Colourful language

Heute gibt’s ein bißchen Englisch-Unterricht bei Farbenfreundin. Denn nicht immer bedeutet pink auch pink oder blue blau.

Most non-native English speakers are familiar with the verb „tickle“, as in touching the body lightly to cause laughter or twitching movements. But tickle can also mean to tease or excite pleasurably and to fill with delight or pleasure. This is the origin of the idiom „tickled pink“, where pink acts as a superlative in the sense of filled with pleasure until one glows with colour.

Idioms certainly add a lot of colour to a language, but the colours themselves can be very descriptive when applied in an expression. Here are a few colourful examples:

blue in the face = for a long time (I negotiated with salesman until I was blue in the face, but he still didn’t agree to all of my terms)

a yellow streak = a tendency toward cowardice (He won’t go bungee jumping with us. He has a yellow streak)

to be in the red = losing or owing money (According to the finance department, the company is in the red in the first quarter)

green with envy = appearing jealous or envious (My friends were green with envy when I told them about my holiday plans)

in black and white = in written form (I’ll accept your conditions once I see them in black and white)

Und zum Schluss noch ein Beispiel aus meinem Englischunterrich vor 20 Jahren: Jippie, let’s paint the town red! (hihi, nein, jetzt nicht die Farbrolle rausholen, eher den Schampus, denn die Übersetzung lautet: Kommt, lasst uns auf die Piste gehn!)

(Quelle: One-word-a-day)

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