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Pigeon English


  • Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Pigeon English an extraordinary and grotesque dialect, employed in the commercial cities of China, as the medium of communication between foreign merchants and the Chinese. Its base is English, with a mixture of Portuguese and Hindustani.
    • ***


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
perhaps a corruption of business English


In literature:

He spoke pigeon English fairly.
"Moran of the Lady Letty" by Frank Norris
Scraps floated to him, scraps like Pigeon English, like 'nigger' dialect, blurred and mangled distortions.
"When the Sleeper Wakes" by Herbert George Wells
Now, the stool-pigeon in this trick is a swell English crook.
"Within the Law" by Marvin Dana
So I did not waste time with Pigeon English.
"The Window-Gazer" by Isabel Ecclestone Mackay
The count was spinning a pigeon English yarn of how he'd fought a duel with rapiers.
"Cape Cod Stories" by Joseph C. Lincoln
Nigh as I could make out from his pigeon English he was tellin' me there was a cup there.
"Kent Knowles: Quahaug" by Joseph C. Lincoln
PIGEON ENGLISH, a jargon used in commercial dealings with the Chinese, being a mixture of English, Portuguese, and Chinese.
"The Nuttall Encyclopaedia" by Edited by Rev. James Wood
A picturesque fringe of pigeon English decorates the coasts of Africa, Asia and Oceanica.
"Lippincott's Magazine of Popular Literature and Science, Vol. 17, No. 97, January, 1876" by Various
We made signs to him to come up, and up he came, speaking a kind of pigeon English.
"In the Wrong Paradise" by Andrew Lang
And now for Charley, whom I have kept talking pigeon-English to Akong all this time.
"St. Nicholas, Vol. 5, No. 4, February 1878" by Various
Then came a flood of gossip in pigeon-English.
"Bella Donna" by Robert Hichens
I am just called away by some poor men who want me to speak to the English travellers about shooting their pigeons.
"Letters from Egypt" by Lucie Duff Gordon
When it did it was in the scantiest of pigeon English.
"The Triumph of John Kars" by Ridgwell Cullum
Ned made out from the pigeon English brought forth by the bystanders that the sailor had run up a large bill and was unable to pay it.
"Boy Scouts in the Philippines" by G. Harvey Ralphson
It is called pigeon English.
"The Hunter Cats of Connorloa" by Helen Jackson
They spoke such funny pigeon English to him, and made him wonder why they would put "ee" to the end of so many of their words.
"Peeps Into China" by E. C. Phillips
They spoke fairly good pigeon English, and it will be more understandable if properly translated.
"The Second String" by Nat Gould
It is made up from various Indian tongues, with a few English, or rather pigeon-English, French, and Spanish words intermixed.
"Cruisings in the Cascades" by George O. Shields
Most of these men spoke pigeon English, but I had little or nothing to say to them of set purpose.
"The City in the Clouds" by C. Ranger Gull
The Dove-cote pigeon; the Swallow; the Spot; the Nun; the English Frill-back; the Laugher, and the Trumpeter.
"Natural History in Anecdote" by Various

In poetry:

The pigeons from the dove cote cooed over the old lane,
The crow flocks from the oakwood went flopping oer the grain;
Like lots of dear old neighbours whom I shall see no more
They greeted me that morning I left the English shore.
"The Sailor-Boy" by John Clare

In news:

Secrets from World War II may have been found in a coded message attached to the skeleton of a carrier pigeon found in an English chimney.
Pigeon English, by Stephen Kelman.
Pigeon English, by Stephen Kelman, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 288 pp.
' Pigeon English ' a remarkable debut.
What do Room, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, and Pigeon English have in common.
Pigeon English The story of a boy whose new feathered friend may cost him some of his old human ones.