Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


Here and there a yellow clump of forsythia is like a spot of sunshine.

I am the master-shipman of this yellow cog, and my name is Goodwin Hawtayne.

She bounded about in the sun and chased the blue and yellow butterflies.

The arrow that he sped from his cross-bow struck in the yellow flanks.

It was very old and yellow, and torn, too, and we could not read it.

Now we'll see a ding-dong finish, if the Black doesn't show a streak of yellow.

And now Lauzanne's yellow head was even with the others; and soon it was in front.

If we are going to combat the 'yellow peril' we must combine against it.

It had been rebound in yellow calf, and was in a good condition.

We had a white cat, with yellow spots, which I painted white.


Old English geolu, geolwe, from Proto-Germanic *gelwaz (cf. Old Saxon, Old High German gelo, Middle Dutch ghele, Dutch geel, Middle High German gel, German gelb, Old Norse gulr, Swedish gul "yellow"), from PIE *ghel- "yellow, green" (see Chloe).

Meaning "light-skinned" (of blacks) first recorded 1808. Applied to Asiatics since 1787, though the first recorded reference is to Turkish words for inhabitants of India. Yellow peril translates German die gelbe gefahr. Sense of "cowardly" is 1856, of unknown origin; the color was traditionally associated rather with treachery. Yellow-bellied "cowardly" is from 1924, probably a rhyming reduplication of yellow; earlier yellow-belly was a sailor's name for a half-caste (1867) and a Texas term for Mexican soldiers (1842, based on the color of their uniforms). Yellow dog "mongrel" is attested from c.1770; slang sense of "contemptible person" first recorded 1881. Yellow fever attested from 1748, American English (jaundice is a symptom).


Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.