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  1. #1
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Chinese and Chinaman

    Dear teachers,

    I was watching when I heard the word "Chinaman". As I know Chinese people are called Chinese. The same case with Japanese. And I did try to look up the word "Chinaman" in my dictionary but wasn't able to find one. So my question is :
    1. Is this a new word?
    2. If it is, is it a derogatory term?
    3. If it isn't, then is it a variety of English, say only used in the United States?

    Looking forward to hearing from you.

    Thank you in advance.

    Jiang

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Chinese and Chinaman

    'Chinaman' is an older term and not used much nowadays. Many regard it as derogatory, which is why it has fallen into disuse. There are words, like Spaniard, Finn, Dutchman, that can be used for a person of a nationality, but some are regarded as demeaning and are used less. I very rarely hear it now. Those who do use it are, I think, more likely to be unaware of its connotations than trying to be rude. I read that the British cricket club in Singapore used to have a sign reading "No Dogs & No Chinamen", which would explain why people try to avoid the term nowadays. I don't now whether this is a true story or not, but it is entirely plausible and explains why we avoid it today.

  3. #3
    jiang is offline Key Member
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    Default Re: Chinese and Chinaman


    Dear tdol,
    Thank you very much for your explanation. Now I see.
    When I type the question I forgot some words. It should have been "When I was watching the film 'Crash' I hear the word "Chinaman"."

    Best wishes,

    Jiang
    Quote Originally Posted by tdol
    'Chinaman' is an older term and not used much nowadays. Many regard it as derogatory, which is why it has fallen into disuse. There are words, like Spaniard, Finn, Dutchman, that can be used for a person of a nationality, but some are regarded as demeaning and are used less. I very rarely hear it now. Those who do use it are, I think, more likely to be unaware of its connotations than trying to be rude. I read that the British cricket club in Singapore used to have a sign reading "No Dogs & No Chinamen", which would explain why people try to avoid the term nowadays. I don't now whether this is a true story or not, but it is entirely plausible and explains why we avoid it today.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: Chinese and Chinaman

    I haven't seen the film yet.

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