Color Names and Phrases You Should Know in German

Color Names and Phrases You Should Know in German

Colors are a universal language and are an important topic when you are learning another language, like German for example. 

This article will teach you the most common colors in German and phrases connecting to colors that you can use!

Rot - red

You might have come across some “rotwein” (red wine) throughout your travels in Germany, here are some phrases that use “rot”. 

“rot wie eine Tomate werden” (to be red like a tomato) when someone goes red in the face after an embarrassing moment, or “Der rote Faden” which means a common thread or a central theme.

Orange - Orange

Spelt the same in English but with a slight difference in pronunciation, listen closely to the “r” in German. 

The fruit is also spelled the same but must be capitalized when written as it is a noun and all nouns start with a capital, no matter where they are in a sentence!

Gelb - Yellow

This might look like the word “gold” in English but it is “yellow”, don't let that confuse you! 

You may have heard of the English phrase “green with envy” here in German it is yellow “Gelb vor Neid”.

Grün - green

This nature-connecting color “grün”  is a great way to describe someone great at gardening “einen grünen Daumen” (a green thumb). 

Blau - blue

In English, we may describe ourselves as blue when we are sad but in German  “blau” means to be drunk. If you are feeling extremely hungover you might want to take a sneaky day off from work or “blau machen”.

Lila - purple

Throughout the autumn season in parts of Germany, you might see fields of purple along the countryside or “lilafelden”. These flowers are called Phacelia and are planted after a grain harvest to help restore the nutrients in the soil.

Rosa - pink

If you think of a rose, think of pink in German, a great way to remember this word. 

“Durch due rosa Brille schauen” means to look through pink glasses and is another way of saying that someone has an overly optimistic outlook on things.

Braun - brown

Spelled slightly differently, “braun” is very similar to how Brown is pronounced in English. 

You can also say “du bist aber braun gewordern” (you’ve got a nice tan) after someone comes back tan from a summer holiday.

Grau - grey

Did you know? That “grau” is officially the most popular car color in Germany, according to surveys.

There is a popular saying “Nachts sind alle Katzen grau” (all cats are grey at night) this is another way to say that everything looks alike.

Schwarz - black

A very popular last name and you may have heard of “Schwarzkopf” (literally black head) as a brand for shampoo and hair care. 

Schwarz has a few expressions in German like “schwarzarbeiten” (to work illegally) “schwarzfahren” (to travel without a ticket).

Weiß - white

In German “bis zum Weißbluten” means to bleed someone dry, like money, or “eine Weße Weste haben” to have a clean state (to be innocent).

Other Interesting Colors to Know!

  • Indigo - indigo
  • Violett - violet
  • Türkis - turquoise
  • Beige - beige
  • Khaki - khaki
  • Silber - silver
  • Gold - gold

If you want to say dark or light for a color just add “dunkel” (dark) or “hell” (light) for example, “Dunkelblau” (dark blue), “hellrosa” (light pink), or “Dunkelgrau” (dark grey). 


Can you imagine a world without these pretty colors? Not only color great ways to describe things but are one of the first things you learn when learning another language.

What is your favorite color?

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