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Alternative forms[edit]


From an irregular romanization of Cantonese 鬼佬 (gwai2-lou2), from (gwai2, ghost) + (lou2, guy, fucker)


gweilo (plural gweilos or gweilo)

  1. (colloquial, ethnic slur) A white person in China, (particularly) a man; a ‘foreign devil’.
    • 1977, John Le Carré, The Honourable Schoolboy, Folio Society 2010, p. 179:
      She had ruffled the bed and laid a frilly nightdress on the floor because so far as the block was concerned Phoebe was the half-kwailo bastard who whored with the fat foreign devil.

Usage notes[edit]

Some expatriates in Hong Kong now use gweilo to jokingly refer to themselves.

Related terms[edit]