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Source: Voice of America

A most important
color in nature.


Now, the VOA Special English program, Words and Their Stories.

Green is an important color in nature. It is the color of grass and the leaves on trees. It is also the color of most growing plants.
grass: pasto; leaves: hojas; most growing plants: la mayoría de las plantas cultivadas;

Sometimes, the word green means young, fresh and growing. Sometimes, it describes something that is not yet ripe or finished.
yet ripe: maduro aún;

For example, a greenhorn is someone who has no experience, who is new to a situation.  In the fifteenth century, a greenhorn was a young cow or ox whose horns had not yet developedA century or so later, a greenhorn was a soldier who had not yet had any experience in battle. By the eighteenth century, a greenhorn had the meaning it has today – a person who is new in a job.
greenhorn: novato, inexperto, principiante; ox: buey (oxen = bueyes); whose horns: cuyos cuernos; developed: desarrollados; a century or so later: aprox. un siglo más tarde; battle: batalla, combate;

About one hundred years ago, greenhorn was a popular expression in the American west.  Old-timers used it to describe a man who had just arrived from one of the big cities back east. The greenhorn lacked the skills he would need to live in the hard, rough country.
old-timers: los veteranos; had just arrived: acababa de llegar; lacked the skills: le faltaban las habilidades; rough: duro, tosco;

Someone who has the ability to grow plants well is said to have a green thumb. The expression comes from the early nineteen hundreds.
green thumb: "dedo verde" (tener buena mano con las plantas);


A person with a green thumb seems to have a magic touch that makes plants grow quickly and well. You might say that the woman next door has a green thumb if her garden continues to grow long after your plants have died.
long after: mucho tiempo después de que;

The Green Revolution is the name given some years ago to the development of new kinds of rice and other grains. The new plants produced much larger crops.  The Green Revolution was the result of hard work by agricultural scientists who had green thumbs.
Green Revolution: Revolución Verde (incremento de la producción agrícola a partir de 1940); rice: arroz; crops: cosechas;

Green is also the color used to describe the powerful emotion, jealousy.  The green-eyed monster is not a frightening creature from outer space.  It is an expression used about four hundred years ago by British writer William Shakespeare in his play "Othello."
jealousy: envidia, celos; green-eyes monster: monstruo de ojos verdes (literal); outer space: extra-terrestre;

It describes the unplesant feeling a person has when someone has something he wants.  A young man may suffer from the green-eyed monster if his girlfriend begins going out with someone else.  Or, that green-eyed monster may affect your friend if you get a pay raise and she does not.
a pay raise: un aumento de sueldo;

In most places in the world, a green light is a signal to move ahead.  A green light on a traffic signal means your car can continue on.  In everyday speech, a green light means approval to continue with a project. We want you to know we have a green light to continue this series next week.
green light: autorización (luz verde); to move ahead: para continuar; approval: aprobación, autorización, visto bueno.

This VOA Special English program, Words and Their Stories, was written by Marilyn Christiano. I'm Warren Scheer.


Marriage: casamiento de menores sin consentimiento.
green baize: tapete verde que cubre las mesas de juego.
green expanse: zona verde o cubierta de césped.
green house gases: gases de efecto invernadero (ecología)
green peas: guisantes, arvejas
green stuff: hortalizas, verduras; dinero (dólares)
green tax: impuesto ecológico
putting green: espacio de césped que circunda al hoyo de golf.
forest green: verde oscuro; grass green: verde hierba; sea-green: verde mar

Source: VOA - Voice of America

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