pidgin was our Word of the Day on 07/26/2016. Hear the podcast!
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Recent Examples of pidgin from the Web
Sometimes her Native American characters speak a cigar-store pidgin to one another, only to drop it further down on the same page.
Many cats and their human companions seem to develop a pidgin language in order to communicate better.
Pidgins are typically created out of extreme necessity—
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pidgin.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
The History of pidgin
The history of pidgin begins in the early 19th century in the South China city of Guangzhou. Chinese merchants interacting with English speakers on the docks in this port adopted and modified the word business in a way that, by century's end, had become pidgin. The word itself then became the descriptor of the unique communication used by people who speak different languages. Pidgins generally consist of small vocabularies (Chinese Pidgin English has only 700 words), but some have grown to become a group's native language. Examples include Sea Island Creole (spoken in
Origin and Etymology of pidgin
First Known Use: 1869See Words from the same year
PIDGIN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of pidgin for English Language Learners
: a language that is formed from a mixture of several languages when speakers of different languages need to talk to each other
Learn More about pidgin
Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about pidgin
Seen and Heard
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