Chinaman

[ chahy-nuh-muh n ]
/ ˈtʃaɪ nə mən /

noun, plural Chi·na·men.

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.

Idioms for Chinaman

    a Chinaman's chance, Older Use: Offensive. the slightest chance: He hasn't a Chinaman's chance of getting that job.

Origin of Chinaman

First recorded in 1765–75; China + -man

usage note for 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 The expression a Chinaman's chance originally made reference to these Chinese laborers, though the exact origin of the phrase is disputed.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. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for chinaman

Chinaman
/ (ˈtʃaɪnəmən) /

noun plural -men

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