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Cumshaw, A Bit of Military Slang

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A cumshaw artist is that clever, resourceful person in a military unit who always seems to manage to procure whatever’s needed. This term apparently derives from similar-sounding words in Mandarin, kan hsieh, or kam-si?, in the language spoken around the Chinese port of Xiamen, which British soldiers understood to mean “gratuity” or “bribe,” and adapted as cumshaw.

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