Talk:Philippine English

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Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment[edit]

Sciences humaines.svg This article is or was the subject of a Wiki Education Foundation-supported course assignment. Further details are available on the course page. Student editor(s): Jendoss9. Peer reviewers: Jake9101.

Above undated message substituted from assignment by PrimeBOT (talk) 06:32, 17 January 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]


In the Philippines, do they use the American spelling or the British spelling (i.e. color or colour)? I ask because the Philippines was a US territory, and the reason English is one of the country's official languages. Yet, due to close proximity to Australia, they may use the British spelling. Anyone know? (talk) 15:30, 9 April 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, spelling is American. Virtually no incidence of British/British Commonwealth colloqualisms as well. The Philippines was a US commonwealth for about 50 years immediately after about 300 years of Spanish colonization. Despite being in close proximity to British colonies, they have never penetrated much into Filipino English. (The Spanish and the British not being exactly friends during the period may have also contributed to that)--ObsidinSoul 14:10, 9 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Correct. Philippine English follows the American standard. We Filipinos say "color", not "colour". We say "center" not "centre". We say "license", not "licence". We say "organize", not "organise". Also, if you tell a Filipino that "the lorry needs petrol", he would probably not understand you. Instead, you need to say "the truck needs gasoline". Moreover, if you listen to Filipino FM radio stations, you'll hear the Filipino radio announcers speaking with an American accent. -- JargonZZ (talk) 05:37, 11 August 2014 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You can see so many instances of BE spelling and some word usage; colour, labour, centre, theatre, cinema, ground floor as the first floor, pronunciation of "advertisement", car park, flyover, high street, cheque, Gents, grey, biscuit and many more while American English spelling and word usage are also very common at the same time. It means English in the Philippines is a mixture of BE, AE and many locally-made new English looking terms such as "Comfort room". And their "accent" is very far from "American". Radio narrations are not representing accent of majority of Filipino.— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 06:55, August 20, 2019 (UTC)
The person above is correct. Philippine English is a mixture of Philippine English, Australian English, American English, and English English (a.k.a. British English). This was taught in schools in the 1980s and 1990s, and there were places, names, print materials, with non-American spellings. The thing with Philippine English is it took the best of Australian, American, and British English variants, and added its own. In cases where there are different spellings, it chose not to invalidate any, and let Philippine English users decide which one they prefer to use. We use candies (American) and sweets (British); Excellent (British) and Ace (Australian); center (American) and centre (Australian, British); traveled (American) and travelled (Australian, British); learned (American) and learnt (Australian, British); Aussie (Australian) and Australian (American); football and soccer means the same thing, the American football is called American football; oldies (Australian) and parents (British); petrol (British) and gas (American).
More examples. We use sneakers (British) but not trainers (American). We use french fries, but not chips (American). Other examples are: underwear (British) and undies (Australian) but not underpants (American). Defence (British) and defense (American) are both valid. You'll also see both analyse (British) and analyze (American). There are also words that exist in Australian, British, or American English, but has a different meaning in Philippine English. Sidewalk (American) is the pavement along the side of streets; which is called pavement in British English and footpath/footway in Australian English. In the Philippines, we use sidewalk as is, but pavement is understood as a road pavement, while footpath/footway is understood as a pedestrian walkway. Speaking of walkway, it is yet another word in Philippine English. And that's just the spelling and word meanings. There are also grammar rules in Philippine English that came from Australian, British, and American, and our own of course. And then pronunciations and intonations. Philippine English is the clearest and most neutral. —ᜌᜓᜃᜒ (Yuki|스노|雪亮) (talk | Contribs) 00:16, 16 December 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Popular Culture (Expert Needed)[edit]

I think the section on vocabulary needs expert review - and that's because its contents are representative of popular culture in the Philippines. This may or may not necessarily be representative of the full range of the Philippine population and how they use english per se. (talk) 12:37, 4 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I know that there are "Manglish" and "Singlish". Why don't we create a new term for Philippine English?

It is called "Taglish" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:53, 1 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think "Philippingish" is a more appropriate term than "Philippine English". someone

You know how I think of you? You're funny! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:55, 5 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Yes, there's Manglish, and there's Singlish. There's also Taglish and Englog used in the Philippines. But there's no Philippinglish. Since no one calls it by that name, I am taking it out. The purpose of Wikipedia is to be encyclopedic, and not create new terms that are not used in any community.

--Wng 01:09, May 16, 2005 (UTC)

Like in other countries (Espanyol instead of Castellano, Chinese instead of Putonghua etc.. ) , President Quezon and the national committee of linguistics named the language Filipino instead Tagalog to reflect the name of the country and for fear of repurcussions from the other language groups, escpecially the Cebuanos. But it is really based on Tagalog. And for the Philippine English, nobody really says Philippinglish, neither in the US or the Philippines. Could this be a Japanese English word? --Jondel 01:33, 16 May 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

3rd largest English speaking nation[edit]

I placed the line 'The Philippines is said to be the third largest English speaking nation.' e.g. But how about India, Canada ? Are there issues of being 'native speakers', first language speakers, etc.? Is this really true?--Jondel 03:44, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I removed that line altogether. It will be hard to support that with documentation, esp. the turn of phrase "is said to be...". --Ronaldo Guevara 04:50, 6 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I didn't realize someone had added "fourth largest English speaking country in the world" until I noticed that someone edited it to say "third largest English-speaking country in the world". I removed that line again since no source was cited. --Edward Sandstig 12:50, 17 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
English is taught at the primary level. So assuming the 80+ million population, and about half speaks basic English, that's 40+ million, well over Canada's 32 million population. Dunno about India though. --Howard the Duck 14:10, 17 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But English can but is not spoken by the mainstream on a regular basis is it?--Jondel 02:49, 18 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
If that is the basis, then no, but if the basis is if they can speak, then yes. I saw a foreigner asking for directions and the guy at the corner responded in English, although in English carabao. --Howard the Duck 03:00, 18 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Carabao English is alright. With media like television this can be improved. Filipinos in Saudi Arabia, Spain, Japan and other countries are proud to speak English. In many non-English countries, English subtitles are needed to comprehend movies and media. Filipinos don't need subtitles. The problem is there is peer pressure to not speak English. It is (mis)interpreted as a language for the elite, rich which is detrimental for progress and growth. No one should be (mis)interpreted as being pretentious for speaking English. --Jondel 04:09, 18 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Which is quite sad, given that almost everywhere you look you will see groups of people (or in the case of classroom teachers, individuals) doing just that, speaking English (stiltedly—pilit—I might add) as if it were a status symbol, and looking down on you when you speak Filipino. (Plus, upon finding out that you’re an Anglophone, they really get irked when you correct their grammar, ironically.)
It is most likely the behavior of these people that contribute to the stereotyping of Anglophone Pinoys (or those who just plainly want to speak English) as pretentious. —Lagalag 08:23, 4 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

English is not always taught in primary, considering on people who speak taglog as a first language will learn english at primary, people from other parts (e.g. negros, cebu, bohol, mindanao, bicolandia etc.) would learn english in secondary school, but haha maybe i misinterpreted what Howard the Duck saidAustralian Jezza 12:18, 24 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

No, they teach English almost anywhere in the Philippines -- (talk) 05:58, 5 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unique Philippine English words[edit]

The list should include only those words generally accepted in the Philippines.

The following are not generally accepted:

Commander - (slang) for My wife.

C.R. - toilet, bathroom. C.R. are initials for Comfort Room.

for a while - used on the telephone to mean please hold

get/go down the bus - Get off the bus.

open/close the light. - Switch on/off the light.

ref - refrigerator

take home - take-out (or "to go" in AE)

Gimmick - have a good time, party, watch a movie.

Mineral Water - Spring Water, Bottled Water.

This one is correctly used in the Philippines and should therefore not be classified as a word unique to the Philippines:

course - one's major in college (as opposed to a single class in AE)

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a MAJOR is -- "N. Amer. a student’s principal subject or course. > a student specializing in a specified subject: a math major."

They are not accepted in English but Filipinos tend to say it. This is not an article on accepted English. --Jondel 00:32, 25 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, we know that this is not an article on accepted English, but an article on ACCEPTED PHILIPPINE ENGLISH, which is why I said "generally accepted IN THE PHILIPPINES". Otherwise, I would not have added Overpass, Rotunda', Stowaway and Tomboy.

But don't worry. I won't start an edit war because I concede that some of your contributions may be right. For example, the term "C.R." may have fallen into accepted Philippine usage, (even in formal usage) - you might be correct there.

However, the generally accepted term in the Phil. for "to go" or "takeout" is "take-out", not "take-home"; and "open/close the light" is definitely not generally accepted in the Phil. - we correctly say "turn on/off" or "switch on/off". -- 07:08, 25 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

One reason I write in this article is for foreigners/non-filipinos in the Philippines. For example it will help them to know what CR means. Another is for Filipinos(like me) just to know that the above list is not accepted English. E. g. I know English speakers don't know C. R. I know that the above list is not accepted even by English teachers or the Academe, but the list of words will be useful for them in their classes, research, etc.
Where else will we place the above list then? What would be the title of the article? Do we create an Accepted Philippine English article? Please compare with Malaysian English, Singaporean English, etc.
How about if I place 'These words are not accepted by the English teachers, nevertheless Filipinos tend to use these words .' Is this ok?
BTW please feel free to add overpass, rotonda, etc . Tomboy is a standard English word.It is in the dictionary.Unless you mean lesbian(?) Is it different from Filipino usage? --Jondel 06:50, 25 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes, Tomboy is an English word that appears in the dictionary which means "boyish", but it means "lesbian" in Phil. usage.

I'm referring to this portion of the article: "Some words in Philippine English have a different meaning from their counterparts in standard American or British English." - as in the previously cited examples of "Gimmick" and "Salvage".

In the same manner, Rotunda is an English word that appears in the dictionary as "a round building or room, esp. one with a dome", but it means "roundabout" in Phil. English.

For example, The Manila Times refers to the roundabout at the Manila-Quezon City boundary as the "Mabuhay Rotunda".

As I said - no edit wars for me. I'm just happy that there are people like you who are willing to take the time to contribute to the Wiki. -- 07:46, 25 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Is the Mabuhay Rotunda, the same as Welcome Rotunda? I lived in Pasay. I'm not familiar with QC .

Many first (and second generation) Filipino -Americans I know tend to say open and close the light .

Well do be bold contribute too when you have the time. Help broaden the knowledge base. There is a lot of edit wars here though, so be prepared. If your info is factual and not opinionated, it should prevail. --Jondel 08:51, 25 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Calling something "opinionated" is definitely a gray area. What if we are talking of the opinions of respected linguists and/or linguistic societies? I believe it is actually good to lean towards the opinion of linguistic authorities rather than those of some random users. To junk something simply because it is an opinion is not exactly advisable.
It would be great if we had a voice of authority from professional linguists. However, we can rely on mainstream usage, can't we, as the nearest thing towards an authorical source? I'm also sure that being a Filipino, one would be familiar with mainstream usage.--Jondel 05:25, 31 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Welcome Rotunda Yes, that's exactly it. It was formerly known as "Welcome Rotonda" (traditionally spelled with an "o" instead of a "u"). The name was officially changed to "Mabuhay Rotonda" sometime in the 1980s. Rotonda's traditional spelling with an "o" fell into disuse when newspapers and other media started spelling it with a "u" sometime in the 1990s. -- 09:07, 25 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Congratulations!--Jondel 05:25, 31 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The list says "Overtake" meaning to pass a vehicle on the road is a Philippine word, but it means the same thing in British English too, from seemingly all over the country. I have some old books from around 1900-1940 and in those "Overhaul" seems to be more commonly used to mean the same thing, but in modern times that is almost entirely only used to mean "doing something up", IE restoring a classic car 19:04, 2 August 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I added more info on the mtrs./mtr., removed the shirt from polo shirt, and added outdated to trying hard. As a student, I feel that the convention on SI units should be observed. Polo shirt is not peculiar to Philippine English, I've taken from the description that it was supposed to be polo. I suggest removing trying hard from the list. -- (talk) 18:42, 21 February 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Australian English[edit]

I am not qualified to comment on English as used in Philippines, but I can comment on words and phrases that are said to be unique to philippine english: some of the list are not (because I use them and I am Australian)

aircon for air condirioner
masters for post grad degree
text for SMS message

suggest these be deleted (and maybe others?) unless some evidence

--GPoss 11:47, Aug 28, 2004 (UTC)

Thanks and done. Don't know if traffic should be removed. Can I ask, do they say open/ close the light or turn/switch on /off the light , in Aussie English?--Jondel 01:40, 30 Aug 2004 (UTC)

I read somewhere that some people in India use close/open the lights... I may be wrong though. joelogs-- 02:40, 28 August 2005 (UTC)-- 02:40, 28 August 2005 (UTC)-- 02:40, 28 August 2005 (UTC)jReply[reply]

We say turn or switch on/off.... I have never heard open/close the light in any country. We would also say "there was a lot of traffic on the road today" but that implies that the traffic is heavy, not that there is an actual jam: that would be a traffic jam. --GPoss 09:33, Aug 30, 2004 (UTC)

Filipinos have a stereotype of excessively using loan words, in otherwords, using english words whenever no strict filipino word for a thing exists, instead of trying to construct a new word in the filipino dialect. Is there any truth to this?

In urban areas this is true. This can be attributed to the medium of instruction in education, the media, the medium for executing legal and government proceedings, etc. Hardly any filipino would prefer to understand medicine, calculus, etc. in pure filipino .--Jondel 10:49, 30 Jan 2005 (UTC)

Yes, it's true, but I wouldn't say it is "excessively" so.
Other countries do the same. For example, the Japanese also borrow foreign words, such as 'pen' (pen), 'basu' (bus), 'pan' (bread), 'dansu' (dance), 'tenisu' (tennis), 'oosutoralia' (Australia), 'igirisu' (England), 'kolonbia' (Colombia), 'kenburiggi daigaku' (Cambridge University) and 'okkusufoudo daigaku' (Oxford University).
In fact, English developed such an expansive vocabulary by borrowing heavily from other languages. Latin and Greek are extensively used in English scientific terms. Common words such as "pizza" and "ballet" were directly lifted without even bothering to change the spelling. Sometimes, the spelling is changed, as in the case of "boondocks", which the Oxford English Dictionary defines as:
boondocks /"bu;ndQks/ pl. n. (the boondocks) N. Amer. informal - rough or isolated country. - ORIGIN 1940s: boondock from Tagalog bundok ‘mountain’. -- 07:08, 25 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Also, abaca, ylang-ylang, yo-yo, capiz (shell), manila, etc.--Jondel 07:24, 25 July 2005 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Almond joy[edit]

I deleted this brief portion:

"almond (silent L often pronounced)"

I'm American, and I don't know of anyone who pronounces "almond" with a silent L. The conventional pronounciation is "ALL-mund."

Just a comment: to many Asians (filipinos and Japanese , I'm a filipino living in Japan), Americans tend to extend and stress the first syllable so it sounds like AWW-mund to us. America to the Japanese sounds like uh-MEIrika or MEIrika.--Jondel 10:53, 8 Feb 2005 (UTC)
I'm an American, and "almond" is at the top of many "lists of most commonly mispronounced words" (check your dictionary). The l is properly silent, and while I realize the letter may seem prominent when you slow down and think about it, listen to the word in casual speech at an ordinary pace—do you really hear the l in every single person's pronunciation? ADH (t&m) 13:12, Feb 8, 2005 (UTC)
I'm a New Zealander, and most people I know don't pronounce the L in almond. I don't think the Brits normally do either. Still, if pronouncing the L is the norm, or even common, in the US, then this needs to be expressed differently. Koro Neil (talk) 19:33, 2 October 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

What is this article about???[edit]

I understand that there's a separate article on Englog. Can the authors of this article please remove the Englog aspects from this article and help us truly understand what indeed is Philippines English? You can't tell what this article is trying to explain - standard English in The Philippines or Englog. -- CJ Withers 06:30, 21 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I think a distinction needs to be made between:
  1. those who really speak English fluently or as a mother tongue, are familiar with the nuances and intricacies of the language, and can distinguish between all the 40+ phones inherent to English (and not just the around 20 or so of Tagalog, Cebuano, etc.); and,
  2. those who know English only as a second language or less, this which clearly constitutes the vast majority of Filipinos.
But really, if this article is going to be about the latter, then we might as well create articles for Hungarian English, Albanian English, Armenian English… —Lagalag 10:10, 27 May 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I'm a first generation Canadian born Filipino and one thing that is unique about Filipino English here is the replacements of Ps with Fs and Vs with Bs. The thing about the Vs and Bs is that it cannot be done vice-versa as the Ps and Fs.

Some Examples (note: most are letters are accompanied with a roll of the tongue):

  • Filipino = Pilipino (Given)
  • Victor = Bick-tor
  • Family = Pam-eh-lee
  • Varnish = Bar-nish
  • Fun = Pan
  • Vehicle = Be-hic-kle
  • Lover = Lab-er or loob-er
  • Find = Pined
  • Official = O-pish-al
  • Very = Berry

I know these won't make it into the front page because it regards English spoken on the Philippines, but I though it would be interesting to add in the discussion. -- 04:48, 30 March 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hey, I think "Letter Replacements" is part of the accent. It cannot be done vice versa because the some English letters-q, f, j, z, x, c, v-did not originallly exist in most Philippine languages. see Filipino alphabet---23prootie

The switch occurs because the de facto Tagalog alphabet does not include the soft consonants and sounds of F, V, etc. but other Philippine languages' alphabets do, such as Ilocano.


Did not come from Spanish.Salvage originally came from something like :The corpse was salvaged from Pasig river, salvage meaning,recoverred or found. This has of course become murdered.--Jondel 07:39, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

This is an easy mistake, since most Pinoys (Filipinos) do not learn English as the first language. They would, then, translate the English into Tagalog "in their heads" first, with unfortunate results. In the example given by Jondel, it becomes, literally, "Ang bangkay ay na-salvage sa ilog Pasig". This statement can have two literal meanings based on the context of the word "sa":
  • The corpse was salvaged from the Pasig river.
  • The corpse was salvaged at the Pasig river.
The second translation implies a meaning for those who are not familiar with the original meaning of "salvage", i.e. that a person became a corpse due to being "salvaged", and that the process of "salvaging" just happened to have been performed at the Pasig river. Nowadays, brutal murders that result in corpses that are not actually "salvaged" are still referred to as "salvage-victims". Gryphon Hall 07:37, 18 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I believe it actually comes from Spanish. As a result of another type of incorrect anglicization. The Spanish word is Salvaje, meaning 'wild' or 'savage' in its adjective form, and 'to maul', 'to attack violently', or 'to treat like an animal' in its verb form. Castilian Spanish, of course, do not pronounce the v (both v and b are pronounced as /b/), the j is also pronounced as /h/. The transcribed filipino equivalent of the word Salbahe is pretty much the accurate pronunciation of the word. And it retains its original meaning. It was then incorrectly 'americanized' into Salvage. The correct English form is of course Savage (since English got the term from the French Sauvage which dropped the L from the original Latin Salvaticus, 'of the forest', 'wild').
I wonder if its possible to research exactly WHEN media first started using the word. If it was during the American occupation it could be the above. If after, it could be as Gryphon Hall and Jondel said.--ObsidinSoul 08:10, 12 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

In the late 70's-early 80's I remember newspapers using 'salvage' to mean execution or assassination. Those were the Martial Law years when people could disappear to be found, usually near roads or floating on rivers, with hands bound and bearing signs of torture. I was about 15 or 16 at that time when I first came across 'salvage' used in an ironic manner. Really, I was puzzled then until later when some dailies printed a brief explanation of its meaning. It's a Philippine military term to mean kidnapping and assassination, and may be accompanied by torture to extract information. It's practice involved both sides of the conflict (government and rebels). Prior to that time I cannot recall coming across its usage with an eerie meaning.
Common usage examples:
  • "Me sinalvage dun sa me ilog!" (There's a dead body in the river! -- the corpse showing signs of 'salvaging');
  • news articles commonly use the line "Isang hinihinalang sinalvage ang natagpuan..." (A suspected 'salvage' victim was found...);
  • "taga-salvage" (assasin)
Inihaw (talk) 03:44, 8 February 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Other words for investigation[edit]

--Jondel 07:39, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]


A Marcos associate ussually involved in corruption and illegal accumulation of healthwealth.--Jondel 07:39, 27 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The term is not (no longer? don't know if the term was used prior to Marcos) specific to associations with Marcos though. You could state it as "Originally used to refer to a Marcos associate who had usually benefited financially from the dictator's patronage. The Philippine media's modern use of the term encompasses anyone seen to have benefited from associating with local politicans." --Edward Sandstig 21:50, 28 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Definition of crony, in case somebody decides to remove it again. --Edward Sandstig 17:20, 21 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well, I'm not sure what regions covers (and also returns various "close friend" definitions), but in Ireland, "crony" implies "probably a crook". A mafia gang leader or a corrupt politician would have cronies. I think the meaning is the same in the UK too. See also Cronyism. Gronky 05:00, 14 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Accepted English and non-Accepted English in the Philippines[edit]

Should it be noted that many English teachers and professors in the Philippines attempt to correct issues such as mispronunciation and incorrect usage of terms ("turn off the lights" instead of "close the lights") to match American English? --Edward Sandstig 22:01, 28 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Seems like a good idea. On 'close the lights':I don't know if this is linguistically ingrained because when Filipinos immigrate to the US they habitually tend to say this. Why don't for example Spanish speakers have this habit? --Jondel 01:21, 29 June 2006
A native Spanish speaker might be able to provide us with what "turn off the lights" is in Spanish. With regards Tagalog though, the term used is "patayin mo yung ilaw", which literally translated is "kill the lights", so the "close the lights" bit doesn't seem to come from Tagalog --Edward Sandstig 01:29, 29 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The close and turn off is seen other applications: Turn off the TV - close the TV, etc. In spanish I think it is 'apaga la luz'.--Jondel 03:47, 29 June 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Would it be okay for me to place "This form of mispronunciation is generally frowned upon in the workplace and some schools" in the Phonology section? Or is it too POV? --Edward Sandstig 08:04, 9 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Maybe frowned upon in some schools and English purists? (Yes it would be ok).--Jondel 00:13, 10 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How about — "This form of mispronunciation is generally frowned upon by English purists, some schools, and businesses dealing with international clients."? --Edward Sandstig 09:59, 10 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Please go ahead and enter what you think is appropriate.--Jondel 23:16, 10 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I've worked at a British School, once I had asked the procurement (british national) to give me a "staple wire", she replied that she didn't know what I was asking, then I resolved by saying "how about some 'staples'" and then she laughed and told me that there is no such thing as staple wire. I was embarrased and put into deep thinking, "was it me or was it me?" ah damn purist...... (just sharing)

Philippine English is the official language?[edit]

I've been taught English as seen and told by Americans. So if there's any official English language, it's American English, or just plain English. --Howard the Duck 14:07, 8 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Each region develops their own version of the language. Americans (or British, etc)would not for example understand 'C.R.' or 'salvage' in the way, we Filipinos use these words.--Jondel 06:41, 9 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
But is it accurate to say that "Philippine English" is the "official language"? The constitution says plain english. --Howard the Duck 06:49, 9 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
You are right. Sorry for the oversight. Lets correct this appropriately. --Jondel 06:57, 9 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Please note that Philippine English is an officially recognized English dialect by the Oxford International Dictionary, on equal footing with American and British English. However, we ought to recognize that this refers to standard English in the Philippines, not the bastardized variety spoken in the streets. This means the usage must be acceptable in the academe or during formal occasions to classify as standard. Furthermore, although the constitution just says English, I wonder why it would be argued that this should mean American English when a standard English dialect exists in the country?
Philippine English is the English used in the street. English taught in schools is more of the American type, hence Filipinos type "organizations" not "organisations."
Also if the constitution says English, then it is absolutely not Philippine English because there is no modifier before English. The constitution says plain "English", not "Philippine English." --Howard the Duck 02:11, 31 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Neither does the American constitution say that the official language is American English. This is really a simple concept. English is a language, while American English and Philippine English are dialects of a language. Of course, an official language would be a language. But the flavor used should be the local dialect. God forbid the Americans to use Philippine English as their official language. There is no room for such a bastardized language in official business. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)
The current setup satisfied me already. I shall comment no further on this issue. --Howard the Duck 06:00, 4 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The keyword is "Official LANGUAGE" not "Official DIALECT." English is simply English the language in general. Any other preceding adjective would make it fall under the category of a dialect, which I'm sure doesn't have official status in any country's constitution, right?--Red C.

Would this note if placed on top, address your concerns?

The following article focuses on English as spoken in the Philippines and does not imply endorsement from any academic, language or business institutions nor is it taught nor promoted by the said institutions.

Or something to the effect that

Standard English is taught in Schools and promoted in business institutions? This article focuses on English as habitually and customarily spoken by Filipinos.--Jondel 05:06, 31 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
That'll be nice. --Howard the Duck 13:47, 31 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Ok, then.--Jondel 15:37, 31 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Should the note appear as a disclaimer, at the top as in its previous position?--Jondel 08:43, 7 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Isn't the disclaimer redundant considering the article's opening sentence is: "Philippine English is the variation of English used in the Philippines by the media and the vast majority of Filipinos. It is not officially taught at schools. English is one of the two official languages of the Republic of the Philippines, the other being Filipino."? --Edward Sandstig 09:39, 7 August 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
sorry to be late in this, but Philippine English would be the offical language, like American English or Candian english is the offical or de facto of United States and Canada respectively. Why would american english be offical? Is it becuase americans want world domination AGAIN?Australian Jezza 12:48, 6 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
The English taught in schools is American English, not because America is King, but because Americans colonized the Philippines, and Philippine English is derived from American English. If the Brits conquered the country, it might have been British English. The article already desribes this very well. (Note that the existence of "standard English" is disputed) --Howard the Duck 05:21, 18 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
ahhh.... i'm from australia.... who colonised australia.... british.... but do we speak british english? no, we speak australian english, but technically we don't have an official language haha, niether does america... but also america didn't really colonise the philippines, it took over from the coloniser, spain.Australian Jezza 12:25, 24 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Well Australian English sounds very much like British English, like using "s" instead of "z" in words such as "colonization", etc. --Howard the Duck 15:41, 8 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
How do the Brish say "I'm going to the Hospital to dietoday." ? Australians probably don't understand it when people are horrified when they say the same thing. :) --Jondel (talk) 06:26, 10 January 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Fbkintanar added — "Full-pledged - Have full status, to be inducted into an office or membership. This may be related to the U.S. adjective full-fledged (in Britain, fully fledged) which similarly means "completely developed or established; of full status" (Compact OED) but with reference to a young bird developing flight feathers rather than a pledging ceremony." — I don't think this is common and most likely just a typo or spelling error. Unless this is being confused with the statement "I fully pledge" during oathtaking, which is also used in standard English? --Edward Sandstig 09:54, 10 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

That dictionary has no boondock or carabao word!! Burn! Destroy! :)--Jondel 05:28, 31 July 2006 (UTC) Reply[reply]
It's a typo. It's laughed at when the error occurs in official gatherings or documents. More likely it is because of the difficulty of pronouncing the F sound by older filipinos.--ObsidinSoul 08:16, 12 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Every now and then" means often?[edit]

Not heard it being used this way, but an aunt informed me that a starlet once used it in this context. It might have been said in a sarcastic tone. Keep or remove? --Edward Sandstig 10:10, 10 July 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Proposed move[edit]

Philippine EnglishEnglish in the Philippines   (Discuss)

There is no Philippine dialect of the English language. If this were the case, "big" words and phrases would be easily understood (though not necessarily used) by the general population, which isn't the case. — 05:02, 26 September 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
O yes there is. Check out Oxford International English Dictionary for a list of English dialects.
Um.. there is a dialect of Enlgish called 'Philippine English', because firstly, a variation of a language can be called a dialect when a person from another region who speaks the same language can't understand some parts of that language for example, C.R. for most Austalians, Canadians, British, American, New Zealand and etc. people ( who dont have a Filipino backgorund) wouldn't understand this a toilet!!! The same goes for Australian and New Zealand english, to many people Australian and NZ English is the same (mostly to pople are aren't Nz'ers or Aussies, but Australians and NZ'ers have different words for different things, which we might not understand what they mean, an example could be the Australian 'milk bar' is the equvalent of a NZ 'dairy'. Plus are you even Filipino? because if you were you would realise this all so quickly that it is a dialect o english, and under Languages of the Philippines there is an article on English in the Philippines.
are you even Filipino? - this question has no place in this discussion. Gronky 21:35, 16 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Right. There’s no need to employ ad hominem attacks. Plus, to the [second] anonymous user, I believe you’re missing the point here. Filipinos, unlike Australians, Brits, New Zealanders, etc., in general, do not think in English, but rather using the structures of their native languages, which aren’t even of the Germanic family. The English that they’re speaking is not a dialect of native speakers. —Lagalag 11:16, 2 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

here is what i found on Encarta, read it... even though it says variety it says the same for American, australian new zealand, etc. english

Philippine English


English spoken in Philippines: a variety of English spoken in the Philippines  

Philippine English, also Filipino English, is the variety of English used in the Philippines. It has some co-official status with Filipino. English is the second western colonial language, after Spanish; the United States took the territory in 1898 from Spain, whose colony it had been since 1521. The nation is diverse, with a Malay majority, a Chinese minority, and many people of mixed Malay, Chinese, Spanish, and US backgrounds. Because English is used in varying degrees by over half the population of about 60 million, the Philippines rightly claims to be a major English-speaking country.

Like US English, Philippine English pronounces r in words such as art, door, and worker. Also, h is pronounced with the tip of the tongue curled back and raised. Vowels tend to be full in all syllables (e.g. seven being pronounced 'seh-ven', not 'sev'n'). An 's' or 'sh' sound may serve instead of a 'z' or 'zh', as in 'carss' (cars), 'pleshure' (pleasure). In grammar, the present continuous is commonly used for habitual behaviour, rather than the simple present ('We are doing this work all the time' for 'We do this work all the time'), the present perfect may be used rather than the simple past ('We have done it yesterday' for 'We did it yesterday'), and the past perfect rather than the present perfect ('They had already been there' for 'They have already been there').

Distinctive vocabulary includes: (1) Hispanicisms, unchanged or adapted, e.g. asalto (surprise party), querida (mistress); (2) words from Tagalog, e.g. boondock (mountain) - whence 'the boondocks', kundiman (love song), tao (man) - as in 'the common tao'; (3) local coinages, e.g. carnap (to steal a car), formed by analogy with kidnap, and jeepney (small bus), blending jeep and jitney, a jeep adapted for passengers.

...or how the Spanish word siempre (orig. Latin semper) which means "always" has come to mean "of course" in Filipino.--Red C.

Microsoft® Encarta® 2006. © 1993-2005 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.Australian Jezza 12:41, 6 October 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Open/ close the light[edit]

Why is someo—ne always removing this? If you (the deleter)are a Filipino living in the Philippines, I guarantee that you will unconsciously say this if you immigrate to the US, Australia, etc.. I know so many first -generation Filipino americans who unconsciously say this . Again this article is not about proper English or to undermine Filipino speaking abilities. It is mentioned here to make known unconscious habits in speech.--Jondel 07:55, 16 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not the deleter, however it may be being deleted because the usage isn't limited to Philippine English speakers. I have regularly heard Italian Canadians use this phrase the same way --Hearleg (talk) 14:47, 21 November 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How is "gimmick" used?[edit]

I don't remember ever hearing a Filipino say this. Could an example be added? It is "Lets gimmick later", or "Lets go gimmick", or "Lets have a gimmick" or what? Gronky 21:40, 19 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Young people say stuff like "Gimik sa Sabado" or "Saan gimik natin?". I'm not sure I've heard many people use it in an English sentence, unless they were dealing with a balikbayan for example. --Edward Sandstig 22:38, 19 November 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hey the word "gimmik" is used as both Noun and Verb, as of course depends on the context, Gimmik is also interpreted as a bad scheme of work to replace the old tagalog-street word "raket" which means easy-money for an extra job. 16:48, 14 December 2006 (UTC) (just sharing)Reply[reply]

Can you give an example of how Filipinos use it in English as a verb with the meaning of "to go out and have fun"? Gronky 20:14, 14 December 2006 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Where’s your gimik?, I guess. I don’t think it’s used too often in English, the word, that is. —Lagalag 11:23, 2 January 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Okey let's say in Verb, we use it this way : John, let's gimmik tomorrow night, are you free? :

          as a Noun: Ah! what's your gimmik again. : which of course being used by conyos. (just sharing)

Gimmick (spelt gimik in Filipino usage) is more properly classified as an english loanword in Filipino. It's use in Philippine English is very limited. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:11, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Bisaya accent[edit]

Hey, I think there should be a section for the Bisaya accent. mean there is a significant difference with the accent of Manila and the accent of rural Cebu.--23prootie 23:45, 6 February 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

i agree, my mum has a different accent from her friends lol, she's from bohol and she has like (well to me) a more... like british or less of an american accent than her friends who are from manila.Australian Jezza 12:30, 24 April 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Stereotypical fallacy. I know just as many Tagalog English speakers who speak atrocious English as Bisaya English speakers (i.e. V is pronounced as B, F is confused with P, and there is little differentiation between the vowels I/E and O/U, etc.). Most of my friends (who are all assuredly Bisaya) speak perfect English. The reason is not regional but mostly because probinsyanos are regarded as illiterate/less educated than city folks and thus expected to be less fluent in English (A better command of the English language being regarded as a sign of high social status/better education). It's kinda like how Americans ridicule Midwestern accents as 'hicks' or 'rednecks'.
Although yes, Bisaya does sound a bit more clipped and 'rougher' than Tagalog. But again, that doesn't necessarily mean their English will be rougher as well.--ObsidinSoul 08:25, 12 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


I'm thingking of adding this word, where they really mean to say 'I swear'. Sometimes the usage is correct. i.e. The movie will be good, I promise. The teacher will be there, I promise. Sometimes, 'I swear' would be more appropriate in the past tense usage. i.e.The movie was good, I promiseswear. The teacher was there, I promiseswear.--Jondel 12:16, 27 June 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Americans also use this tag phrase, which is roughly synonymous with other tag phrases such as, like you said, "I swear" and also "honestly" or "scout's honor."--Red C.

Jingle, Chancing and Duster[edit]

"Jingle" is an English word that is used in the Philippines as a slang word to mean urinate. Whether used colloquially or not, it is still an English word which has a completely different meaning in the Philippines than other English speaking countries. Examples: (in Taglish): "Sandali lang, I have to jingle muna before we go."; (English) "Wait a minute I have to jingle before we go."

"Chancing" is also an English word that is usually spelled in the Philippines as "tsansing" but nonetheless is still an English word like taksi (taxi), titser (teacher), etc. Example: (Taglish) "Napaka-crowded sa Metro Rail ngayon. Ang mama sa likod ko kept chancing me - laging dumidikit siya sa akin likod. Nakakainis!" (English) "It was so crowded on the Metro Rail today. The man behind me kept chancing me - he kept bumping into my back." —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ciredor2001 (talkcontribs) 08:57, 4 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Isn't "chancing"'s definition expanded to mean behaviour that would be considered sexual harassment in other countries? And in Philippine English useage, chancing is a noun. (e.g. "I don't like riding the jeep, people always make 'chancing' when you ride.") —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:14, 14 February 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Duster" is an English word and is not only used when speaking in Tagalog, but has a different meaning than in most other English speaking countries. In the Philippines, a duster is a simple sun dress. In the U.S. a duster refers to an instrument used to remove dust from items (usually furniture) and is most often made up of feathers.

We shouldn't confuse Philippine English with Taglish, or even with "Colegiala English" or the English spoken by some female students from all-girls schools. Both "Jingle" and "Chancing", though they may be sometimes used in English, are almost always used with Taglish and Filipino. It's not like the Philippine English word "officemate" which is almost always used instead of the standard "co-worker".

Examples: I'm having dinner with my officemates tonight. This is my officemate, Carol.

"Jingle" is mostly used by members of the middle or lower class when speaking in Filipino. Examples:

Jingle muna ako. Si Bogs? Jumi-jingle yata.

Chances are, you hear "jingle" used in English once for every 1,000 times you hear it in taglish or Filipino.

So I think both "jingle" and "chancing" aren't generally used in Philippine English like the other words in the list. Although you made a good point with "duster". —Preceding unsigned comment added by Souledgemaster (talkcontribs) 07:32, 5 October 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]

NPOV Tag[edit]

Doing NPOV tag cleanup. An NPOV tag must be accompanied by a posting on the discussion page stating clearly what issues the editor finds violating POV, and what they feel can be done about it. This permits discussion and resolution of the issues. These tags do not have any such discussion, are drive-by tagging, and will be removed. Jjdon (talk) 00:18, 25 April 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The Vocabulary and usage section of this article presently concentrates on Vocabulary. I think that it should have a Vocabulary subsection containing most or all of the existing material and a Usage subsection containing info about Philippine English usage idiosyncrasies vs. U.S. and U.K. English. Some examples:

  • "I will be the one" vs. "I will"—As I understand it, this comes from the Tagalog "ako na lang".
  • "make an ocular inspection" vs. "inspect".
  • "the other day" meaning specifically "the day before yesterday" instead of meaning generally ""recently".
  • "for a while", the English translation of the Tagalog, "sandali lang", The component words of the phrase "for a while" are clearly English, but this expression as a whole does not exist in the rest of the English-speaking world. In the UK or the US, the idiomatic equivalent would be something like "just a second" or "just a moment".
  • "Watch your steps" vs. "Watch your step".
  • Using the English word "last" where the Tagalog word "noon" would be used, as in e.g., "last January 15th" which, in the US or UK, would be taken as January 15th of the previous year.
  • "we accept" vs. "we do" (e.g. "we accept printing").
  • Personal Pronoun—In the major languages of the Philippines, there is no distinction between the pronouns for male and female. The Tagalog word for both "he" and "she" is "siya". Thus, because Filipinos are not used to differentiating between the two, it is not uncommon to hear someone say, e.g., "he gave birth to twins yesterday" or to speak of their father saying, "she still doesn't have work".
  • Response to a negative question—E.g., the question, "Haven't you seen the doctor?" is answered "yes", meaning "Yes, I have not seen the doctor", and which a US or UK listener would take as having the opposite meaning. This difference from US and UK convention is not unique to the Philippines, and causes much confusion.
  • "I'll just go ahead", meaning "I'm leaving" and not meaning "I'll go first, and you follow".
  • "open the light" and "close the light", which are not used in US and UK English and are equivalent respectively to "turn on the light" and "turn off the light". This is doubly confusing because in US and UK English "opening" a valve in a plumbing system allows water to flow, while "opening" an electrical switch breaks the connection and stops electricity from flowing.

Not being a Filipino, I'm not well qualified to put this together. The examples above grew out of my time spent in the Philippines and from some googling around. Could someone better qualified than I improve & expand the above, or should I just drop it into the article as-is?

The above grew largely out of material here and here. There is some more material, nor about pronumciation than about usage here. There's some info related to both usage and pronunciation here. -- Boracay Bill (talk) 21:13, 26 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"Go ahead", "The other day", "For a while" and "Close the light" are already in the article, but could be expanded. The part about personal pronouns is considered a grammatical error, and isn't the sort of thing you'd hear from the local media or most university professors. "Conduct an ocular inspection" is more common than "Make an ocular inspection", at least in the media and official government documents. Surprised that nobody's added "I will be the one who will" and "We accept", but I think it's possible you're correct about the origin of "I will be the one who will". --Edward Sandstig (talk) 07:29, 29 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]
There is also Go up/down the bus when Get on/off the bus is meant. From the famous:Bababa ba? Bababa. (Are you/we getting off? Yes I/we am/are getting off).--Jondel 04:52, 30 May 2008 (UTC) 'Get down the vehicle' already in the article.--Jondel (talk) 05:28, 30 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Has anyone else heard "arbor" used in Philippine English? I was under the impression it was Tagalog slang. --Edward Sandstig (talk) 11:28, 30 May 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Yes but it's not the same as the English word 'Arbor' (Spanish Arbol), which means tree. Arbor in Tagalog (and I thnk... Hiligaynon, a Visayan language) is a verb and it means to ask something for free.
Not the same as begging though. Arbor only applies when the person you are asking from has too much of the item, is in a generous mood, and/or can clearly afford parting with said item. (e.g. someone is doing spring cleaning at their apartment and throwing out a few things that are still perfectly serviceable. Offering to take those items qualifies as arbor). And yes, it also means to trade something you do not need for something you want which the other person also does not need (i.e. a mutually beneficial trade).
Its origin is unknown and it doesn't seem to be a native word (an 'rb' consonant cluster is virtually unknown in filipino languages aside from introduced words, notably from Spanish), and its structure looks Spanish. It's probably a corruption and contraction of a common colonial Spanish phrase that has long been forgotten (in the same way that the Cebuano verb limos,'beg', originally came from the Spanish phrase Pedir limosna - 'to ask for alms'); or from the Spanish word Robar ('to steal', but that also seems a bit unlikely, though reversal of syllables is also quite popular as slang); or from some obscure Chinese word. One thing is sure though, it is not English and does not, in any way, relate to trees.--ObsidinSoul 14:57, 9 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]


The Arbor word means "magpalitan tayo"(Can we trade or Let's Trade) something like that 8:30 16 May 2008

Comments on the Page Itself

I deleted comments on the page itself, such as:

  • (Again this is Filipino, not Philippine English!)
  • (wrong again. Estafa in P. English is not embezzlement but the taking of another person's money through fraud or unfunded checks.
  • (wrong again. Feeling in the sense you meant it is not used in Philippine english but in Filipino slang.

If there are comments or need for improvements, I think we all need to take the initiative and do the edits and discuss them on the talk page. It doesn't make sense to call attention to errors, especially more than what's needed by going on the article itself instead of the talk page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by MENDOZA I (PH) (talkcontribs) 12:18, 4 August 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

About LRT/MRT[edit]

The LRT/MRT of Metro Manila is correctly defined as an elevated railroad. This term is defined by Webster's Third New International Dictionary Unabridged with Seven Language Dictionary as follows: "a railroad usu. for local transit in urban or interurban areas all or part of which is raised (as on trestlework) above the ground level"

See-through wire[edit]

Chicken wire is also often used for see-through wire.

tricycle - a public (for-hire) vehicle consisting of a motorcycle and an attached passenger carriage

Also "hollow blocks" is known in North America as "concrete blocks"--Skipjack820 (talk) 03:08, 29 March 2009 (UTC). These are also more generically known as "cinder blocks" --andyJSD 18:26, 29 May 2013 (UTC).Reply[reply]

Live-in and Apartment[edit]

To "live-in" means an unmarried couple who live together in a sexual relationship; to 'live in sin'

apartment - in the Philippines, a residential unit that is purposed to be rented out; in North America, the term 'apartment' does not apply the intent of renting out--Skipjack820 (talk) 03:18, 30 March 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]


It has been my experience that, when talking to filipinass online, I will ask them, innocently, "What do you like to do for fun?" and they usually become offended and I eventually realized that they understood it as having sexual connotations. NorthernThunder (talk) 10:17, 15 October 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Err... Freudian slip with the 'filipinass'? And yes, it does. It's slang. But it's not unique to Filipino English, as it also has sexual connotations in Western English as well. And like in your English, it's contextual. Consider the circumstances by which you asked them the question.--ObsidinSoul 14:19, 9 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hispanic words[edit]

Why are there Spanish entries in the article? While words like Sala and Bodega are spanish derived, but they also have different English meanings or are used along with English so they're alright.

But words like Vaciador, Medianoche, and Misa de galyo are Spanish and are considered native, not English.--ObsidinSoul 06:41, 27 December 2010 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Clean up: Sources[edit]

This article has now been tagged for over three years. Unsourced claims are either the editors' own point of view or original research, neither of which is admissible per policy, and will shortly be removed if inline referenced sources are not/cannot be provided. Any claims to the use and description of Philippine English must be supported by reliable sources that can be verified. --Kudpung (talk) 04:34, 13 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]

On it. Will source what I can.--ObsidinSoul 07:43, 13 March 2011 (UTC)Reply[reply]


This article is stating the stereotypes that many Filipino-Americans have about how Filipinos in the Philippines speak in English. Yes, F may be sometimes pronounced as P, but that's not how everyone talks. You may consider watching clips of "Stephanie Retuya" in Asia's Next Top Model to see the real accent of Filipinos. -- (talk) 07:31, 13 March 2013 (UTC)Monmon298Reply[reply]


In the entry for "certain" (see Philippine English Vocabulary section), the first context is the peculiar usage but the second is perfectly normal for English. Also, I've seen/heard "certain" used in the first context by non-Filipinos (usually Americans) so I don't know if it is specifically peculiar or specific to Philippine English. --andyJSD 18:19, 29 May 2013 (UTC) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ajsdecepida (talkcontribs)

"Quarter to" Entry in "Philippine Vocabulary"[edit]

To claim that "quarter to" (as in "The time right now is quarter to 9am.") is fallacious. The phrase is universally employed in the English speaking world. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ajsdecepida (talkcontribs) 22:58, 14 June 2013 (UTC)Reply[reply]

vocab section removals[edit]

I have removed the following for a few reasons. 1. This isn't a list of words that are not understood in America, comments like "this is a loanword from British English" makes it clear that it is not a term/usage exclusive to the Philippines. example railway this is English, not Filipino English. 2. Trade marks. These are used world wide. Band-aid is commonly used in many English speaking nations, so is not exclusively Filipino English.

Here are the removed words, if anyone cares.

  • Aircon — An air conditioner.
  • AssignmentHomework
  • Ball pen — A ballpoint pen.
  • Band-aid — An adhesive bandage. It is a genericized trademark.
  • Bargirl — A hostess, dancer, or prostitute in a Philippines strip club, called a cabaret.
  • Barbecue — Grilled meat, but not in the American sense: the Philippine barbecue is meat cut into pieces (usually the fat is included for pork barbecues) and skewered, in a manner commonly called kebab cookery outside of the Filipino community.
  • Bigtime — Mostly used by people of a lower class to describe a person who is rich or of high profile, or who has a lot of money.
  • Biscuit — A loan word from British English, known in Tagalog as a biskotso, which is an American cookie. Interchangeable with cookie or cracker.
  • Blow — To vomit. Seldom used today. Also used as a short-hand for blow-job.
  • Boom-boom — A vulgar expression for sexual intercourse. Seldom in use at present.

Canteen in American English is a water container, which is often used in the Philippine military.

  • Car park — A loan word from British English, which is a garage parking or a parking lot. Parking lot is also in use.
  • Cargo train — A loan word from British English, which is a freight train.
  • Confinement; confined — Used to refer to all types of hospital admissions. Laws around the world provide for the “hospital confinement”—for a certain or indefinite period of time—only of mothers who have given birth, persons with infectious diseases, or the clinically insane or mentally unstable. “Hospital confinement” is also internationally used to refer to hospital admissions and confinement of arrested or convicted persons.
  • Course — While Philippine English is mainly modeled after American English, some British words, phrases or usage have found their way into it, as with the word "course" which means the same way it is understood in the UK and Australia as the entire program of studies required to complete a degree. Americans use the word "academic major" for the entire program, and use "course" to mean a unit of teaching for which academic credit is given.
  • Gay — Refers to effeminate homosexual men only as opposed to homosexuals in general. It also refers to trans women (male-to-female transgender people), transsexuals, and cross-dressers. See LGBT culture in the Philippines. Aside from using it to refer to a "homosexual" or one of the LGBT community, it is also used in place of coward, scared, weak, soft or one incapable of fighting or defending something, or one opposite that referred to by that other Philippine English slang term, "cowboy".
  • Go ahead — Leave in advance ("I'll go ahead" means "I will leave now, earlier than you guys"). "I'll go ahead" is a literal translation of Tagalog Mauna na akó, which means "I'll leave you now" more than "I'll go before you now".
  • Hyper — This prefix is used as an adjective to describe a person who is high-strung. From the term "hyperactive".
  • Ice drop — A popsicle.
  • Pampers — Baby diapers. A genericized trademark from the Pampers brand.
  • Professional — To be proficient, skillful; used colloquially e.g. "I'm a professional driver" denotes that I drive very well, not that I drive as a profession. However, the proper meaning (as in "I'm a professional footballer") is still in use today.
  • Railway — A loan word from British English possibly, stemming from the fact that the first railroad in the Philippines was built by the British.
  • Scooter — A moped or small motorcycle.
  • Sermon — A homily during the Holy Mass. Sometimes the actual meaning is an oration by a member of the clergy (particularly in non-Catholic Christian denominations).
  • Soft drink — Soda pop.
  • Test — An examination (or exam).
  • Vice-governor — In the provinces of the Philippines, the second-in-command, to the provincial governor and similar to a lieutenant governor in the U.S. states, territories and commonwealths.
  • White-Out — A correction fluid/tape. It is a genericized trademark.
  • Xerox — As a noun, it means a photocopier; as verb, to make a photocopy of. A genericized trademark from the Xerox brand of photocopiers. However, as per the recent legal notice published in Philippine newspapers (drawn up by Xerox's Philippine legal firm), use of the words "photocopier" and "photocopy" is strongly encouraged.

Spacecowboy420 (talk) 06:48, 27 January 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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Working on Finding Citations[edit]

I am working on improving this article by finding relevant sources to fill some gaps in citation specifically in the areas of Phonetics and History. Sources I have found so far are:

- DETERDING, D. and KIRKPATRICK, A. (2006), Emerging South-East Asian Englishes and intelligibility. World Englishes, 25: 391–409.

- DETERDING, D. (2010), Norms for pronunciation in Southeast Asia. World Englishes, 29: 364–377.

- Tayao, Ma. L. G. (2004), The evolving study of Philippine English phonology. World Englishes, 23: 77–90.

If you have any useful sourcing information or feedback, it would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Jendoss9 (talk) 04:27, 12 March 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Unclear sentence[edit]

"Monolingual Filipino-language-speakers often have non-standard pronunciations; a number of other indigenous languages, employ phonemes such as [f], [v], and [z]." Is the comma not meant to be there? It seems ungrammatical as it stands, and I'm confused what it's trying to say. (talk) 10:57, 15 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

I'm not sure what the sentence is trying to say either, and I notice that it cites no supporting source. Perhaps the Pronunciation section of (linked from the Elternal links section of the aritcle) deserves a look. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 00:27, 16 May 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"English is now ours, we have colonized it"[edit]

I happened to stumble across a quote: "English is now ours, we have colonized it", attributed to Gémino Abad in numerous places on the net and apparently seen in the 12 August 1996 issue of The Philippine Daily Inquirer. I ran across it here, but I also see it here and it lots of other places and just thought to mention it here in case it may be useful in the article with, perhaps, some background from one of the sources mentioning it. I'm not really into linguistics, but there's another paper here which might be of interest in relation to that first one I linked. Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 19:56, 7 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Need some filtering[edit]

I have rewritten the "Vocabulary" section so that it can focus on differences from other varieties of English than on words by topic or subject, but I moved these words here for review whether they are considered peculiar with Philippine English:

  • Aggrupation — A political group. From the Spanish word agrupación.[1] (Usually used in insurance.)
  • Bill out — To request and pay the bill in a restaurant or bar.
  • Blank tape — (sometimes tape) refers to any blank magnetic or optical media storage.
  • By and by — Later.[2]
  • Chicken — Something which is easy or easily accomplished in contrast to the American slang term meaning a coward. The final exam was chicken "The final exam was easy." This is derived from the expression "chicken feed". Whereas in the latter's case, the phrase Run like a chicken Often, the American slang term is used by younger speakers.
  • Chit — A restaurant bill or a card. Now dated.
  • Combo — Referred to jazz bands or smaller marching bands. Largely replaced by the word band.
  • Coupon bond (/ˈkʌpɔːnbɒnd/) — Bond paper, with the "coupon" diverging in meaning from accepted uses of the word, e.g. "a stub". The word "coupon" may also refer to a stub in Philippine English.
  • Cowboy — An American; rarely in use today. Nowadays, cowboy refers to the attitude of being brave or willing to do a dirty or blue-collar job.
  • Dollar-speaking — Someone who usually speaks in English in public. Another term is "speaking dollar".
  • DOM — dirty (i.e. lecherous) old man.
  • Dormmate — Someone's roommate.[2] A dormer is a dormitory occupant.
  • Double deck or double bed — A bunk bed.
  • English — An English-speaking, white person. Related with the terms American and slang.
  • Feeling... — A term most commonly used by youths to call someone who one thinks is trying to act or be something they're not. Usually preceded by a noun or adjective, for example "feeling close" (or "F.C."), someone who acts like they're close to another when the other person hardly knows them or doesn't know them at all.
  • Final answer - A final decision. Derived from the game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire?.
  • Fiscalize — To serve as a check and balance; commonly used by politicians.[2]
  • Five-six — Borrowing or lending money with 20% interest.[2]
  • For a while — Used on the telephone to mean "please wait" or "hold on". Tagalog translation: Sandalî lang, which correctly means "Just a moment".
  • Game — A slang term which refers to a readiness, as in "I'm ready, let's do it", usually before playing a game or carrying out a proposed activity. If being asked, "Game ka na ba?", it literally means "Are you ready (to play)?"
  • Get down / go down (a vehicle) — "Get off." Derived from Tagalog context (Bumabâ ka, literally meaning "(you) get down").
  • Ice water - Cold tap / purified drinking water in a long, plastic bag.
  • Intro boy(s) - from the word "intro" and "boys", a loanword from a band "Introvoys", usually used as internet cafe or college slang, especially in playing DotA, that an individual, a player or group of players have great skills and performance at first, then eventually went downhill or getting nervous. Sometimes being used as any other situations other than playing DotA, such as class reporting.
  • Jingle — To urinate. It is not clear whether the now-defunct Jingle Chordbook magazine popular in the 1970s–1980s used the urinating Cupid on its masthead logo before the slang term came into circulation, thus inspiring the slang term's conception and street usage, or whether the image was inspired by the slang term.
  • Low-bat (or lowbatt / low batt) — low battery. Figuratively, sleepy or tired
  • MacArthur jeep — A Willys MB.
  • Marine tank — A tracked APC, specifically an LVTP-5.
  • Meat house — A small house where meat is stored for drying or a smokehouse for curing meat or fish, through a smoking and drying process.
  • Metro aide — Refers to public street cleaners or broom sweepers employed by the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority.
  • Mickey Mouse money — Refers to obsolete WWII Japanese occupation paper currency in the Philippines.
  • Mistah — A graduate of the Philippine Military Academy. From the non-rhotic pronunciation of "mister."
  • MTV — A music video, genericized from MTV.
  • Napkin — A female sanitary napkin or cloth napkin.
  • Nosebleed — A hyperbolic reaction that happens when a non-native speaker encounters technical or incomprehensible terms usually in Standard English.
  • O.A. — Abbreviated term for "overacting" or overreacting.
  • Ocular inspection — Although a familiar phrase in ophthalmology, this is widely used in Philippine business and government to refer to a necessary inspection of a location for such purposes as a (near-)future event or project or for an assessment by an investigative body. Some purists call this term redundant and insist on the word "inspection" alone or with an appropriate adjective.
  • PX goods — Any import-restricted imported grocery item. From Base Exchange, due to the illegal but lucrative business in then-US military bases in the Philippines in exchanging such goods for cash. Sold in so-called PX stores. Prized for their quality and variety. The stores (and goods) died out when trade was later liberalized, probably in the 1990s, opening the door for the availability of imported goods in the Philippines.[2]
  • Pack up — Often used instead of "wrap up" when referring to movie sets, presentations, or long trips and vacations.
  • Perfume — Any scent used by women or men. No distinction is made between perfume and cologne.
  • Pershing cap — A service cap.
  • Pistolized — An adjective to describe a long gun with its shoulder stock removed and replaced with a pistol grip. Obsolete.
  • Rhum — This French word listed in Webster's Third New International Dictionary is the preferred spelling of rum and the spelling used by Tanduay, similar to "whiskey" (U.S. and Ireland) and "whisky" (Scotland and Canada) in which the Philippines uses the latter.
  • See-through fence — A chain link fence. Also cyclone wire fence, a term used even in government specifications.
  • Singer — refers to a musical artist or performer, regardless of what musical genre, including rap and noise.
  • SnowballSnow cone.
  • Sounds — Referring to music, especially when heard through earphones or loud car or home audio systems.
  • Step-in — Stylish ladies' sandals minus the strap. It can also referred to as slippers.
  • Technical sergeant — A non-commissioned officer grade just below master sergeant and just above staff sergeant in the Philippine Army, Philippine Air Force, and Philippine Marine Corps. The defunct Philippine Constabulary also had this grade. Derived from the U.S. Army grade used during World War II. Presently, only the U.S. Air Force uses this grade.
  • Third lieutenant — The lowest commissioned officer grade of the American colonial gendarmerie, an organization which existed from 1901 through 1942. The American colonial army also had this grade from 1935 through 1942. Similar to the American colonial army, the Spanish army in 1898 had a rank structure with four company grade officer ranks: captain; first lieutenant; second lieutenant; and ensign (alférez). In contrast, the Philippine army in July 1898, like the present Philippine army, had three company grade officer ranks: captain, first lieutenant, and second lieutenant.
  • Time bombFart/flatulence
  • Turbo broiler — The term used by Philippine manufacturers and the Philippine market to refer to the tabletop convection oven.
  • TurcoCarpenter term for an anti-rust paint used in roofs. A genericized trademark from the Turco brand.
  • Unli — shorthand for "unlimited". Usually used as prefix, such as "Unli-calls", "unli-texts" or "unli-rice[3]".
  • Vendo or vendo machine — A vending machine. The slang term is originally from the American Vendo Company operating in the Philippines.

--TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 23:18, 23 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

How about
  • open/close, as in "open the light"? In standard English, at least for techies, to open a switch is to break the electrical circuit and turn off the power.
  • I will be the one who will vs. I will
Wtmitchell (talk) (earlier Boracay Bill) 01:42, 24 February 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]
@Wtmitchell: What about "person deprived of liberty" (PDL)? I am hearing this rather euphemistic term on news reports to refer to prisoners.--TagaSanPedroAko (talk) 09:24, 4 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]


  1. ^ "aggrupation". MSN Encarta Dictionary, Retrieved March 13, 2011. {{cite web}}: External link in |publisher= (help)
  2. ^ a b c d e Cite error: The named reference newstoday was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ "mang Inasal BBq with unlimited rice & free sinigang sour soup! - Review of Mang Inasal, Manila, Philippines - TripAdvisor".

Dialect — not enough support[edit]

In the Notes column for the usage of “Dialect”, it says,

From an erroneous redefinition of the term coined by the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino after declaring regional languages in the country as "dialects" to Filipino.

With a cited reference (Andrew Gonzalez 1998)

I was curious about this so I combed through the paper cited. There was NO mention of this erroneous redefinition of KWF at all. Unless I missed something, I think this statement still needs citation.

Quidquidlatetadparebit (talk) 02:41, 19 April 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Serial comma[edit]

From the Orthography and grammar section: For example, a comma almost never precedes the final item in an enumeration (much like the AP Stylebook and other style guides used in the English-speaking world).

This claim needs a reliable source. And how much is "almost never"? I see some Philippine news articles using serial comma, so I don't think it's almost never used in Philippine English. I will be compiling a list of articles that uses serial comma here. Feel free to add more articles below. Pandakekok9 (talk) 12:03, 12 June 2020 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Articles that use serial comma[edit]

The "bold" thing[edit]

Please remove the "bold" thing in the article because it's quite unappropriate. Wikipedia takes important knowledge bases, not sex education! So please, remove it. AdjectiveGuy (talk) 03:53, 6 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Hi AdjectiveGuy, Wikipedia is WP:NOTCENSORED, so unless it’s incorrect, there’s no need to remove it. POLITANVM talk 04:06, 6 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
Do Wikipedia follows COPPA? — Preceding unsigned comment added by AdjectiveGuy (talkcontribs) 04:26, 6 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
I’m not a lawyer and don’t work for Wikimedia, but I don’t follow how it’s relevant. That law is about collecting data from people under 13. Also, please sign your messages on talk pages with “~~~~”. POLITANVM talk 04:36, 6 April 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

use of -logue and -log in Philippine English[edit]

I am from the Philippines. In Philippine English, there is a preference to use the -log spelling over -logue for some words, while the opposite is true for others. For example, I find "dialogue" and "monologue" to be commonly spelled with the -logue ending here, while words like "catalog" and "analog" are more used. I do not think it is right to say that the British English form is preferred when there are cases where the American English form is used. It is not interchangeable, but it is not uniform at the same time. Arsoniel (talk) 15:56, 7 September 2022 (UTC)Reply[reply]