“This has truly been a black swan event.”
“Jessica is the black sheep of the family.“
“Mary gave me a black look“
These are 3 of the 13 black idioms that we are going to take a closer look at in this post.
13 Black Idioms (Examples & Definitions)
To Give Someone A Black Look
An angry expression on one’s face can be described as a black look. It could also refer to when one is disappointed with someone’s actions or it can refer to a look someone gives someone else because they really dislike that person.
“Mary gave me a black look when I told her that I didn’t agree with her teaching methods.”
To Be The Black Sheep Of The Family
When you hear someone call another person the black sheep of the family, they are saying that that person is very different from the rest of the family. Much like when there is a group of white sheep and then there is a single black sheep. For example, maybe the family is known for being overly quiet and private people. The black sheep of the family would be someone who is loud and very open about their personal life. Usually being called the black sheep of the family is a negative thing to say about someone.
“Jessica is the black sheep of the family. While the rest of her family went to college to pursue a high-paying career, she is content working for minimum wage.”
To Have A Black Mark On One’s Record (Next To One’s Name)
To have a black mark on one’s record or to have a black mark next to one’s name refers to an action that continues to affect one’s reputation. It usually affects one’s reputation in a negative way.
“Getting caught cheating on his semester exams really put a black mark next to Josh’s name. Sometimes I feel like it was because of that mistake that some of his teachers find it difficult to trust him.”
To Be Black-Hearted
Black-hearted refers to someone who is disposed of or wishes to do evil. Somebody who is mean and wants to hurt those around them. Malicious.
“I can’t stand Jay, he is so black-hearted. He is always looking to pick a fight with other kids at school. Why can’t he pick on someone his own age?“
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To Be Pitch Black
Something that is very black or extremely black can be described as being pitch black.
“It is pitch black outside. I can’t see my hand in front of my face.”
We say that someone is black-and-blue to say that they are bruised, someone who has been beaten up, or someone who is hurting. Commonly it is used to describe a literal bruise as they take on those colors. However, it can also refer to someone who has been bruised emotionally or is still in pain from something that happened in the past.
“Ouch, it looks like that fall hurt. I think Jason is going to be black and blue after that fall.”
“I think Steve is still pretty black and blue over the divorce, but with time he will get better.”
To Be In One’s Black Books
In the 15th century, a black book was used to keep a record of a person’s misdemeanors. With that being said, to be in a person’s black books means to have lost their favor. In other words, they are upset over something you did to them.
“I don’t think Mary will invite me to the party. I am currently in her black books right now.”
A Black Swan Event
As we know swans are usually always white. It is very rare to see a black sware. With that in mind, the phrase a black swan event is used to refer to something that many people think is impossible.
“Never would we have thought that today, we would be in a worldwide pandemic. This has truly been a black swan event.”
The Pot Calling The Kettle Black
When placed on a fire, both a pot and a kettle are going to become dirty from the soot. However, it wouldn’t be right for the pot to tell the kettle that it is dirty because the poot too is dirty. With that being said, this expression refers to someone who accuses or criticizes someone else for the same fault that they too are guilty of.
“Senator Bryan has accused the newspapers of printing lies about him and his family. Wow, talk about the pot calling the kettle black. Since he has been in office, I don’t think I have ever heard him say a truthful statement.”
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A blacklist is a list of names of people that have been banned or censured in some way. Usually under the suspicion that they are going to do something bad.
“The United States government has a blacklist of people who are banned from entering the country. These are people that have ties to a terrorist organization that could be a threat to the country.”
Because of its extremely high value, at times oil is referred to as black gold.
“Tom was happy to learn that black gold was discovered under his property. He is going to be a millionaire”
As you can see from this post, black often refers to things that are evil or bad. It can also be used to refer to things that are illegal such as black money. Black money is money that is not reported to the government usually because it was earned illegally.
“The newly elected senators promised to crack down on black money. Not only do they want to stop people from engaging in illegal activities, but they also want to make it harder for people to hide it from their financial reports.”
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The expression jet black is used to describe the darkest shade of black. Something that is very, very black.
“I love this car, do you think they have it in jet black?”
There you have it! 13 black idioms. Which one is your favorite?
If you have enjoyed this post, you may also enjoy our Idiom Of The Day page. There we post a different idiom every day. Check it out!