All attestations of pidgin from the first half of the nineteenth century given in the third edition of the Oxford English Dictionary mean “business; an action, occupation, or affair” (the earliest being from 1807).
Other suggested derivations include:
- Hebrew פִּדְיוֹן (pidyón, “exchange; trade; redemption”)
- Chinese pronunciation of Portuguese ocupação (“occupation; business”)
- South Seas pronunciation of beach
- Portuguese baixo (“low”)
- (UK) IPA(key): /ˈpɪ.dʒɪn/
- (US) enPR: pĭjʹən, IPA(key): /ˈpɪ.dʒən/
- Rhymes: -ɪdʒən, -ɪdʒɪn
- Homophone: pigeon
- (linguistics) An amalgamation of two disparate languages, used by two populations having no common language as a lingua franca to communicate with each other, lacking formalized grammar and having a small, utilitarian vocabulary and no native speakers.
- (archaic, idiomatic) A person's business, occupation, work, or trade.
- 1950, Robert A. Heinlein, The Man Who Sold the Moon:
- Forget money. That's my pidgin.
- 2015, Guy Cullingford, Post Mortem:
- It's up to the detective sergeant to ask his own questions, that's not my pidgin. But I did wonder if either of you gentlemen had an idea of the exact time of the shot.
- Some pidgins that have developed into creoles nevertheless (confusingly) retain the word "pidgin" in their names.
- John Holmes, An introduction to pidgins and creoles, Cambridge University Press (2000)
pidgin m (plural pidgins)
pidgin m (plural pidgins or pidgin)