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Say it with colours

Use the colours to express yourself in Dutch! Dutch expressions with colours.

The colors, you probably already know them in Dutch! And did you know that you can also use them for expressions? Handy, because that way you can explain complex emotions and situations and you'll sound like a real local. In this article we will discuss a few expressions with colors. Note: we don't discuss them all!

Blauw

  • Een blauwtje lopen is not pleasant! It means that you are rejected by someone. Suppose you want to ask your classmate out and he/she says no..? Je loopt een blauwtje! Heb jij weleens een blauwtje gelopen?

  • Je ergens blauw aan betalen: having to pay a lot of money for something.

  • Do you have blue blood? Then you may be related to King Willem-Alexander. Having blauw bloed means that you are of nobility!

Geel

  • Je ergert je groen en geel when you are greatly disturbed by something in your environment.

Groen

  • Green is the color of envy, but also of the plant experts among us. Do your houseplants always die in no time? Then you don't have groene vingers!

  • A groentje is someone who has little experience (a rookie). You can also say that that person is still groen achter de oren.

  • Het gras is altijd groener bij de buren, but often that is just an illusion. Don't compare yourself too much with others!

Grijs

  • Are you someone who doesn't like to stand out and maybe a little shy? Do you feel uncomfortable in a bright yellow sweater and don't like being the center of attention? Then you might be een grijze muis. Cute!

  • Do you have a favourite song? Then you probably listen to the song a lot: je draait het liedje grijs. Gramophone records used to be made of black vinyl, which turned grey after using them a lot.

Rood

  • Red is the color of love, but it also has some negative meanings. For example, rood staan is something you want tot avoid. If you do, you have a negative balance in your bank account.

  • You can also have geen rooie cent. This simply means that you have no money. Rooie is another way of saying rode.

  • If you can't read Dutch very well yet, you may not be able to understand all the details of an article or news item, but you can probably follow de rode draad: the essence / core of the story.

Roze

  • Pink is a lot more positive than red. When you look through a roze bril (pink-colored glasses), you look at everything very optimistically.

  • Also positive: op een roze wolk zitten. If you're on a pink cloud, you're in love!

Wit

  • Have you met de prins of de prinses op het witte paard yet? If you are looking for a relationship, I hope you will meet the person of your dreams soon!

  • This is actually a combination of two colours, but if something is zwart op wit, it means it has been written down. So you have written proof.

Zwart

  • There are many expressions with the color black. You can use the verbs zwartrijden (travel without ticket) and zwartwerken (work without paying taxes). You can also be a zwartkijker. Then you are someone who watches television without paying or you are just a pessimist.

  • Are you going to the beach on a hot day? Then there is a good chance that there a lots and lots of people: het ziet zwart van de mensen.

Bruin

  • If you have a dark brown suspicion then you know something almost for sure.