17 July 2007

On Chopsticks and Wikis

Hi Folks,
Not sure if this is wholly on topic, but it may be of related interest.
The term 'wiki' as you may know derives from the Hawaiian word for 'quick' and the Hawaiian Honolulu Airport bus called the 'wiki wiki' bus. However this is hardly a novel use of 'quick' as those of you in the States of Chinese descent will know. After the railroads were constructed and the gold dug, the early Chinese worked as cooks. You could imagine them not knowing English and the cowboys not knowing Chinese - so when the food was ready, the Chinese would call out "chop chop" and the folks would hear that the food was ready ; "food food" they thought. And those two sticks used by the Chinese to cook with - rather than call them 'food-sticks' - became the misnomer 'chopsticks'. I still remember my working days when the factory foreman would yell at us "chop chop" meaning "hurry up" or "quick quick !"

This is unrelated to the 'chopshop' where I bought my car ...
It is early morning here, so bear with me ;-)
All Best Wishes

No comments: