Definition of pidgin in English:

pidgin

noun

  • 1[often as modifier] A grammatically simplified form of a language, typically English, Dutch, or Portuguese, some elements of which are taken from local languages, used for communication between people not sharing a common language.

    • ‘The names given to pidgin languages by linguists refer to their location and their principal lexifier or base language: that is, the language from which they draw most of their vocabulary.’
    • ‘The translation often arrives back in a kind of pidgin language, but people still understand.’
    • ‘On a discursive level, writers who utilize Taglish and Pidgin validate these languages as literary mediums of cultural expression.’
    • ‘His academic specialty is language change and language contact, with a concentration on pidgin and Creole languages.’
    • ‘Lexical items in pidgin languages tend to cover a wider semantic domain than in the base language.’
    • ‘Such a language will be rootless and will evolve within decades into some kind of Pidgin.’
    • ‘At present, therefore, no single theory can adequately explain the origin of pidgin language.’
    • ‘On German plantations and wherever individuals speaking different languages met, a pidgin language referred to as Neo-Melanesian or Melanesian Pidgin developed.’
    • ‘This varies from use as a first language through use as a second language, as a foreign language, as a component in a Creole or pidgin, right down to its use in fractured messages in airline terminals.’
    • ‘The choir were the most involved group in the church as well as some school children from a local school - they had to learn Pidgin.’
    • ‘At times it almost sounds as though they're speaking some bizarre pidgin.’
    • ‘He could speak a smattering of Maori, or pidgin Maori, where the language is broken down and simplified, so he was given the job of interpreter.’
    • ‘New hybrid languages, such as Creoles and pidgins, have been formed as a result of the modifications in languages that have been in contact.’
    • ‘As we all know, our pidgin dialect lacks the elegance and grace of the Queen's English.’
    • ‘They will create a new pidgin language that has a Spanish syntax, just as English is based on an Anglo-Saxon syntax.’
    • ‘The ability of Pidgin to approach/approximate the intimate lives of Edgar and Katrina in the world of the novel is not privileged in school and is in fact penalized.’
    language, dialect, patois, vernacular, mother tongue, native tongue, jargon, argot, cant, pidgin, creole, lingua franca
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1
      another term for Tok Pisin
      • ‘Melpa has over 60,000 speakers, and a portion of that population speaks Tok Pisin (an English-based pidgin language) as a second language.’
      • ‘Some Motu also speak Tok Pisin (an English-based pidgin language) and English.’
      • ‘Now known as Tok Pisin, Melanesian Pidgin is spoken throughout Papua New Guinea.’
      • ‘Unlike many ethnographers of Papua New Guinea societies who worked in Pidgin, Margaret worked in the vernacular.’
      • ‘Iatmul children and many adults are also fluent in Tok Pisin (an English-based pidgin language), one of the national languages of Papua New Guinea.’
    2. 1.2[as modifier] Denoting a simplified form of a language, especially as used by a non-native speaker:
      ‘we exchanged greetings, communicating in pidgin Spanish’
      • ‘The peddler approaches the narrator adopting a pidgin English.’
      • ‘The staff was very friendly - went to a great deal of effort to understand our pidgin Japanese!’
      • ‘It was comical, I have managed with my pidgin English and Polish keep both parties happy.’
      • ‘Monica Ali tells Hasina's part of the story through her letters to her sister in pidgin Bengali, rendered into pidgin English.’
      • ‘Why do we spend six years learning French in schools to emerge in adulthood with pidgin Franglais?’
      • ‘Her ridiculous pidgin English dialogue made her seem like a complete fool.’
      • ‘Yiddish is considered a combination of Hebrew and German - a sort of pidgin language.’
      • ‘They will speak pidgin science much as they now speak pidgin French.’
      • ‘No matter that Pa's knowledge of Japanese was confined to mostly pidgin from the Occupation a little over a decade earlier.’
      • ‘However, the masses of the people prefer pidgin (popular) French, called Dioula.’
      • ‘Many residents understand and/or speak a pidgin English, which has become a lingua franca in the west-central Pacific.’
      • ‘I am worried that I will end up speaking a variant of pidgin English, because so few people at work understand proper English.’
      • ‘After a meal of chicken and fries, I asked the waiter, in my pidgin Arabic, "Where is the disco?"’
      • ‘A few of the authors transliterated carelessly, even incorrectly, into a sort of pidgin German.’
      • ‘Hollywood westerns regularly compel Native American characters to stammer their thoughts in pidgin English, even when conversing among themselves.’
      • ‘They would sit around the table at night playing cards, nattering away in Italian and Anglo-Italian " pidgin ".’
      • ‘I have heard well-meaning Bengalis complain that Vilayat Khan only spoke pidgin Bengali despite having spent a good part of his life in Kolkata.’
      • ‘It is as sophisticated as pidgin English can be.’
      • ‘He also admits that his pidgin English was a serious handicap.’
      • ‘With hundreds of traditional languages, literacy levels are low, including in the third official language, Bislama, a form of pidgin English.’

Origin

Late 19th century: Chinese alteration of English business.

Pronunciation

pidgin

/ˈpɪdʒɪn/