Kowtow is a verb which describes a subserviant bow, with one's forehead to the floor, which is presented to someone of a higher rank to yourself. The word was coined in English when a British ambassador refuesd to 'kowtow' to the emperor, resulting in a souring of relations between the British Empire and China for a short period of time.

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Chinese Loanwords in English

Category: Languages

Total terms: 12

Other terms in this blossary


  • Manadono
  • (Bradford, United Kingdom)

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