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Etymology and usage
Kiasu comes from the vernacular Chinese phrase Chinese: 怕輸, meaning 'fear of losing’. It is commonly used in Singapore and has been introduced into the English language by speakers of colloquial Singaporean English. It is often used to refer to anxious, selfish attitude arising from a fear of "missing out" or "losing out".
Kiasu is similar in etymology to kiasi (literally, fear of death); both terms are used to describe similar attitudes. Kiasu or kiasuism means taking extreme measures to achieve success, whereas kiasi or kiasiism means to taking extreme, risk-avoidant measures.
- "Definition of kiasu in English". Oxford Dictionaries.
- "Where the word kiasu came from and how it spread". South China Morning Post.
- Leo, David (1995). Kiasu, Kiasi: You Think What?. ISBN 981-204-626-7.
- See, Ee Lin (2005). My Kiasu Teenage Life in Singapore. ISBN 981-05-3016-1.
|Look up kiasu in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.|