Chinese auction

Gregory {Greg} Downing gd2 at IS2.NYU.EDU
Mon Sep 20 21:58:37 UTC 1999

At 05:51 PM 9/20/99 +0000, mcalvert at wrote:
>Does anyone know the provenance of the term "Chinese auction"? It's a
>common term for auctions at town fairs etc. in central PA.
>Michael Calvert
>Press Enterprise
>Bloomsburg, PA

This is an interesting coincidence. Just last Friday I happened to notice an
ad for a "Chinese auction" being held by an A.M.E. church in Staten Island,
NY. I tried OED2, DARE, and RHHDAS under "Chinese auction" and came up with
nothing. RHHDAS labels practically every phrase consisting of "Chinese
[noun]" as "usu. considered offensive." So I was a little leery to ask.

Greg Downing/NYU, at greg.downing at or gd2 at

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