A cussin’ political opinion
In the “Let’s Look at More West Coast Pidgin Languages” Department:
Political commentary in our region’s variety of Chinese Pidgin English about the big national issue of the 1890s.
There was a Salem gold standard man seen standing on Commercial street, giving a Chinaman a dose of sound money doctrine Saturday, but the Chinaman said: “Me heep sabbee; ‘Melican man no likee silber, ‘Melican man damn foolee.“
— from the Salem (OR) Daily Capital Journal of October 12, 1896, page 2, column 1
That translates as ‘I understand very well; Americans don’t like silver, Americans are damn fools.’
The usual observations apply:
- No translation is given by the newspaper editor, because most folks understood CPE pretty well from actual experience with it, just as we’ve seen with Chinuk Wawa.
- Chinese speakers of CPE are represented as cussin’.
- And they’re used for comic relief, even when expressing genuine and solid viewpoints.