Ungrammatical phrase uttered by the racist stereotype of the slant-eyed, buck-toothed Chinese laundryman, refusing to relinquish freshly laundered shirts to a white man, who has innocently and inadvertantly lost his claim ticket.

This phrase and the picture it conjures illustrates the attitude of whites towards Chinese immigrants in late 19th century and early 20th century United States. To whites, Chinese were inscrutable, stubborn and ignorant of the white man's language and ways. Negative perceptions of Chinese people held by Americans persisted until President Richard Nixon's ground breaking visit to the People's Republic of China in 1971.

Typically, when people learn a new language, they layer their new vocabulary on top of the grammatical structure of their native language. No tickee no shirtee is a fine example of this linguistic phenomenon, for it is a transliteration into English of a perfectly grammatical and idiomatic Mandarin Chinese phrase: mei(2) pian(3) yi(1) mei(2) chun(3) yi(1); literally, no ticket, no shirt.

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