15 Red Idioms

Hello English learners. Welcome to a new lesson. We will look at 15 red idioms or idioms and phrases that use the colour red.

Here is the list:

  1. As red as a beetroot
  2. Blood-red
  3. Red herring
  4. Red-letter day
  5. Like  a red flag to a bull
  6. To bleed red ink
  7. To catch someone red-handed
  8. Red tape
  9. To paint the town red
  10. Red line
  11. Red mist
  12. Roll out the red carpet 
  13. Red alert
  14. In the red
  15. To see red

The English teachers at My Lingua Academy are happy to help you improve your English. You can attend our individual and group private lessons to learn English for free with our blog posts where you will find loads of grammar and vocabulary lessons, as well as exercises and quizzes. 

As red as a beet (beetroot)

Meaning: to go red in the face, especially if you feel embarrassed.

  • Mark went as red as a beet when he realized everyone was watching him.

Blood red

Meaning: of colour like blood.

  • When she did her hair, Mary put some make-up and blood-red lipstick on her lips.

Red herring

Meaning: a piece of information that is misleading and takes your attention from the relevant facts.

  • The police inspector said that the information is a red herring and decided not to consider it seriously.

Red-letter day

Meaning: a special day you will always remember.

  • The day when my son was born was a red-letter day.

Like  a red flag to a bull

Meaning: something that makes you very angry and upset.

  • Mentioning that night to him is like a red rag to a bull – he gets angry immediately.

To bleed red ink

Meaning: to have serious financial difficulties.

  • If the hotel continues to bleed red ink, I’m afraid some staff will be sacked.

To catch someone red-handed

Meaning: to be caught in the criminal act.

  • The police caught the pickpocket red-handed while he was trying the rob an old lady on the bus.

Red tape

Meaning: complicated bureaucratic procedures that may take a long time to accomplish.

  • Ryan missed the flight because of the red tape at the airport.

To paint the town red

Meaning: to go out and party all night with your friends. 

  • I can’t wait for the weekend. We’re going to paint the town red.

Red line

Meaning: a limit which should not be crossed.

  • Beware not to cross the red line when driving.

Red mist

Meaning: a feeling of great anger.

  • Bob was so angry that he saw everything through a red mist.

Roll out the red carpet 

Meaning: to meet and greet someone formally.

  • When the prime minister of the neighbouring country arrived, they rolled out the red carpet for him by preparing a special programme.

Red alert

Meaning: a warning of great danger.

  • During the bomb attack, the hospitals were on red alert.

In the red

Meaning: if your bank account is in the red, then you spend more money than you earn.

  • Our company was in the red last year but things are getting on better now.

To see red

Meaning: to be furious.

  • Brian saw red when he saw his electricity bill.

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Red idioms

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