'Colourful' language in English


先日、ある生徒さんと先月のブログでご紹介した’Rhubarb’のお話をしていた時、日本語の「真っ赤なウソ」の話につながり、さらにそこから、日本語と英語では、色の感じ方も違う場合があるという話題になりました。


日本語の「赤」は、「明らか」、「まったく」の意味があるらしいのですが、英語ではどうなのでしょう?ここでは、赤も含め、色が入った英語の表現をご紹介します。


まずは、このブログのタイトルに使った表現から。


colourful language: the f-wordなどの普通は言ってはいけないようなoffensiveな単語や表現をたくさん使った言い方という意味です。


例文: Joe was quite angry with you. He said he would never want to see you again, only he said it in slightly more colourful language.


Joeが実際に言ったのは、‘F**k me! He’s such a w**ker. I would never f**king want to see his f**king face again in my entire f**king life.’ だった。


赤 – Red

see red: to become very angry

例文: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine made many people see red.

be in the red: to owe more money than you have (赤字)

例文: My business had been in the red during the pandemic, but we were finally back in the black last month.


red hot: very hot

例文: Be careful! The pan was in the oven and the handle’s red hot.


red herring: 重要な事から注意を他へそらすもの

例文: It’s an interesting idea, but it’s a complete red herring. Let’s go back to the main point.


catch someone red-handed: 実際に悪いことをしている時に捕まえる(現行犯)

例文: Little James was caught red-handed opening his birthday presents early.


roll out the red carpet/red-carpet treatment: 重要な来客に丁重なお出迎え・おもてなしをする

例文: My fiancé’s mum is coming to visit me today. I’m rolling out the red carpet.


白 - White

white lie: 人を褒める為、人を傷付けないようにするためにつく軽い嘘

例文: A: I love my new hat. What do you think?

B: It looks really nice on you. (本当はそう思っていない=a white lie)

as white as a sheet: 病気などで顔がすごく青白い

例文: Are you all right? You look as white as a sheet.


a white flag: 降参

例文: We still have a chance. It’s too early to wave the white flag.


whitewash: 真実を隠してもみ消す

例文: What she’s just told us must be a whitewash. It doesn’t make any sense.


黒 - Black

black and white: 考え方などが単純で、両極端しかない

例文: She has a tendency to see the issue in black and white. It’s a lot more complicated than that.


black out: 気絶する

例文: I’m OK now, but I felt as if I was going to black out.


blackout: 停電して真っ暗

例文: The power failure in July 2019 in Manhattan resulted in a three-hour blackout.


black market: 闇市

例文: If cigarettes were banned, there would be black markets everywhere.


blackmail: 恐喝(する)、ゆすり(をする)

例文: He was blackmailed into lying in the court.

black sheep: 家族や仲間から厄介者、ろくでなしと思われている人

例文: I’d always been the black sheep of the family, but my recent success made them proud of me.


pitch black: 真っ暗

例文: Without stars in the sky it’s pitch black in the field.


グレイ - Grey

grey area: あいまいな領域(対処法・分類・責任者などが)

例文: Who’s responsible for the failure is a grey area.


緑色 - Green

green with envy: 羨ましい

例文: What? You saw Noel Gallagher in John Lewis? I’m green with envy!


have green fingers: お花などを育てること(ガーデニング)が得意

例文: I love flowers but unfortunately I don’t have green fingers to grown my own. アメリカ英語ではhave a green thumb


be/go green: 地球の環境を配慮する、エコな活動/生活をする

例文: They’ve promised to go green by using paper straws.

give the green light: プロジェクトやプランにゴーサインを出す

例文: My proposal was given the green light and I can now pick my team for the project.


青 - Blue

feel blue: 憂鬱な気持ち、悲しくて夢も希望もない(Depressed)

例文: Recent news about Ukraine makes me feel blue.


out of the blue: 思いがけなく、予告なしに

例文: My old friend dropped by out of the blue this afternoon. It was a wonderful surprise.


a bolt from the blue: 予想もしなかった突然の出来事

例文: Russian invasion of Ukraine was a total bolt from the blue.

once in a blue moon: たま〜に(very rarely)

例文: A: Do you still see your friends from college?

B: Once in a blue moon.

茶色 - Brown

browned off: うんざりしている、あきあきしている

例文: I’ve had enough. I’m completely browned off by the situation.


金色 - Gold

golden opportunity: とてもいいチャンス

例文: A: Are you going to accept their offer?

B: It’s a bit risky but I can’t turn it down. It’s a golden opportunity.


golden handshake: 高額の退職

例文: He got a golden handshake when he was made redundant.


銀色 - Silver

born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth: お金持ちの家生まれ

例文: A: Mick seems well off. He always buys all of us a drink.

B: Yeah, he was born with a silver spoon in his mouth.


give/hand/offer something on a silver platter: 簡単に(ほとんど努力していないのに)成功させてあげる

例文: I worked very hard to get to where I am. I wasn’t handed it on a silver platter.


黄色 - Yellow

yellow-belly: 臆病者

例文: A: Why did he turn down that great job offer?

B: He was scared to have responsibility. He’s a bit yellow-bellied.


ピンク - Pink

be tickled pink: とても嬉しい

例文: The kids were tickled pink to see ‘real' Mickey Mouse in Disneyland.


in the pink: とても健康(少し古い言い方)

例文: At the age of 95, Queen Elizabeth is still in the pink.


色- Colour

off-colour: 少し体調が悪い

例文: You look a bit off-colour. Are you feeling OK?


他にも色が入った表現は'色々'あります。どんどん覚えて、是非、表現力や理解力を伸ばして下さい。

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