Colors: I'm Feeling Very Blue Today
Now, the VOA Special English program, Words and Their Stories.
Every people has its own way of saying things, its own special expressions. Many everyday American expressions are based on colors.
Red is a hot color. Americans often use it to express heat. They may say they are red hot about something unfair. When they are red hot they are very angry about something. The small hot tasting peppers found in many Mexican foods are called red hots for their color and their fiery taste. Fast loud music is popular with many people. They may say the music is red hot, especially the kind called Dixieland jazz.
Pink is a lighter kind of red. People sometimes say they are in the pink when they are in good health. The expression was first used in America at the beginning of the twentieth century. It probably comes from the fact that many babies are born with a nice pink color that shows that they are in good health.
Blue is a cool color. The traditional blues music in the United States is the opposite of red hot music. Blues is slow, sad and soulful. Duke Ellington and his orchestra recorded a famous song – Mood Indigo – about the deep blue color, indigo. In the words of the song: “You ain’t been blue till you’ve had that Mood Indigo.” Someone who is blue is very sad.
The color green is natural for trees and grass. But it is an unnatural color for humans. A person who has a sick feeling stomach may say she feels a little green. A passenger on a boat who is feeling very sick from high waves may look very green.
Sometimes a person may be upset because he does not have something as nice as a friend has, like a fast new car. That person may say he is green with envy. Some people are green with envy because a friend has more dollars or greenbacks. Dollars are called greenbacks because that is the color of the back side of the paper money.
The color black is used often in expressions. People describe a day in which everything goes wrong as a black day. The date of a major tragedy is remembered as a black day. A blacklist is illegal now. But at one time, some businesses refused to employ people who were on a blacklist for belonging to unpopular organizations.
In some cases, colors describe a situation. A brown out is an expression for a reduction in electric power. Brown outs happen when there is too much demand for electricity. The electric system is unable to offer all the power needed in an area. Black outs were common during World War Two. Officials would order all lights in a city turned off to make it difficult for enemy planes to find a target in the dark of night.
I’m Warren Scheer. Listen again next week for another Words and Their Stories program in Special English on the Voice of America.
红色red是一种热情的颜色。美国人经常用red来表述热量。他们可能会说，对一些不公平的事情感觉到red hot。如果说red hot，说明他们对某件事情非常生气。许多墨西哥食品中含有的红色的小辣椒因为颜色和味道而被称做red hots。快节奏，声音很大的音乐受许多人的欢迎，他们可能会说这些音乐red hot（炽热），尤其是迪克西兰爵士乐。
粉红色颜色要淡一些。有时，人们会用in the pink来表示身体很健康。这个短语在美国首次使用是在20世纪初期。可能是因为许多婴儿出生时皮肤是粉红色的，表明他们身体很健康。
蓝色是比较凉的颜色。美国传统的布鲁斯音乐正好与爵士乐相反。布鲁斯音乐是比较舒缓，忧伤和高尚的。Duke Ellington和他的乐队录制了一首非常著名的歌曲——Mood Indigo——是关于深蓝色的。有一句歌词是这样的：“You ain’t been blue till you’ve had that Mood Indigo.”如果说一个人非常blue，说明他很忧伤。
有时候一个人可能会感到心烦意乱，因为他朋友有的好东西他没有，比如一辆新车。这个人可能会说他green with envy。如果他的朋友比他有更多的美钞或者说greenback，他可能会green with envy （十分妒忌）。美元被称为greenbacks，因为美钞的背面是绿色的。
黑色也经常用在短语中。人们经常将老出问题的一天称为a black day。发生重大灾难的一天也被称为a black day。现在blacklist（黑名单）是不合法的。但是，曾经有一段时间，一些企业拒绝雇佣黑名单上的人，因为他们属于某个不受欢迎的组织。
有时候，颜色也被用来描述一种处境。 brown out用来表示电力减少。电量需求过度时就会出现Brown outs。电力系统有时不能供应整个区的用电需求。二战期间经常发生Black outs。官方会下令关闭所有电灯，让敌机在黑夜中无法找到目标。 【已有很多网友发表了看法，点击参与讨论】【对英语不懂，点击提问】【英语论坛】【返回首页】