Yellow-boy

(A). A gold sovereign.

“John did not starve the cause: there wanted not yellow-boys to fee counsel.” —Arbuthnot: John Bull.

Yellow-boy

(A). A bankrupt. The French call a bankrupt Safranier, and Aller au safran means to be made a bankrupt. The allusion is to the ancient custom of painting the house of a traitor yellow. It will be remembered that the house of the Petit Bourbon was long so stigmatised on account of the treason of the Constable Bourbon.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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