Weird Observation – Pinoy Slang

I don’t know if it’s because I don’t watch local TV but the new Pinoy terms confuses the hell out of me. And it’s not I’m not trying to understand it, but in my opinion, our language has just evolved into this self-mutilating and aggressively progressing language that I can no longer recognize.

I mean if it wasn’t enough that we love using brand names for generic items like Coke for soda, Colgate for toothpaste, Pampers for diapers, Safeguard for soap, Xerox for photocopiers. Or that we love to put words in reverse, sigarilyo becomes yosi. We have also have jejemons who need to take a spelling and grammar lesson from a 1st grade student, we seemed to have developed words that confused even us Pinoys. And it’s not even our different terms for things like take out instead of to go, or nail cutters instead of nail clippers, we really have established a language that would confuse somebody.

So I tried to do an experiment, I went online to look for Pinoy slang and tried to figure out the definition of some terms before I actually searched for what it really meant. Here’s what happened:

1. Pagoda tragedy – The first thing that came into my mind was a disaster or someone drowning, hence the reference to the event. But turns out, this meant tired. Pagoda meaning pagod.

2. Cereal – I thought breakfast, kind of like the brand name for the generic thing but it actually meant man boobs and I have no idea how it got to man boobs. I have no reference to how and why this meant that.

3. Haribashni – I guessed this to be someone rich because of the first two syllables is hari = king. But the word meant bad smell, this too I have no idea how this was derived.

4. Ligwak – This I guessed to be defeat which wasn’t so far off from its true meaning which is to eliminate.

5. Swardspeak – I thought this was some kind of talk that people that belonged to this “sward” group which I also don’t know who. But the meaning of this term is “the definition”.

Since I got 1 out of 5, I guess this pretty much shows that a lot of these words are just down right unrecognizable. I’m not sure if we find this cool or whatever but this language revolution has really got me thinking, shouldn’t words be a way to communicate things clearly, not a means to complicate matters more?

Terms were taken from


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