens

to be in black and white

to be written down officially

to be black and white (a situation)

to be clear

in the black

profitable

a black mood

a bad, grumpy mood

a black eye

a bruised eye

to blacklist someone

to prevent someone from being hired

to blackball someone

to shut someone out from group participation

black and blue

bruised

a black look

an angry/disapproving facial expression

as black as night

very dark black

pitch black

very dark black

a black person

a person of African heritage

black ops

extralegal covert activity, done in the dark (military/politics)

black-hearted

cruel, evil, mean

a black mark

an indication of wrongdoing

to blacken someon’es name

to suggest/indicate a person’s wrongdoing

the Black Death

The Bubonic Plague

Black Friday (U.S.)

The day after American Thanksgiving when many stores have sales

the black dog (Irish)

a bad mood

beyond the black stump (Australian)

the back of nowhere, far from anything

in the red

unproftable OR negative financial balance, owing money

a redhead

a person with orange-colored hair

red light district

area with prostitutes

to see red

to be furious

red with rage

furious

to turn/go red

become embarassed

a red herring

a false clue

to paint the town red

to dine, dance, experience fun in a town or city

a red flag

a signal that something is wrong

roll out the red carpet

give a big welcome

red tape

unnecessary/excessive bureaucracy

not one red cent

no money at all

a red letter day

a special day

a scarlet woman

a sinful woman

scarlet fever

an infection with group A streptococcus bacteria.

red-hot

very hot OR very popular

red card

(soccer) to give someone their final warning

red alert

a serious warning of danger

a red-blooded male

a virile, manly male person

like a red rag/flag to a bull

provoking/aggravating anger

red (adjective)

communist

bleed red ink (British)

debt

red in tooth and claw (British)

the wild, violent aspect of the natural world

redshirting (U.S.)

delaying an athlete’s participation in sports order to lengthen his/her period of eligibility

a red state (U.S.)

a state whose residents are politically more Republican

a redneck (U.S.)

an uneducated, rural white American

a red-bone (U.S.)

a light-skinned black woman

the red eye (U.S.)

the overnight flight between west and east coast

green with envy

very envious

the green-eyed monster

jealousy

to give the green light

to give approval to proceed

to be green (in a position)

to be inexperienced, a rookie

to be green (policy)

to be environmentally aware

the green room

room in a theater or studio where guests/performers wait to go on

to turn green

to be naseous

green around the gills

sick-looking

a greenbelt

an area of nature around a city

greens

vegetables

a green

a golf course

a greengrocer

a person/store that sells vegetables & fruit

the grass is always greener on the other side

other people’s possessions/situations always seem better than your own

to greenwash something

to deceptively make practices/policies seem more environmentally friendly

little green men

stereotypical/humorous description of space aliens

as sure as God made little green apples

very certain

colorless green ideas sleep furiously

(Linguistics) Noam Chomsky’s oft-quoted example of a sentence with good grammar but no meaning

to have green fingers (British)

to be good with plants/gardens

to have a green thumb (U.S.)

to be good with plants/gardens

a greenie (Australian)

an environmentally aware person

a green card (U.S.)

legal residency staus

a greenhorn (U.S.)

an inexperienced or young person

greenbacks (U.S.)

dollars

yellow

cowardly

a yellow streak

cowardice

yellow-bellied

cowardly

yellow journalism

disreputable, sensationalistic journalism

a yellow card

(soccer) to give someone a first warning

the yellow peril

(offensive, archaic) the fear that Asian people will outnumber/displace Caucasian people

a yellow dog Democrat (U.S.)

a voter who always votes Democrat in every election

out of the blue

suddenly, unexpectedly

a bolt from the blue

a sudden/unexpected thing

to be blue

to be sad

a blue funk

a feeling of melancholy

the blues

sadness OR a 3 chord style of music

once in a blue moon

infrequently

blue-collar

related to manual labor or the working class

a blue blood

an aristocratic person

to talk a blue streak

to talk a lot

to turn blue

to have difficulty breathing

blue with cold

feeling very cold

until you’re blue in the face

having lost your patience

blue chip stock

stock of an established/finanically sound company

working blue

performing using foul language

a blue movie

a pornographic film

a blueprint (for something)

a design, a guide

true blue

faithful

blue on blue

in military: friendly fire

into the wide/wild blue yonder

to an unknown/faraway place

blue balls (lewd)

male sexual frustration due to unfulfilled sexual urges

to turn the air blue

to swear a lot

between the devil and the deep blue sea

a dilemma

the boys in blue

the police

the thin blue line

the police

a blue state (U.S.)

a state whose residents are politically more Democrat

a blue (British)

a Tory

to scream blue muder (British)

to express yourself angrily

a blue-eyed boy (British)

a male who can do no wrong, who is favored by authority

having a blue (Australian)

having a fight

make a blue (Australian)

make a mistake

a brown-noser

a sycophant

in a brown study

being contemplative; daydreaming

browned off (British)

annoyed

purple prose

flowery, romantic writing

born in the purple

born into a high ranking/aristocratic family

the Purple Heart (U.S.)

a U.S. military honor badge

a purple patch (British)

a period of exceptionally high achievement

agent orange

a defoliant used in herbicidal warfare

Orangemen (Irish)

Protestant fraternal organization

in the pink of health

very healthy

tickled pink

very pleased

a pinko

a communist

to see the world through rose-colored glasses

to see the world through an optimistic filter

rosy

positive, optimistic,

to get a pink slip

to be fired

the pink pound (British)

consumer spending by gay people

grey area

unclear

grey matter

the brain

to give someone grey hairs

to try someone’s patience

gray market

sale of products via nonstandard distribution channels or at an unofficial price

grey nomads (Australian)

retirees who travel around the country

the silver screen

the movies

a golden boy

a well-regarded, successful man

a golden handshake

monetary incentive to join a company

a golden parachute

money given to an executive leaving a company

golden ears

great listening ability to discern quality or commerciality

a golden shower (lewd)

urinating on a sexual partner

a golden mean

the desirable middle (between extremes of excess and deficiency)

off-color

inappropriate, crude

to show your true colors

to reveal your true self or feelings

a colorless person

a boring person

colorful (e.g. tale, history, life)

event-filled and interesting

colorful language

vivid or expletive-filled language

to pass with flying colors

to do very well

local color

having typical characteristics of the local area

color commentary

facts & comments about athletes during a broadcast

a horse of a different color

a completely different thing/idea

a country’s colors

the colors of a national flag

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