Adam wrote:

> >Hrrmm.  I haven't heard an equivilant of *that* one here in Taiwan.
> >Yanggueizi, heard it and responded with Taiwangueizi.  Dabizi, heard it
> >responded with guangbizi.  Others very rarely.  Taiwanese don't seem to
> >the enormous vocabulary of impolite terms for Westerners that Cantonese
> >but then Taiwan hasn't had Western colonizers since the Dutch left 300
> >ago.

"Yang2gui3zi", "foreign devil", is really not nice in my book, and I doubt
any Chinese would try to pass that off as "endearing". It has wartime
overtones for me, I never heard it spoken (what was said when I was out of
earshot is another matter :) ), and that you have is a mite alarming.
That you respond in kind must make you quite popular ;)

Actually, having thought about it, I think it's "gaobizi". And surely you
must have heard the Taiwanese "a1dok4a2", which is roughly the same thing.
"Dok4" is the Mandarin character "zhuo2", "to peck". Hence, "zhuo2mu4niao3"
is "a woodpecker". In Taiwanese, the meaning has expanded to include "nose"
(cf. "beak" in English). So, "a1dok4a2" is "big beak", "Herbie the Schnoz".
If you haven't heard it yet, maybe this post will be the seminal moment,
where when you learn a new word, you hear it seventy times the next day.