It's been a long time since we met, as in Hi Bob! Long time no see. This jocular imitation of broken English originated in the pidgin English used in Chinese and Western exchange. [Late 1800s]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.