A Boxer Rebellion
pamphlet, circa 1899, that refers to foreigners as Guizi
(鬼子) or Yang Guizi
Anti-Japanese demonstrators in Taiwan hoist signs with "Guizi! Get out" (鬼子! 快滾) following an escalation in the Senkaku Islands dispute
Guizi (Chinese: 鬼子; pinyin: guǐzi) is a common Chinese slang term for foreigners, and has a long history of being used as a racially depreciating insult.
Historically, Chinese people had the image of its borders continuously breached by "uncivilized tribes" given to mayhem and destruction. Within the southern parts of China, the term Gwai lo was used. In Northern parts of China, the term (Western) ocean ghost ((西)洋 鬼子 (Xi) Yang Guizi) was used, Europe being West of China.
The term gui (鬼) in guizi (鬼子) is an adjective that can be used to express hate and deprecation, an example being the local's expression of their hatred towards the Japanese during their occupation of China in WWII with the same gui (鬼). It conveys a general bad and negative feeling and is a somewhat obsolete and archaic/old-fashioned term nowadays and other more modern terms have largely replaced gui (鬼) for similarly negative meanings.
The character gui (鬼) itself can have negative connotations, even without the word si (死), for example when it was attached to the Westerners in the term Westerners Yang Guizi (洋鬼子) during Boxer rebellion, Japanese military in the term devil soldiers "Guizi Bing" (鬼子兵) during the Second Sino-Japanese War and the Korean military with the term Second Devil "Er Guizi" (二鬼子). However, the same term can also be applied derogatorily to any foreign military which was an enemy to China. In Taiwan, anti-Japanese demonstrators hoisted signs with "Guizi! Get out (鬼子! 快滾)" during the 2012 China anti-Japanese demonstrations.
Related terms 
Guizi can be used to refer to either Japanese (Chinese: 日本鬼子; pinyin: rìběn guǐzi; literally "Japanese devil", or Chinese: 東洋鬼子; pinyin: dōngyáng guǐzi; literally "east ocean devil"), Koreans (Chinese: 二鬼子; pinyin: èr guǐzi; literally "second devils") or Westerners (Chinese: 洋鬼子; pinyin: yáng guǐzi; literally "Westernern devil, (west) ocean devil") or Chinese: 西洋鬼子; pinyin: xiyáng guǐzi; literally "west ocean devil"). Laowai (老外 lǎowài "old foreigner" or "old outsider") is a word usually used for Westerners, and is a less pejorative term in Mandarin than guizi. Also, cf. Ang Mo (Chinese: 紅毛; pinyin: hóng máo; POJ: âng-mo) meaning 'red hair' (Hokkien). In 2010 Japanese internet users on 2channel created the fictional moe anthropomorphism character Hinomoto Oniko (日本鬼子) which refers to the ethnic term, with Hinomoto Oniko being the Japanese kun'yomi reading of the kanji "日本鬼子".
See also 
External links 
- The dictionary definition of guizi at Wiktionary