Chinee

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Backformation from Chinese

Noun[edit]

Chinee (plural Chinees)

  1. (dated, offensive, Chinese Pidgin English) A person from China

Usage notes[edit]

  • Now considered merely an illiterate alternative to Chinese, this was a pejorative term in the United States in the 19th century.
  • Appeared in Robert A. Heinlein's science-fiction novel The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress (1966). The heavily multi-ethnic Moon/Luna settlers ("Loonies") made frequent use of it, apparently as a simple corruption of "Chinese" since no derogatory intent was clear. Transition from pejorative to neutral vernacular is also possible.

Related terms[edit]