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  • 1/18/2013

What Colors Mean



Yellow is the color of gold, butter, or ripe lemons. In the spectrum of visible light, and in the traditional color wheel used by painters, yellow is located between greenand orange.

Yellow is commonly associated with gold, sunshine, reason, optimism and pleasure, but also with envy, jealousy and betrayal. It plays an important part in Asian culture, particularly in China.

The word "yellow" comes from the Old English geolu, geolwe, meaning "yellow, yellowish", derived from the Proto-Germanic wordgelwaz. It has the same Indo-European base, -ghel, as the word yell; -ghel means both bright and gleaming, and to cry out. Yellow is a color which cries out for attention.

The English term is related to other Germanic words for yellow, namely Scots yella, East Frisian jeel, West Frisian giel, Dutch geel, German gelb, and Swedish gul. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the oldest known use of this word in English is from The Epinal Glossary in the year 700.

In Egypt and Burma, yellow signifies mourning.


In Spain, executioners once wore yellow.


In India, yellow is the symbol for a merchant or farmer.


In tenth-century France, the doors of traitors and criminals were paintedyellow.


Hindus in India wear yellow to celebrate the festival of spring.


If someone is said to have a “yellow streak,”‌ that person is considered a coward.


In Japan during the War of Dynasty in 1357, each warrior wore a yellowchrysanthemum as a pledge of courage.


A yellow ribbon is a sign of support for soldiers at the front.


Yellow is a symbol of jealousy and deceit.


In the Middle Ages, actors portraying the dead in a play wore yellow.


To holistic healers, yellow is the color of peace.


Yellow has good visibility and is often used as a color of warning. It is also a symbol for quarantine, an area marked off because of danger.


“Yellow journalism”‌ refers to irresponsible and alarmist reporting.



Other Links:

What Colors Mean: Red

What Colors Mean: Green

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