yellow dog

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Carolina dogs were called yellow dogs because many had yellow coats. The fact that many mongrel dogs also had yellow coats lead to the term's application to any worthless item or person. For the etymology of the term Yellow Dog Democrat, see that entry.

Noun[edit]

yellow dog (plural yellow dogs)

  1. Used other than as an idiom: see yellow,‎ dog.
  2. (US, chiefly Southern US) A Carolina dog.
  3. (US, informal) An item or person of low value.
    • 1877, Charles White; Andrew J. Leavitt, The coming man: an Ethiopian sketch in two scenes, page 5:
      If I had a woman like that I'd trade her off for a yellow dog and then shoot the dog.
    • 1897, The Political nursery, volume 1:10 - 4:10: 
      A respectable class of candidates for minor state offices, and for state senate and assembly, at this moment desire to run on the ticket with Roosevelt. As soon as there is a third ticket in the field no one but a yellow dog will consent to run on Platt's ticket.
  4. (US, politics, uncommon) Shortening of yellow dog Democrat.
    • 2011, William Earl Maxwell, Ernest Crain, Adolfo Santos, Texas Politics Today: 2011-2012 Edition, page 125:
      What led Rick Perry to pronounce the Yellow Dogs dead?

Related terms[edit]

See also[edit]