English Idiom – Green-eyed monster.

Meaning – Jealousy or envy. This phrase is often used to describe the feeling of intense jealousy that one might experience when someone else possesses something that they desire, such as a skill, possession, or success.

The idiom originates from Shakespeare’s play “Othello,” where the character Iago says, “O, beware, my lord, of jealousy; it is the green-eyed monster which doth mock the meat it feeds on.”

The colour green has traditionally been associated with envy, as in the phrase green with envy. The idea of a monster suggests that jealousy can be a destructive and consuming emotion that can control a person’s thoughts and actions. It’s often not a positive emotion to experience or express.

Colours and Emotions:

Different colours can be used to portray different emotions or moods when speaking in English. Here are a few common colour and emotion combinations:

ColourEmotionIdiomatic Example
BlueSadnessFeel blue
GreenEnvyGreen-eyed monster
PinkHappyTickled pink
RedAnger/ShameRed in the face
WhiteShockWhite as a ghost


When could you use this idiom?

  • Your ex has a wonderful new partner.
  • A neighbour has just taken delivery of a brand new sports car.
  • Your colleague at work has been given a generous pay-rise and promotion.
  • A rival football team has just won a prestigious cup!


  • “When Augustina saw the stunning dress her sister bought for the party, she felt the green-eyed monster creeping up on her.”

In The News:

Taming the Green-Eyed Monster


  • Is there an idiom like this in your country?

What is an idiom?

An idiom is a word or phrase that is not taken literally.  An idiom is an expression that cannot be understood from the meanings of its individual words, but has a separate meaning of its own.

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