Open main menu
See also: chinaman




From Chinese Pidgin English. Calque of Mandarin 中國人, China +‎ -man.


  • IPA(key): /ˈtʃaɪnəmən/, /ˈtʃaɪnəmɪn/


Chinaman (plural Chinamen)

  1. (dated, now offensive) A man who is Chinese, a Chinese man.
    • 1872, Mark Twain, Roughing It, 2007, page 169,
      A disorderly Chinaman is rare, and a lazy one does not exist. So long as a Chinaman has strength to use his hands he needs no support from anybody; white men often complain of want of work, but a Chinaman offers no such complaint; he always manages to find something to do. [] Any white man can swear a Chinaman’s life away in the courts, but no Chinaman can testify against a white man.
    • 1906, Hubert D. Russell (editor), Complete Story of the San Francisco Horror, 1906, 2003, page 251,
      Another favorite pastime of the Highbinder who is usually a loafer, is to levy blackmail on a wealthy Chinaman. [] If it were not that the Chinamen kill only men of their own race and let alone all other men, the citizens of San Francisco would have sacked and burned Chinatown.
    • 1941, George Ade, Stories of the Streets and of the Town: From the Chicago Record 1893 - 1900, reprinted as 2003, Stories of Chicago, page 163,
      In Clark Street, where all the nations of the earth dwell together in harmony, one has but to go downstairs to find a Chinaman. And when found he is washing.
  2. (also by analogy with East Indiaman) A sailing ship of the 18th and 19th centuries engaged in the Old China Trade

Usage notesEdit

Coordinate termsEdit

Derived termsEdit