Metaphors with colors

The names of colors have inspired the formation of several metaphors in English. In this lesson we will take a look at some of these idiomatic expressions.

Blue rinse

A blue rinse is a preparation used on gray or white hair, intended to make it look silver. This expression can also be used to relate to elderly or conservative women.


This expression is used to refer to the practice of buying a large number of shares in a firm with the objective of threatening a takeover.

Brown study

The state when a person is deeply absorbed in thought. Lack of company will soon lead a man into a brown study.

Purple passage

A brilliant passage in an otherwise uninspiring work. This expression is also used to refer to a piece of writing marked by ornate style.

Pink collar

This expression is used to refer to the type of jobs traditionally held by women.

Purple prose

An overly ornate piece of writing written with the sole objective of drawing excessive attention to it.


This expression is used to refer to a law firm or another business typically run by conservative, rich or elite people.

It is a well-known fact that she hails from a white-shoe background.

Blue streak

A seemingly endless stream of words. To talk a blue streak is to talk much and very rapidly.