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yellow dog

noun
1.
a cowardly, despicable person; a craven.
Origin of yellow dog
1825-1835
1825-35
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for yellow dog
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • But he isn't a liar nor a coward nor any sort of "a yellow dog."

  • It was the yellow dog that gave him the chance to recover the weapon.

    Salvage in Space John Stewart Williamson
  • Keep your tongue between your lips, or I'll shoot you like a yellow dog.

    The Sea Bride Ben Ames Williams
  • Only the yellow dog was still stretched there, and he did not even deign to look up.

    Doctor Pascal Emile Zola
  • Well, plenty of farmers near me have seen this yellow dog of yours, and they know what he has done, said Mr. Addison.

    The Curlytops at Silver Lake Howard Roger Garis
  • My yellow dog found me, and crept, whining, between my knees.

    The Love Story of Abner Stone Edwin Carlile Litsey
  • Could you come with us to show us where the camp is, and where you saw the yellow dog?

    The Curlytops at Silver Lake Howard Roger Garis
  • Even then I never felt so much like a yellow dog in my life!

    The Annals of Ann Kate Trimble Sharber
  • What sort of a yellow dog in the manger would he be if he did not?

    Fair Harbor Joseph Crosby Lincoln
Slang definitions & phrases for yellow dog

yellow-belly

noun

A coward; a poltroon: He is a contemptible yellow-belly, scared of his own shadow

[1930+; probably a rhyming expansion of yellow; influenced by the early 1800s sense, ''a Mexican, esp a Mexican soldier,'' perhaps fr the color of their uniforms]

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Difficulty index for yellow dog

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for yellow

12
13
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