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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Chinky \Chink"y\ (ch[i^][ng]k"[y^]), a. Full of chinks or fissures; gaping; opening in narrow clefts.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"full of chinks," 1640s, from chink (n.1) + -y (2). As a noun by 1879, variant of chink (n.2), derogatory term for "Chinese person;" chiefly British.


a. 1 Full of chinks, laden with small cracks or openings. 2 (context derogatory offensive English) Full of Chinese people. 3 (context derogatory offensive English) Possessing attributes of, or similar to, a chink or Chinese person, style, or culture. n. 1 (context British slang possibly offensive English) A Chinese takeaway restaurant. 2 (context British slang possibly offensive English) A meal of Chinese food. 3 (context offensive English) A Chinese person.


In the United Kingdom, chinky (or chinky chonky, in parts of northern England known as a chinkies, always in the plural) is a slang name for a Chinese takeaway restaurant or the meal that one buys from such a restaurant. However, along with 'chink', they are named among TV's Most offensive words.

After several campaigns by the Scottish Executive, more people in Scotland now acknowledge that this name is indirectly racist. However, the Broadcasting Standards Commission held in 2002, after a complaint about the BBC One programme The Vicar of Dibley, that when used as the name of a type of restaurant or meal, rather than as an adjective applied to a person or group of people, the word carries no racist connotation.

In a document commissioned by OFCOM titled "Language and Sexual Imagery in Broadcasting: A Contextual Investigation" their definition of Chink was "... a term of racial offence/abuse. However, this is polarising. Older and mainly white groups tend to think this is not usually used in an abusive way—e.g., let's go to the Chinky—which is not seen as offensive; younger groups and those from ethnic minorities feel this could be as insulting as ' paki' or ' nigger'."

However, a year earlier, the Commission's counterpart, the Radio Authority, apologised for the offence caused by an incident where a DJ on Heart 106.2 used the term. Ofcom, the successor organisation of the two, classifies it as a derivative of the racist term "chink" but notes that the degree to which the term is deemed offensive varies according to age or ethnic origin of the listener.

The term gained renewed attention in 2014 after it a recording emerged of UKIP candidate Kerry Smith referring to a woman of Chinese background as a "chinky bird". UKIP leader Nigel Farage defended Smith, saying that "a lot of people" would use the term to refer to Chinese food.

Usage examples of "chinky".

Matthew said, snatching his eyes from Queeny's half-revealed breasts so quickly that he inadvertently settled them on Frenchy's—oops—then away quickly to her face, but he didn't want her to think he was staring at the rumpled scar that tugged her right eye toward the corner of her mouth, so he lowered his eyes to her breasts again—oops—then glanced quickly over at Chinky, whose breasts (thank God) were small and didn't bulge out of her loose wrap.

While Jeff Calder stumped around behind the bar, making sure everything would be swift to hand when the thirsty horde came crashing in, the girls grimly downed what Frenchy had come to call their "4-Bs," beans, bacon, biscuits, and black coffee, responding to Matthew's buoyant greetings with only grunts or nods or, in the case of Chinky, a quick, fugitive smile.

He was still wrestling her around when Lieder brought the hymn to an end with a theatrical gesture and turned to bow, his arms spread wide as he harvested the applause to which everyone contributed fulsomely, except Frenchy and Delanny, who exchanged hooded glances, and Chinky, who didn't understand what was going on.

Murphy's wig and with this trophy he crowned Bobby-My-Boy, who let it remain there, cocked forward over one eye, as he continued trying to force whiskey on Chinky, but she turned her face from side to side to avoid drinking from the glass that clicked against her teeth.

Without raising her eyes, Chinky answered in a voice so low that she was obliged to repeat twice that she didn't like whiskey.

Lieder had taken that Swede girl upstairs more than an hour ago, and Bobby-My-Boy was sitting in the corner with Chinky, making her play with his pecker.

It had never crossed his mind that Chinky might get involved, and there was no way he could have told her that he hadn't loaded the gun.

By stretching his neck a little more, Coots could see the backs of Bobby-My-Boy and Tiny sitting at a table on either side of Chinky, each with a hand in her lap.

The clients chose among Queeny, Chinky, and Goldy, this last being the most popular.

Poor Chinky, one of nature's victims, condemned to be used and discarded by a long parade of faceless, mean-hearted strangers.

I'm afraid the best life I could reasonably project for Chinky would be a short one.

But the wraith, with its chinky Coke and theories of post-mortem speed, had been able to interface with Gately without aid of speech or gesture or Bic, was why even out of his mind Gately had had to admit to himself it must have been a delusion, a fever-dream.

Why did he not rise, and with him re-yard them, then gloatingly ask him where was the chinky crow by day, or sneaking dingo by night, that was any match for them, and then demand from his four-footed trusty mate the usual straightforward answer?