old name of a region and French colony in southern Vietnam, from French Cochin-China, from Portuguese corruption of Ko-chen, which is of uncertain meaning. Properly a name of a division of the old kingdom of Annam, it was taken as the general name of the region. The China was added to distinguish it from the town and port of Cochin in southwest India, the name of which is Tamil, perhaps from koncham "little," in reference to the river there. Related: Cochin-Chinese.
"porcelain imported from China," 1650s, short for China-ware(1630s), China dishes (1570s), etc.; from the country name (see China). Used of porcelain and porcelain-ware generally. China-shop is attested from 1750.
Asian country name, 1550s (earliest European usage is in Italian, by Marco Polo), of uncertain origin, probably ultimately from Sanskrit Cina-s "the Chinese," perhaps from Qin dynasty, which ruled 3c. B.C.E. Latinized as Sina, hence Sinologist. The Chinese word for the country is Chung-kuo (Wade-Giles), Zhongguo (Pinyin).
before vowels Sin-, word-forming element meaning "Chinese," 1879, from Late Latin Sinæ (plural) "the Chinese," from Ptolemaic Greek Sinai, from Arabic Sin "China," probably from Chinese Ch'in, name of the fourth dynasty of China (see China).
"in Chinese fashion," French chiné, past participle of chiner "to color in Chinese fashion," from Chine "China" (see China).
city in China, literally "southern capital," from Chinese nan "south" + jing "capital."