long time no see
Unknown. Attested US 1901, presented as pidgin English by a Native American. Possibly a calque of Chinese Mandarin trad. 好久不見, simpl. 好久不见 (pinyin: hǎojiǔbújiàn), comparable to no can do or chop-chop – if so, most likely US Chinatown origin, alternatively British Far East such as Hong Kong. Alternatively, native American origin, or native coinage as pidgin, particularly in cinematic portrayals of native Americans; compare language used by Tonto (1930s).
- (idiomatic) I haven't seen you for a long time.
- Dave! Long time no see! How’s Boston been treating you?
- 1901, W. F. Drannan Thirty-One Years on the Plains and in the Mountains:
- Good morning. Long time no see you.