These English words originated within China

Chinese Portal  There are a couple of English loanwords actually were originated from Chinese language. Let us take a look of them!


1. Gung Ho  工合

The literal translation is,"work together." The English use was popularized by Marines fighting in the Pacific in World War II. The phrase came to mean: "whole heartedly enthusiastic, and loyal, eager, and zealous."


2. Typhoon  台风

The literal translation is "strong wind." Experts say the term, typhon from the Greek and Arabic, was strengthened with the Chinese translation.



3. China  中国

In Chinese, the word literally means "the middle country." The name was first used by the Italian explorer, Marco Polo.


4. Silk  丝绸

Pronounced si in Mandarin. The word was first introduced to Western culture by smugglers who took silk worms and mulberry leaves out of China in 552 Common Era (CE).


5. Feng Shui  风水

Literally wind and water. It is the Chinese belief in creating a spiritual balance in one's home and workplace. The word was first introduced to Westerners in 1757.


6. Kowtow  磕头

Literally means "knock head." In China the word is a way of bowing and touching the forehead to the ground to indicate respect. In English the word means to "be servile: to behave in an extremely submissive way in order to please somebody in a position of authority."


7. Junk  垃圾

The literal translation in Chinese is "boat." In 1884 the term came to mean "old refuse from boats and ships," and eventually came to mean trash in Western culture.



8. Lose Face  丢面子

The literal translation is "humiliation". The word is said to have been introduced to English speakers in 1876.


9. Shanghai  上海

Shanghai is a Chinese seaport. The word in English came to mean, "to drug a man unconscious and ship him as a sailor." This was the practice of 'recruiting' sailors to the seaport of Shanghai.


10. Tai Chi  太极

In Chinese, the word is literally translated to the "supreme ultimate." Some emphasize the slow movements as a form of exercise, while others practice it as a martial art.


11. Oolong  乌龙茶

Literally "black dragon." First introduced to the English language in 1852 as a dark, black tea.