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Rubber Shoes and Other Anomalies

Posted on May 3, 2014 by under Tagalog, Travel.    

If someone told you to wear rubber shoes, what shoes would you put on?

If you go for your Crocs like Brian you’re perfectly normal. If you grab your sneakers, you might just be a Filipino. We Filipinos pride ourselves with our grasp of the English language but there are some words that we use differently. It’s not really wrong or right, it’s just a cultural thing.

If you’re planning on traveling to the Philippines anytime soon, here are some words to learn. These are not Tagalog words, mind you. These are English words that are prevalent in Taglish. They’re important to learn because they don’t quite mean the same thing that we’re used to here in the US.

AIRCON = Air conditioner
BALLPEN = Can refer to a pen or any writing tool
BIG TIME = Descriptive word for someone who is rich, famous, or both
BISCUIT = Can refer to a cookie or a cracker
BLOWOUT = To throw a party or buy everyone dinner
BOLD = Nude
BRING HOME or TAKE HOME = Food that you take home kind of like a doggy bag (This is more common for Bisaya people who take home food from the fiesta.)
CALLING CARD = Business card
CANTEEN = Cafeteria
CARNAPPER = Car thief
CHANCING = To cop a feel or other sexual advance
CIVILIAN = Casual clothes
COMBO = Musical band
COMFORT ROOM = Bathroom or restroom
COMMUTER = Someone who uses public transportation
COUPON BOND or BOND PAPER = Usually an 8 by 11 sheet of white copy paper
COWBOY = Casual or relaxed
DIALECT = Regional language (Examples include Ilocano, Cebuano, Waray-Waray, Bicolano, Kapampangan, Aklanon, etc. There are a lot of them.)
DIRTY ICE CREAM = Ice scream sold by street vendors
DIRTY KITCHEN = Separate kitchen that helpers use, where the cooking really happens
DISCO = Dance club
DORMMATE = Someone who stays in the same dormitory
DRAMA = Refers to being emotional or someone who becomes emotional
DUSTER = Picture a mumu
EAT ALL YOU CAN = All you can eat
ENTERTAIN = Assist or help or attend to
FACE-OUT = Discontinued or no longer manufactured; obsolete technology that can no longer be obtained
FEELING = Trying to act or be something that you’re not
FILL OUT = Complete an application or document
FIVE-SIX = Borrowing or lending money at 20% interest
FOR A WHILE = Just a moment
GAME = Depending on whether it’s phrased as a question or not means are you ready or I’m ready or let’s go
GETS = Understand or understood
GIMMICK = Night out with friends
GREEN MINDED = Dirty minded or full of sexual innuendo
HAND CARRY = Carry-on luggage
HIGH BLOOD = Someone who is quick-tempered or easily angered
HOLDUPPER = Mugger or stickup man
HOSTESS = Female waiter but could also be used to refer to prostitutes
HYPER = High string
ICE DROP = Popsicle
JEEPNEY = Public transportation made from old US military jeeps
JINGLE = To pee/urinate
JUNK SHOP = Where you get scrap or recycled materials like a junkyard
KIDNAP = Abduct (This term applies to anyone who is abducted, not just children.)
KJ = Killjoy or party popper
LIVE-IN = Co-habitate or an unmarried couple living together
LOAD = Prepaid credits on a mobile phone
MALICIOUS = Sexually perverted speech or actions
MANIAC = Pervert
METRO AIDE = Public street cleaners
MOTEL = Short-term hotels paid at an hourly rate used mainly for sex
MOTOR = Can refer to a motorcycle or moped or scooter
NAPKIN = Can be a cloth napkin, paper napkin, or maxi pad
NIGHTCLUB = Strip club (Be careful what you ask for unless you are really looking for a strip club. If you are looking for a dance club, just ask for a disco or club or dance club.)
OA = Overacting or being overly dramatic
PARLOR = A hair or beauty salon
POLO = Dress shirt
POLO SHIRT = A golf or tennis shirt or polo
PROFESSIONAL = To be proficient or skillful
REF = Fridge or refrigerator
REMEMBRANCE = A souvenir or memento
ROTUNDA = A rotary intersection or traffic circle
RUBBER SHOES = Running shoes, tennis shoes, cross trainers, or any other variety of sneakers
RUGBY = Rubber cement
SERVICE ROAD = A frontage road running parallel to a highway or freeway
SIDECAR = A public vehicle for hire consisting of a bicycle and an attached passenger side car
SLANG = Refers to strong foreign accents or pronunciation
SLIPPERS = Sandals or flip-flops
SOFTDRINK = Soda pop
SOUNDS = Refers to music specially when using earphones
SPONSOR = A high school or college honorary cadet colonel
SQUATTERS AREA = Refers to a shanty town
STEP-IN = Ladies’ sandals minus the strap; can also refer to slippers
STOLEN SHOT = Refers to a candid photo
TISSUE = Can refer to either a bathroom tissue/toilet paper or paper napkin
TOGA = Commencement or graduation gown
TOPDOWN = A convertible automobile
TRAFFIC = Implies traffic jam or heavy traffic
TRICYCLE = A public vehicle for hire consisting of a motorcycle and an attached passenger sidecar
TRYING HARD = An unsuccessful social climber or someone perceived to be so
VULCANIZING SHOP = An automobile or truck tire repair shop
WET MARKET = Refers to a street market

These are just a few. There are so many more. We also have a lot of generalized brands that are now used in place of the actual words such as colgate, xerox, coke, pentel pen, snopake, etc. All of these are helpful to know when traveling to the Philippines. Best of luck and safe travels!

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