long time no see
Unknown. Attested US 1901, presented as pidgin English by a Native American. Possibly a calque of Cantonese, 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 (or we) have not 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.
- ^ James A. H. Murray [et al.], editor (1884–1928) A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (Oxford English Dictionary), London: Clarendon Press, OCLC 15566697; and The Oxford English Dictionary; being a Corrected Re-issue with an Introduction, Supplement, and Bibliography of A New English Dictionary on Historical Principles (the First Supplement), Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1933, OCLC 2748467.
- Partridge, Eric, and Beale, Paul (2002). A Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, p. 1386. Routledge. ↑ISBN, ↑ISBN.