What Does In the Pink Mean?

In the Pink Meaning

Definition: In the best possible condition.

Most often people specifically use this to describe health, or physical condition. For example, in the pink of health.

Origin of In the Pink

This is one of many expressions that first appeared in a work by the famous playwright William Shakespeare—or at least in Shakespeare’s time.

He used this idiom in his play Romeo and Juliet, from the late 1500s. However, at that time, the expression’s definition was slightly different: at the peak or the best example of.

The reason behind the color pink being associated with the best condition is unclear. There are many theories, most of which have little support or evidence. One of these theories is that the expression relates to the pink tinge of healthy cheeks. A more likely theory is that the expression comes from the pink color of flowers favored by Queen Elizabeth 1.  The word pink did not exist until these flowers became popular. This pink color was unique for its time.

Examples of In the Pink

pink health meaning In the dialogue below, two men use the idiom when discussing their exercise regimes.

Robert: Hey! You seem really healthy. What do you do to keep fit?

Marty: Actually, it takes a lot of work for me to keep myself in the pink. I lift weights three times a week, I go swimming twice a week, and I run several miles each day. I also avoid any and all junk food.

Robert: Well, you’re in tiptop shape. Maybe I should follow your exercise routine so that I can get healthier.

meaning of in the pink The second dialogue shows two students who are talking about athletes at their school.

Josh: I don’t understand why our football team keeps losing. It’s not like it’s a bad team. They have a great coach. They practice all the time. Anyone can see how dedicated the players are.

Jeff: That’s true. And the players are all in the pink. They are super fit and work hard to stay healthy. I can’t think of any good reason why they are losing so terribly!

More Examples

This excerpt uses the expression to say two hosts of a show look healthy and also use a lot of the color pink.

  • Debra and Katherine Chen are in the pink — literally — thanks to HGTV’s new series “Home By Novogratz.” In the premiere, husband-and-wife design team Robert and Cortney Novogratz take on the sisters’ Rockaways bungalow — transforming the fixer-upper into a girly beach retreat, replete with pink wallpaper, pink-painted floors, pink rugs and plenty of pink accents — right down to a bright pink stove in the kitchen. –New York Post

This example is about how to keep chickens at home, rather than on a farm.

  • Experts suggest some simple rules to keep your chickens in the pink, such as a substantial roof on the coop so they’re not infected by droppings from overheard birds. –OC Register


The phrase in the pink means the peak of perfection.