Idioms with black and white

Here is a list of expressions that have the words white or black in them. Each expression is followed by its meaning.

White collar

White collar jobs are jobs that are done in an office or professional environment.

White elephant

A white elephant is a useless or troublesome possession the maintenance of which will ruin its owner. According to a popular story, the kings of Siam (Thailand) used to give such animals to courtiers they disliked with the objective of ruining them financially.

White flag

A white flag is a white cloth or flag used as a symbol of a wish to negotiate or surrender.

White hope

A white hope is a person expected to bring much success to a company or team.

White lie

A white lie is a harmless lie told to avoid hurting someone’s sentiments.

White magic

White magic is magic used only for good purposes.

White trash

This is a derogatory expression used to refer to poor white people.

Expressions with black


This is a derogatory expression used to refer to a person who continues to work when their fellow workers are on strike.

Black magic

Black magic is magic involving the summoning of evil spirits.


To blackmail someone is to demand money from them in return for not revealing information that could disgrace them.

Black mark

A black mark is a record of disapproval for something that you have done.


A blackout is a short loss of consciousness or a sudden failure of electric lights.

Black sheep

A black sheep is a person who is regarded as a source of shame by their family.


Manjusha Nambiar

Hi, I am Manjusha. This is my blog where I give English grammar lessons and worksheets.

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