Unknown. Attested US 1901, presented as pidgin English by a Native American. Possibly a , comparable to no can do or chop-chop – if so, most likely US Chinatown origin, alternatively British Far East such as Hong Kong. Alternatively, native American origin, or native coinage as pidgin, particularly in cinematic portrayals of native Americans; compare language used by Tonto (1930s).
Modern English dictionary
Explore and search massive catalog of over 900,000 word meanings.
Word of the Day
Get a curated memorable word every day.
Level up your vocabulary by setting personal goals.