"old China hand"

Billionbridges.com translation at BILLIONBRIDGES.COM
Sat May 11 06:08:42 UTC 2002

Would anyone happen to know where and when the
phrase "old <insert country> hand" came into being,
as in "old China hand"? (apologies if this is well-documented
already - I searched ADS-L archives and didn't find
mention of it.)

Is/was someone who is/was good at fixing cars ever
called an "old car hand"?

The phrase seems to have fallen out of favour these
days, perhaps because it retains a patina of the
colonial age and thus PC folks find it patronizing,
but I still see it cropping up now and then.

A cursory search shows that "old China hand" is much
more common in Googleland than, say, "old Japan hand"
or even "old Brazil hand".

Don Rogalski and Toni Kuo
"A Billion Bridges"
Chinese<>English Translation Services
Tel: 905-308-9389
Fax: 801-881-0914 (24 hrs)
Web: www.billionbridges.com
Email: translation at billionbridges.com

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