Green’s Dictionary of Slang

yellow adj.

1. jealous; thus yellows n., jealousy.

[UK]R. Burton Anatomy of Melancholy At length he began to suspect, and turne a little yellow, as well he might; for it was his owne fault, and if men be jealous in such cases [...] the mends is in their owne hands.
[UK]R. Brome Antipodes V v: But for his yellows, / Let me but lye with you, and let him know it, / His jealousy is gone.
Two Lancashire Lovers 27: Thy blood is yet uncorrupted, yellows has not tainted it [F&H].
[UK]Mercurius Fumigosus 20 11–18 Oct. 175: A Citizen in Nodnol-Stone street, being troubled with the yellows.
[UK]Wycherley Love in a Wood I ii: Methinks you look a little yellow on’t Mr. Dapperwit; [...] he is not a man to be jealous of sure.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew.
[UK]New Canting Dict. n.p.: yellow at first used by the Canters only, but now in common Speech, for being Jealous.
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. 1725].
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue n.p.: To look yellow; to be jealous; I happened to call on Mr. Green, who was out: on coming home, and finding me with his wife, he began to look confounded blue, and was, I thought, a little yellow.
[UK]Bacchanalian Mag. 42: We laugh at all who then pass by, / If Poll is yellow, I sow up her eye.
[Aus]Vaux Vocab. of the Flash Lang.
[UK] ‘Lag’s Lament’ (trans. of cant poem) in Vidocq IV 265: Then it happened d’ye see that my mot, / Yellow a-bit ’bout the swag I’d got.
[US]Z.N. Hurston ‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ Novels and Stories (1995) 1004: Don’t get too yaller on me, Jelly. You liable to get hurt some day.

2. pertaining to skin tone.

(a) (US) of a black person, light-skinned.

[US]Adventures of Jonathan Corncob 126: I observed a yellow quadroon giving suck to a child, which, though a little sallow, was as white as children in Europe.
[US]Ely’s Hawk & Buzzard (NY) 3 July 4/1: Would it not be advisable [...] to stay at home and [...] not be running about quite as much with Mrs B the yellow woman.
[US]Ely’s Hawk & Buzzard (NY) Sept. 15 n.p.: He has fled from the soft caresses of [...] the yellow girl.
[US]J.R. Lowell Biglow Papers (1880) 98: A feller / Must own a nigger o’ some sort, jet black, or brown, or yeller.
[UK]Bradford Obs. 27 Jan. 7: He fastened his blazing eyes on kate — ‘What, you yalla mullolty [i.e. mulatto], do you dar [sic] to refuse?’.
[US] ‘Ethiopian Comic Medley’ Jolly Comic Songster 232: Way down in Alabama, not very long ago, / I knew a yellow charmer.
[US] ‘Bobbing Around, Around’ in I. Beadle Comic and Sentimental Song Bk 57: It was long-legged narrow-necked yaller-faced Sal.
[UK]Sportsman 26 Aug. 2/1: Notes on News [...] He was a bad, bitter man, with no real love for any human being save his yellow mistress.
[US]Nat. Republican (DC) 13 Feb. 2/6: The Judge, in New Orleans, [...] tended a yaller gal’s ball.
[US]C. Chesnutt ‘Hot-Foot Hannibal’ Conjure Woman 211: Sen’ dat yaller nigger Jeff up ter de house.
[UK]J.H.M. Abbott Tommy Cornstalk 95: Bymbye, up comes a leftenint of French’s Scouts, with a yaller boy ridin’ behind him, a-leadin’ his pack-horse.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 7 Sept. 2/4: [A] handsome ‘yaller gal’ degraded by her brutal master,.
[US]H.A. Franck Zone Policeman 88 31: [I] soon grow as accustomed as the rest to having a coupon snatched from it by the yellow negro at the door.
[US]Esther Bigeou ‘Stingaree Blues’ 🎵 Just give me a teasin’ brown, / A yellow man will keep you worried all the time.
[US]A. Bontemps God Sends Sun. 100: Florence was the yellowest and best-looking gal he had ever seen.
[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia (1939) 66: Yeller scoom!
[US]‘Digg Mee’ ‘Observation Post’ in N.Y. Age 22 Nov. 9/6: She’ really very meller — fine moss, shapely, and slightly ‘yeller’.
[US]S. Lewis Kingsblood Royal (2001) 110: They’re high yella in color.
[US]C. Himes Crazy Kill 12: Who can tell that yellow nigger anything.
[UK]A. Bennett God the Stonebreaker 108: Him couldn’t be my son because me is a respectable married woman. When yella-skin people wort’less, they is worse than pure black negra!
[US]‘Iceberg Slim’ Pimp 94: I didn’t know ‘Sweet’ hated yellow Niggers and white men.
[US]D. Goines Street Players 166: You had the nerve to give that yellow bitch some of the money.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 30: Use have fights wi’ dem yella broads. [Ibid.] 32: These terms identify blacks who are particularly light-skinned and include such expressions as yellow, high yellow, mellow yellow.
[US]UGK ‘Let Me See It’ 🎵 Keep a bad yellow bitch / On my team.
[US]Lil Flip ‘Sunny Day’ 🎵 I roll on vogues and pimp yellow bone hoes.
[US]UGK ‘Life Is 2009’ 🎵 Keep a bad yella bitch and a thick young brown.

(b) of a person, of mixed race, half-white, half-black.

[WI]E. Long Hist. of Jamaica II 328: Europeans [...] are too easily led aside to give a loose to every kind of sensual delight: on this account some black or yellow quasheba is sought for.
[US]E.C.L. Adams ‘A Yellow Bastard’ Nigger to Nigger 34: A yellow bastard wid no place – wid no place amongst de white folks an’ a poorly place amongst de niggers.

(c) pertaining to East Asia, e.g. Japan or China.

[US]Soulé, Gihon & Nisbet Annals of S.F. 384: The truly industrious, well behaved, and worthy part of the people [Chinese] are scattered over the city [...] and are seldom seen, while the gamblers, the frail nymphs, and the yellow loafer class are continually loitering about the streets.
[US]J.H. Beadle Western Wilds 114: The Chinese, seen in every part of California, are never out of sight in the city, [...] the dark alleys lined by cubby-holes, and alive with yellow women.
[US]J.A. Riis How the Other Half Lives 26: Between the dull gray of the Jew [...] and the Italian red, would be seen squeezed in on the map a sharp streak of yellow, marking the narrow boundaries of Chinatown.
[UK]Mirror of Life 25 Aug. 7/4: [headline] smuggling chinamen into the states / How the Yellow Exiles beat the Geary Act in America.
[UK]Marvel 12 Nov. 3: I don’t profess to be a pro at the yellow man’s language.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 3 Jan. 4/4: The Yellow Chow seems to be a most favoured individual [...] Time was when his pigtail would have been cut off and his head cracked with a pick handle.
[Aus]Truth (Sydney) 13 July 4/2: But it’s true. The same old storey [sic] / Of the yaller chinkee chow.
[UK]T. Burke Limehouse Nights 30: He discovered indignation. A yellow man after his kid!
[US]D. Hammett ‘Dead Yellow Women’ Story Omnibus (1966) 157: I’m hunting for a pair of yellow men who ducked out.
[UK]R. Irvin ‘The Smythes’ [comic strip] I bet those darn Chinks tried to poison us – the yellow devils!!
[UK]M. Panter-Downes ‘War Among Strangers’ Wartime Stories (1999) 100: I don’t trust them yellow monkeys, them Japanese.
[Aus]D. Stivens Jimmy Brockett 94: Why the cops had to worry themselves about a few yellow heathens is more than I can work out.
[UK]B. Reckord Skyvers I ii: Japs. The yellow bastards.
[US](con. WWII) T. Sanchez Hollywoodland (1981) 72: Most times you can’t never see the yellow jap bastards till they hit you.
[Aus]B. Humphries Traveller’s Tool 18: The Yanks were baring their backsides to the slit-eyed yeller nips.
[Aus]G. Seal Lingo 67: The Japanese [...] were variously referred to as little yellow men, japs, jeeps, nips.
[US](con. 1967) G. Tate Midnight Lightning 17: The yellow danger (China) should not be underestimated.
[UK]G. Iles Turning Angel 343: [Asians] Marko bares his teeth. ‘The yellow men.’.

3. gold, golden.

[UK]H. Taylor Philip van Artevelde II 73: Come, Sir Hurly-Burly, where’s your metal / Write us the matter down in white and yellow / [...] So let us see your chinkers.
[UK]A. Thornton Don Juan in London II 406: That Jew is a dealer in base coin. [...] Regular markets in various public and private houses are kept by the principal agents, who receive the white and yellow queer, as it is called.
[UK]Swell’s Night Guide 85: She is safe to stretch his purse strings, and touch some of his yellow spankers.
[US]W.G. Simms Sword and the Distaff 275: It feels so mean! [...] to git back to white money, after ye’ve had sich a pleasant feel of the yallow.
[UK]Kendal Mercury 9 Mar. 4/2: He was half drunk [...] and i thought as how his yellow ticker would be a capital plank.
[UK]J. Astley Fifty Years (2nd edn) II 276: I said it [i.e. a watch] was a yellow (gold) one.
[UK]E. Jervis 25 Years in Six Prisons 16: I talked to him of his ‘yellow clock and slangs’ (gold watch and chain).
[US]A. Carey Memoirs of a Murder Man 7: A watch was a ‘round piece of white or yellow metal.’.
Jeezy ‘Let Em Know’ 🎵 Went to sleep woke up in a yellow watch / Do better, and these niggas gon’ hate more.

4. cowardly; thus yellowness n., cowardice [the negative image of the colour; ? reinforced, even subconsciously, by the widespread use of some form of identification, usu. yellow, forced on European Jews by the Catholic Church; the stereotypical Jew is not a hero].

in P.T. Barnum Struggles and Triumphs 400: Though you thought our minds were green, / We never thought your heart was yellow [DA].
[UK] ‘Under the Earth’ Dick’s Standard Plays (1871) III iii: I never allow the boys in the street to call me that; and, to be called so to my face by a yellow, addle-pated, skulking rascal —.
Burlington Wkly Free Post (VT) 27 May 9/3: You yellow devil! You black skinned, black hearted, lying son of Satan!
[UK]H. Macfall Wooings of Jezebel Pettyfer 355: Git out ob de road, yo’ yellow chunk of awk’idness!
[US]N.Y. Tribune 12 June 6/2: No man has ever seen P.C. Knox [...] ‘show a yellow streak’ or back down from any position.
[US]Van Loan ‘The Bush League Demon’ Big League (2004) 41: A yellow streak as wide as the Mississippi River.
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 25 Sept. 5/2: F is for Frank, whose [sic] a little bit yellow.
[UK]J. Buchan Mr Standfast (1930) 643: What I mean is that he’s not clean white all through. There are yellow streaks somewhere in him.
[US]D. Hammett ‘Corkscrew’ Story Omnibus (1966) 210: What I don’t like [...] is a yellow puppy that’ll throw down the men he rides with.
[UK]Boys’ Realm 16 Jan. 267: They accused him of having a yellow streak.
[US]W. Edge Main Stem 34: Hey, youse lousey-eared, yeller galoots.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 225: He was so yellow, I didn’t have the heart to lay one on him.
[Aus] (con. 1830s–60s) ‘Miles Franklin’ All That Swagger 115: But a man who took to the rails too often was howled out of composure as a new chum or yellow.
[UK]G. Kersh They Die with Their Boots Clean 115: It’s a sign of yellerness: a man that goes absent ’as no guts.
[UK]H. Brown Walk in Sun 58: Friedman you’re a draft-dodger. You’re yellow.
[US]F. Paley Rumble on the Docks (1955) 177: What you think, Gots, he gettin’ yellow around the gills?
[US]Kerouac On The Road (1972) 65: They’d put such a fear in him that he was too yellow to come back.
[US]Mad mag. Nov.–Dec. 8: I’m not yellow, Sarge! It’s just this darn nausea.
[US]E. De Roo Young Wolves 68: He was backing up because of a threat from a bum. That was real yellow!
[UK]R. Cook Crust on its Uppers 24: Yellow streak down your back, morrie.
[US]M. Puzo Godfather 135: He’s got you figured for a yellow guinea.
[US]R.D. Pharr S.R.O. (1998) 386: ‘Mom was yellow [...] she didn’t have heart’.
[UK]B.S. Johnson All Bull 90: My real intention had been to become a conscientious objector. My father called me yellow.
[US]T. Wolfe Bonfire of the Vanities 42: You yellow shitbird!
[Ire]P. Quigley Borderland 61: I’ll teach you to laugh at me, you yalla skitter.
[US]G. Pelecanos Right As Rain 167: You’re yella . . . you haven’t got the guts!
[US]T. Pluck Boy from County Hell 275: ‘[Y]ou backstabbing, yellow piece of shit’.
[UK]J. Meades Empty Wigs (t/s) 76: ‘What!!... ay ay ay... yellow streak? I knew it. Yes. Yellow streak’.

5. (orig. US) unsatisfactory, second-rate, of dubious quality.

Springfield Daily Republic (OH) 15 Sept. 1/3: A fair audience greeted ‘A Home Run’ [...] last night and witnessed the tartest, yellowest, bummest, most awful show of the season.
[US]World (N.Y.) 9 May 6/4: Lynch [the umpire] is certainly not ignorant of the rules, but some of his decisions today were decidedly yellow.
[US]Ade Artie (1963) 7: It was a yellow show, and I’m waitin’ for forty-five cents change.
[US]Ade More Fables in Sl. (1960) 190: He never guessed how Yellow they [i.e. a set of verses] really were.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 27 Mar. 3rd sect. 17/7: Some poisonous ; varlet is scattering the yellow yarn that before any debatable French film is presented at Queen's Hali, the church trustees [...] sit in judgment on the said pictures.
[US]J. Lait ‘The Septagon’ in Beef, Iron and Wine (1917) 17: A couple of thieving little news kids fighting for a place to sell yellow rot at a cent a sensation isn’t a scenario.
[Aus]Geraldton Guardian (WA) 13 Jan. 2/5: Slang [...] You find it first in the yellow journals and the mouths of babes.
[US](con. 1920s) J.T. Farrell Young Manhood in Studs Lonigan (1936) 401: They believe the newspaper lies all the time. [...] The papers are pretty yellow.
[US]J. Jones From Here to Eternity (1998) 157: I told em no, you was a straight joe when they all said you was yellow. Looks like I was wrong.
[US]C. Himes ‘Baby Sister’ [screenplay] in Black on Black 95: That’s a dirty yellow lie.

6. pertaining to money.

[UK] ‘’Arry on Ochre’ in Punch 15 Oct. 169/1: Wot a thing this yer Ochre is, Charlie! The yaller god rules us all round.

Pertaining to race, usu. East Asian or mixed-race

In compounds

yellow agony (n.) [generic use of SE yellow for Chinese; the agony was that of Aus. workers, esp. sailors, who saw their jobs threatened by such immigrants] (Aus.)

1. (also agony, Chinese agony) a generic term for Chinese immigrants to Australia.

Sat. Rev. of Politics 30 Oct. 558/1: The negro difliculty is called the Black Agony; Chinese immigration the Yellow Agony.
[UK]Fortnightly Rev. 32 85: The slang name for this invasion of the celestial children is sufficiently excpressive. It is called the Yellow Agony.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 29 Aug. 5/3: The white men had an incorporated junk of yellow agony suspended by the neck from a she-oak, and were seated around on stumps betting drinks on how many kicks the son of Confucius would give before stiffening.
[US]Citizen (NZ) 1 87: Some time or other the yellow man would wipe the white man out of existence. The cheapest producers, ‘Japs,’ and ‘Chows,’ are too unpleasantly near our doors. We must, in New Zealand, protect ourselves against the Yellow Agony.
[Aus]W.A. Sun. Times (Perth) 2 Jan. 4/5: Their [i.e. America’s] Yellow Agony [...] the incursion of a hundred and fifty thousand Mongolian creatures - semi-human, semi-vampire, and all unfit to live in a white man's country.
Sydney Sportsman (Surrey Hills, NSW) 6 Nov. 4/1: Not only is it the ‘mean white’ that brings himself down to the level of the Chinese agony, but intelligent and apparently reputable citizens.
[Aus]Sun. Times (Perth) 3 Jan. 4/4: The Yellow Chow seems to be a most favoured individual [...] Any white strikers running riot with knives and knuckledusters [...] as the ‘Agony’ did last month [etc].
J.P. Boucaut Arab: Horse of the Future 78: We have heard a good deal of the Yellow Agony of late, and Australia is keenly alive to the question.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 8 Dec. 36/2: One time Mungana was like the rest of the North, yellow in the tucker department; but the miners who board at the pubs decided to put their feet down with a firm hand on the agony. They delivered their ultimatum that Pong must go.

2. a single immigrant.

[Aus]E. Dyson ‘Golden Shanty’ in Golden Shanty (2003) 11: [...] pointing out to the Yellow Agony [...] the gross wickedness of robbing a struggling man of his house and home.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 8 Dec. 29/4: I’m a gardener by trade, and that yellow agony down there is just ruining that garden. I don’t want to jump another man’s job, but I’ve got a wife and kids to support.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 8 Sept. 13/3: The poor old turtle flounders ashore to deposit her eggs in the sand; and as Mrs. Turtle is practically helpless on land she is easily captured by the Yellow Agony, who does not wait for nature to perform its task, but slashes open the poor brute’s flank and extracts the eggs. [...] [I]t is a species of fiendish and diabolical cruelty of which only an Asiatic would be guilty.
yellow and black (n.)

(Aus.) an Aboriginal.

[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Feb. 13/4: Five darkies and one moon-faced heathen were sentenced to death for thinning the population with axes, spears, and waddies, and eight other ‘yellows and blacks’ were boosted up to various terms of imprisonment for assault and unlawful wounding.
yellow-ass (n.) [-ass sfx]

(US) a light-coloured black woman.

[US]A. Baraka Tales (1969) 12: Remember when [...] you fell in the punch bowl puking, and let that sweet yellow ass get away?
yellow boy (n.)

(US) a mixed-race person.

[US] in H.B. Fearon Sketches of America 152: mayor: Yellow boy! what have you to say against this charge, are you guilty or not guilty? prisoner: Not guilty, gentiman .
[US]D. Crockett Exploits and Adventures (1934) 187: The politician now went in pursuit of his horse and his woman, taking his yellow boy with him.
Southern Sun (Jackson, Miss.) 22 Sept. n.p.: Was committed to jail, a yellow boy named Jim — had on a large lock chain around his neck.
[US]G.G. Foster N.Y. by Gas-Light (1990) 145: There are something under a dozen ‘yellow-boys’ in the neighborhood who have a strong resemblance to Pete.
[US]D.S. Crumb ‘Dialect of Southeastern Missouri’ in DN II:v 337: yellow-gal, yellow boy, n. Mulatto.
yellow fellow (n.) (also yeller feller)

(US/Aus.) a mixed-race, a half-white, half-Aborigine man.

West. Mthly Mag. Oct. 557: The lover is a likely yellow fellow [...] And be his skin as white as lawn, That fatal drop from Afric drawn, Shall always speak as foulest blot.
[US]F.L. Olmsted Journey Through Texas 78: ‘Yallow fellow,’ for a mulatto. (Why yellow fellow, but black man?).
[US]Lindeman & Taylor [song title] ‘When That Little Yellow Fellow Plays Piano.’.
[Aus]X. Herbert Capricornia (1939) 25: A halfcaste — a yeller-feller!
[US]F. Swados House of Fury (1959) 117: If you live on the hill and got straight hair so you don’t have to get your naps busted and kin marry a yella fella and git your pitcher in the paper, sassiety, then you can chew the fat all day long.
[UK]E. Hill Territory 387: Was he a Macassar or a yella-fella?
[Aus]G. Casey Snowball 146: They remembered vaguely the big yeller-feller to whom she was, presumably, married.
X. Herbert Seven Emus 140: This ’nother kind, only belong to yeller-feller, half-carse got 'em white blood, call ’em Euraustralian people.
T.I. Moore Social Patterns in Aus. Lit. 199: Norman swaggers around thinking he is the son of a Malayan princess until he learns that he is a half- caste, a yeller-feller, his mother an aboriginal gin.
[Aus]K. Gilbert Living Black 12: In time the women used to take off into the bush when it was time for a little yeller-feller to be born.
E. Michaels Bad Aboriginal Art 106: They distinguish themselves from more Europeanized Aborigines not by racist notions such as ‘half-caste’ or ‘yeller-feller’ but by concerns of law.
yellow fever (n.)

(orig. US gay) an obsession, either hetero- or homosexual, with having East Asian lovers.

[US]B. Rodgers Queens’ Vernacular 171: yellow fever (a sexual fondness for orientals).
[US]Maledicta IV:2 (Winter) 235: Rodgers has [...] yellow fever = penchant for orientals.
yellow fish (n.)

(US) an illegal Chinese immigrant.

[US]H. Rawson Dict. of Invective (1991) 430: yellowfish. A Chinese who has entered the United States illegally.
yellow girl (n.) (also yaller gal)

a mixed-race, a half-white, half-black or Aborigine woman.

Schoolmaster & Edin. Wkly Mag. 10 Nov. 240/2: A fine-looking Negro, and the handsomest mulatto or yellow girl I had ever seen.
[US]Sun (N.Y.) 20 Mar. 2/2: A huge looking ‘yaller gall’ was hammering away at the eyes of a small white man in Anthony st., because he called her a snow ball [DA].
[US] ‘Oh, Sandy Boy’ Emerald 9: Then I went down to New Orleans, / To hear de niggers pray, / Den I laid my head in a nigger girl’s lap, / And de yellow girl fainted away.
[US]S. Northup Twelve Years A Slave 94: As we approached, a yellow girl — her name was Rosa — was standing on the piazza.
[US]M. Griffith Autobiog. of a Female Slave 42: Here, you cussed yallow gal.
[US]W.R. Floyd Handy Andy in Darkey Drama 5 60: Why, dis ain’t an ole woman, dis is a young yaller gal!
[UK]Man about Town 25 Sept. 22/1: [Y]aller gals and plantation hands in black faces and white waistcoats.
[US]J.F. Macardle Moko Marionettes 5: Dat yaller gal Delia, she’s bound to be bound to dis cullud gent.
[US](con. c.1840) ‘Mark Twain’ Huckleberry Finn 318: ‘Missus,’ comes a young yaller wench, ‘dey’s a brass cannelstick miss’n’.’ [Ibid.] 336: You slide in, in the middle of the night, and hook that yaller girl’s frock.
[US]C. Chesnutt ‘The Conjurer’s Revenge’ Conjure Woman (1899) 116: A monst’us good-lookin’ yaller gal, name’ Sally.
[US]J.E. Howard ‘I’m Looking For A Bully’ 🎵 Spied my Bud a-dancing with a yeller gal in white.
[US]C. Chesnutt House Behind The Cedars (1995) 125: He had expected to see a pretty yellow girl. [Ibid.] 134: Of course you’re too dignified [...] to be hoppin’ roun’ an’ kickin’ up like Mary B. an’ these other yaller gals.
[Aus]Sydney Sportsman (Surry Hills, NSW) 7 Sept. 2/4: [A] handsome ‘yaller gal’ degraded by her brutal master,.
[US]N. Davis Northerner 122: When it comes to yallow gals – they’re all alike, and they’re all rotten!
Chattanooga News 20 Sept. 8/3: Dinah was a product of New Orleans, a big fat ‘yellow gal’ [DA].
[US]N.I. White Amer. Negro Folk-Songs 315: [reported from Durham, N.C., 1919] It takes a long, tall yaller gal to make a preacher lay his Bible down.
[US](con. 1900s–10s) Dos Passos 42nd Parallel in USA (1966) 122: A little yaller girl who lived directly across the street.
[US]L. Hughes Mulatto in Three Negro Plays (1969) Act I: I’ve given many a yellow gal a baby in my time.
[US]Z.N. Hurston ‘Story in Harlem Sl.’ in Novels and Stories (1995) 1003: You must of not seen me, ’cause last night I was riding round in a Yellow Cab, with a yellow gal, drinking yellow likker and spending yellow money.
[US]F. Brown Dead Ringer 112: There was a little knot of people, some of them dinges and yaller gals from the jig show.
[US](con. 1860s) S. Longstreet Pedlocks (1971) 32: Ho, ho, don’t tell no big-footed yella gal that.
[US]W. Burroughs Naked Lunch (1968) 197: That yaller girl used to work in Marylou’s Hair Straightening and Skin Bleach Parlor over in Nigga town.
[US](con. 1930s) R. Wright Lawd Today 78: Not even about that yellow gal who left you?
[US]E. Torres After Hours 22: The other looked like a short Pam Grier, yaller gal.
yellow house (n.)

US a brothel specialising in mixed-race girls.

[US]Ely’s Hawk & Buzzard (NY) Sept. 21 n.p.: [He has] a peculiar liking for ‘yellow houses.’ he occasionally visits a certain yellow house in Doyer-street and has been seen in various other houses.
yellow nigger (n.) [nigger n.1 (1)]

1. (US) a derog. term for a person of mixed race.

[US]Ely’s Hawk & Buzzard (NY) Sept. 15 n.p.: The door [...] was opened by a yellow nigger .
[US]‘Jonathan Slick’ High Life in N.Y. II 120/1: A yaller nigger stood inside a eyeing me from top tu toe.
D.R. Locke Swingin’ Round the Cirkle 287: The per cent. uv yeller niggers in this State attests how faithful Kentucky hez bin [DA].
[US]F.D. Srygley Seventy Years in Dixie 283: He protested [...] and declared that it was ‘dat yaller nigger what ort to be lashed.’.
[US]E. Walrond Tropic Death (1972) 60: The Negro waiters abroad were sure he was a ‘yallah’ nigger.
[US]L. Hughes Mulatto in Three Negro Plays (1969) Act I: That damned yellow nigger buck of yours that drives the new Ford.
A.G. Powell I Can Go Home Again 101: I tuk ’er ter de bush-arber meetin’, an’ a big yaller nigger preached de mos’ pow’rfulest sermin I ever heared [DA].

2. an Asian.

[UK]E. Bond Saved Scene iii: In the jungle. Shootin’ up the yeller-niggers.
[US]W. Wilson LBJ Brigade (1967) 29: Rumor is that he calls the Vietnamese yellow niggers or brown kikes.
[US](con. c.1970) G. Hasford Phantom Blooper 25: Uncle Sam he say to these Vietnams, you can live, but you can’t be men. Dance and sing for us and be little yellow niggers.
yellow snake (n.)

(W.I.) a person of mixed race.

J.B. Moreton Manners and Customs in West India Is. 59: The yellow snake says to her poor black wench who she is learning to be a stitcher [...] ‘Dat will nebba do for me’ [DJE].
[WI]J.B. Moreton West India Customs and Manners 52: A respite very short to sleep or to wake, / And to play with a yellow, or a black snake* [...] *A name of girls of colour.
yellow tail (n.) [tail n. (1)]

1. (US) a Japanese person.

[US]J. Tully Jarnegan (1928) 248: Lie there, you Yellowtail.

2. (Aus.) a person from New South Wales.

[Aus]T. Davies More Aus. Nicknames 2: Cornstalks come from New South Wales, though they are also known around the country as Yellowtails on account of their fast driving and the fact the most you see of them is their yellow number plate.

Pertaining to the colour gold or coins

yellow and white (n.) [white adj. (1)]

(US Und.) a watch.

[US]Deming (NM) Headlight 28 May 1/3: In the last three years there have been three different terms for watch – ‘super,’ ‘thimble’ and ‘yellow and white.’.
yellow bird (n.) [the eagle engraved upon these coins]

(US) a dollar.

[US]W.G. Simms Sword and the Distaff 496: I won’t trust you [...] ontel the money’s put down here, the yallow birds, all a-flying about me [DA].
[US]W. Norr Stories of Chinatown 51: Georgie Appo was brought along for snatching a ‘yellow bird’ on Park Row.
yellow boy (n.) (also yaller-boy)

1. a sovereign; a guinea (£1.05) or a golden guinea; thus any golden coin.

[UK]R. Fletcher (trans.) Martiall his Epigrams XII No. 66 121: Rich Spanish Wooll eight pound, or Caesar’s coyn Ten yellow boys.
[UK]Dryden Wild Gallant I ii: How now, yellow boys, by this good light! Sirrah, varlet, how came I by this gold?
[UK]‘A Newgate ex-prisoner’ A Warning for House-Keepers 4: They rifle the house for yellow-boyes and pieces of white, which is Gold and Silver.
[UK]B.E. Dict. Canting Crew n.p.: Yellow-Boy c. Piece of Gold of any Coin.
[UK]T. Brown Amusements Serious and Comical in Works (1744) III 22: I cannot come within a furlong of the Rose spunging-house, without five or six yellow-boys in my pockets.
[Scot]J. Arbuthnot Hist. of John Bull 20: There wanted not yellow-boys to fee counsel, hire witnesses, and bribe juries.
[UK]New Canting Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Bailey Universal Etym. Eng. Dict. [as cit. c.1698].
[UK]Smollett Peregrine Pickle (1964) 40: They two cost me forty good yellow-boys.
[UK]Foote The Minor 52: He creeps, like a ferret, into their bags, and makes the yellow boys bolt again.
[UK]Grose Classical Dict. of the Vulgar Tongue.
[UK]Harris’s List of Covent-Garden Ladies 40: Any Gentleman, that has three or four yellow boys to spare, may be always sure on an agreeable accomodation.
[UK]Sporting Mag. Oct. V 6/1: I touched the spankers – the yellow boys, and intend to lay ’em out in a present for my Kitty.
[UK]G. Colman Yngr John Bull II ii: Nineteen fat-yellow boys, and a seven-shilling piece.
[US]Horry & Weems Life of General F. Marion (1816) 177: A fist full of yellow boys!
‘The Tortoise-shell Tom Cat’ in Vocal Mag. 1 Feb. 41: And who ever thought but an Auctioneer of selling us, / For near three hundred yellow boys — a trap for mice?
[UK]Pierce Egan’s Life in London 14 Aug. 229/2: Jones [...] retired to count out the pewter and yellow boys.
[UK]Lytton Paul Clifford II 113: Fighting Attie, my hero, I saw you to-day / A purse full of yellow boys seize.
[US]Whip & Satirist of NY & Brooklyn (NY) n.p.: A handful of large-sized ‘yellow boys’.
[UK]W.T. Moncrieff Scamps of London I ii: I hastily wrapped the yellow boys in the first piece of paper that presented itself.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Sydney 4 Dec. 2/6: Miss Ann Douglas [...] found therein four more ‘yellow- boys’.
[UK]R.S. Surtees Young Tom Hall (1926) 159: He didn’t take tips — soveriegns or small coin tips, at least. [...] ‘No occasion for anything of the sort,’ he would add, as the yellow boys went back to the offerer’s pocket.
[Aus]Bell’s Life in Tasmania 12 July 2/6: What a mistake Mr. Single made when he refused 800 yellow boys for an aged gelding!
[US]J.R. Lowell Biglow Papers 2nd series (1880) 24: Though yaller boys is thick enough, eagles hez kind o’ flown.
[UK]Wild Boys of London I 37/1: As soon as I gets the coin I’ll drop you a yellow-boy.
[US]W.H. Thomes Slaver’s Adventures 21: How the lazy rascals would flutter if they could only get a glimpse of these yellow boys! But they never will. Not a dollar of this money will they ever see, for I know how to prevent it.
[UK]Cremorne I 26: Let me line my pockets with the rhino [...] let me get the yellow boys.
[US](con. c.1840) ‘Mark Twain’ Huckleberry Finn 214: They pawed the yallerboys, and sifted them through their fingers and let them jingle down on the floor.
[Aus](?) H. Lawson ‘A Gentleman Sharper and Steelman Sharper’ in Roderick (1972) 225: Steelman thoughtfully counted twenty-one sovereigns [...] ‘Smith, do you see those yellow boys?’.
[UK]Binstead & Wells Pink ’Un and Pelican 174: The Captain pocketed the yellow-boys.
[US]H.E. Hamblen Yarn of Bucko Mate 110: Lemme have a hundred yaller boys, an’ I 'll bust that bank.
[US]Ade ‘The Fable of the Society-Trimmers’ in True Bills 78: Then he sprinkled a few Yellow Boys on the first twelve and couldn’t go wrong.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 3 Sept. 39/2: No, you’re the jugginses wot give her the yellow boys all mixed up with the casers. That’s why they cleared.
[UK]D. Stewart Dead Man’s Gold in Illus. Police News 10 Apr. 12/3: ‘You had better leave those bags of yellow boys in the cab’.
Dakota County Herald (NE) 4 Apr. 3/1: Good gold British sovereigns at that: two thousand [...] but not another yellow boy was uncovered.
[Aus]Sport (Adelaide) 14 Mar. 4/4: Talk about a swagger kid ! You couldn't do it with your pockets full of yeller boys.
[Aus]Western Mail (Perth) 28 May 21/1: [from Daily Mail, London] A sovereign had a lot of slang names [...] a portrait, a yellow boy, [...] a canary, a couter, a foont, a poona [and] a bean.

2. (US) money [note yellow back ].

[US]Van Loan ‘The Extra Man’ in Buck Parvin 21: It’s the dough that counts with the dolls – the dinero; the iron men; the large, smilin’ yaller boys.
[US]M. Prenner ‘Sl. Terms for Money’ in AS IV:5 357: For bills as such, we may say [...] frogskins, mint leaves [...] or yellow boys.
[US]A.J. Pollock Und. Speaks n.p.: Yellow boys, currency of large denominations.
yellow dust (n.)

gold, money.

[UK]Sporting Mag. Nov. VII 74/2: A fellow who [...] were it not for the yellow dust in his pocket, would be despised by every soul but the very refuse and dregs of the town.
yellow jacket (n.)

1. (US) a gold piece.

[US]W.G. Simms Sword and the Distaff 315: To fling the guineas away, the raal grit, all yellow jackets [...] that was the sin and the foolishness.
[US](con. c.1840) ‘Mark Twain’ Huckleberry Finn 215: And he begun to haul out yaller-jackets and stack them up.

2. see also SE compounds below.

yellow one (n.)

1. a gold coin.

[UK]J.T. Haines My Poll and My Partner Joe I i: You see, my old cove, here’s the parchment — no gammon about it — all reg’lar. So you’s better out with the yellow ’uns.

2. a gold watch.

[US]J. Flynt Tramping with Tramps 386: Such expressions as a ‘yellow one’ for a gold watch, a ‘white one,’ for a silver watch.
[US] in ‘Jargon of the Und.’ in DN V.
yellow stuff (n.)

gold; thus money, wealth.

[UK]W. Combe Doctor Syntax, Picturesque (1868) 70/2: Thanks to my stars, I’ve got enough / Of that same yellow, useful stuff.
[US]T. Haliburton Sam Slick in England II 94: It was solid gold, no pinchback, but the rael yellow stuff.
[UK]Sherborne Mercury 8 June 2/1: Seeing his master counting a lot of sovereigns he said he had found a piece of ‘yellow stuff,’ far bigger than all those together.
[UK] ‘Six Years in the Prisons of England’ in Temple Bar Mag. Nov. 534: If he can manage to begin every morning with the yellow stuff, he can make a couple of ‘quid’ a day; but if he can only muster white stuff, why, of course he can’t make so much.
[UK]Binstead & Wells Pink ’Un and Pelican 183: That he must die some day and leave the yellow stuff behind him was a constant and an unhappy reflection for him.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 11 Aug. 43/2: It was only a blind so that I could get the yellow stuff away in the billy. If I hadn’t built that new caboose they’d never have smelt even the rat I put through the drain to fix my string!
[US]C.B. Booth ‘Mr Clacksworthy’s Pipe Dream’ Detective Story 11 Mar. 🌐 The guy what drags in the kale is the bozo what keeps peeled for the yellow stuff, huh?

Pertaining to cowardice

yellow back (n.)

1. a coward; thus yellow-backed adj., cowardly.

[US]R.G. Hampton Major in Wash. City 17: The gabble of that old yaller-backed Yankee riled me.
J.O. Curwood Country Beyond 143: The world would call him a lying yellow-back if he betrayed what had actually happened on the trail between Cragg’s Ridge and Mooney’s cabin [DA].
[US]Monteleone Criminal Sl. (rev. edn).
[US]Maledicta III:2 156: yellow back [...] n [DAS 1924] Person without courage or fortitude.

2. see also SE compounds below.

yellow-bellied (adj.) (also yellow-ass, -assed, -belly, -bowelled)


[US]Van Loan ‘Piute vs. Piute’ Score by Innings (2004) 317: I’ll make that yellow-bellied pitcher quit like a dog.
[UK]P. Marks Plastic Age 75: This is the goddamndest gang of yellow-bellied quitters that I ’ve ever seen.
[US](con. 1900s–10s) Dos Passos 42nd Parallel in USA (1966) 258: A yellowbellied potatomouthed reformer.
[UK]Burnley Exp. 19 Feb. 3/1: The crafty, cold-blooded, black-hearted, yellow-livered, bald-headed, big-mouthed, brazen-faced [...] snivelling, twisted Italian.
[US]J. Mitchell McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (2001) 27: Don’t you talk like that to me, you yellow-bellied jerk.
[UK]M. Leigh Cross of Fire 153: You stinkin’, yellow-bowelled farmer you!
[US]J.D. Salinger Catcher in the Rye (1958) 109: He’d start screaming at me, in this very high-pitched, yellow-belly voice.
[UK]E. Abbey Brave Cowboy (1958) 54: Yellow-livered, yellow-bellied bitch’s sons.
[US] ‘The Signifying Monkey II’ in D. Wepman et al. Life (1976) 27: He looked in that mirror with fire in his eyes / And said, ‘That old yellow-ass lion is about my size.’.
[US]B. Hecht Gaily, Gaily 43: It’s almost more than I can stand, hearing you talk to that yellow-bellied sonofabitch of a butcher.
[US]R.D. Pharr S.R.O. (1998) 43: ‘The rest are yellow-bellied idiots’.
[US](con. 1900s) G. Swarthout Shootist 177: You’re a pimple-faced, short-pudded, yellow-assed kid.
[Aus]K. Gilbert Living Black 299: Yellow-bellied mongrels, you all are.
[US]C. Hiaasen Tourist Season (1987) 25: Mr. Cabal’s lawyer didn’t appreciate your description of his client as ‘yellow-bellied vermin culled from the stinkpot of Castro’s jails.’.
[UK]Eve. Standard mag. 4 June 10: You’re sure it’s not because you’re a spineless, yellow-bellied, half-baked milquetoast?
D. Bruce Funniest People in Sports 42: Listen, you yellow-bellied cowards, why don’t you yell at somebody who can answer back.
yellow fever (n.)


H.C. Witwer From Baseball to Boches 16: I know what they was sufferin’ from — cold feet and yellow fever.
yellow gutted (adj.) (also white gutted) [gut n. (1a)]


Industrial Pioneer (IWW) 52/1: The characteristic peacemaker that plays a conspicuous part at this juncture is the yellow-gutted J. H. Thomas.
Munsey’s 91 693: That yellow-gutted cur in the corner.
[Aus]R.S. Close Love me Sailor 222: Murder . . . is it, you white gutted bastard?
[Aus](con. 1941) E. Lambert Twenty Thousand Thieves 215: Who sneaked up behind him and shot him in the leg? Dirty, sneaking, yellow-gutted coppers.
[UK]A.E. Farrell Vengeance 84: You yeller gutted bastard of a gin man, Albanez!
yellow leg (n.)

1. (US) a strikebreaker [pattern of SE blackleg].

[US](con. 1900s–10s) Dos Passos 42nd Parallel in USA (1966) 94: Every sonofabitchin’ yellerleg in the state of Nevada.

2. see also SE compounds below.

yellow route (n.)

(S.Afr.) the departure of white South Africans in the face of the imminent take-over by a multiracial government.

[SA]cited in J. & W. Branford Dict. S. Afr. Eng. (1991).

Other uses

SE in slang uses

In compounds

yellow back (n.) (also yellow paper)

1. as a banknote [the former printing of certain denominations of US dollar bills in yellow rather than the usual green].

(a) a $10 note.

[US]Inter Ocean (Chicago) 25 Jan. 34/4: I was just $1,200 on the blut — $700 in the yellow papers, a $300 third-finger twink, and a $200 search-glim.
[US]S. Ford Shorty McCabe 32: With that he pries open a fat leather green goods case, paws over a layer of yellow backs two or three inches thick and fishes out a couple of ten spots.

(b) a $500 dollar note.

[US]‘Hugh McHugh’ I Need The Money 81: He flashed his ad, peeled off two yellow-backs and said, ‘A thousand on Beans at 9 to 1, please!’.
[US]F. Packard Adventures of Jimmie Dale (1918) I ix: A package of crisp new bills, yellow-backs, and evidently of large denominations.

(c) (US) a $20 note; also as adj.

[US]C.L. Cullen More Ex-Tank Tales 112: The kick stuffed to repletion with the yellow-backs.
[US]M. Glass Potash and Perlmutter 234: Pasinsky nodded and tucked away the yellowbacks which Abe gave him.
[US]‘J. Barbican’ Confessions of a Rum-Runner in Hamilton Men of the Und. 188: He [...] sees a fat roll of yellow-backs.
[US]C. Himes ‘A Nigger’ Coll. Stories (1990) 33: He extracted his wallet from his pocket and handed her two yellow-back bills.
[US]I. Wolfert Tucker’s People (1944) 119: The client [...] rushed up with the big fee and slammed it down so hard right there on the table in the courtroom that the pile of yellowbacks slapped like a whip and woke him up.
[US]S. Bellow Henderson The Rain King 7: Some of discounted bills of thirty years ago turned up, the big yellowbacks.

(d) a $50 note.

[US]E.W. Townsend Sure 167: [H]e passes over a yelly back — a half century made by your good old Uncle Sammy; fifty cases; five single saw-bucks!

(e) a $1,000 note.

[US]J. Black You Can’t Win (2000) 231: The roll interests you, the outside one is what you call a ‘salmon belly.’ It is a yellowback — a big bill.
[US]J. Lait Broadway Melody 86: He knew nothing of the torn yellow-back.

(f) (US) a $100 note.

Dayton Herald (OH) 18 Apr. 28/1: ‘Here — I’l give you a hun’er’ dollars.’ [...] He drew out a yellow back. Eddie slapped it to the floor. ‘Hey — [...] a cench’ry note and he treats it like a tailor’s bill’.

2. (Aus.) a gob of phlegm.

[Aus]Baker Popular Dict. Aus. Sl.

3. see also sl. compounds above.

yellowbelly (n.)

a (golden) sovereign.

[UK]Sporting Times 10 Jan. 3/1: [He[ offered the landlord half-a-crown for it. ‘I wouldn’t taken five darned golden yellowbellies, siree,’ said Roger.
yellow bone (n.)

(UK black) a light-coloured black girl.

[UK]Headie One ‘Both’ 🎵 But I'm on road, yellow bones, brown ones, I get loving from both.
yellow box (n.)

(US drugs) Arm and Hammer baking soda, as used in the manufacture of crack cocaine.

Jeezy ‘Let Em Know’ 🎵 Took it out the bag, mixed it with the yellow box / Went to sleep woke up in a yellow watch.
yellow can (n.)

(Aus.) a can of Castlemaine XXX beer.

[Aus]Aus. WordMap 🌐 When Territorians ask for a beer, they do so by the colour of the can and not the brand name e.g. green can is Vic[t]oria Bitter, red can is Melbourne Bitter, yellow can is XXXX.
[Aus]P. Brown Three Sheets to Wind 241: To crack the code, you need to know that beer is served by the tin, and different brands have different-coloured tins: a blue can is Foster’s, Green is Victoria Bitter, yellow is Fourex, and so on. Dec. 🌐 [I]n order to speed up and simplify the process of ordering the nectar of the gods, the NT’ers have invented their own little code for fast and accurate delivery. It is based on the colours of the desired beer can (or tinnie): […] Yellow Can: Can of Fourex.
yellow dimples (n.)

(drugs) LSD, esp. when combined with another drug.

K.B. Harder in AS LVII:4 290: When LSD is mixed with other drugs [...] [s]uch mixtures are today called [...] yellow dimple.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 23: Yellow dimples — LSD.
yellow dog (n.) [dog, the n.1 ]

(US) a school bus.

[US]D. Jenkins Semi-Tough 120: Hose Manning’s Cadillac got hit from the blind side by one of those old yellow-dog school buse [...] The kind junior college teams go to games in. Jan. 🌐 [headline] What's Wrong With A Yellow Dog?
yellow fancy (n.)

a costermonger’s handkerchief, yellow with white spots.

[UK]W.A. Miles Poverty, Mendicity and Crime; Report 115: The new term for handkerchiefs is a Billy, for which pickpockets have peculiar terms known only in the trade. [...] yellow fancy, yellow with white spots.
[UK]G.W.M. Reynolds Mysteries of London III 85/1: A Stranger—looked like a spunk fencer. Green king’s-man, water‘s-man, yellow fancy and yellow-man .
[UK]Hotten Dict. of Modern Sl. etc.
[UK]Sl. Dict.
[Aus]Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 9: Yellow Fancy - Silk pocket handkerchief, yellow, white spots.
[UK]Farmer & Henley Sl. and Its Analogues.
[UK]F.W. Carew Autobiog. of a Gipsey 130: He sported a brand-new yellow-fancy artistically tied and fastened with a fox-tooth pin.
yellow-grey (n.) [their parti-coloured uniform, worn in Tasmania]

(Aus.) a convict.

[Aus]Launceston Examiner (Tas.) 24 Dec. 862/3: [I]t is their wish they should be regarded as ‘transports,’ and let society comply with the request. Let them be known hereafter as Canaries, Yellow-Greys, or ‘our people,’ as the public choose.
[Aus]Launceston Examiner (Tas.) 7 May 479/4: DOGBERRY'S ADDRESS TO THE YELLOW- GREYS. (A Tasmanian ballad.) [...] The AUSTRALIAN LEAGUE shall understand / What Yellow-Greys can do.
yellow jack (n.) (also yellow johnnies)

yellow fever.

[UK]Marryat Peter Simple (1911) 231: There be one thing to be said in favour of Yellow Jack, a’ter all. You dies straight, like a gentleman.
[US]A.M. Maxwell Run Through the United States II 169: Philadelphia used to have a fever commonly called ‘Yellow Jack.’.
[UK]C. Kingsley Two Years Ago I 113: I’ve had the cholera twice, and yellow-jack besides.
Echoes From the Living Grave 47: Cold weather set in; Yellow Jack disappeared.
[US]W.H. Thomes Slaver’s Adventures 16: He’s got a touch of the yellow Jack, and don’t know the main-boom from the jib-boom, or a doctor from a horse-marine. He will probably kick the bucket.
[US]G. Devol Forty Years a Gambler 120: He kept the city very clean, but old yellow-jack got in, and then Ben got a furlough.
[UK]H. Macfall Wooings of Jezebel Pettyfer 240: Dey do tell me de yeller-jack don’t git de coloured folks.
[UK]Kipling ‘The Bonds of Discipline’ Traffics and Discoveries 67: I hadn’t seen that sight, not since thirteen years in the West Indies, when a post-captain died o’ yellow jack.
[US]S.J. Perelman Dawn Ginsbergh’s Revenge 13: She broke out with the yellow jack. But she lived.
[US]G. Milburn ‘The Tropics’ Curse’ in Hobo’s Hornbook 201: Alone on a hot, flea-ridden cot, / I was down with the yellowjack.
[US]J. Mitchell McSorley’s Wonderful Saloon (2001) 43: Had the chicken pox, had the sleeping sickness, had the dropsy, had the yellow johnnies.
[US]Cornell Woolrich Waltz Into Darkness (1995) 9: Two men come out, bearing something dead on a covered litter. ‘Stand back. Yellow jack.’.
[US](con. 1859) S. Longstreet Pedlocks (1971) 50: I went through it in New Orleans in ’59 when Yellow Jack hit.
[UK]P. Larkin letter 28 Apr. in Thwaite Sel. Letters (1992) 312: I’m beginning to pray for a broken leg, yellow jack, close arrest. Anything to avoid the disparaging eye of colleagues.
[US](con. mid-late 19C) S. Longstreet Wilder Shore 24: Epidemics of smallpox, yellow jack.
D.H. Doyle Faulkner’s County 304: Yellow jack, as it was known, was a horrible disease that struck with little warning and killed rapidly.
yellow jacket (n.)

1. (Aus.) a convict [the yellow uniform].

[Aus]M. Clarke Term of His Natural Life (1897) 21: I have seldom seen a face I liked less, even among my yellow jackets yonder.

2. (orig. US black, also jacket, yellow jack) usu. in pl., Nembutal, a proprietary brand of pentobarbital sodium [the packaging].

[US]Lannoy & Masterson ‘Teen-age Hophead Jargon’ AS XXVII:1 27: JACKET, n. Nembutal tablet.
[US]‘William Lee’ Junkie (1966) 158: Nembies, Goof Balls, Yellow Jackets . . . Nembutal capsules. Nembutal is a barbiturate used by junkies ‘to take the edge off’ when they can’t get junk.
[US]W. Motley Let No Man Write My Epitaph (1959) 95: Flora popped a couple of yellow jackets into her mouth.
[US]T.I. Rubin In the Life 161: Yellow Jack: Nembutal.
[US]M. Braly Shake Him Till He Rattles (1964) 21: Horse, pot, bennies, redbirds, yellow jackets, Christmas trees, perrys, dexies, or rainbows.
[US]M. Braly On the Yard (2002) 60: Movie broads gobbled up yellow jackets like they were jelly beans.
[US]D. Goines Dopefiend (1991) 167: They would shoot morphine, take yellow jackets, or Nembutal capsules, anything to take the edge off.
[US]S. King Stand (1990) 379: She had the big red-and-yellow gelatine capsules that were known as ‘yellowjackets’ on the West Coast. Big Downers.
[US]E. Folb Runnin’ Down Some Lines 167: Barbiturates were identified in terms of their colour [...] Nembutal (pentobarbital), yellow, yellow jack, yellow jacket.
[Can]Totally True Diaries of an Eighties Roller Queen 🌐 10 May Today we found out Jackie couldn’t get yellow jackets for us for the dance. Were we ever pissed off.
[US](con. early 1950s) J. Ellroy L.A. Confidential 178: Pills – bennies, goofballs, red devils, yellow jackets, blue heavens.
[US]T. Dorsey Florida Roadkill 33: The best drugs from four counties brown tat, china white, yellow jackets.
[US]ONDCP Street Terms 23: Yellow jackets — Depressants.
[UK]L. Pizzichini Dead Men’s Wages (2003) 222: Amytal were the Blue Heavens he did not believe in, Nembutal were the yellow jackets he once had worn.
[US]E. White My Lives 280: Hopped up on blackbirds, yellow jackets, PCP and joints sprayed with angel dust.
[US](con. 1960s) J. Ellroy Blood’s a Rover 25: Phil Irwin popped some yellowjackets with an Old Crow chaser.
[US]J. Ellroy Widespread Panic 9: Car thief/stickup man/weenie wagger. Hooked on yellow jackets.

3. see also sl. compounds above.

yellow Jesus (n.) [its light-brown colour]

(Aus. drugs) home-manufactured heroin.

[Aus]L. Davies Candy 193: Caspar was probably on the nod at his place [...] with all that Yellow Jesus in a jar.
yellow joke (n.)

blonde pubic hair.

[UK]‘Bumper Allnight. Esquire’ Honest Fellow 69: It shall e’er be spoke, / That Bess has been as yet outvy’d, / By black or yellow joke.
yellow leg (n.)

1. (US) an East Tennessean.

Plough, The Loom, and The Anvil June 715: It is doubtless generally known that East Tennessee is proverbial for ‘sweet-cider and dried apples,’ and that her sons are known and called, west of the Mississippi, ‘Yellow Legs.’.

2. pertaining to a uniform, i.e. the yellow stripe running down the trousers.

(a) (US) a US cavalryman; also attrib.

F. Remington Pony Tracks 174: ‘We can catch him before he pulls out in the morning, I think,’ said the yellow-leg [DA].
[US]DN V 59: The detachment of Yellow Legs imported at the behest of the Commercial Club [DA].
R. Cummins Sky-high Corral 25: They come in an’ [...] set yeller-leg kids in here to tell us how to raise cows [DA].
[US]Army and Navy Register (US) 18 Nov. 3/2: ‘Yellow-leg’ a cavalryman.

(b) (Can.) a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

[UK]Partridge DSUE (8th edn) 1361/1: since ca. 1950.

3. see also sl. compounds above.

yellow man (n.)

1. a costermonger’s handkerchief, coloured plain yellow.

[UK]Egan Boxiana I 167: The yellow-man, which had so long been the pride and boast of the circle [...] were to be seen in great numbers.
[US]N.Y. Eve. Post 10 July 2/4: The coloured fogles, the blue bird’s-eye for Spring, and a yellowman for Neate, were then interwoven together on one of the P. C. stakes.
[UK]Pierce Egan’s Life in London 10 Dec. 781/2: Sharp left the ground in triumph, followed by his numerous partisans in [...] vehicles supporting the yellowmen, in the honout of the Bishop’s victory.
[UK]Egan Bk of Sports 199: Sam [was] sporting the yellowman, made on purpose for him at Spitalfields. The wipe was of bright yellow, with a scarlet border, and a garter in the centre, surrounding the initials D.S. and bearing the Latin inscription ‘Nil desperandum,’ with the portraits of the two men in combat.
[UK]G.W.M. Reynolds Mysteries of London III 85/1: A Stranger—looked like a spunk fencer. Green king’s-man, water‘s-man, yellow fancy and yellow-man .
[UK]Hotten Sl. Dict.
[Aus]Sydney Sl. Dict. (2 edn) 9: Yellow Man - Yellow silk handkerchief, plain.

2. (Scot.) lemonade.

[Scot]J. Strang Glasgow and Its Clubs 276: A tidy little old woman dealing in ‘yellow-man’ and ‘glassy’ was vastly admired by all juveniles.
yellow pack (n.) [the yellow packaging of the ‘own-brand’ goods sold by the Quinnsworth chain of supermarkets]

(Irish) the lowpaid employment of young people and the concomitant dismissal of more expensive senior employees; often attrib.

[Ire]Irish Times 7 Oct. n.p.: There has been much guffawing [...] at the proposals by the Government cost-cutters that Garda ministerial drivers and minders be replaced by ‘yellow pack’ chauffeurs and security people from the private sector [BS].
[Ire]F. Mac Anna Cartoon City 79: He got a call from Jarlath Boon to say that he was going to make a formal complaint to the NUJ about [...] Myles’s ‘blackleg double-jobbing yellow-pack scabbing.’.
yellow packet (adj.) [in 1980s Fine Fare supermarkets offered a range of ‘Yellow Packet’ goods, generally seen as second-rate and good only for the very poor]

(UK juv.) cheap, indicative of poverty.

OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. 🌐 yellow packet adj. Insult directed at povvos, doleys and so on. Derived from Fine Fare supermarket’s economy range of ‘Yellow Packet’ products. [...] ‘Ey, them trainies are dead yellow packet they are!’.
yellow pumpkin (n.)

(US black) a mixed-race individual.

[US]C.S. Johnson Growing Up in the Black Belt 262: Although mulattoes on the whole appear to be proud of their lighter complexions, they are at a disadvantage when the question of paternity is raised by their darker associates. Such derisive terms as ’Yellow Pumpkin,’ ’Yellow Bastard,’ are used in this connection.
yellow sheet (n.) [sheet n. (5)]

(US Und.) a criminal’s record of arrests.

[US]Q. Reynolds Police Headquarters (1956) 75: ‘Gimme a yellow sheet on Joe Jerk.’ A ‘yellow sheet’ [...] is merely a typewritten copy of a man’s criminal record.
[US]J. Mills Panic in Needle Park (1971) 161: He looks real clean, too. Until you take a look at his yellow sheet, which is four pages, all the way back to when he was thirteen.
[US]B. Davidson Collura (1978) 51: At the age of twenty, she had a yellow sheet [...] two pages long.
[US]N. Pileggi Wiseguy (2001) 26: It sure was a dumb way to start a yellow sheet.

In phrases

yellow brick road (n.) [ref. to the Yellow Brick Road of the book/movie The Wizard of Oz]

(US prison) yellow lines on the ground that indicate areas beyond which prisoners are forbidden to step.

[US]Other Side of the Wall: Prisoner’s Dict. July 🌐 Yellow Brick Road: Yellow lines indicating path that prisoners [should] stay within.