• synonyms

pidgin English

or Pidgin English

  1. a pidgin language based on English formerly used in commerce in Chinese ports.
  2. a similar language used in other areas, such as Papua New Guinea (where it has semiofficial status) and parts of West Africa.
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Origin of pidgin English

1820–30; pidgin, pigeon < Chinese Pidgin English: business, affair; etymology uncertain, but often alleged to be Chin pronunciation of business
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pidgin english

Historical Examples

  • Have you ever heard a light-yellow, lean, sad, earnest Chinaman stutter in Pidgin-English?

    A Personal Record

    Joseph Conrad

  • In all the schools German is taught, but pidgin-English is largely spoken at the coast towns.

  • He was deluded by the idea that if he talked a kind of pidgin-English and shouted loud enough she must understand.

    The Huntress

    Hulbert Footner

  • He seemed to be having difficulty with the language, and was eking out his Pidgin-English with pantomime.


    Earle Ashley Walcott

  • Pidgin-English amused me very much, as it amuses every one who visits China.

British Dictionary definitions for pidgin english

pidgin English

  1. a pidgin in which one of the languages involved is English
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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