Years ago, as a young newspaper reporter, I found myself in a pickle with a powerful editor. So I turned to a veteran reporter — an old family friend — for advice on how to handle it.
“First off,” he asked, “who’s your Chinaman?”
It was the first time I’d heard this piece of Chicago slang, and struck me as weird, archaic and (as a half-Chinese lady) even borderline racist. But I’d learn that it means your sponsor or newsroom protector — often the guy who got you your job.