English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Because the Yellow Pages were distinct from the white pages (residential listings) and they were, and are, yellow. Yellow Pages refers to a telephone directory of businesses, categorized according to the product or service provided.
The story goes that a printer ran out of white paper and made a phone book using yellow paper. Some printed books also use other colors, such as blue for government listings, but yellow is the one that has made it into the language.

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First appearance of the "wake up from a coma, discover the world has ended" trope? Why does Uncle Bob suggest that coding standards shouldn't be written down if you can avoid it? Description: AnyWho is a free directory service with residential, business, and government white and yellow page listings. As the name suggests, such directories were originally printed on yellow paper, as opposed to white pages for non-commercial listings.

In fact it was so successful that the idea was widely copied, at first nationally and then across the world.

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