Student or Learner
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?
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.