from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Any of several pidgins based on English and now spoken mostly on the Pacific islands and in West Africa.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An artificial dialect or jargon of corrupted English, with a few Chinese, Portuguese, and Malay words, arranged according to the Chinese idiom, used by Chinese and foreigners for colloquial convenience in their business transactions and other dealings in the treaty ports of China and elsewhere in the China seas; the lingua franca of the ports of China and the Far East.
Alteration of pigeon English, from Pidgin English pigeon, business, perhaps from a Chinese pronunciation of English business.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Pacific islands spoke, of course, in the Pidgin English they had picked up from natives and sailors; many of them spoke Malay or other local dialects.