20 Tagalog Slang Words for Everyday Use
When visiting a foreign country, it is necessary to learn the language in order to interact with others and survive. But there's something that adds a bit more excitement to learning a foreign language—slang words! Without them, conversations become stale and boring, and Tagalog is no different.
Outdated or hip, you'll find it here on this list. So let's dive in and learn all about these 20 Tagalog slang words. Already fluent? Let's see if you recognize all 20, or help me out by providing an alternative meaning or explanation for any word on this list.
1. Erpat and Ermat
These two mean "father" and "mother," or "dad" and "mom," respectively. I can't say much about their origin or how the words were created. Some slang words are created by reversing the syllables of the original words, but not these two. Now if you hear ermat and erpat being used, you'll know what they mean.
Example: "Your erpat and ermat are both so cool!"
In Tagalog, kotse is the word for 'car.' If you reverse the syllables, you get tsekot, which is slang for car. It's one of those special words that we mentioned before. Memorizing vocabulary is so much easier when the original word and the slang word are inverses.
This word is used a lot! It means "crazy" or "cuckoo" and is often used to describe someone who is hallucinating while on drugs.
Have you ever talked to someone and the person just goes on and on, like nonstop? Taratitat is the perfect slang word for a talkative person.
Example: Taratitat ka talaga. (You're really talkative.)
Charot is another popular entry. So popular, in fact, that if there were a list of the most used Tagalog slang words, this one would be at the top. Use this hip word when you are joking around; it means, "I'm just kidding!"
So, the next time you say something and others take you seriously, say "charot!"
Example: "As my best friend, you're the one I'll treat first this weekend. I won the lottery. Charot!"
I had a hard time finding an exact English equivalent for this word in order to offer a much better explanation. However, bulilyaso means "a failed, or unsuccessful, plan due to an unexpected turn of events."
Here's an example from a fellow author:
Dad: We thought Marie was picking you up at 2:30 pm today?
Kara: That was the plan.
Mom: What happened? Why are you still here?
Kara: Bulilyaso, mom and dad.
Kara: Marie called me earlier and said her mom asked her to accompany her to a co-worker's birthday party. Her mom was supposed to go there with another coworker, but they changed their mind today. Aunt Lily isn't comfortable going all by herself so she asked Marie to come with her.
Mom: Just help me cook dinner instead.
Kara: Barbeque chicken?
Mom: Dehins (no). I forgot to buy chicken yesterday.
John: What's for dinner? Barbeque chicken?
Kara: Bulilyaso, brother. Mom forgot to buy chicken.
Mom: You two will eat vegetables, okay? Beans, squash, and bitter gourd.
Syonga means "stupid." It is also spelled shonga or shunga. Sometimes the last syllable of the word is doubled, changing it to syonganga or shonganga. No matter your preference, they all mean the same thing—stupid.
Also, I might as well mention another word often used for stupidity—engot.
Ever visited a Filipino home at just the right time? That's right, I mean chibog time! This slang word means "mealtime" or "food." When the syllables are reversed, it gives you bogchi which is also slang "food" and "mealtime."
Chika means "What's up?" or "What's new with you?" (Anong chika?) It can also mean "gossip," depending on the context in which it is used. While chikahan means "conversation," "chit-chat," or "talk."
Example: How was the chikahan with your childhood friend?
Use this word if you ever need or want to borrow something. That's right, this particular word means "borrow."
Example: Can I borrow it? (Pwedeng albor?)
This one is still used today. Jowa means "lover," "boyfriend," or "partner."
Example: My jowa is still sleeping due to our different time zones, so I'm focusing on finishing this article today.
Top 10 Most Used Tagalog Slang Words
Dekwat means to "take something away without someone's knowledge," or "to snatch." The word, dekwat, is often used with suffixes indicating the tense it's being used in. It is rarely used by itself.
Dedo means exactly what you think. That's right, it means "dead," as the sound of the word implies when you drop the letter 'o.' Another word for "dead" is tigok.
The Tagalog word for "no" is hindi. It is sometimes spelled hinde. When you reverse the syllables and replace the 'e' with an 's', you get its slang form, dehins.
Example: Dehins ko gets. (I don't get it)
14. Wafu and Wafa
The word, gwapo, is one of the many borrowed Spanish words used in the Filipino language. Wafu and wafa are slang for gwapo (handsome) and maganda (beautiful).
If come in last place, or are the loser, in a competition, you are the kuletat.
Example: Let's see which Tagalog word will be in last place, the 20th or kulelat spot. Charot! I won't make fun of the kuletat. Whatever word ends up in last place is just as important as the one in first.
Every wife abhors this word."Kulasisi" is slang for "mistress," in other words, "the other woman."
You'll most likely hear kids using this slang word. I've always used this one for things that go bump in the night. Mumu" is the word for "ghosts," "spirits," and did I mention "anything that goes bump in the night?"
Ladies! Have you been asked out by a guy with smooth moves? I have the perfect slang word for that—swabe! It means "smooth."
19. Havey and Waley
Both of these are in right now and oh-so-hip! While havey is used to indicate approval, to praise good work, or to simply agree to something and say "okay," waley means the opposite. Waley is used to indicate failure or disapproval. It is also used to simply say "not," "no," or "none."
Whew! Finally, the last one on the list—echos (or chos). I was originally going to add this one to number 4 on the list since both are used as slang for "kidding" or "joking." But echos can also mean something else, which is why it earned its own spot.
In addition to the meanings mentioned above, echos is also slang for "poop." Yes, you read that right. So, next time you need to do number 2 say, "Naeechos ako."