To be green with envy

Unpack 'be green with envy'—its colorful history and social uses explained!

Alt text

Ever noticed someone feeling a little jealous and thought they looked a bit green around the gills? That’s what it means to be green with envy. While I’ve never seen a green cat, I do know some cats who can get pretty jealous. Let’s explore the intriguing world of this envy-filled idiom and help our young language learners understand its colorful meaning.

What does “be green with envy” mean?

When someone is “green with envy,” it means they’re feeling jealous of someone else’s success, possessions, or opportunities. It’s like a green-eyed monster of jealousy creeping into their heart. So, if your friend feels envious because you got a new toy or aced a test, they might be green with envy.

Where does “be green with envy” come from?

The origin of this idiom is a bit mysterious, much like the green-eyed monsters it refers to! However, a clever English human called Mr. Shakespeare is known to have made the connection between the color green and jealousy in his works. In his famous play called Othello, the character Lago warns another man, Othello, about jealousy being a “green-eyed monster.”

This is inspired by a green-eyed cat who plays with its prey, although, of course, none of the Studycats ever engage in such mischief. ;)

How to use “be green with envy”

Now, let’s put this idiom into action! Here are some sentences your child can practice:

  • “Sarah was green with envy when she saw my new bike."
  • "Jack’s classmates turned green with envy when he won the science fair."
  • "Emma felt green with envy when her friend got a pet puppy."
  • "When I showed my artwork, some of my classmates were green with envy."
  • "Seeing his sister’s birthday presents, Tom turned green with envy.”

Other ways to describe jealousy

If you’re looking to add some variety to your language, here are a few synonyms for “green with envy”:

  • Jealous as a green-eyed monster — A vivid description that captures the intensity of jealousy.
  • Feeling envious — A straightforward way to express jealousy without referencing color.
  • Coveting what others have — Describes the desire for something someone else possesses.
  • Feeling the green-eyed monster — Another colorful way to depict jealousy.

Fun ways to embrace “be green with envy”

Why not turn English learning into a bit of a colorful adventure! Discuss scenarios where characters in stories or movies might feel green with envy. Encourage your child to express their feelings when they experience jealousy, helping them understand and manage their emotions.

You can also create a “green with envy” collage where they collect pictures of things they desire or admire, acknowledging their feelings in a creative way.

So there you have it!

The phrase “be green with envy” adds a splash of color and emotion to your child’s English vocabulary. Let’s make learning idioms as fun and vibrant as a rainbow!