Sea turtle

Douglas G. Wilson douglas at NB.NET
Sun Nov 20 06:45:57 UTC 2011

Apparently "haigui" 海龜 or 海龟 = "sea turtle" is homonymous with
"haigui" 海歸 or 海归 which is an abbreviation of "haiwai guilai" 海外歸
来 or 海外归来 = "returning from overseas" or so ... that is, if I'm
understanding this stuff properly.

Here are a few links:

Whether the collocation "sea turtle" is naturally used in this sense in
English ... even in the English spoken by Chinese (in China or overseas)
... I don't know. Generally I see it in quotes, as a gloss or calque.

As shown in the links above there are other expressions apparently
modeled on "haigui", such as "haidai" ("kelp") apparently referring to a
returnee to the PRC waiting for a job ... again, if I'm not mistaken.

-- Doug Wilson

The American Dialect Society -

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