Green with Envy – What’s the Meaning?

Hi guys, it’s me again, Studycat. I love to study and one of the things I enjoy studying the most is English idioms. So, I have looked into a few good ones, and one I particularly like is ‘green with envy’!

Green with Envy Explained

To be green with envy means to be jealous of someone or something. I have never seen a green cat but I do know some jealous cats. The origin of this idiom is unclear. I find that a lot with idioms. People often don’t know where they started.

Green with envy

However, a clever English human called Mr Shakespeare is known to have made the connection between the color green and jealousy. He wrote a lot of books and plays, and he writes about the color green in lots of them

In his play Othello,  one character, Iago, warns another man, Othello;

“Beware, my lord, of jealousy! It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock. The meat it feeds on.”

This is inspired by a green-eyed cat who plays with its prey. On a personal note, I never do this.

In another play, Antony and Cleopatra, a man called Menas says,

“is troubled with the green sickness.”

The green sickness is envy.

Lastly, in a play called ;The Merchant of Venice’, a character says:

“How all the other passions fleet to air, As doubtful thoughts, and rash-embraced despair, And shuddering fear, and green-eyed jealousy!”

Now that you know what it means don’t boast to your friends too much because they might turn green with envy 🙂

Thanks for reading! I’m Studycat, and you can find out more about me at