Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (informal, archaic) An expression of gratitude, salutation, or congratulations.
- 1253: William of Rubruck, Itinerarium — One day there sate by me a certain priest of Cathay, dressed in a red cloth of exquisite colour, and when I asked him whence they got such a dye, he told me how in the eastern parts of Cathay there were lofty cliffs on which dwelt certain creatures in all things partaking of human form, except that their knees did not bend. . . . The huntsmen go thither, taking very strong beer with them, and make holes in the rocks which they fill with this beer. . . . Then they hide themselves and these creatures come out of their holes and taste the liquor, and call out 'Chin Chin.'
- 1795: Michael Symes, An Account of an Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava — The two junior members of the Chinese deputation came at the appointed hour. . . . On entering the door of the marquee they both made an abrupt stop, and resisted all solicitation to advance to chairs that had been prepared for them, until I should first be seated; in this dilemma, Dr. Buchanan, who had visited China, advised me what was to be done; I immediately seized on the foremost, whilst the Doctor himself grappled with the second; thus we soon fixed them in their seats, both parties during the struggle, repeating Chin Chin, Chin Chin, the Chinese term of salutation.
- 1829: William C. Hunter, The Fankwae at Canton — One of the Chinese servants came to me and said, 'Mr. Talbot chinchin you come down.'
- The Oxford English Dictionary