Chinese words that entered English

Like “ketchup”/ “catsup” was originally “茄汁” in Hokkien, I think.

Anyways. The word “peke” is short for Pekinese dog.
And it comes from “北” which is pronounced “pak” in Hokkien, “pet” in Hakka, and probably something similar in Cantonese.

I was just guessing about the ketchup etymology. Oxford’s Dictionary of Etymology said that “koe-chiap” meant “fish brine” or something.

You may enjoy this threadtoo.

What about Cha? Ohh I could murder a nice cup of Cha, when’s the Cha lady coming round?

“tea” from French “the” from Hokkien “te”

What about Chop Suey?

Just kidding, but does Chow Mein count?

I think both of those count! Of course, all food items count.

Here’s another – the verb and noun ‘chow’, meaning food or eat, is from the Chinese chao3 炒 as in chao3 mian4, chao3 fan4, etc. (originally meaning stir-fry).

Hunky Dory for the street when it was considered safe for sailors in Hong Kong.

“Everything is Hunky Dory”

[quote=“Ironman”]Hunky Dory for the street when it was considered safe for sailors in Hong Kong.

“Everything is Hunky Dory”[/quote]

Wordorigins.org says

[quote]Hunky-Dory
Popular legend has it that it derives from the name of a street in Edo (Tokyo), Japan where there were bazaars and other entertainments for sailors. The term appears in American slang in 1866, shortly after Commodore Perry’s trip to Japan. This legend was plugged by Bartlett’s in 1877, but other than the date there is little evidence to support it.

Hunky meaning fine or splendid dates to 1861. The adjective hunk meaning safe or secure is even older, dating to the early 1840s. Given these earlier usages predate Perry’s opening of Japan, it is unlikely the word derives from a Japanese source. In short, it’s another one of those that we must mark “origin unknown.”[/quote]

StraightDope gives:

[quote]From William and Mary Morris’s Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins: The story goes that the principal street of Yokohama was Huncho-dori street. (OK, Danny, is that true today?) A sailor on shore leave would feel that everything was OK when he was on the main street.

Another story however (attributed by the Morrises to Charles Earle Funk) traces the origin back to the Dutch settlement of New Amsterdam: taking the word hunk as derived from the Dutch word honk for goal. When you reached the goal, everything was hunky-dory. How the dory got into the expression was not clear.

We do know that Christy’s Minstrels of the mid-nineteenth century popularized a bit of corn called “Josiphus Orange Blossom” that contained the lyric “red hot hunky-dory contraband.” The song was a hit and hunky-dory came into the language.

That song arose during the Civil War. Since Japan was not opened to foreign ships until Commodore Perry’s visit in 1854, it seems somewhat doubtful that the Yokohama theory holds water. More likely, hunky-dory was already a slang term when American sailors first had shore leave to Huncho-dori Street.[/quote]

Worldwidewords gives:

[quote]The Random House Historical Dictionary of American Slang suggests that the term may have been introduced in America about 1865 by a popular variety performer named Japanese Tommy. Other references suggest that it may have been sailors’ slang for a street in Yokohama that catered for what one might describe as the special needs of sailors. In Yokohama today a broad thoroughfare called Honcho-dori runs from the centre of the city to the port area, so one that would have been familiar to sailors (dori is the Japanese word for a road, in particular a broad or important one).

What seems certain is that hunky-dory was a play on an existing sense of the word hunky for something that was fine, splendid or satisfactory. In turn, this probably derives from the adjective hunk, which means that one is all right or in a safe or good position. This derives from the Dutch honk, meaning “goal” or “home” in a Frisian variant of the game of tag. This word (and presumably the game, too) was said to have been taken by the Dutch to New Amsterdam, later New York, but was first recorded only around the 1840s. It has links to another reduplicated term, hunkum-bunkum. Though the first part sounds a bit like the hunker of hunker down (which is also of Dutch origin), the words seem not to be related.

It may be that hunky-dory was the result of a bilingual pun, perhaps invented because American sailors knew the word dori and prefixed it with hunky as an imagined Japanese street of earthly delights.[/quote]

So it sounds like the source was Japanese (if Asian at all). Not Chinese… :stuck_out_tongue:

Thanks Dragonbones. I googled this as well prior to posting. We could spend all night working on sources. Other choice is for you to stick it fair up a passing sumo wrestlers arse. Preferably the 180kg monster I saw last night in Taipei.

Gung ho. Derived from 工合, I believe.

Yin-yang as well, although I don’t quite get where the term “up the yin-yang” comes from.

Not Chinese words but Chinese grammar: “Long time no see” was brought back by sailors to Hong Kong, or something…

In Cantonese, ketchup is known as 茄汁 and sounds very much like the English word. However, I’m not convinced that the word went from Chinese to English as opposed to the other way around. Tomatoes, as I understand it, were not a food that was native to China, hence the name 番茄, or literally “foreign eggplant”.

Same with “chai” that you’ll find nowadays in a Starbucks. “Chai” is taken from India, but I think it’s pretty obvious that it derived from “cha2”.

In Cantonese, ketchup is known as 茄汁 and sounds very much like the English word. However, I’m not convinced that the word went from Chinese to English as opposed to the other way around. Tomatoes, as I understand it, were not a food that was native to China, hence the name 番茄, or literally “foreign eggplant”.[/quote]

Or 西紅柿, also “foreign”.

Same with “chai” that you’ll find nowadays in a Starbucks. “Chai” is taken from India, but I think it’s pretty obvious that it derived from “cha2”.[/quote]
“Chai” is also the Russian word for tea. My understanding is that those who got their tea from northern China use a derivative of the Mandarin “cha.” You know, cha for tea. Those who got it from down our way use some variation of “te” (pronounced with a hard d like “dei” - still the Taiwanese word today - but formerly Romanized with a t like “tao”). Here’s the OED entry:

And the entry on “ketchup”:

I was told that “chop suey” comes from 雜碎 and that “brainwash” is Englese for 洗腦 (popularized by “The Manchurian Candidate”).

Then there are always the obvious ones like typhoon, ping-pong, kowtow, and kung fu… :smiley:

What about, YO, what’s up man? YO is definately Chinese.

Chop chop, biemby chow chow!

In Cantonese, ketchup is known as 茄汁 and sounds very much like the English word. However, I’m not convinced that the word went from Chinese to English as opposed to the other way around. Tomatoes, as I understand it, were not a food that was native to China, hence the name 番茄, or literally “foreign eggplant”.[/quote]

Or 西紅柿, also “foreign”.[/quote]
Yeah, literally “western red persimmon”, certainly a better descriptive word than 番茄.

In the Take Our Word For It web site, there is this entry:
[ul]Ketchup is a Chinese word in origin. In the Amoy dialect of southeastern China, koechiap means ‘brine of fish.’ It was acquired by English, probably via Malay kichap, toward the end of the 17th century, when it was usually spelled catchup (the New Dictionary of the Canting Crew 1690 defines it as ‘a high East-India Sauce’). Shortly afterward the spelling catsup came into vogue (Jonathan Swift is the first on record as using it, in 1730), and it remains the main form in American English. But in Britain ketchup has gradually established itself since the early 18th century.[/ul]
I’m still not convinced. If “koechiap” means “brine of fish” and “chiap” is supposedly 汁, that would mean that “koe” or variants thereof is supposed to mean fish. However, neither Cantonese, Hakka, nor Minnan pronounced fish as “koe”, unless it’s a particular type of fish we’re talking about here. :idunno:

Don’t forget about “sucky fucky ten dolla.”

Again, the OED:

San Pan- a small wooden boat built from river reeds and cow pies. Tagalog it’s Banka. Like a Tuk-Tuk in the water.

Bok Chai-That lettuce stuff.

Feng Shui. Tai Chi. Kung Fu.

Poon Tang–I think that’s Thai.

Honcho. Like “He’s the head honcho.” I think that’s Korean.