English words with Chinese Origin

Although there are not many…. it always surprises me to discover English words with Chinese origin. There are common words like tofu, kungfu, tai chi, zen, dim sum and other chinese foods…. but did you know Also the following?


this one really caught me by surprise… I’ve heard it many times, although it sounds weird, I never realized the closeness in spelling to other English enunciation of Chinese words. The origin of this is quite unique as well, not sure how it ever made it into the official English dictionary….

siting wikipedia

“Gung ho is an anglicised pronunciation of “gōng hé” (), which is also sometimes anglicised as “kung ho”. “Gōng hé” is a shortened version and slogan of the “gōngyè hézuòshè” () or Chinese Industrial Cooperatives, which was abbreviated as INDUSCO in English. …. In Chinese, concludes Moe, “this is neither a slogan nor a battle cry; it is only a name for an organization.”[1] The term was picked up by United States Marine Corps Major Evans Carlson from his New Zealand friend, Rewi Alley, one of the founders of the Chinese Industrial Cooperatives. Carlson explained in a 1943 interview: “I was trying to build up the same sort of working spirit I had seen in China where all the soldiers dedicated themselves to one idea and worked together to put that idea over. I told the boys about it again and again. I told them of the motto of the Chinese Cooperatives, Gung Ho. It means Work Together-Work in Harmony….”[2]

…. it spread throughout the U.S. Marine Corps  ….. and into American society as a whole when the phrase became the title of a 1943 war filmGung Ho!


I never thought Ketchup originated from China… because it’s such an western thing… when you hear ketchup you think french fries…. but who knew… there are several version of the orignation.. i will go with this once since it makes the most sense…

‘An alternative Chinese theory expounded in certain dictionaries[16] states that the word “ketchup” derives from a Chinese word composed of two characters (茄汁Cantonese (Jyutping): ke2 zap1, Hakka: kyo jip, Minnan/SouthernHokkien: ga1 zap7, Teochew: giê5 zab4/kiê5 tsap4, corresponding to Mandarin (Pinyin) qie zhī) based on Southern Chinese dialects, which means “tomato sauce.” ‘

No Can Do

Mandarin Chinese 不可以 (bù kěyǐ)


“A calque of Chinese 洗腦 xǐ nǎo (where 洗 literally means “wash”, while 腦 means “brain”, hence brainwash), a term and psychological concept first used by the People’s Volunteer Army during the Korean War. It may refer to a forcible indoctrination to induce someone to give up basic political, social, or religious beliefs and attitudes and to accept contrasting regimented ideas; or persuasion by propaganda or salesmanship. The term “brainwashing” came into the mainstream English language after Western media sources first utilized the term to describe the attitudes of POWs returning from the Korean War.[1]


**for full list, visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_English_words_of_Chinese_origin

About m0untainmist

I'm awesome ;-) j/k...
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