Color me happy

Colours and feelings


Color me happy...

This module is about our feelings, emotions, passions, sentiments referring to either pleasurable or painful sensations experienced when one is stirred to sympathy, anger, fear, love, grief, etc. But what is more important we will focus on how people express feelings using "colorful" language: to go red, to be blue, to be green, to be tickled pink etc.

But first, let's see what colors might mean to people and how they influence our mood.

Color has the power to excite, sedate, energize or frustrate.
People, at least in the Western world, associate colors with specific feelings.

Have a look at the following poster to learn more about colors and feelings as well as personality characteristics associated with them. (Keep them in mind as you will need them in our practice section)

Every culture has idioms - a phrase that has become commonly recognized for their figurative rather than literal meaning - that can quickly convey meaning with just a few words. Color idioms can also be found in every culture. To learn more about English Color Idioms and see the whole range of them visit

Within this module we will focus on some of them. Are you curious to know more? Then the color to start with is the color yellow which represents wisdom, mental force, curiosity, insight, intuition and sensitivity.

Sometimes the word "yellow" just sounds right...

Vocalist Chris Martin (Coldplay) explained that the word "yellow" has absolutely no meaning in their Yellow song whatsoever and while writing the rest of the song he tried his best to change yellow to something else since every lyric before yellow made no sense but in the end the word "yellow" just sounded right.

And everything you do
Yeah they were all yellow

Colors can be happy or sad...

Happy colors are bright, warm colors like yellow, orange, pink and red. Pastel colors like peach, light pink or lilac can also have an uplifting effect on your mood. The brighter and lighter a color, the more happy and optimistic it will make you feel.

Sad colors are colors that are dark and muted. Black and grey are the quintessential sad colors, but dark and muted cool colors like blue, green or neutrals like brown or beige can have a similar effect on feelings and emotions depending on how they’re used. In Western cultures black is considered the color of mourning, whereas in some East Asian countries it’s white to emphasize purity and rebirth (

There are so many nice little color metaphors throughout the song "Red" by Talor Swift that string back to her feelings. See if you can identify them...

Losing him was blue like I'd never known
Missing him was dark grey, all alone
Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met
But loving him was red (re-e-e-ed, re-e-e-ed)
(Re-e-e-ed, re-e-e-ed)
Loving him was red (re-e-e-ed, re-e-e-ed)
(Re-e-e-ed, re-e-e-ed)

Red color is not only associated with meanings of love, passion, desire, heat, longing, lust, sexuality, sensitivity, romance, joy, strength, leadership, courage, vigor, willpower but also rage, anger, danger, malice, wrath, stress, action, vibrance, radiance, and determination.

What does it mean: You went red? - I was very mad.

Let's stick to something positive. How about Pink color which symbolizes youth, good health, and playfulness. And playfulness can be caused by Mr. Tickle, a character from the MrMen series by Roger Hargreaves.

...who is going to give a little tickle. Tickling high, tickling low, he's going to get you where ever you go

Does the image of Mr. Tickle make the following idiom more transparent?

Tickled pink is an idiom that means to be well pleased, to be amused, to feel great elation. Synonyms of tickled pink that may be found in a thesaurus are delighted, pleased, thrilled, overjoyed. Most believe that the idea behind the phrase tickled pink is that when one is tickled beyond endurance, one’s face tends to turn pink or red. Others cite a more figurative definition of the word tickle used since the 1600s meaning to experience enjoyment, the word pink referring to a rosy glow of pleasure. The turn of phrase tickled pink seems to have first come into use at the turn of the twentieth century. Related phrases are tickle pink, tickles pink, tickling pink, though the term is most often used is tickled pink (

Great songs of the twentieth century will not only examplify the use of the idiom but also provide its collocates. Let's start with I'm Tickled Pink Because You're Blue by Cindy Walker

I’m tickled pink because you’re blue – I’m tickled pink the things are rosy and skies are blue once again.

In the extract above you could also hear Jack Shaindlin (an American musician, composer, arranger, conductor, and music director, but born in Russian Crimea in 1909) using the same idiom and more. The colors used then to express happiness (rosy, red, pink) and sadness (blue) are totally natural to use today, e.g. in Fallout 3 - a post-apocalyptic action role-playing video game (Fallout – осадки (в данном случае ядерные)) and are used by one modern politician in her private telephone conversation

I’m tickled pink to talk to you! – I’m tickled pink to talk to you too!

But the question remains: What is wrong with Color Blue?

On the one hand, blue is the color of the sky and sea. It is often associated with depth and stability. It symbolizes trust, loyalty, wisdom, confidence, intelligence, faith, truth, and heaven

But on the other, who does not know the idiom: Feeling blue -sad or depressed. Example: “I am blue".

I'm so blue

Don't be colourless - someone who lacks personality, and is really boring.

Use this idiom and your speech will never be boring, use more colors and you will sound more sophisticated and mysterious like the singer from Copeland (an American rock band) 

For your colorless to calm her red
To the bluest greens and clearest clears instead

Fill your life with the whole spectrum of colors and colorful language

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world

Trees of green...Isn't it what we all wish for?

Green, the color of life, renewal, nature, and energy, is associated with meanings of growth, harmony, freshness, safety, fertility, and environment. Green is also traditionally associated with money, finances, banking, ambition, greed, jealousy, and wall street. And here you go, there is one more idiom for you to use

Green with envy?

Don't be! And don't go green on me (to turn against someone; to move against someone; to get angry at someone; to rage at someone) for bombarding you with colors. There is still so much for us to learn...

Have you ever heard the wolf cry to the blue corn moon
Or asked the grinning bobcat why he grinned
Can you sing with all the voices of the mountains
Can you paint with all the colors of the wind
Специализируемся на развитии навыков говорения и понимания реальной речи на слух. Используем только оригинальные материалы.