kaypoh

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Borrowed from Min Nan 雞婆鸡婆家婆 (ke-pô, “to be a busybody; meddlesome”).

Pronunciation[edit]

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Adjective[edit]

kaypoh (comparative more kaypoh, superlative most kaypoh)

  1. (Singapore, Malaysia, slang) Being a busybody, prying into the business of others.
    • 2003 December 13, Kaypoh, “SIA air rage passanger ordered to pay diversion cost”, in soc.culture.malaysia, Usenet[1]:
      Hey hey two different matters okay? Our SM already paid so why you so kaypoh?
    • 2007 March 26, Yeng Ai Chun, “A task for a ‘busybody’”, in The Star[2], Malaysia, OCLC 456245673, archived from the original on 2 January 2019:
      “My elder sister and mother don’t like me doing this. They would scold me and say I’m kaypoh.
    • 2007 October 6, William K. C. Kee, “My diva dog, Chai Chai”, in The Star[3], Malaysia, OCLC 456245673, archived from the original on 3 January 2019:
      The slightest noise eg. me opening an envelope, will have him running up to investigate, being very kaypoh (nosey) by nature.
    Synonym: nosy

Noun[edit]

kaypoh (plural kaypohs)

  1. (Singapore, Malaysia, slang) A busybody.
    • 2007 March 26, Yeng Ai Chun, “A task for a ‘busybody’”, in The Star[4], Malaysia, archived from the original on 2 January 2019:
      To get problems rectified, Lim who admits to being a “kaypoh” (busybody), would hassle the relevant authorities.

Verb[edit]

kaypoh (third-person singular simple present kaypohs, present participle kaypohing, simple past and past participle kaypohed)

  1. (Singapore, Malaysia, slang) To act as a busybody, to pry into the business of others.
    • 2000, Hwee Hwee Tan, Foreign Bodies, →ISBN, page 236:
      I thought through every angle, then Jesus decides to kaypoh and mess everything up.
    • 2014, Mānoa - Volume 26, page 38:
      Don't kaypoh so much. Locked door, not allowed to go inside, means don't go—understand?
    • 2016, Jason Erik Lundberg, The Epigram Books Collection of Best New Singaporean Short Stories, →ISBN:
      Puay Sim interrupted, clacking her chopsticks decisively over a slice of fried fish. “If you don't know them, don't kaypoh, Mum.

Further reading[edit]