What does the idiom "off colour" mean?
The phrase off colour is often used in English, but what does this idiom mean? When idioms are used in the right situations, they strengthen communication and enrich the language. You can communicate more effectively by learning the meaning of off colour.
Meaning of "off colour"
The idiom "off color" is used to describe a feeling of being unwell, or being of an unhealthy color. It is often used in context with physical health. It is also used to describe something that is considered inappropriate or out of line, as if it is off in some way.
The phrase "off color" has been used in English since the late 15th century. The earliest known usage of the phrase was in 1485. It was used to describe something that was not quite right or not the proper color. The phrase was then extended to describe a person's health, as in feeling off-color or looking off-color. The phrase is believed to be derived from the Middle English term "off-coloured," which itself was derived from the Old French "off-coulored."
The phrase "off color" is commonly used in the context of physical health. It is used to describe a person who feels unwell or looks pale. For example, "I'm feeling a bit off color today." It can also be used to describe someone who looks like they are unwell, such as "She looks a bit off color today."
The phrase can also be used to describe something that is inappropriate or not socially accepted, as in "That joke was a bit off color." It can also be used to describe something that is not quite right or has gone wrong, as in "The paint job looks a bit off color."
- I'm feeling a bit off color today, I think I should stay home from work.
- That joke was a bit off color, I don't think anyone found it very funny.
- The paint job looks a bit off color, we should probably get it redone.
Idioms with similar meaning
"Don't judge a book by its cover" is an English idiom that means you shouldn't make assumptions about someone or something based solely on its appearance. In Japanese, the similar idiom is "Hana yori dango," which translates to "Dumplings rather than flowers." This idiom means that substance is more important than appearance.