Tag Archives: Mandarin

The Origins of Long Time No See

I never wondered about the origins of the phrase, “long time no see,” and have never stopped to think if it even makes sense in English because it’s such an oft-spoken abbreviated expression for “it’s been such a long time since I’ve seen you.”

Well, apparently, we have the British navy to thank for this one…and by the way, it comes from a Chinese phrase that literally means, “long time no see.”


Learn the etymological story behind other words like “ketchup,” “chow,” “kowtow,” “add oil,” “Shih Tzu,” “paper tiger,” “brainwash,” and “lose face.”

There’s also a sponsor plug for Rosetta Stone.

Pic cred: YT screengrab