In this puzzle game I included a Cantonese expression 輸打贏要. and explained it as 'Very bad sportsmanship'

A user asked what it means in the comment section. I replied he can Google it, but the result is in Chinese and most importantly, the term is not explained very clearly.

I post this question so I or someone else can post a better answer than Baidu and in English

2 Answers 2


The Cantonese expression 輸打贏要 came from Mahjong lingo

'Play Mahjong' in Cantonese is "麻雀(麻将)'

  • 輸 means 'lose'

  • means 'continue to play when losing' (so when the game ends, he will have the chance to promise a gambling debt instead of paying the cash)

  • 贏 means 'win'

  • means 'demand payment after every winning hand' (so when the game ends, he will get the cash and not a promise of repaying a gambling debt)

As a former Mahjong player, 輸打贏要 to me refers to the behavior of refusing to pay up after every losing hand when he was losing, insist on continuing to play, until he was winning, and then comes the 贏要 part -- Now he is demanding payment right after every hand.

In short -- Refuse to end the game when losing; eager to end the game when winning'; pick and choose the rules to obey when it benefits you

It is similar to the English expression 'Keep moving the goalposts';

  • 2
    Quote:- "In short -- Refuse to end the game when losing; eager to end the game when winning'; pick and choose the rules to obey when it benefits you" You mean like what Trump is doing? Nov 23, 2020 at 8:18
  • @Wayne Cheah Yes, that's an actual news headline on a Cantonese paper describing Trump
    – Tang Ho
    Nov 23, 2020 at 8:19
  • lol basically Trump. In a way, you can translate it as a sore loser.
    – wada
    Nov 25, 2020 at 9:53

In my definition I would define it as having poor sportsmanship in the means of not taking responsibility or ownership.

It can be intentionally or unintentionally, but one way or the other it’s not fair to others and other people may suffer from such behaviour.

When things turn out to be favourable, a person may take all the credit and believe that he/she is the core reason of making it happen; however on the contrary, when things go south it will always seem to be of other people’s fault and he/she will not take the blame and feels that he/she is “unfortunate” of other people’s actions.

I have seen too many people with such behaviour; that being said, it can happen unintentionally as someone may just didn’t take the time to look into the big picture and got blindsighted. This doesn’t excuse a person for his/her actions though.

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