Posted on by Ulrike Rettig

Cool German Idioms 1 - blau

London Eye

 Some Idioms with "blau"

ins Blaue fahren
(more literally: to drive into the blue yonder)
to take a trip without a clear destination
blau machen
(literally: to make blue)
to skip work or school

blauer Montag
(literally: blue Monday)
a Monday on which you skip work
die blaue Stunde
(literally: the blue hour)
time of dusk
das Blaue vom Himmel herunter lügen
(more literally: to lie so much that the blue color comes down from the sky)
to tell stories that aren't true
das blaue Wunder erleben
(literally: to experience the blue miracle)
to get the shock of one's life

mit einem blauen Auge davonkommen
(literally: to escape with a blue eye)
to get off lightly

jemandem blauen Dunst vormachen
(more literally: to fool someone with blue mist)
to throw dust in somebody's eyes

sich grün und blau ärgern
(more literally: to turn green and blue with annoyance)
to get very annoyed

der Blaue Planet
(literally: the blue planet)
the planet Earth

der blaue Brief
(literally: the blue letter)
a letter containing unpleasant news

blau sein
(literally: to be blue)
to be drunk

Blauer Brief

"Blauer Brief" most commonly refers to a letter that a school will send to parents warning that their son or daughter may not pass and be required to repeat the shool year.
A "Pink Slip" or notice from an employer that one is being fired or laid off is often referred to as "Blauer Brief".
The "Notice to Quit" from a landlord terminating your tenancy, is also sometimes called "Blauer Brief".
If you read German, find out more about the history of the term, and regional differences in how it is used in this Wikipedia entry.

I don't really know why German has so many idioms using the color "blue". Yes there is the English "feeling blue", or "being blue" i.e. being sad. But, if you were to express such a feeling and translate, "I'm blue", into German as "Ich bin blau", you will get some astonished or worried looks.

If you come across other German idioms using "blue", send us a note to and we'll add them here!