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Kiasu (驚輸; 惊输; kiaⁿ-su) is a Hokkien word that denotes a "grasping, selfish attitude" that arises from fear of missing out.[1]

Etymology and usage[]

Kiasu comes from the vernacular Chinese phrase Template:Zh, meaning 'fear of losing’. It is commonly used in Singapore, where a survey in 2015 ranked being kiasu as one of the top 10 Singaporean cultural values,[2] and the word 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".[3]

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.

See also[]

  • Abundance Mentality (antonym)
  • Fear of missing out



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  • Template:Cite book

External links[]