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Chinaman

[chahy-nuh-muh n] /ˈtʃaɪ nə mən/
noun, plural Chinamen.
1.
Older Use: Usually Offensive. a term used to refer to a Chinese or a person of Chinese descent.
2.
(lowercase) Archaic. a person who imports or sells china.
3.
(often lowercase) Political Slang. a person regarded as one's benefactor, sponsor, or protector:
to see one's chinaman about a favor.
Idioms
4.
a Chinaman's chance, Usually Offensive. the slightest chance:
He hasn't a Chinaman's chance of getting that job.
Origin
1765-1775
1765-75; China + -man
Usage note
Historically, Chinaman was a neutral compound word, similar to Irishman or Englishman, but it began to take on negative connotations in the 19th century, when many Chinese immigrants went to work in the American West. The expression a Chinaman's chance originally made reference to these Chinese laborers, though the exact origin of the phrase is disputed.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for a chinaman's chance

Chinaman

/ˈtʃaɪnəmən/
noun (pl) -men
1.
(archaic or derogatory) a native or inhabitant of China
2.
(often not capital) (cricket) a ball bowled by a left-handed bowler to a right-handed batsman that spins from off to leg
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for a chinaman's chance

Chinaman

n.

1711, "native of China," from China + man (n.). Also in 18c., "dealer in china wares" (1728).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for a chinaman's chance

Chinaman

noun
  1. A sailor who works in a ship's laundry (1950s+ Merchant marine)
  2. A police officer's patron and influential political friend; rabbi: police officer needed a Chinaman, or sponsor (1970s+ Police)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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