★☆☆Words and Their Stories: Colorful Expressions

2013年02月11日 ★☆☆, 2013年6月以前の記事, Education, VOA.

Read and understand the article. If you may have any difficult words to pronounce and words you cannot understand, always ask your teacher.

*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.


*Read the words carefully.

  1. fiery /ˈfī(ə)rē/ (adj.) consisting of fire or burning strongly and brightly
  2. opposite /ˈäpəzit/ (n.) a person or thing that is totally different from or the reverse of someone or something else
  3. soulful /ˈsōlfəl/ (adj.) expressing or appearing to express deep and often sorrowful feeling
  4. orchestra /ˈôrkistrə/ (n.) a group of instrumentalists, esp. one combining string, woodwind, brass, and percussion sections and playing classical music
  5. tragedy /ˈtrajidē/ (n.) an event causing great suffering, destruction, and distress, such as a serious accident, crime, or natural catastrophe


Words and Their Stories: Colorful Expressions

* Read the text below

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(1) Every people has its own way of saying things, its own special expressions. Many everyday American expressions are based on colors.

(2) 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.

(3) 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.

(4) 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.

(5) 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.

(6) 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.

(7) 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.

(8) 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.


*Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

  1. What would life be without colors?
  2. What color represents you as a person? What does that color mean in your culture?
  3. Are there any situations in Japanese that use colors as expressions?


English Compositions

*Let’s make English compositions using the words from the article.

(1) witness

EX) This Sunday, people around the world will witness two teams as they battle for the championship of American professional football.

(2) exceptional

EX) They have an exceptional defense, explosive offense.