- an auxiliary language that has come into existence through the attempts by the speakers of two different languages to communicate and that is primarily a simplified form of one of the languages, with a reduced vocabulary and grammatical structure and considerable variation in pronunciation.
- (loosely) any simplified or broken form of a language, especially when used for communication between speakers of different languages.
Origin of pidgin
Related Words for pidginpatois, argot, vernacular, jargon, lingo, neologism, patter, vulgarity, vulgarism, cant, colloquialism, pidgin, shoptalk, creole
Examples from the Web for pidgin
Contemporary Examples of pidgin
Attempting to make conversation, the man said in Chinese pidgin, “You likee food?”Words of Wisdom: The Best of ‘Dear Abby’
January 17, 2013
Historical Examples of pidgin
This is not Braithwaite's pidgin but Woodward's and there was no help for it.Gallipoli Diary, Volume 2
Jabbering in frantic "pidgin," he proceeded to make front on the Dutchman.Motor Matt's Mystery
Stanley R. Matthews
Soosie, he told in his pidgin English, had been given to him by her uncle.Tropic Days
E. J. Banfield
I was waited on mostly by a lad named Chung, one of the professors of "pidgin."
I had a good one in the upper storey, or the "top-side," as it is expressed in "pidgin."
- a language made up of elements of two or more other languages and used for contacts, esp trading contacts, between the speakers of other languages. Unlike creoles, pidgins do not constitute the mother tongue of any speech community
Word Origin for pidgin
1876, from pigeon English (1859), the reduced form of the language used in China for communication with Europeans, from pigeon (1826), itself a pidgin word, representing a Chinese pronunciation of business. Meaning extended 1891 to "any simplified language."