any of various small boats used in China and Japan, usually propelled with a scull from the stern, and often having a sail and a small cabin formed of mats
Origin of sampanCantonese sam-pan from sam, three + pan, plank
A flatbottom Asian skiff usually propelled by two oars.
Origin of sampanCantonese saam1 baan2 ( akin to Mandarin sāb&acaron;n ) from Middle Chinese sam pa&tricolon;n´ sam three ( ultimately from Proto-Sino-Tibetan sum ) ( akin to Tibetan gsum ) (Burmese sûm ) pa&tricolon;n´ board (since the hulls of sampans were originally constructed from three planks of wood, two for the sides and one for the bottom) ; see teppanyaki.
From Mandarin èˆ¢èˆ¨ (shÄnbÇŽn)