Green With Envy

Meaning of Idiom ‘Green With Envy’

To be green with envy means to wish very much that you had the same possessions or good fortune that someone else has; to be very envious or jealous. 1Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.,2Brenner, Gail Abel. Webster’s New World American Idioms Handbook]. Wiley, 2003.,3Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.


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Usage

The phrase green with jealousy is sometimes substituted but the correct idiom is green with envy.

Examples Of Use

“I heard you got a scholarship to study in France. I’m green with envy!”

“Everyone was green with envy after Gregory won the lottery and quit his job.”

“Congratulations on your new sports car. I’ll be honest, I’m green with envy. I’ve always wanted a car like that.”

Origin

Green has traditionally been the color that represents jelousy. For example, Shakespeare called envy the green sickness (Anthony and Cleopatra). The current idiom, and the most common, has been used since the mid-1800s. 4Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.,5Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Heacock, Paul. Cambridge Dictionary of American Idioms]. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2010.
2. Brenner, Gail Abel. Webster’s New World American Idioms Handbook]. Wiley, 2003.
3, 4. Ayto, John. Oxford Dictionary of English Idioms. Oxford: Oxford U, 2010.
5. Ammer, Christine. American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.