Sea turtle

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Sun Nov 20 06:53:40 UTC 2011

Very nice finds, particularly the third.

Running the second item through is a slight confirmation of your interpretation.

That reminded me of kibei (帰米). I am somewhat surprised to not see it in the OED. That is a word used to describe children sent back to Japan to be educated. They were heavily discriminated against/made fun of by others in the Japanese immigrant/Japanese-American community.

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

On Nov 19, 2011, at 10:45 PM, Douglas G. Wilson wrote:

> 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.

The American Dialect Society -

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