This selection of Pidgin words and phrases comes from a number of sources, including
Pidgin English Sing-Song, published in London in 1892, and
All About Shanghai,
published in Shanghai in the 1930s. Pidgin was also used in the Pacific Islands and
particularly in New Guinea, where it is still spoken.
All-plopa - quite right
blong - is, are, belong to, etc.
Bottom-side -- downstairs
Bym-bye - later
Can do Can you do, or Yes, I can do it.
Catchee - Have, get, bring, e.g. "My look-see one piecee man.catchee chow-chow' - I saw a man eating.
Chit - note, letter, sometimes IOU, e.g."bar chit"
Chop - stamp, inscription, carved seal
Chop - chop-chop, quickly
Chow-chow - food, to eat
Cumshaw - gratuity, sometimes a present
Dlinkee, to drink
Finishee - completed, done, finished
Girley - girl
Godown - warehouse
Hab got - is, there is, has
How fashion? - what for? why? What is the meaning?
Inkeli - English
Joss-house - temple, church
Joss-house man - clergyman
Joss-pidgin - religion
Largee, largey, largo - much, great
Likee - to like
Look-see - look, appear like, see
Makee - make, do, cause, become
Maskee - never mind
Melican - American
More betta - better
Muchee - very, sometimes muchee-muchee
My - my, me, I, sometimes we, our, ours
Naifoo - knife
Nightey - night
No can - not good, I cannot, impossible
No can do? - Can you not?
Number one - very good
Olo - old
One piecee, a, an, one
Pay - to give, bring, deliver, transfer
Plenty - much, very, very much
Plopa - proper, good, right, correct, nice
Savvy - know, understand
Shroff - dealer in money
Side - place, country
Smellum-water - perfume, cologne
Solly - sorry
Talpan - boss, important foreign businessman
Talkee - tell, say, inform, ask
This side - here
Tiffin - lunch
Tinkee - think
Too muchee - very, excessive
Topside - upstairs, on top
waifo - wife
Walkee - to go
Wantchee - to want
What for? - why?
What fashion no can? Why not?
What-side - where?