- Older Use: Offensive. a term used to refer to a Chinese person or a person of Chinese descent.
- (often lowercase) Older Slang: Offensive. a person regarded as one's benefactor, sponsor, or protector: to see one's chinaman about a favor.
- (lowercase) Archaic. a person who imports or sells china.
- a Chinaman's chance, Older Use: Offensive. the slightest chance: He hasn't a Chinaman's chance of getting that job.
Origin of Chinaman
Historically, Chinaman was a neutral compound word, similar to Irishman or Englishman , but it began to take on negative connotations in the 19th century, when many Chinese immigrants went to work in the American West. The expression a Chinaman's chance originally made reference to these Chinese laborers, though the exact origin of the phrase is disputed.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for chinaman
On the instant the old Chinaman was electrified into sudden and astounding action.
During these revelations Bulan had sat with his eyes fixed upon the Chinaman.
He, and he alone, in this insane city, will wait at table (the Chinaman doesn't count).
The by-standers went their ways, and the Chinaman, assisted by the policeman, his own.
And when the Chinaman saw the dog, he said to him, "what do you do for a living?"Five Mice in a Mouse-trap
Laura E. Richards
- archaic, or derogatory a native or inhabitant of China
- (often not capital) cricket a ball bowled by a left-handed bowler to a right-handed batsman that spins from off to leg
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for chinaman
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper