high yellow

noun Slang: Sometimes Disparaging and Offensive.

a term used to refer to a light-skinned black person.
Also high yaller [yal-er] /ˈyæl ər/, high yeller [yel-er] /ˈyɛl ər/.

Origin of high yellow

First recorded in 1920–25

Related forms

high-yel·low, adjective

Usage note

This term implies that the person has a high proportion of white ancestry and looks more like a white person than a black person. The term was most commonly used in the American South in the late 19th century and early 20th century, though it is still sometimes used by both white and black people today. See also yellow.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019