Chink in the Armor

  • jmichaelm

    Senior Member
    English - US
    Does anyone know the history background of Chink in the Armor?
    The non-slang definition of "chink" is a crack or small opening. The "chink in the armor" refers a small gap in a warrior's armor through which you could make an effective attack. I don't know when this expression originated but I believe it predates firearms.


    Senior Member
    Scotland - Scots and English
    A chink is an old fashioned word for a small opening. A chink in the armour therefore is a space in plate armour through which a sword or other weapon can be thrusted. 'Chinky' or 'chink' is a racial slur for a Chinese person, referring to the Oriental eye fold.


    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    It is not the phrase "chink in the armor" that is a racial slur, but the use of the word "chink" to refer to someone of Chinese ancestry. The fact that it is used inside a traditional phrase does not excuse it.