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code yellow

slang Accidental urination somewhere other than a toilet. Can you call the janitor? There's been a code yellow in this hospital room.
See also: code, yellow

have a yellow belly

To tend to act in a cowardly manner. Of course Tom didn't come and defend his views at the rally—he has a yellow belly!
See also: belly, have, yellow

have a yellow streak down (one's) back

To have 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 down her back if you ever confront her on an issue. He knew what they were doing was wrong, but he has a yellow streak down his back that kept him from intervening.
See also: back, down, have, streak, yellow

yellow brick road

A path believed to lead to success or adventure. A reference to the path of the same name in the fictional land of Oz, popularized by the film The Wizard of Oz, based on the works of L. Frank Baum. Jenna took the internship thinking that it would be the yellow brick road to her dream job.
See also: brick, road, yellow

yellow cake

1. A spongy cake that is yellow in color, due to the use of egg yolks. It is often frosted and served at birthday parties. Do we have any yellow cake mix? I think I want a yellow cake for my birthday—I'm not in the mood for chocolate right now.
2. Uranium oxide powder that is produced by the milling of uranium ore. Often spelled as one word. Yellowcake can be used in the making of nuclear weapons, so its trade is heavily scrutinized.
See also: cake, yellow

yellow dog

A despicable person or thing. I can't believe you get so invested in these debates—all politicians are yellow dogs that can't be trusted.
See also: dog, yellow

yellow grease

Used cooking oil, often in the fast food industry. A: "What are those huge containers for?" B: "Oh, I think they hold the restaurant's yellow grease."
See also: grease, yellow

yellow journalism

Sensationalistic journalism with the main goal of attracting attention and readers, rather than presenting an unbiased account of the news. It may have begun at the turn of the century, but yellow journalism is alive and well, from the supermarket tabloids to all the talking heads on cable news.
See also: yellow

yellow light

An indication to slow down, likened to a yellow traffic light, which means slow down, proceed with caution, or prepare to stop. I would not ask her out yet, dude—she was totally giving you the yellow light. Sally took the comments from her teacher as a yellow light not to push for extra credit just yet.
See also: light, yellow

yellow press

Journalism with the primary aim of sparking reader interest—reporting the facts are secondary. I can't believe you read those tabloids—they're just yellow press stuffed with ads.
See also: press, yellow

yellow state

A US state strongly influenced by the Libertarian Party. This will never be a yellow state—the Libertarians are just not as entrenched here as the Democrats and Republicans.
See also: state, yellow

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


Cowardly. I'm not surprised that Tom didn't come to the rally—he's too yellow-bellied to defend his beliefs in public.


slang A spineless, cowardly person. Oh, don't be such a yellow-belly, Tom. You'll never get ahead in this industry if you're not willing to take risks! Nothing's going to change unless those yellow-bellies up in Washington are willing to stand up to the corporate lobbyists trying to pull the strings.

have a yellow belly

 and have a yellow streak down one's back
Fig. to be cowardly. Tex has a yellow streak down his back a mile wide. He's afraid to cross the street!
See also: belly, have, yellow

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

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

code yellow

a urinary accident. (Jocular word play based on a hospital’s PA announcements of various color codes.) Whoops. Code yellow. Change the sheets and the mattress.
See also: code, yellow

have a yellow streak down one’s back

tv. to be cowardly. (Have got can replace have.) wrong. If you have a yellow streak down your back, you don’t take many risks.
See also: back, down, have, streak, yellow


mod. cowardly. A: Mooshoo says you’re yellow. B: Wanna make something of it?


mod. cowardly. What yellow-bellied skunk ran off with my horse?


n. a coward. Tell the yellow-belly to come outside and say that.
References in periodicals archive ?
For example, polycarbonate auto headlamp covers require hardcoats to protect against both scratches and uv-induced yellowing. But an improperly applied hardcoat can delaminate after exposure to the weather.
Though the PVC was stabilized for initial processing and normal weathering, the welding process caused thermal degradation at the butt joints that resulted in severe yellowing and cracking upon outdoor exposure.
These coatings can sometimes have negative effects on plastics, such as increased yellowing. New golf balls for example, often have an anti-slip coating to minimize air drag, but the coating may cause discoloration of the plastic substrate.
Although the NMA/AM crosslinking system can contribute to yellowing, this excellent thermosetting monomer system must be maintained for final nonwoven performance.
The choice of initiator systems is critical because, as shown in Table 2, the addition of even 0.1% of certain oxidizers or certain reducers can contribute significantly to yellowing. For example, addition of 0.1% sodium hydrosulfite in polymer solids increases the yellowness rating of the non-yellowing composition from an excellent 2 to a rather poor 6.
The final factor contributing to yellowing is the neutralizer system.