Green’s Dictionary of Slang

Chink n.

[SE China or f. Chinese ching-ching, a courteous excl. (DARE)]

1. a derog. term for a Chinese person.

[US]C.L. Canfield Diary of a Forty-Niner (1906) 211: The miners’ actions are generally endorsed and there is a disposition to bar the Chinks out of the district.
[Aus]Bulletin (Sydney) 16 May 10/2: It’s getting quite serious, old man; / Brown said at the Statue last week, / ‘If we don’t quickly hit on a plan / The chinks will take charge of our fleet.’ / But that wouldn’t be much of a cop; / In fact, it would be a good scheme / If we packed off the ’ole blessed lot / For a cruise in the old Wolverene.
[US]E.W. Townsend A Daughter of the Tenements 228: You’re a pretty slick Chink.
[US]Bourbon News (Paris, KY) 7 Dec. 7/1: I heard Kingsley beg the Chink for a little of the gummy stuff.
[Aus]J. Furphy Such is Life 184: Sort o’ off-sider for a gang o’ Chinks!
[US]F.P. Dunne Mr Dooley Says 46: Go back an’ let th’ Chink kill ye.
[US](con. 1918–19) S.V. Benét Beginning of Wisdom 290: You can never tell with Chinks.
[UK](con. WW1) P. MacDonald Patrol 72: ‘There was some that said she was chee-chee [...] She thought her gran was a Chink . . . that’s all’.
[Ire]S. O’Casey Within the Gates iv: Yes, en’ we done a thing or two for the Chinks of China, too!
[Aus]K. Tennant Foveaux 85: Went to a herbalist. Chong Wah down the end of the street. He give me something that took it away. Wonderful them Chinks are.
[US]D. Maurer Big Con 128: I don’t know any grifter who would be dumb enough to try to trim a Chink.
[US]B. Appel Plunder (2005) 279: There isn’t a Chink in town who doesn’t believe everybody’s out to get him.
[US]C. Cooper Jr Scene (1996) 93: Sometimes a Chink or wetback gets into the city with some [i.e. cocaine]: it doesn’t last long.
[US]Larner & Tefferteller Addict in the Street (1966) 180: I find that breaking doors is much easier than mugging Chinks.
[US]J. Heller Good As Gold (1979) 171: I never ate on no chipped china at home, I don’t have to take any now from that bunch of lousy chinks.
[UK]A. Bleasdale No Surrender 35: We both used t’ batter the Chinks an’ the niggers.
[US]S. Morgan Homeboy 21: All of a sudden up popped the Chink in his nightcap like a Mandarin fright puppet.
[UK]N. Griffiths Stump 49: Tommy hasn’t got the fuckin arse to bounce in on the Chinks, has he? Pure fuckin shiters, man.
[UK]R. Milward Man-Eating Typewriter 115: What proportion chink are you? [...] Yellow peril?’.
[US](con. 1962) J. Ellroy Enchanters 411: [A] Chink named Preston Fong.

2. (orig. US) a derog. term for any Asian person.

[US]N.Y. Trib. 23 June 6/2: [of the Japanese] Tows of fine china [...] stencilled ‘Made in Nippon’. Gee! Gee! mutters the showman [...] ‘These Chinks can lose money and neveer batban eye’.
[US]N. Algren Never Come Morning (1988) 223: ‘Why don’t you hex Hitler, Polack.’ [....] ‘I’m doin’ that too [...] ’n what’s more, I’m doin’ the Chinks [i.e. Japanese] too.’.
[US](con. 1951) McAleer & Dickson Unit Pride (1981) 5: [of a North Korean] It was a Chink’s head. The headless corpse, seething with maggots.
[US]Current Sl. V:1 15: Chink, n. Vietnamese.
[Aus]G. Disher Crosskill [ebook] [of a Vietnamese man] ‘I can’t astand these Chinks’.
[UK]Guardian Editor 19 Nov. 16: I’m to join the army to fight what they call goddam chinks and gooks in Korea.
[US]P. Beatty Tuff 54: [of a Filipino] So the largest black company is owned by a Chink, so what?

3. a nickname for a Chinese person or someone with Chinese features.

[UK]K. Howard Small Time Crooks 17: He went along to Chink Joe’s for breakfast.
[US]‘Curt Cannon’ ‘Good and Dead’ in I Like ’Em Tough (1958) 76: Chink was waiting for me [...] It was rumoured that he originally came from Shanghai and that he could speak twelve Chinese dialects.
[US]H.S. Thompson letter 21 Feb. in Proud Highway (1997) 440: The Red chink was elected to Congress yesterday.

4. (orig. US) the Chinese language.

[UK]K. Mackenzie Living Rough 117: His songs are sung in every language in Bohunk, in Wop, in Chink, in Spick [etc.].