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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, (chiefly) of men; 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 notesEdit

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

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