Pinoy Slang 101

Visiting the Philippines soon? It’s very rare to hear a story of a foreigner having a hard time talking to Filipinos, as the Philippines belongs to the Top 5 English speaking countries in Asia. However, there are certain colloquialisms that are part of Pinoy culture, and one of these is Filipino Slang. Sometimes confused with Taglish (Tagalog and English combined), Pinoy Slang is quite different. Filipinos literally invented their own words to describe how something or someone makes them feel, or to describe an idea.

To elaborate, here are some common words. Time to make your conversation with locals a more affable and exciting, by using Filipino slang words that add color, humor and pert to your discourse with a friendly and good-natured Pinoy!

1. Lodi
The word lodi in reverse is the the word “idol”. In short, lodi is a reference to the person you idolize or admire. Popular with millenials, they use this word whenever applauding someone’s achievement or performance.

To use in a sentence: “Congrats, lodi! Great presentation!”

2. Mumshie
Mumshie can be your mom or you can also use this slang term to refer to a close lady friend.

To use in a sentence: “Mumshie, don’t forget our coffee date tomorrow!”

Photo credits: @jeo_rgelyn via IG

3. Petmalu
A mixed up of the word malupet, which literally means ‘cruel’ in English, but for Pinoy millenials, petmalu refers to being cool, remarkable and top-notch.

To use in a sentence: “Bro, petmalu ang mga underwater shots mo ha?!”

4. Jowa
A widely used slang word, jowa means lover, spouse or partner.

To use in a sentence: “Nag break na kami ni jowa ko.”

5. Bes/ Beshy/Beshie
Another term of affection for a close friend, bes like the slang word mumshie, is often used in conversation among friends. The word, which is a short cut of best friend, may also be expanded to beshie or its other variations like besh or bestie. It can be used to refer both genders, but usually used by women.

To use in a sentence: “Bes, please send me a copy of our photo ha?”

Photo credits: @ojenbondoc via IG

6. Keri
Comes from the English word carry, keri is a slang word used to mean one can handle the situation that comes his/her way.

To use in a sentence: “I’m pressed for time to finish my presentation, but keri lang, matatapos ko din ito.”

7. Walwal
The Filipino slang word for being drunk or intoxicated from alcoholic drinks.

To use in a sentence: “Nakakuha ng raise si Joe, for sure, walwalan time na naman.”

Photo credits: @kkramm via IG

8. Char/Charot
A slang word made popular by gays, char or charot is often used in everyday talks. Usually added at the end of a sentence, charot simply means “I’m joking” when others take you seriously when you say something.

To use in a sentence: “ Mag-re-resign na ako kasi I won the lotto, charot!”

Photo credits: @millenlaramay via IG

9. Yaassss
This is to say yes, but with utmost excitement.

To use in a conversation: Friend 1: “Sama ka sa weekend, akyat kami ng bundok?”
Friend 2: “Yassss!”

10. Don’t me
Translated to Filipino, don’t me means “huwag ako”. It is used to say something like “I don’t believe you” or “stop giving me nonsense”; can also be used when someone is doing something irritating.

To use in a conversation: Friend 1: “Nag-away kami ni jowa. Hindi ko sya ite-text.”
Friend 2: “Wehhh… don’t me!”

Do be reminded that slang words, especially here in the Philippines, adjust and evolve in a jiffy. These are just some of the colorful words invented by good-natured Pinoys that shows how vibrant and lively Pinoy conversations are. It might be intriguing or irritating to outsiders, but for the Filipino, it has crept into everyday life, and is now embedded in culture, to the point that kids grow up using Pinoy slang.

Gets?? (Translation: Do you understand?)








Cover photo credits: @prinsipemoi via IG

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