An expression used to describe Chinese miners. The term was in wide-spread use during the California gold rush, and was brought into British Columbia when the Forty-Niners came north. The word originated from the Celestial Empire of China.
A name used for Chinese miners, referring to the Celestial Empire. They worked hard, often in abandoned claims, and lived frugally. These miners bore the brunt of vicious discrimination, with many negative expressions originating on their account, i.e., "He doesn't have a Chinaman's chance."