• Morgan Fagg

The Blacklist

If it's not too much of a stupid question, what exactly is The Blacklist?

While walking from the overcrowded metro station to my house, I saw a colourful exhibition where a woman was being painted black for Black Friday. I have written a blog about it https://www.nohemingway.com/blog/black-friday where I use the following list of dark and usually negative expressions.

There are many colourful expressions in English such as "Green with Envy", "Yellow-bellied" and "Caught red-handed" for example.

I am a big fan of The NBC tv series Blacklist and have decided to focus on all the negative expressions associated with the colour black and create my very own Blacklist.

Black with people

Crowded, full of people, probably not in common use outside of Ireland.

Painted Black

Popular anti-war song by the Rolling Stones.


A person who works with iron like a Goldsmith works with gold.


The controversial practice of painting your face to look like an African American or slave which was popular in films and theatres 100 years ago.

Black and White

Type of photography and expression “Life isn’t always Black and White”

In the Black

Financially secure, opposite of In the Red

Black Edition

Limited or Special edition sometimes used with cars, particularly special models with more power that might only be available in black.

Grey area

Not everything is clear cut and Black & White

In the Red

Negative equity, opposite of In the Black

Black Market

Illegal trade


Criminal offense seeking money or benefit from someone in return for not revealing compromising secrets or damaging information about them.

Black economy

Jobs that are not officially recorded or taxed. Think of babysitting and gardening jobs or the mafia.

Black Mirror

Popular British tv series that takes a dark look at society.

Can I turn this blog into a social commentary like an episode of Blackmirror?


A list of people or things that are excluded or avoided. Journalists are often blacklisted if they write unflattering stories. Opposite of the White List.

Black Books

British comedy about a bookshop

Black Magic

Like Voodoo


To pass out, collapse or become unconscious.

Black Sheep

An expression of being different than the rest

The Bottom Line

Used in the text but nothing to do with the colour black. It is the final financial amount usually printed at the bottom of a financial statement or marketing campaign costing. "What's the bottomline?"

Not included in my Blacklist: Black and Blue which means to be badly bruised. The colour your skin might turn after being hit, such as receiving a Black Eye.

Now we have looked at all these negative descriptions should we continue to use them so much?

In the film Malcolm X, Denzel Washinton is shown the importance and significance of black and white in the dictionary and in racial descriptions. White is pure and black is dirty and dark etc.

For me the term I hate the most is White Collar Crime.

Blue-Collar represents working-class people and White-Collar their employers where we imagine employees in dirty blue overalls and shirts and white shirts represent their employers who have lovely clean pressed suits and shirts. Even today we see expensive blue and pink shirts for sale with a white-collar. In my opinion, White-Collar Crimes should be called crimes no matter how wealthy the criminal is or how white their shirt is.

Maybe the world would be filled with fewer villains like in the tv series Blacklist if we combatted crime as if we were colourblind and used a different spectrum to describe good and bad. Blackhats, Whitehats and White witches wearing blackhats as politicians rarely see jail for White Collar Crimes.

Let's hope I'm not Blacklisted like Red AKA Raymond Reddington in The Blacklist for saying that.

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