must have killed a Chinaman
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Referring to a putative, and otherwise unrecorded, Anglo-Australian superstition that killing a Chinese person brought about bad luck.
- (Australia, New Zealand, offensive) A jocular explanation for bad luck.
- Because of its negative historical connotations, the term Chinaman is no longer considered appropriate; it persists only in this expression.
- “must have killed a Chinaman”, entry in The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, Eric Partridge, page 393
- “I must have killed a Chinaman”, entry in A Dictionary of Catch Phrases: British and American, from the sixteenth century to the present day, Eric Partridge & Paul Beale, page 218