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 sab&acaron;n), from Middle Chinese sam pa&tricolon;n´ : sam, three (ultimately from Proto-Sino-Tibetan *sum; akin to Tibetan gsum and 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).
From Mandarin èˆ¢èˆ¨ (shÄnbÇŽn)