must have killed a Chinaman at English (WD) Of Explained:
The Chinese have had a presence in Australia since colonial days, and some folk superstition attached to them. Good fortune was predicted on encountering a Chinese person as one engaged in a bet, and it was supposed that killing such an individual would lead to a disastrous run of bad luck.
Inter: head » en|verb|head=must have killed a Chinaman
Inter: Australia » offensive Inter: non-gloss definition » Used as a whimsical explanation for a run of bad luck.
1925, L. M. Newton, The Story of the Twelfth: A Record of the 12th Battalion, page 132
: It appeared as though someone in the Battalion must have killed a Chinaman, as the weather continued rough and stormy, with strong wind.
* Because of negative historical connotations, the term Inter: term » Chinaman|lang=en is no longer in appropriate use, and persists only in this expression or similar dated expressions.
Inter: seecite » s
* “must have killed a Chinaman”, entry in The New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English, Category: w - :Eric Partridge|Eric Partridge, page 393.
“I must have killed a Chinaman”, entry in A Dictionary of Catch Phrases: British and American, from the sixteenth century to the present day, Eric Partridge & Paul Beale, page 218.