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Do You Know Your Pinoy Slang? - go!
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Do You Know Your Pinoy Slang?

Pinoy ka ba talaga kung hindi mo alam ang Thrilla in Manila?

There are several things that make Filipinos truly Pinoy. There’s the food we cook (and consequently eat), the furniture we have, the drinks we drink and the words we say. After all, nothing quite captures a culture like language does.

In the same way that the French have excusez moi and the Japanese have kawai, we have our own dictionary chock-full of Pinoy slang and terms that sets us apart from the rest of the world’s population.

Now the question is: Have you been reading up? Or better yet, have you been living it?

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Actually a nickname for a famous hairstylist during the 1970s, Budji Layug.

Example: Uy, ang ganda ah! Nakapag Budjiwara ka yata?


A joker; the clown of the group.

Example: Nakakainlove ang mga taong kenkoy!

Party Line

An old telephone system where several phone subscribers were connected to the same land line.

Example: Hindi na kaya ng kabataan ngayon yung party line dati. Masyadong pribado mga pinaguusapan.

Suntok Sa Buwan

Refers to something that’s almost impossible or—at the very least—something difficult to achieve.

Example: Alam ko na suntok sa buwan lang toh, pero baka magustuhan din naman niya ako.


A favorite local chocolate brand.

Example: Regalo? Bigyan mo nalang ng Goya!


Simply put: none.

Example: Invite ka ng invite, alaws naman laman ng wallet mo!


An insult meaning loser.

Example: Olats ka raw sabi ng daddy ko.


Money, whether you have it or not.

Example: Makakahiram kaya ako ng datung?

Up Here

Not a callout, but an invitation for a high five.

Example: Nakapasa ka sa klase? Aba, up here, pare!


A warning; beware.

Example: Sige, punta ka dun… Pero kwidaw ah.


Loosely derived from pare, repapips basically means a friend, a buddy or—as the kids now say it—a bro.

Example: Uy, repapips! Kamusta ka na?


An inverted “tigas,” astig can mean anything from cool to tough and unafraid. And while it’s usually meant to describe a person, it can also be used to describe a movie, a place or an experience.

Example: Nakita mo ba yung Eto na! Musikal nAPO? Sobrang astig.


Simply put: heavy.

Example: Hebigat ng problema mo.


For one reason or another, Pinoy slang basically means inverting words half the time. Dehins is an inverted hindi, but while we swap the syllables, the meaning stays the same: No.

Example: Dehins ako makakasama; hindi ako pinayagan ni mama.


If you have the lungs for it, walastik is the same as saying walang plastic. In other words, genuine, excellent and free of shallowness.

Example: Nakita mo ba yung bagong pelikula ni Lav Diaz? Walastik siya.

Thrilla in Manila

In 1975, Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier battled at the Araneta Coliseum for the third and final time, with the former winning via technical knockout. The term thrilla in Manila is derived from Ali saying that he would be a "killa and a thrilla and a chilla, when I get that gorilla in Manila."

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Short for “short time,” syota was the “significant other” of the 70s. It was gender-neutral and didn’t actually embody the best message of commitment, but everyone knows what it meant: This one’s taken.

Example: May syota ka na ba, anak?


A transposed version of malabo, bomalabs means the exact same thing.

Example: Sobrang bomalabs yung sinabi ni Bb. Reyes.

Love Bus

It doesn’t really mean anything, but the Love Bus was a really big thing back in the 70s. It was the first line of public buses with air conditioning and the fare was at a fixed price too. Not to mention, people would wait at the designated stops instead of hailing down or alighting a vehicle wherever they please. 


Image via Flickr


Still widely used to this day, erpat simply means father and ermat means mother. 

Example: Tanungin mo naman sa erpats/ermats mo kung pwede hiramin kotse niya.

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Did you do well or do you need to read up a little more on your Pinoy slang? Whether you got an A+ or a passable C, there is still room to learn —not to mention the perfect venue to do all this learning.

On the weekends between February 2 to March 17, 2019, Globe Live and 9Works Theatrical are bringing you Eto na! Musikal nAPO!, an original Pinoy musical featuring the songs of the beloved APO Hiking Society—now on its second run. Get your tickets now via TicketWorld.

Eto Na! Musikal nAPO! is a production of Globe Live and 9Works Theatrical. Co-presented by FoxLife. Special thanks to our media partners CNN Philippines and United Neon; official makeup partner, Maquillage; official venue partner, BGC Arts Center and event partners Epson Philippines and Power Mac Center.

Words Adie Pieraz

Art Alex Lara

Vibe check! How does this make you feel?

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