Italian Language Blog

Idiomatic Expressions with Colors Posted by on Apr 30, 2021 in Idioms, Italian Language

Le espressioni idiomatiche con i colori – Idiomatic expressions with colors 

Ciao a tutti!

We all know how important idiomatic expressions are when learning a language, for comprehension as well as to sound more like a native speaker. Here’s a list of some idiomatic expressions specifically with color.

Passare la notte in bianco

Translation: to spend the night in white

Meaning: to have a sleepless night

Essere al verde

Translation: to be in the green

Meaning: to be broke (to have no money)

Fare una settimana bianca

Translation: to do a white week

Meaning: to go on a ski trip

Essere verde dall’invidia 

Translation: to be green from envy

Meaning: to be green with envy (to be jealous)

Di punto in bianco 

Translation: at point in white

Meaning: from out of nowhere

Mettere nero su bianco

Translation: to put black on white

Meaning: to put it in black and white (to write it down)

Dirne di tutti i colori

Translation: to say things of every color

Meaning: to say all sorts of things

Vedere tutto nero 

Translation: to see everything black

Meaning: to see things in a negative light

Vedere tutto rosa

Translation: to see everything rose-colored

Meaning: to go through life with rose-colored glasses (to be optimistic)

Fare/Dare un assegno in bianco

Translation: to give a white check

Meaning: to give a blank check

Mangiare in bianco

Translation: to eat in white

Meaning: to eat light, plain food

Andare in bianco

Translation: to go white

Meaning: to fail (at a romanic relationship)

Essere una mosca bianca

Translation: to be a white fly

Meaning: to be the only one who is different (positive or negative)

Essere la pecora nera della famiglia

Translation: to be the black sheep of the family

Meaning: to be the one who is different

Essere d’umore nero

Translation: to be in a black mood

Meaning: to be in a really bad mood

Lavorare in nero

Translation: to work in black

Meaning: to work and be paid under the table

Cronaca nera

Translation: black news

Meaning: crime news

Una giornata grigia

Translation: a gray day

Meaning: a difficult day, a hard day

Avere il pollice verde

Translation: to have the green thumb

Meaning: to have a green thumb (to be good with plants)

Vedere i sorci verdi

Translation: to see green mice

Meaning: to go through something very difficult

Cronaca (o film) rosa

Translation: pink news or film

Meaning: gossip news or ‘chick flick’

Romanzi (o film) gialli

Translation: yellow novels or movies

Meaning: crime novels or movies


Ne sapete una? Do you know one? Write it below!

Keep learning Italian with us!

Build vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and more with Transparent Language Online. Available anytime, anywhere, on any device.

Try it Free Find it at your Library
Share this:
Pin it

About the Author: Bridgette

Just your average Irish-American Italo-Francophone. Client Engagement for Transparent Language.


  1. Jan Mackay:

    This is so good….Thank-you very much….fascinating!
    Just one small thing…by ‘check’ do you mean ‘cheque’ in the monetary sense?
    Grazie mille 😀

    • Bridgette:

      @Jan Mackay Yes! In American English we write ‘check’ – so I’m guessing you are from the UK. 🙂

  2. Rosanna McFarlin:

    Tutte frasi idiomatiche che si usano spesso. Grazie.

  3. Leah:

    Hehe, “vedere i sorci verdi”– mi place quest’uno tanto. 🙂 Mi fa sorridere. Non ho sentito prima di adesso.

Leave a comment: