Coolie meaning

ko͝o'lē
In India, China, etc., an unskilled native laborer.
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An unskilled Asian laborer.
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Any person doing hard or menial work for little pay.
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(offensive, slang) An unskilled Asian worker, usually of Chinese or Indian descent; a labourer; a porter. Coolies were frequently transported to other countries in the 19th and early 20th centuries as indentured labourers.
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(offensive, slang, Trinidad, West Indies, Guyana and parts of Africa) A person of Indian descent.
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Origin of coolie

  • Hindi qulī laborer perhaps ultimately from Kulī a tribe in Gujarat
    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
  • From Hindustani क़ुली / قلی (qulī, “hired laborer, slave”), from Turkish köle. Other forms occur in Bengali kuli and Tamil kuli, "daily hire." The Mandarin word 苦力 (kǔlì), meaning "to exert one's abilities; heavy labour work" in Classical Chinese, may have been influenced by cognates of the above Hindi word in other languages and may have further influenced English.
    From Wiktionary