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"Long time no see"

.. what kind of English is that?...

   
9:44 am on Dec 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Where does this expression come from? My guess would be that it is Pidgin.
10:23 am on Dec 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Best I can come up with is

"Plains Indians pidgin: source of "long time no see" and "no can do""

10:31 am on Dec 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Surely it's a cry of grief from landbound sailors...
'Long time no sea!'
:)
10:35 am on Dec 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



My guess would be that it is Pidgin.

Exactly.

Best I can come up with is

"Plains Indians pidgin: source of "long time no see" and "no can do""

Actually, "No can do" and "Long time no see," are both American expressions that originated from Chinese translations.

"Long time no see" (Ch'ang chih mei) was used by the Chinese when speaking to western traders visiting China many years ago, and was eventually adopted into common usage.

10:55 am on Dec 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member



Amazing. I have been wondering about this for several years. More than 10 years ago I asked an englishman who teaches English in my hometown. He knew the expression but did not know its origin.

And now I asked the question at WebmasterWorld and had an answer in less than an hour. I think that settles it Dante, unless someone with greater expertise than yours corrects you. Thanks.

Woz

11:08 am on Dec 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member woz is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member



Good find Dante.

Your first example of "Hao jiu bu jian" (Mandarin) is probably more correct in today's official language. However, "Ch'ang chih mei" (Cantonese) would be more historicaly correct given that most early Chinese immigrants to the wetern worlds spoke Cantonese rather than Mandarin.

Interesting, news to me, but logical given the translation. Hmmm, learn something every day here.

Onya
Woz

11:20 am on Dec 29, 2002 (gmt 0)

10+ Year Member



Laetus Serviam ;)
 

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