Sacramento CPE: A California scandal

As usual, no translation is given for a newspaper quotation of West Coast Chinese Pidgin English.

Folks were familiar with this “other pidgin” of our region, and the following pair of short quotes were easy enough to understand in the context of a longish article telling about an interracial marriage.

I’ll note that this isn’t eyewitness reporting. It’s from a White medical doctor’s telling of the events.

you sabee him 01

You sabee [know] him,” pointing to the sick woman, “no likee stay in Stockton, an’ my bluder he livee Modesto, allee same [so] we catchee lagon [wagon], come here pletty quick, but not quick enough, ‘cos you sabee baby, him born on load.” and he rushed to the bedside of his wife, wbo was moaning pitifully.

you sabee him 02

“John, what did you tell these people that we were married last night for?” and she looked as if she was going to eat her lord and master up.

Me no sabbee. Him you me leave home yesterday, allee same preacher tell us leave home last winter, but no good marry till you come my house, sabbee?” and he commenced talking to the baby.

— from the Seattle (WA) Daily Post-Intelligencer of September 28, 1884, page 4, column 1

What do you think?