See also: chinaman

English

edit

Etymology

edit

From Chinese Pidgin English. Calque of Chinese 中國人中国人 (Zhōngguórén) ("China +‎ -man"). Applied also to ships by analogy with East Indiaman.

Pronunciation

edit
  • IPA(key): /ˈt͡ʃaɪnəmən/, /ˈt͡ʃaɪnəmɪn/

Noun

edit

Chinaman (plural Chinamen)

  1. (dated, now offensive) A Chinese person, or person of Chinese descent.
    Synonym: Chinaperson
    • 1870–1871 (date written), Mark Twain [pseudonym; Samuel Langhorne Clemens], chapter LIV, in Roughing It, Hartford, Conn.: American Publishing Company [et al.], published 1872, →OCLC, page 391:
      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, published 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.
    • 1907, Barbara Baynton, edited by Sally Krimmer and Alan Lawson, Human Toll (Portable Australian Authors: Barbara Baynton), St Lucia: University of Queensland Press, published 1980, page 147:
      On the flat behind the mill, dawn-rising Chinamen shogged with nimble bare feet under their yoke-linked watering-cans. These busy brethren, meeting sometimes on the same narrow track, would pause, ant-like, seemingly to dumbly regard one another and their burdens, then, still ant-like, pass silently to their work.
    • 1913, Sax Rohmer, chapter 25, in The Insidious Dr. Fu Manchu:
      "It is my fly-trap!" shrieked the Chinaman. "And I am the god of destruction!"
    • 1920 August 27, Katherine Mansfield [pseudonym; Kathleen Mansfield Murry], “The Wind Blows”, in Bliss and Other Stories, London: Constable & Company, published 1920, →OCLC, page 137:
      The carts rattle by, swinging from side to side; two Chinamen lollop along under their wooden yokes with the straining vegetable baskets—their pigtails and blue blouses fly out in the wind.
    • 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.
    • 1956, Allen Ginsberg, “America”, in Howl and Other Poems (Pocket Poets Series), City Lights Books, →OCLC, page 33:
      America it's them bad Russians.
      Them Russians them Russians and them Chinamen. And them Russians.
  2. A sailing ship of the 18th and 19th centuries engaged in the Old China Trade
  3. (US, slang, obsolete, offensive) Addiction from a narcotic, especially heroin. [from 20th c.]
    • 1952 November 5, William S. Burroughs, “To Allen Ginsberg”, in Oliver Harris, editor, The Letters of William S. Burroughs, 1945–1959, New York: Penguin, published 1993, →ISBN, page 140:
      Chinaman half in and half out of the door. Codeine and goof balls, and complete discouragement.

Usage notes

edit

Hyponyms

edit

Coordinate terms

edit

Derived terms

edit

Translations

edit

Anagrams

edit