Idioms are one aspect in a language that can show a difference in your fluency. Colours, on the other hand, are one of the first things you learn when starting learning a language. Therefore, I thought it would be appropriate and exciting to mix the two together and give you a colourful article to read.


Hola amigos!


Here I am once again helping to make your Spanish journey easier and more fun. I am feeling so good today as I am writing this article that I thought I would share this feeling with you and the best way I could think of is through colours because everyone like colours, right?


As well, I thought teaching you all about colours in Spanish would be good practice as colours is some of the first things you learn when you study a language. In this article, I have mixed some basic terms with more advanced ones since sometimes you need a little push with your Spanish too.


Some of the Spanish idioms below might be confusing since you may be able to read all the words in the sentence but just don’t know how to make any sense of them. Don’t worry, I will explain to you in detail each and every idiom below. Besides, idioms are one of those things that once you get a hold to them, you love them, and will use them more and more.


So I do not want to keep you waiting any longer and let’s get to the point!



1. VERDE / Green



a) PONER VERDE: We use this idiom when you bad mouth someone by criticising them.
Imagine you arrive at a table where your friends are talking really lively, it is common to say:


  • ¿A quién estáis poniendo verde? 
  • Who are you criticising?


We can also use the colour green for this.


b) ESTAR VERDE: This idiom is used when you are new at doing something and you do not know how to do it really well.


Imagine you go to your Spanish lesson and you meet a classmate on the way, you have an exam today and you comment to your classmate.


  • Espero que no entren expresiones idiomáticas en el examen, estoy muy verde, no me ha dado tiempo a estudiarlas mucho. 
  • I hope they do not ask for idioms in the exam…I am still new to this, I haven’t had time to study them.



2. MORADO / Purple



PONERSE MORADO: This idiom is a casual way of saying that you have eaten a lot. Kind of similar to the English saying of “to stuff one’s face”.


So if you happen to be a (birthday) party and someone offers you cake after dinner, you can then decline by saying.


  • No, gracias, ya me he puesto morado de dulces. 
  • No, thanks, I have already stuffed my face with sweets.



3. ROJO / Red



PONERSE ROJO: We say this when describing that someone is blushing, or we can use it to talk about ourselves. More likely, you will use this idiom during embarrassing moments experienced by yourself or others.


For example, if you are walking on the street and someone bumps into you thinking that you are another someone else. Afterwards, you tell your friend about it, and you’ll probably say:


  • Cuando se dio cuenta de que se había confundido de persona se pusó rojo como un tomate.
  • When he realised I was not the person he was looking for, he blushed.



4. MARRÓN / Brown



COMERSE UN MARRÓN: This is a colloquial idiom to say that someone is getting the blame or consequences for something he or she did not do.


So if you start at a new job and if the person you took over from left a mess and you need to work extra hours to fix it, you would probably complain by saying:


  • !Menuda suerte!Me estoy comiendo el marrón y ni siquiera trabajaba aquí cuando esto fue hecho… “
  • Such good luck! I am taking the heat and I did not even work here when this was made.



5. AZUL / Blue




TENER SANGRE AZUL: If someone belongs to the nobility, or they are trying to act like they are nobility, we can say that they have blue/noble blood.


For example, if one of your friends is very picky regarding where to go for dinner, someone might say to her.


  • ¿Por qué eres tan exquisita?!Ni que tuvieras sangre azul! 
  • Why are you so picky?! Do you have noble blood!



6. NARANJA / Orange



SER LA MEDIA NARANJA: One day when you have found your soulmate, you will probably say:


  • Estoy muy feliz, por fin he encontrado a mi media naranja. 
  • I am so happy, I finally found my better half.



7. BLANCO / White



a) QUEDARSE EN BLANCO: This is typically used to express that someone’s mind has gone blank.


If you are talking with someone and you want to make a point and suddenly you lost it, you can say:


  • !Oh no te lo vas a creer!Me he quedado en blanco! 
  • You are not going to believe it!My mind just went blank.


b) ESTAR SIN BLANCA: This idiom is to express that someone is flate broke.


If your friends are going to go out and they ask you to come along but you do not have a penny, you would say:


  • Lo siento chicos, no esta vez, estoy sin blanca. 
  • Sorry guys, not this time, I am broke.



8. NEGRO / Black



VERLO TODO NEGRO: We use this idiom to refer to someone who is pessimistic.

If you talk with a friend and he/she just can’t stop complaining about things. At some point you will get fed up and say:


  • !La vida no es tan difícil, toma una decisión!!Todo lo ves negro! 
  • Life is not that hard, make a decision, you see everything in black!



9. ROSA / Pink



VERLO DE COLOR ROSA: By contrast, this idiom is for someone who is always optimistic, and always see the good side of things. Imagine you talk about someone who is always happy, and does not see the bad side of things. You would probably say:


  • !No sé cómo puedes ser tan positiva! Todo lo ve de color de rosa.
  • I do not know how she is so optimistic, she sees everything through her rose-tinted spectacles.




Now it’s your turn! I would love to hear from you down in the comments below. Have you heard of any of these idioms before? Do you have any other idioms that use colours? I hope you’ve enjoyed this article. Have a great day and do not forget to always wear your pink spectacles with you because sometimes we just need them.


Leave a colourful comment below, don’t be shy, I am here to help you.


Hero image by Kinson Leung (CC0 1.0)