yellow streak

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yellow streak

A tendency to be cowardly or easily frightened. She likes to strut around like she's the boss of the place, but she has a yellow streak running down her spine if you ever confront her on an issue. He knew what they were doing was wrong, but his yellow streak kept him from intervening.
See also: streak, yellow
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

yellow streak (down someone's back)

a tendency toward cowardice. Tim's got a yellow streak down his back a mile wide. Get rid of that yellow streak. Show some courage.
See also: streak, yellow
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

a ˈyellow streak

(disapproving) the quality of being easily frightened; cowardice: He won’t fight? I always thought he had a yellow streak in him.
Yellow is often used to describe somebody who is a coward.
See also: streak, yellow
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
Holfertite is translucent to transparent, and canary-yellow to orange-yellow with a pale yellow streak. It is brittle, has a Mohs hardness of 4, [D.sub.obs] > 4.22 (crystals sink slowly in concentrated Clerici solution), [D.sub.calc] = 4.22; 4.26 g/[cm.sub.3] (calculated for different crystal-structure models based on analysis H(2), Table 1).
But the question of the yellow streak is not answered for all time.
readily identified by the prominent yellow streak on each side of the throat.
"I would have preferred a yellow streak down the back." Alf Tupper SPORT: Villa's latest defeat.
They probably feel right at home in that empty and soulless carriage - with a big yellow streaK running along the outside.
So in future maybe he will think twice before he decides to choose a strip with a big yellow streak down it!
Unfortunately, I'm a man with a more prominent yellow streak running up my back than the ones painted on parking-restricted roads.
Five minutes later a big yellow streak appeared on his brown shirt when he realised I was listening to his radio show and had heard his boasts.
The normally quietly-spoken 31-year-old from Brixton said: "Klitschko has a yellow streak in him.
Giving a rare glimpse of the depth of his confidence ahead of his big night, the normally quietly-spoken 31-year-old from Brixton said: ``Klitschko has a yellow streak in him.
There's nothing like soaking up a little local colour when on an Eastern European minibreak but this encounter had brought out our yellow streak.
With his green fingers, yellow streak and little pink bum bobbing up and down he was the rainbow rogerer of Walford.
The symptom of 'a selfish yellow streak' arises, I suggest, from nothing more complicated than a lack of the most precious things that life can offer - love and honesty.
"Wayne will fight Eastman any time, any place and anywhere as there is no yellow streak on him," roared Lynch.
YELLOW STREAK: Scott getting ready' UNITED FRONT: Scott and Jan before the task, left, and the newsreader grabbing a balloon, above