Green is a color that has been associated with nature, growth, and vitality for centuries. In the English language, the color green has also inspired a wide range of idiomatic expressions that have become a part of our everyday language.
From “green with envy” to “the grass is always greener on the other side,” these idioms offer a creative and engaging way of expressing various aspects of human experience, from jealousy to the pursuit of success.
In this post, we will explore some of the most interesting and widely used green idioms, examining their meanings and origins, and discovering the valuable insights they offer for everyday communication.
Through these idioms, we can gain a deeper appreciation for the richness and diversity of our language and the ways in which it reflects and shapes our experiences.
31 Green Idioms And Phrases (Meanings & Examples)
1. As Green As Grass
- Meaning #1: used to describe something that is very green in color.
- Meaning #2: used to describe a person who is very naive or inexperienced.
- Use In A Sentence #1: Don’t eat those fruits, they are as green as grass.
- Use In A Sentence #2: Can you help Sara with the printer? She is as green as grass when it comes to working with technology.
2. A Hedge Between Keeps Friendship Green
- Meaning: a friendship will do much better when the parties involved respect each other privacy and give them personal space.
- Use In A Sentence: So what is your secret to having such a close friendship? Well, a hedge between keeps friendship green. Karen and I have always respected each other’s privacy.
3. To Be Green With Envy
- Meaning: to be very jealous of another person.
- Use In A Sentence: Jessica was green with envy when she saw the gift that Dave bought her sister.
4. To Give Someone The Green Light
- Meaning: to give someone permission to do something.
- Use In A Sentence: I am waiting to receive the green light from corporate before we go ahead and remodel the office buildings.
5. To Go Green On Someone
- Meaning: to get very upset at someone.
- Use In A Sentence: Calm down George. There is no reason to go green on Mario. He didn’t know what he was doing. I am sure it was an honest mistake.
6. To Be Green Around The Gills
- Meaning: to feel nauseous. To look or feel ill.
- Synonyms: to be blue around the gills.
- Use In A Sentence: She looked green around the gills shortly after the boat left the dock.
7. To Be Green As A Gooseberry
- Meaning: to be very young and/or inexperienced.
- Use In A Sentence: Are you sure he is the best candidate for the job? He just got out of school and is still green as a gooseberry.
8. Green Folding / Green paper
- Meaning: an idiom used to describe paper money. Oftentimes it is used to describe large amounts of money.
- Use In A Sentence: Joe must have had to lay down some serious green folding to buy a house on the beach.
9. Green Stamps
- Meaning: money.
- Use In A Sentence: How many green stamps did that car cost you?
10. To Have A Green Thumb
- Meaning: used to describe a person who is really successful growing plants or working in a garden.
- Use In A Sentence: Those flowers are beautiful. I didn’t know you had a green thumb.
11. The Green-eyed Monster
- Meaning: jealousy.
- Use In A Sentence: Her daughter often succumbs to the green-eyed monster when she sees the things her friends own.
- Meaning: to obtain money illegally and then move it through a number of different financial institutions to make it seem like it is legal. To launder money
- Use In A Sentence: Don’t be fooled! His greenwashing is going to catch up with him.
13. And The Moon Is Made Out Of Green Cheese
- Meaning: an expression used when something hard to believe happened or is going to happen.
- Use In A Sentence: Did you hear that Julie is finally going to move out of her parent’s house? Yeah, and the moon is made out of green cheese. I’ll believe it when I see it.
14. The Green Apple Quickstep
- Meaning: a phrase used to describe diarrhea.
- Use In A Sentence: I don’t know if going to this restaurant is a good idea. The last time I went here, I had a bad case of the green apple quickstep.
16. Wear The Green Willow
- Meaning: the willow tree is often associated with sadness. To wear the green willow means to be sad as a result of losing something.
- Use In A Sentence: Doug has been wearing the green willow ever since his wife died from cancer.
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17. Wigs On The Green
- Meaning: a funny phrase that refers to a physical fight.
- Use In A Sentence: Justin and Thomas exchanged some strong words over the phone. I am afraid the next time they see each other there will be wigs on the green.
18. To Be A Little Green
- Meaning#1: to be ill or to look sick.
- Meaning#2: to be inexperienced or to lack experience.
- Use In A Sentence #1: Can you make sure Jeffery is feeling okay? He looks a little green.
- Use In A Sentence #2: My boss asked me to work with the new guy for a next few weeks. He still is a little green. After all, he did just graduate from high school.
19. To Flourish Like A Green Bay Tree
- Meaning: to be very successful. To thrive.
- Use In A Sentence: Ever since you changed schools you are flourishing like a green bay tree.
20. As Sure As God Made Little Green Apples
- Meaning: to express absolute certainty about something.
- Use In A Sentence: I am as sure as God made little green apples that your business is going to be successful.
21. The Green Room
- Meaning: a room an actor can use when they are not performing. Oftentimes it is located backstage.
- Use In A Sentence:Have you seen Mario? He is needed on the set. I haven’t seen him. Have you checked the green room?
22. The Rub Of The Green
- Meaning: good luck.
- Use In A Sentence: They will need the rub of the green to come back and win the game.
23. To Have Green Fingers
- Meaning: used to describe someone who is good at gardening.
- Use In A Sentence: Your garden looks beautiful! I didn’t know you had green fingers.
24. Green Shoots
- Meaning: signs that something is revitalizing. Often it is used in connection with the economy.
- Use In A Sentence: We are starting to see green shoots, which is a great sign that the economy is starting to bounce back.
25. A Greenback
- Meaning: one dollar bill.
- Use In A Sentence: What do you mean it is too expensive? It will only set you back a few greenbacks.
- Meaning: an inexperienced person. Someone that is extremely naive.
- Use In A Sentence: Fred, can you show the greenhorn around the office. I want her to be ready to work by Monday.
27. Long Green
- Meaning: large amounts of money.
- Use In A Sentence: I bet he had to lay down some serious long green to buy that new Mustang in his driveway.
28. I Am Not As Green As I Am Cabbage Looking
- Meaning: a phrase to say that one is smarter than they may appear.
- Use In A Sentence: I am not as green as I am cabbage looking, but I don’t think it is a good idea to invest that kind of money into a new business idea.
29. Where on God’s Green Earth…?
- Meaning: where?
- Use In A Sentence: It is going to cost $20,000? Where on God’s green earth are we going to find that kind of money?
30. I don’t buy green bananas.
- Meaning: a phrase used to express that one doesn’t make an investment into something that is going to take a long time to produce results.
- Use In A Sentence: I turned down the opportunity. I figured it would take 10 years before I got my money back. I don’t buy green bananas. I would like to see a return on investment sooner than that.
31. To Eat One’s Greens
- Meaning: to eat vegetables to stay healthy. To eat a healthy diet.
- Use In A Sentence: First, you need to eat your greens and then you can have dessert.
In conclusion, green idioms offer a unique and creative way of expressing various aspects of human experience.
They remind us of the beauty and significance of nature and its role in our lives and provide a powerful tool for communicating complex emotions and ideas.
From the positive connotations of growth and renewal to the negative associations of envy and greed, these idioms offer a fascinating insight into the ways in which our language is shaped by our experiences and culture.
By mastering the art of using green idioms, we can not only improve our language skills but also gain valuable insights into human behavior and interaction, and ultimately, increase our appreciation for the rich tapestry of our world.
There you have it! 31 green idioms and phrases you can use in your everyday conversation.
Which one is your favorite? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.