Y is for Yellow

Yellow helps with decision making as it relates to clarity of thought and ideas, although it can often be impulsive.

Color_icon_yellow.svgWhen I graduated from library school in 1992, I discovered that the Academic Degree color for library science was yellow, specifically lemon yellow. I felt rather ambivalent about that.

I knew that in color psychology, “yellow is the color of the mind and the intellect. It is optimistic and cheerful. However, it can also suggest impatience, criticism, and cowardice.”

“The word ‘yellow’ comes from the Old English geolu, geolwe (oblique case), meaning ‘yellow, yellowish’, derived from the Proto-Germanic word gelwaz ‘yellow’. 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.”

More about yellow:

“Yellow is the great communicator and loves to talk. Yellow is the color of the networker and the journalist, all working and communicating on a mental level.

Yellow is the scientist, constantly analyzing, looking at both sides before making a decision; methodical and decisive. Yellow is the entertainer, the comic, the clown.

“Yellow helps with decision making as it relates to clarity of thought and ideas, although it can often be impulsive. Yellow helps us focus, study and recall information, useful during exam time.

“The color yellow can be anxiety-producing as it is fast-moving and can cause us to feel agitated.

“Yellow has a tendency to make you more mentally analytical and critical – this includes being self-critical as well as critical of others.

A lot of this rings true – communicative, analytical, impulsive, self-critical.

And this:

“Lurking in the background is the dark side of yellow: cowardice, betrayal, egoism, and madness. Furthermore, yellow is the color of caution and physical illness (jaundice, malaria, and pestilence).”


“Yellow is the lightest and brightest color on the Basic Color Wheel and in the full spectrum of light. Even some blind people can detect yellow. This is why it’s often used for ambulances and emergency vehicles.”

Here are some songs featuring the color yellow:

Yellow Moon – Neville Brothers

Yellow Submarine – The Beatles

Mellow, Yellow – Donovan

ABC Wednesday – Round 16

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