from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- adj. Afraid to lose.
- n. A fear of losing used to describe a person who is overly competitive.
Kiasu parents impose strict study laws on their children in elementary school to ensure that they are at the top of their graduating class and score highest in their future A-levels. A kiasu eater will take too much food from a buffet for fear that there will be none left later.
If you say to somebody ‘don’t be so kiasu,’ it means ‘don’t get so caught up in the rat race.’
'You could call it kiasu that’s driving the exaggerated motion of markets right now,' Tou Chen Chang, HSBC’s head of Asia-Pacific head of investment banking, said at a Singapore Management University conference yesterday.
'Kiasu' comes from Hokkein, a Chinese dialect. Mr. Kiasu is a popular Singaporean cartoon character who depicts many examples of kiasu behavior.