Definition of pakapoo in English:


(also pakapu)

Pronunciation /ˌpakəˈpuː//ˈpakəpuː/


mass nounNZ, Australian
  • A Chinese form of lottery played with slips of paper marked with columns of characters.

    ‘he loses the earnings playing pakapoo’
    as modifier ‘pakapoo dens’
    • ‘He steals her bracelet to gamble on the new Chinese game, Pakapoo.’
    • ‘The three storeyed red and white bawdy houses of Upper Queen Street extended into Grey Street, and mingled happily with Chinese grocery shops, masonic clubs, and pakapoo saloons.’
    • ‘Neither had time or inclination to waste his energies on the question of pak-apu and fan-tan in Chinatown.’
    • ‘Instruments for playing pakapoo were found upon the premises.’
    • ‘Pakapoo was enormously popular among Chinese in colonial New Zealand.’


Early 20th century: from Chinese pai ko p'iao, literally ‘white pigeon ticket’, perhaps originally referring to a Cantonese competition in which a white pigeon was trained to choose the winning ticket.