Precy loves to write about many topics, including Filipino culture, legends and traditions.
When you visit a foreign country, it can really be a huge help to learn the local language in order to interact with others and thrive on another level in a new and thrilling setting. 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.
Whether it's outdated or hip, you'll find it here on this list. So let's dive in and learn all about more than 30 Tagalog slang words for you to start with.
If you're already fluent, then let's see if you recognize all of these. Or maybe you can help me out in the comments section by providing an alternative meaning or explanation for any word on this list.
What Are the Differences Between the Languages of Tagalog and Filipino?
Though they are sometimes mistakenly thought to be interchangeable, Tagalog and Filipino are separate, distinct languages that nevertheless share much in common, with the latter actually being based in the former.
Tagalog is the native language of the ethnic group of the same name, based largely in the Central and Southern Luzon provinces of the Philippines. Since the nation's capital and most densely populated city, Manila, resides in that region, Tagalog was deemed in the first Constitution in 1897 to be the nation's official language. When the current Constitution of the Philippines was drawn up in 1987, however, it declared Filipino to be the country's national language.
Although it is based in Tagalog and the two languages are similar in many ways, Filipino is an ever-evolving language and incorporates more words and ideas from other languages such as English, Spanish, Chinese, Malay, Arabic, and Sanskrit.
For the purposes of this article, we will largely be referring to Tagalog slang words, though many of the selections below are also used in Filipino as well.
This one is currently making a hit, along with #2 on this list. Lodi is the perfect Tagalog slang word for that person you idolize. Yes, idolize is the key word here for this slang word's meaning, as reading lodi backwards will give you "idol."
Fresh from the oven along with lodi, petmalu is a Tagalog slang word that means extreme, exceptional, cool, excellent, or something extraordinary.
The Tagalog word malupit, also spelled malupet, when jumbled up will give you the slang word petmalu.
This is a slang word that might either be easy for you to guess or might potentially make you pause, think, and scratch your head. Focus on the first syllable, and that is a good enough clue to hint at what mumshie means in Tagalog. That's right, it's a slang word for mommies.
Werpa is another newly born Tagalog slang word. The English word "power" spelled as pawer, when jumbled, will give you werpa.
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 means "you're really talkative."
Charot is another popular entry. So popular, in fact, that if there was 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 coworker'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: Barbecue chicken?
Mom: Dehins (no). I forgot to buy chicken yesterday.
John: What's for dinner? Barbecue chicken?
Kara: Bulilyaso, brother. Mom forgot to buy chicken.
Mom: You two will eat vegetables, OK? Beans, squash, and bitter gourd.
In Tagalog, kotse is the word for "car." If you reverse the syllables, you get tsekot, which is the Tagalog 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.
Have you 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."
Another spelling used is tsibog.
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." Say it the slang way: albor. Although you may have heard some say arbor, the correct one is albor.
It is also worth adding that it is not uncommon amongst Filipinos to say albor when what they really mean is to ask if they could have it or own it. The standard Tagalog word for albor is hiram.
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.
Dekwat means to "take something away without someone's knowledge," or "to snatch."
The word 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 add "s," you'll get its slang form, dehins.
Example: Dehins ko gets means "I don't get it."
17. Wafu and Wafa
The word gwapo is one of the many borrowed Spanish words used in the Tagalog language. Wafu and wafa are slang for gwapo (handsome) and maganda (beautiful).
If you come in last place or are the loser in a competition, you are the kulelat.
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 kulelat. 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. Mumu is the word for "ghosts," "spirits," and "anything that goes bump in the night."
Ladies! Have you ever been asked out by a guy with smooth moves? I have the perfect slang word for that—swabe! It means "smooth."
22. 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 "OK," waley means the opposite. Waley is used to indicate failure or disapproval. It is also used to simply say "not," "no," or "none."
This word is perfect for a delicious dish that just made you finish two extra portions of rice. Rapsa!
Reading the word backward from the last syllable will give you the Tagalog word sarap, the Tagalog word for "yummy." Say it the slang way and you'll have rapsa.
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 what your preference is, they all mean the same thing—stupid.
Also, I might as well mention another word often used for stupidity: engot.
The Tagalog equivalent for the magic phrase "thank you" is salamat. When jumbled up, it will give the slang word matsala.
26. Erpat and Ermat
These two words mean "father" and "mother" or "dad" and "mom," respectively. Now if you hear ermat and erpat being used, you'll know what they mean.
Example: "Your erpat and ermat are both so cool!"
I was originally going to add this one to #4 on the list, since both are used as slang for "kidding" or "joking." But echos (or chos) 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 #2 say: "Naeechos ako."
Mars is used as a term of endearment between friends to refer to each other. Be hip and try it sometime!
If you want to cheer someone up and tell them "you can do it," then this is the Tagalog slang word just for you.
Keri sounds like carry. That is because that's exactly what this word means, being able to carry on or handle the situation. Keri means "can do."
Say "money" in a cool way with this Tagalog slang word. Anda is your slang word for money. So the next time you hear it, you'll know what it means.
Did you get wasted last night from having too much to drink? The word you're looking for is walwal. The standard word used in place of walwal or nagwalwal is naglasing.
Jontis is the Tagalog millennial slang word for "pregnant" with the letter "b" from the standard word buntis changed to letter "j."
This is the slang word for the head of a town or city. Reading this Tagalog slang word's syllables backwards will give you "meyor." Change the letter "e" to "a," and you'll have the English word mayor.
34. Krung Krung
Krung krung means crazy, nutty. Call it outdated, but I just heard this word again when I watched the premiere of a new television series of a renowned on- and off-cam couple for the year 2020. You'll hear this Tagalog slang word too amongst friends, addressing that funny or nutty person in the group.
Additional Tagalog Slang Words
- Awit: Although this word has in the past traditionally been used to refer to a "song," many young people now use it as a contraction of aw, sakit, which means "ouch." Many millennials don't use it literally to refer to physical pain, however, and use it more as a general term to refer to a negative or undesirable situation.
- Ssob: Essentially "boss" spelled backwards, this term can be used to refer to anyone you look up to or really respect. (Can also sometimes we switched out for retsam, a backwards spelling of "master.")
- Atabs: This derives from a rearranging of the letters of the word bata, and generally translates to "child" or "juvenile." Be advised though that the word can potentially have other additional connotations roughly along the lines of being someone's "crony."
- Agik: This common and useful word functions similar to "OK" or "all right."
- Kilig: This beloved word doesn't have an exact translation to English but can be perhaps best described as that wonderful feeling you get when looking at a person you deeply love, or maybe even just someone you have a crush on—it's somewhat similar to the expression of "feeling butterflies in your stomach."
- Susmariosep: A shortened combination of "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph," this exclamation is used when you're shocked or caught off guard by a surprise.
More Information on the Languages of the Philippines
- Learning the Filipino Language: An Almost Comprehensive Guide
- How to Conjugate Filipino and Tagalog Verbs: Types and Tenses
Questions & Answers
Question: What does "awit" mean in Filipino? Is it a slang word?
Answer: "Awit" isn't a slang word, it is more of a deep Tagalog word meaning "song." The more commonly used word for "song" is "kanta."
Question: what does "awit" means in tagalog?
Answer: It means "song" in Tagalog. Unless millennials had given the word another meaning that I am not aware of, like one of the commenters below is saying.
Question: what does "namo" mean in Filipino?
Answer: All I could think of is a short form of a Filipino swear word equivalent to the English "F" word. Instead of saying the whole swear word, some prefer shortening it to "namo" or "na mo," which still means "F you."
Question: What does "awit" mean in Filipino?
Answer: It means song.
Question: What does "shookt" means in Tagalog?
Answer: It means "shaken up."
Here is an article that might help in understanding more about these millennial words: http://preen.inquirer.net/35154/how-do-you-decode-...
Question: What does “beshy” mean?
Answer: "Beshy" means "best friend."
Question: Isn't "baks" in Tagalog the more popular endearment to call friends?
Answer: I haven't heard of the word "baks" as endearment amongst friends. But
"beshie" or "bes" is amongst females. For the guys, I can only think of "tol" and "bro," which means "brother" is often used. Unless "baks" is specially created or agreed upon between friends to be unique than usual.
Question: What does "ahmp" mean in Pilipino? Is it a slang term?
Answer: Most likely it means the same or derived from "amf". Used to express disbelief or surprise. It could be used as plain as that, while some used it to mean what it was derived from which is a cuss word, equivalent to the English "The f!"
Question: What does "makulit" mean?
Answer: "Makulit" is a Filipino word that refers to someone who is being pesky. A person who keeps repeating himself or herself to change your mind when you've already given him or her an answer is "makulit." Once it gets annoying, it's not uncommon for a persistent person to be called "makulit."
Question: What does "patay" mean in Tagalog?
Answer: "Patay" means "dead." The expression "Patay!" means "I'm in trouble!" or "We're dead meat!" This expression refers to doing something you're not supposed to do or hiding something that could get you in trouble.
Question: what does "jontis" mean in Filipino?
Answer: "Jontis" means "pregnant."
Question: What does "laslas" mean?
Answer: "Laslas" means slashed. It refers to when you see your pocket or bag slashed by a pickpocketer or purse snatcher.
Question: What does "salpok" means in Tagalog?
Answer: "Salpok" is a root verb. It means to collide, hit, or crash with force. A good example of when it is used is when a vehicle crashes into a tree.
Question: Is Tagalog phrase 'Pag may time' slang? If so, what is its meaning?
Answer: It is not slang. Pag from kapag means 'when'. 'Kapag/pag may time' means 'When there's time.'
Adran on August 19, 2020:
Anybody knows a tagalog slang word for somebody likes to balut take home foods in a party? 12 letter word , starts an S it has H and p.
Jason on August 15, 2020:
Please add tagalog slang "momol" on this list!
? on August 15, 2020:
Why isn't sanaol here and hakdog??
... on August 14, 2020:
What does yawa mean?
Krizzia Villanueva on May 19, 2020:
What does “hakdog and po” means in Tagalog?
L on April 26, 2020:
What does etsusera mean ?
Luna on April 21, 2020:
Awit = Aw, sakit HAHAHAHAHA
Gaby on February 27, 2020:
what does “share mo lang” mean?
precy anza (author) from USA on February 11, 2020:
Salamat sa explanation and additional words. :) It sounds like "aw sweet" hehe. I also appreciate na you said it nicely. Siguro nga outdated, gaya ng sabi ng isa pero naririnig ko pa rin ang ibang slang on the list until today at kahit ako nasurpresa kasi sabi nga outdated na daw. Tsibog, krung-krung, yorme, and a few more still used pa rin naman until today. The first three ay narinig ko gamit pa rin until today from 'Make it With You' pilot week, and yorme until now kilalang tawag kay Mayor Isko and ang kid host sa Showtime.
I'm also planning to create another one kung saan sana balak ko isulat ang millennial terms or currently used expressions. Thanks for the additional words na pasok sa banga for this such as the "Eh di wow," "Sana all," and "Bida-bida!"
precy anza (author) from USA on February 03, 2020:
It means love. :) Adding the letter s, "labs" means the same -- love, used as an endearment.
Gigi on February 02, 2020:
Hi there, what is the meaning of labs in Filipinos?
precy anza (author) from USA on January 16, 2020:
Hi. I didn't know they were that outdated, I still hear them used nowadays. But I appreciate the nice comment. Maybe you can share the most latest Tagalog slang words of the year 2020?
Bibimbap on January 14, 2020:
Very outdated naman ung terms. Sana sinama mo din usong terminologies. Like G! Awit, Arat. Shookt ako sayo sa examples mo ghorl! Hahaha.
Black on November 30, 2019:
Where did g? Came from? I mean, what is it even?
tina pie on November 29, 2019:
Hello, can you tell me what's the origin of 'chour' and its meaning? I only know char or charot.
Jobert.B on November 29, 2019:
Gigs on November 23, 2019:
Hi, what I know is that arbor means asking if she can have the thing as her own. And albor means to have tantrums.
Like "asan na si Mabel?"
Answer "andun SA bahay nag-aalbor"
#ChuPat on November 20, 2019:
Kulasisi is a bird.
nikki on November 05, 2019:
"Awit" is a millennial term. It's a combination of 2 words, " awww" and " sakit " , thus the word "Awit".Means aww sakit. Used when you are describing an unfortunate situation.
precy anza (author) from USA on October 26, 2019:
That translates to "You're too full of yourself!" But tone of voice matters too on how it is said. Let's say, coming from a close friend, it is often taken lightheartedly and means you're just having wishful thoughts. A good example of this is (since I couldn't think of any other example), you were walking home with a friend and you found out a guy you have a crush on is at your place and you said to your friend that he's probably there for you. Your friend's response was "Ang feeling mo." It's just wishful thinking.
ritchell on October 23, 2019:
what does ANG FEELING MO mean
Joy on October 15, 2019:
Qt on September 27, 2019:
Paul on September 25, 2019:
a friend commented on any other friends picture with their name in their comment and the word tootie at the end what does that mean? like Bennytootie
Mama mo q on September 24, 2019:
Awit Kasi is like another term for nakakaawa? Ganern Awa Awit
Chi on September 22, 2019:
Awit - expression, used in dismay or disapproval like kinda in shock or pwede din approval, really depends on the tone of voice kung excited or nadismaya eg: naku! / Ano ba yan?!
A: bro makikitext nga ako
B: wala ako load
A: ay awit!
C: zizter nakita ko ex mo may jowa na ulet
D: haha awit! Lakompake
Nagtatanong lang po on September 14, 2019:
Salamat po, ate!
M on September 12, 2019:
I dunno what the slang 'awit' means but i know 'wit' which means 'no' or 'don't.'
Ex. 'Ay wit ko sya bet!' (not my type)
jona abarcar on September 09, 2019:
im so thank full with this website it so useful
laiza grace ricamonte on September 07, 2019:
what is crux in millenial term
precy anza (author) from USA on August 22, 2019:
@Nagtatanong lang po.
Hindi ko rin po alam bakit, siguro dahil mas madali para sa kanila. Ako man ay curious din sino man ang nagsisimula nitong mga bagong slang na to. :) Pero hindi po ako ang nagsimula o gumawa ng mga ito.
precy anza (author) from USA on August 12, 2019:
@ Crow Sparrow
Hi there. Comment appreciated. It seems like you were looking for more outdated or old slang words from those years. Iyan po ba yung kapanahunan nyo? Someone doesn't seem happy before that I ve included outdated slang words and is expecting more na mas gamit ngayon, but you're the opposite. There is a reason why most of what I've included are yung mostly used today and that's because people are searching for their meaning. People are searching for the currently used slang words and not from the year 60's or 70's or so. You said some are wrong. But I stand by them. Maybe you know another meaning for those words. But since you said some are wrong, let's see, can you share what you know then? And yes, my parents didn't use slang words in the list here like mumshie, walwal, lodi or matsala. Why? Because these are new words. And there's a reason why I've included these words in the list, and that I already mentioned earlier. :)
relichipster on August 01, 2019:
what is meant by mag "#4 tayo?"
Rk on July 23, 2019:
What does naanu means in english
Lol on July 19, 2019:
What is patola my PH friend said "Mga payola!"
hi on June 26, 2019:
i use "awit" in... for example...
awittt... palakpak tengaaaa...
you use this when you're amaze in something
Hi on June 04, 2019:
What does awit mean
Kev on May 28, 2019:
What is awit means
sonson on May 20, 2019:
what is LL?
precy anza (author) from USA on April 24, 2019:
This most likely is the English word 'go' and that means to proceed, go ahead and proceed on whatever was said by the other person the speaker is talking to.
K on April 21, 2019:
What does "gow" mean?
Rick on April 02, 2019:
What does Papsy mean?
Brock on April 01, 2019:
Shaneclark04 on March 24, 2019:
What does "Bis2 mo p0 ko?" Mean
Anon on March 02, 2019:
What is enebe?
FMDV01 on February 25, 2019:
Escubidoo on February 25, 2019:
What does award mean?
Precy Anza on October 10, 2018:
I did? I say you should hunt down or find whoever created these slang words and let them know how you feel.
anon on October 10, 2018:
Congratulations, you just killed tagalog with those annoying Vice Ganda jargons.
Ana Maria M Omac on October 03, 2018:
Tita - means something like an 80s thing
Secret on September 25, 2018:
WHATS tibom .-.?
asdgafsa on September 08, 2018:
sml means "share mo lang"
Justine Gallo on August 27, 2018:
What is SML?
rachellyn lopez on August 23, 2018:
Precy on August 15, 2018:
Apong baak is mostly likely 'apong baket' which means grandma or 'lola' in Tagalog. It is Ilocano if that's the case.
About 'havey' from another comment. It is used to convey approval as well.
Example: What's the most stupid fish?
Answer: Sardinas. Because it's in a can.
With that, take it as instead of giving the joker a 'thumbs up,' saying 'HAVEY' pretty much means the same. You got me with the joke. You did good with the joke. It is ok. I approved your joke it made me chuckle. HAVEY. Same goes with WALEY. I could just give a thumbs down if it was such a fail or if I didn't approve the joke. But saying WALEY works just the same.
With Mars being used for a female friend. I think I should have caitalized the NOT in it to stand out more. It clearly says -- not the fourth planet referred to as the 'Red Planet.'
Thanks for the comments and feed back. And for saying it nicely as some could be so cruel :)
Aidil from Singapore on August 14, 2018:
Can anyone tell me the meaning of apong baak? Thanks....
Havey on August 13, 2018:
Havey doesn’t convey approval. Waley doesn’t convey disapproval either.
Havey came from the english word “have”. So it means, to have something.
Waley came from the Filipino word “Wala”. So it means, to not have something.
Pedro: May pera ka ba diyan? Pautang naman.
And Mars is used to refer a female friend. It’s shortened from Mare. You don’t call a guy friend “mars”.
Pappy on August 02, 2018:
I think "mars" is the slang word for the filipino term "mare" which refers to a feminine friend
"Par" is also a slang word for "pare" which refers to a male friend
pogi on July 25, 2018:
IDGAF on July 18, 2018:
What is sklwmp?
Benben on July 17, 2018:
what wagi means????
Yuanie on July 11, 2018:
Josh Galado on July 09, 2018:
What is WTF in millenials?
J on July 03, 2018:
Awit is a slang word tho...it's something like an expression
Max on June 27, 2018:
'Praning' is from the word 'paranoid' and shares the same meaning.
'Arbor' means asking someone for something they own, not to borrow but to have as your own.
Rexx on June 05, 2018:
I’ve always said ‘arbor’ though, not ‘albor’. Also have never heard of ‘albor’ from my friends (both from Metro Manila and the Quezon Province).
Jaja on May 29, 2018:
What does djkl means?
Lokaret on May 27, 2018:
sml means sarap mong laplapin
Use in a sentence; crush, sml
Kae on May 26, 2018:
skl means "Share Ko Lang"
hazirk on May 10, 2018:
what does skl means?
lucky on May 06, 2018:
I love fillipino language
Daniel on April 29, 2018:
gmatsala on March 22, 2018:
pls add "mema" and "mamaru"
Poru on March 21, 2018:
It's arbor not albor, it came from the latin word shrub and was used in asking for weed
Linda Bryen from United Kingdom on February 28, 2018:
Hi! Precy, thank you for reminding me of the slang words in our country. I must admit, I know some of it I do not know or even have heard of it especially the new slang words. Well done kabayan. Love reading your great hubs.
precy anza (author) from USA on February 21, 2018:
Thanks for the comments folks on adding up some more and giving corrections as I do read your wonderful, inspiring, lovely comments whenever I get time and add them up or do corrections. Much appreciated specially to the person below me. You're the best! And you made my day! ;) I wish other readers that might come here will learn something from you. I bet you can explain everything :) Have a blessed day!
Stingy Spoilero on February 19, 2018:
Yung erpat at ermat I-babaligtad mo din ung syllabication. Father-- Pater-- Erpat. Mother --Mater -- Ermat. Tapos sasabihin mo hindi i-babaligtad. Tanga!
Erpat and Ermat is also jumbled up. Father-- Pater-- Erpat. Mother -- Mater -- Ermat. Then you'll say it isn't. Stupid!
Boxzie on February 04, 2018:
I heard most of these, but not all of them. I wish I did though lol
gangsik on January 24, 2018:
Dony J on December 23, 2017:
I suspect "suabe" might have been derived from the English word "suave" as in a gentleman with savoir-faire.
A commonly used phrase in the 60's and 70's is
"dehins ka astig" : stop it, desist or you are out of line
Nestor on November 09, 2017:
Hi, what does it mean if someone adds the letters " MDA " followed by the "heart" symbol in an FB post? Thanks for your help...cheers..the context of the post has something to do with the person missing another person romantically...
Mich on November 02, 2017:
Doesn't "erpat" and "ermat" come from the words father and mother respectively?
Ron on October 28, 2017:
In HS(‘70’s), the word echos meant gay or homosexual. I never knew it as ‘poop’. It was also used at the end of a sentence like- ‘ Ang Ganda na man niya, chos!
--- on October 25, 2017:
erpat and ermat are the latin words for father (pater) and mother (mater) with the syllables reversed
precy anza (author) from USA on October 23, 2017:
Mga bagong labas ba itey na slang? Salamat. Idadagdag ko.
sheila on October 19, 2017:
icia on October 08, 2017:
Sml=Share mo lang
Shin on October 06, 2017:
Lodi = Idol
Nazrene on September 28, 2017:
What's Lodi ?
Anj on June 07, 2017:
Dehins , Francis
Francis on April 08, 2017:
Nobody says dehins anymore.