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  1. Mrs Irons's Avatar

    • Join Date: Feb 2009
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    Standard or pidgin?

    Is there anybody who knows the origins of the phrases the middle kingdom, to have a look-see, a pleasant surprise? Are they standard English?

    Anybody knows a link to an online etymology dictionary where the origins of certain phrases can be found?


  2. Soup's Avatar
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    English Teacher
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      • Native Language:
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      • Canada
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    • Join Date: Sep 2007
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    Re: Standard or pidgin?

    China is called Zhōngguˇ (also Romanized as Chung-kuo or Jhongguo) in Mandarin Chinese. The first character zhōng (中) means "central" or "middle," while guˇ (国/國) means "kingdom" or "nation". The term is often translated into English as "Middle Kingdom" ... . Read more here.

    look-see (n.) "inspection" first recorded 1883. Source Online Etymology Dictionary

    pleasant surprise
    (?) It's possibly French in origin: un bon surprise.

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