Chinese fire drill

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Perhaps from the WWI era, from the British practice of using Chinese as a slur; now used only as a festive exclamation.


Chinese fire drill ‎(plural Chinese fire drills)

  1. (US) A prank performed while stopped in a car at a red light; each passenger (including the driver) shouts "Chinese fire drill", exits the vehicle, runs at least once around it, then re-enters, taking a different seat.
  2. (US, derogatory) A silly, pointless exercise.


Usage notes[edit]

  • Although this term seems to have lost all traces of an insulting meaning, it is possible some might be offended.

See also[edit]