Episode 22.5 – Filipino and Filipino American Slang


Naks naman, pre!

Everyday, we hear a new term or phrase or acronym that we totes have to google. With the ever evolving ways of communicating, we can expect some of our words and phrases to be shortened and even more so, turn into widely-used slang.

Slang has multiple uses.  It can be used for inclusion.  People use slang to create and reinforce a people’s identity through a shared network of communication. On the other side of the coin, slang can be used for exclusion as well, essentially demarcating who’s in the know and who isn’t.  Slang can also be a way to rebel.  Many people use slang as coded or hidden words to conceal meanings from those in authority.  The use of slang among Filipinos and Filipino Americans is no different  We have used slang to include, exclude, and rebel in many forms.

On this TFAL mini episode, we discuss Filipino and Filipino American slang.  We explore Filipino “tadbalik,” the practice of inverting and reversing letters and syllables of words to give them new meanings, which is believed to have developed among Filipinos rebelling against the Spanish in the 19th century. It also gained popularity anti-martial law youth in the 1970s.  Likewise, we discuss slang among Filipino Americans.  Though fewer in number, Fil Ams have developed a unique identity through slang as well.

Listen through the embedded player below, download directly here or subscribe to us on iTunes here!

We only shared a few slang words, but do you know others??  If you want to share some Filipino or Filipino American slang that was hella popular where you grew up, feel free to email us or leave a comment below!

EDITOR’S NOTE: CON-ASS is Constituent Assembly, not Congressional Assembly. =)



3 comments on “Episode 22.5 – Filipino and Filipino American Slang

  1. Jules says:

    In my high school all kids played “big 2”. If you were born in Canada you would be called “bacon” aka Canadian Bacon.

  2. jordanchinotep says:

    That was funny! I recently stumbled upon this blog by a Filipino-American in NYC. She doesn’t seem to have any of these slangs in her video though.

  3. theresa chai says:

    Funny episode! Just started listening. Nice job guys!
    My dad used to say that the “talikbad” or “baliktad” words were used during war time (WWII) so that foreigners couldn’t understand what was being said. Don’t know if it’s true, but it made sense.

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