Philippine laws and court decisions, with extremely rare exceptions, are written solely in English. English is also used in higher education, religious affairs, print and broadcast media, and business. Most educated Filipinos are bilinguals and speak English as one of their languages (see List of countries by English-speaking population). Still, for highly technical subjects such as nursing, medicine, computing and calculus, English is the preferred medium for textbooks, communication, etc. Very few would prefer highly technical books in the vernacular. Movies and TV shows in English are usually not dubbed in cable channels.
Philippine English traditionally followed American English spelling and grammar, except when it comes to punctuation as well as date notations. 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). Except for some very fluent speakers (like news anchors), even in English-language media, dates are also often read with a cardinal instead of an ordinal number (e.g. "January one" instead of "January first") even if the written form is the same. This is mostly because educated Filipinos were taught to count English numbers cardinally, thus it carried over to their style of reading dates. In military-style (or sometimes officialese) date notation (e.g. 1 January) the American standard is mostly followed, that is "one January".
Tautologies like redundancy and pleonasm are common despite the emphasis on brevity and simplicity in making sentences; they are common to many speakers, especially among the older generations. The possible explanation is that the English language teachers who came to the Philippines were taught old-fashioned grammar, thus they spread that style to the students they served. Examples are "At this point in time" and ".. will be the one ..." (or "... will be the one who will ...") instead of "now" and "... will ..." respectively - e.g., "I will be the one who will go ...", rather than "I will go ...".
Most of the native Malayo-Polynesian languages of the Philippines do not contain the [f] phoneme. Thus, some Filipinos substitute [p] for [f] when they pronounce English words containing [f]. Some even pronounce English words that normally do begin with [p] with an [f] through hypercorrection due to confusion over which pronunciation is required.
Like [f], the [v] sound is also virtually non-existent in most major native languages of the Philippines. Partly because modern Spanish does not distinguish between [b] and [v] (both being pronounced as [b] and, intervocalically, as [β]), some of the older generation of Filipinos would pronounce the letter [v] in all English words as [b].
Languages of indigenous minorities that had limited contact with the Spanish colonial government often retain the [v] sound. The [f] sound also occurs in some of them. Examples are the Ivatan language, Ibanag language, and languages of the Lumad tribes in Mindanao and Visayas. All of them are minor indigenous languages of the Philippines. The Ibaloi tongue in the Baguio-Benguet area of Northern Luzon also has naturally occurring [f] and [v] sounds, as in sifa (interrogative who) and divit (a traditional wrap-around skirt). The modern spelling of the name of one of the most numerous ethnic groups of the Philippines, the Manobo tribes of Mindanao, is actually the hispanized spelling of the original Manobo word Manuvu.
Some of the other sounds that Philippine languages lack include [ɪ], [æ] and [ʌ]; only a few still retain [ə] (most notably Kinaray-a in Panay Island). The sound [ɪ] (/i/ in "brick") is replaced with [i] (/y/ in "happy") so the pronunciation of the words "bit" and "beat [bit]", "hit" and "heat [hit]", and "fill" and "feel [fil]" would be the same, respectively. The [θ] and [ð] sounds in all words are also absent in these languages, so they are pronounced [t] and [d] instead as a sign of th-stopping. Others hypercorrectly sound th in Thai, Thomas, etc. as [θ].
Words such as "back" [bæk] and "buck" [bʌk], "cat" [kæt] and "cut" [cʌt], and "pass" [pæs] and "pus" [pʌs] respectively would also have the same pronunciation since [a] (/a/ in Filipino word "alin"), [æ], and [ʌ] are not distinguished and all would be pronounced as [a]. Except for [ʌ], this is similar to speech of some speakers of English language in northern England, Scottish English, Ulster English, and Irish English. Some speakers realize [æ] as [ɛ] instead, so bad and bed are homophones.
With the exemption of [ə] sound in word endings "ble", "fle", and "ple" which are replaced with [o] (/o/ in Filipino word "uso"), [ə] in "cle", "dle", "gle", "tle" is either replaced with [e] (/e/ in "egg") which is more commonly used or [o]. Google [ˈɡuɡ(ə)l] would be read as [ˈɡuɡel] and handle [ˈhænd(ə)l] would be [ˈhandel]. Also depending on the spelling as Filipinos read based on how the word is spelled, "travel" [ˈtræv(ə)l] would be [ˈtrabel], "computer" [kəmˈpjutər] as [komˈpjuter], and circle [ˈsərkəl] read as [ˈsirkel] or [ˈsirkol]. For that reason, the endings -cion, -sion, -tion rhyme like Shaun/Shawn (locally /ʃon/ "Sion/Syon"), which is somewhat similar with non-native pronunciation of English by speakers of Romance languages.
The schwa in unstressed affixes is sounded with its full equivalent vowels instead, so that the -ace/-ase əs in "surface", "purchase", -ate [ət in some words like "private" and usual pronunciation of "candidate", -ain in "mountain", "captain" (and -ane in "Brisbane"), and -age/-ege [ɨdʒ] in "marriage" rhyme with "ace", "pain/pane", "eight", and "age" respectively, or not deleted in some affixes but still sounded fully, namely -ary, -ery, -ory, -mony, -erry, that is why words like "history [ˈhistori]" and "mastery [ˈmastɛri]" are pronounced that way. Likewise, the second o (schwa sound) in "Catholic" and "sophomore" are not elided as a form of epenthesis, even in careful or casual speech. Some other words and affixes like -ile and -ine are pronounced mostly like in British and Commonwealth English and some other speakers of Canadian and/or American English, thus "missile/missal" and "hostile/hostel" are not homophonous.
In addition to the schwa, the /e/ (actually a reduced vowel /ɨ/) in -es/-ess is pronounced with the full vowel instead, thus it sounds like ess (the letter S, [ɛs]). This feature is also somewhat similar with non-native pronunciation of English by speakers of Romance languages. Many Filipinos have a difficulty with some initial-stress-derived nouns, so "complex" and "compound" sound alike whether as a noun or not.
A phenomenon among the older generation of Filipinos is their pronunciation of all the English words starting with s + consonant such as star, spade, stampede, slide, stigma, statue, sky, stable, strict, and stew. These words are pronounced by some of them as "istar/estar", "istampede/estampede", "istigma/estigma", "istatue/estatue", "istable/estable", "istrict/estrict" and "istew/estew" because these older people were exposed to the Spanish language and were used to the Spanish system wherein there are no words starting with s + consonant, but instead es + consonant. Thus, estrella (star), estampida (stampede), estigma (stigma), estatua (statue), estable (stable), estricto (strict) and estofado (stew). As mentioned earlier, this phenomenon is called epenthesis. Another phenomenon is pronunciation by some speakers of the digraph qu before e and i in some words like conquest, liquidity so that they would be conkest and likidity to an English speaker's ear. Sometimes the ending -que is pronounced -ke, not -k. Again, this is a result of exposure to Spanish.
Another issue is suprasegmentals. In pronunciation, emphasis often tends to be put on the wrong syllable of a word (such as emphasizing the second syllable of "advocacy", "category", "celibacy", "ceremony", "delicacy", etc. instead of the first) or on the wrong word in a sentence as compared to North American English or British English. This issue is likely rooted in the aforementioned Spanish (Castilian) influence and often occurs with English words with Latin (and indirectly Spanish) roots. However, this is not the case for many fluent Anglophone speakers, who learn to pronounce and emphasize the proper stress correctly, mostly with help and guidance from their teachers or tutors. Despite this, some of these underlying mistakes remain in those speakers.
In fact, the stress of syllables and even pronunciation vary in many words. For example, adult may be pronounced with the stress either on the first syllable (as in British/Commonwealth) or the last (as in American). Likewise, miscellany is usually stressed on the second like in Britain, not in the first and miss-a-Laney as pronounced in the USA. Some place names like Moscow and Glasgow have the second syllable rhyming with low, not now. (Local pronunciation of Moscow, Idaho is identical to pronunciation of the Russian capital by Commonwealth and Irish speakers). Essentially, words and place names in English present in every Filipino's vocabulary may have varying degrees of stress and enunciation, mostly influenced by US speech and partly, indirectly by the UK via Southeast Asian neighbors that were once British colonies or by innovative pronunciations. See American and British English pronunciation differences for words Filipino speakers usually pronounce when they are familiar with them or encounter them.
Yod-coalescence is also very common in certain stressed syllables of words in Philippine English. This turns the clusters [dj], [tj], [sj] and [zj] into [dʒ], [tʃ], [ʃ] and [ʒ] respectively in certain words unlike standard American dialects which drop the yod. Words like dew, tune, and tube become pronounced as /ˈdʒuː/ (Jew), /ˈtʃuːn/ (Choon), and /ˈtʃuːb/ (Chube). Yod-coalescence in stressed syllables occurs in Australian, Cockney, Estuary English, Hiberno-English (some speakers), Newfoundland English, South African English, Scottish English, Welsh English, and many other varieties of English in the rest of the Commonwealth of Nations (except Ireland). Word-initial [j] also coalesces with word-final [d/ð], [t/θ], [s], and [z], giving the same effect as the clusters mentioned earlier, so "sees/seize your" and "pass(ed) your" sound like "seizure/seashore" and "pasture".
Among mother-tongue speakers, the phonology of Philippine English almost completely resembles that of the North American variant (thus, Philippine English is a rhotic accent), while the speech of those who are not native speakers is influenced to varying degrees by indigenous Philippine languages. Since many English phonemes (such as [f] and [v]) are not found in most Philippine languages, pronunciation approximations are extremely common.
Some examples of non-native pronunciation include:
Awry = [ˈari]
Filipino = [piliˈpino]
Victor = [bikˈtor]
Family = [ˈpɐmili] or [ˈpamili]
Varnish = [ˈbarnis]
Fun = [ˈpɐn] or [ˈpan]
Vehicle = [ˈbɛhikel] or [ˈbɛhikol]
Lover = [ˈlɐber]
Find = [ˈpɐjnd]
Official = [oˈpisʲɐl]
Very = [ˈbɛri] or [ˈbejri]
Guidon = [ɡiˈdon]
Hamburger = [ˈhɐmburdzʲɛr]
High-tech = [ˈhajtɛts]
Hubcap = [ˈhabkab]
Margarine = [mɐrɡɐˈrin]
Seattle = [ˈsʲatel]
Shako = [sʲaˈko]
Daniel/Danielle = [ˈdeɪnjel] or [ˈdanjel]
-ator in senator, predator = [ˈejtor] (by analogy with -ate)
Rachel/Rachelle = [ˈreiʃel]
Stephen, Stephen- in Stephens, Stephenson = [(i/ɛ)ˈstifɛn] or [(i/ɛ)ˈstipɛn]
(the ph digraph has an eff sound rather than a vee)
Special (some speakers) = [(i/ɛ)ˈspeɪʃal] or [ˈspeɪʃal]rhymes with spatial
The above list applies mainly to monolingual Filipino-language-speakers; a number of other indigenous languages, mentioned previously, employ phonemes such as [f], [v], and [z]. This form of mispronunciation, caused by the limited sound inventories of most Philippine languages compared to English (which has more than 40 phonemes), is generally frowned upon by Anglophone Filipinos, in particular, and businesses dealing with international clients.
The abundant supply of English speakers and competitive labor costs have enabled the Philippines to become a choice destination for foreign companies wishing to establish call centers and other outsourcing operations. English proficiency sustains a major call center industry, and as of 2005, America Online (AOL) has 1,000 people in what used to be the US Air Force's Clark Air Base in Angeles City answering ninety percent of their global e-mail inquiries. Citibank does its global ATM programming in the country, and Procter & Gamble has over 400 employees in Makati, a central Manila neighborhood, doing back office work for their Asian operations including finance, accounting, Human Resources and payments processing. See Call center industry in the Philippines
Accomplish — To complete a form - all government forms specify they are to be "accomplished".
Aggrupation — A political group. From the Spanish word agrupación. (Usually used in insurance.)
Ala — Filipinos prefer to spell "a la" or more correctly "à la", as one word. (The constructions "de la," "de las," or "de los" from Spanish are also often written as "dela," "delas" or "delos", in the same way that the construction of "pan de sal" would often be written as "pandesal".)
Already — Filipinos use this word to state that they have finished doing something, even though it was completed past the original deadline. In standard English, by contrast, "already" is used only when something was completed ahead of schedule.[example needed]
American — An illiberal term used by many local people, referring to any white/Caucasian person, regardless of not being from the United States. It can also be used as an adjective on a thing or object which one assumes comes from the Western world. The Tagalog colloquial term "kano" is more commonly used for any white person, which is taken from the word "Amerikano" (meaning "American").
Apartelle — A budget hotel. From apartment + hotel + le. Other terms used are "apartel", "apartment hotel" and "condotel" (portmanteau of condominium and hotel).
Armalite — The US M16A1 rifle, regardless of whether it is made by Colt, Hydramatic, or locally by Elisco/Armalite (part of the Elizalde conglomorate which was licensed by Colt to make the rifle for the Philippine Government; later in 1983, Elizalde purchased the real ArmaLite Inc.). Despite the introduction of the M16A2, the term is still widely used in the Philippine military and police.
Baby bus — A small bus used as public transport, the Philippine version of a minibus. The term "babybus" is known to have originated in the province of Cavite, where the baby bus is one of the main modes of public transport.
Ball pen — A ballpoint pen.
Banana cue — Sabá (cooking banana, similar to plantain), rolled in brown sugar then deep fried and skewered. The hot oil caramelizes the sugar giving the banana cue a crunchy texture. The name is thought to have come about because the bananas prepared are served skewered, in a manner similar to Philippine barbecue. Also called banana Q.
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.
Bedspace — The use of a bed at private home, rent for which is paid by a lodger or boarder known as a "bedspacer."
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.
Biodata — Similar but inferior to a résumé; a form that lists a person's accomplishments.
Birdie — (slang) The penis. Used by mothers to refer to babies' penis, the slang term has been popularized by the song "Don't Touch My Birdie".
Blank tape — (sometimes tape) refers to any blank magnetic or optical media. While recordable DVDs and Blu-rays would also be called "blank tape" by some Filipinos, they are also oftentimes called CDs, thus creating confusion between the optical formats. In contrast, the terms "cassette" and "cassette-tape" were often used properly back in the heyday of the format. The floppy disk is an exception, as most people call it "diskette".
Blow — To vomit. Seldom used today. Also used as a short-hand for blow-job.
Blue seal — An imported version of a locally produced cigarette, usually untaxed. From the blue seal labels found in cigarettes for export or tax free use. Usually of higher quality than the locally produced equivalent.
Bold — Nude, sometimes referring to pornography and soft-core. Maybe because movies showing nudity were considered bold, as in daring. Possibly from the 1960s when conservatism in society was only beginning to break down. A movie with nude scenes is known as a Bold movie. In the 1970s, the term for such movies was "bomba film," whereas in the 1980s it was "S.T. (sex trip) movie." These were also called T.F. (titillating films).
Boodle fight — A gathering where food (usually pansít, or steamed rice and sardines) is served on old newspapers or banana leaves spread over a table and eaten with bare hands by a group of people. Although it is the practice for some Filipinos to eat with their hands, a group of people eating this way from one source is an unnatural and contrived practice in Philippine culture. This way of eating was devised by PMAcadets, and does not represent authentic Philippine culture, but instead symbolizes fraternity and equality among PMA members by their sharing the same food without regard to rank. The term is taken from pre-World War Two West Point slang meaning "any party at which boodle (candy, cake, ice cream, etc.) is served."
Boston — A type of metal or rubber pad placed in the heel and/or front of the sole of a shoe for antislip purposes.
Boundary — An amount public transport drivers pay the transport operators daily; any excess belongs to the driver as his daily wage.
Boy — An affectionate nickname, used for certain men, usually combined with a second word which describes their employment, hobby, or body type. E.g. "Boy Balut," in allusion to the object's passion for eating aged duck embryos.
Bring home — A noun-phrase mostly encountered in the Visayas, this is used in reference to food at fiestas or other social gatherings packed by the host for guests to "take home". It is often shortened to the acronym 'BH'. To Anglophones in the Visayas, "take home" may be interchangeable with "bring home".
Cent — A centavo. "¢" the symbol for "cent" is also used as a symbol for "centavo." Formerly, "ctvs" was commonly used as the abbreviation for "centavo." "ctvs" appears to be a combination of "ctvo" the correct English abbreviation for "centavo(s)" and cs the correct Spanish abbreviation of "centavos." Cénts is a Spanish abbreviation for céntimos and "centavos."
Certain — Used to emphasize[clarification needed] or to denote,[clarification needed][specify] as in e.g., "The desk officer of the UP police, a certain Corporal Kalibo, told the Inquirer ...", or "What we're really pushing for is diversification, maybe have a certain bucket in fixed income, a certain basket in equity-based funds and then a certain portion in the peso and dollar funds," (emphasis added). The word is used more in Philippine English than in other dialectal forms. The correct forms are "A certain amount of ..." and "A certain desk officer of the UP police named Corporal Kalibo, told the Inquirer ...".
Chancing — To make a sexual advance. To "cop a feel." Mostly used by Filipinos of the Silent Generation and the Baby Boom Generation, this refers to advances by either gender that "take a chance" toward some form of suggestive bodily contact.
Change costume- Changing one's attire/dress
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. Rarely in use (especially by the younger generation) today.
Chocolate man or crocodile — Refers mostly to policemen in charge of traffic in Manila. Also refers to some politicians. This tag may have originated from the formerly khaki uniform in use by the police (nowadays Philippine police use a blue uniform).
Civilian — Casual clothes, as against uniform clothes. Likely derives from police use of the term.
Combo — Can refer to a musical band in addition to standard meanings. Rarely used by the younger generation.
Comedy— A term used to describe something hilarious (as in a practical joke)
Comfort room — The Filipino term for bathroom/restroom. Usually abbreviated as "C.R." Despite this term, some other establishments use "restroom".
Commuter — One who takes public transport ("commutes"), as opposed to commuters who take their own private vehicles. It is also used to refer to taking public transportation regardless of destination, as in "commuting to get to a shopping mall."
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.
Cong. — An abbreviation for congressman. This abbreviation is normally used for the terms "congress" and "congressional".
Coupon bond — Bond paper, with the "coupon" diverging in meaning from accepted uses of the word, e.g. "a stub". The word "coupon" is also used with that meaning in Philippine English. "Coupon bond" is pronounced /ko'pon bo'nd/, possibly due to the ambivalence of Philippine languages with the vowels o and u, as happens in most loanwords/co-optations in Tagalog.
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.
Cowboy — An American; rarely in use today. Nowadays, "cowboy" is used to describe an attitude of being "manly" or brave or someone willing to do a dirty or blue-collar job. It is often used to refer to having no qualms about using (broken) objects or being in places/spots associated with the lower middle class or the poor.
Dialect — A regional language, instead of a regional version of a language in Standard English. The Commission on the Filipino Language declared Filipino, a language based on Tagalog, to be one of the two official languages of the Philippines, which is shared with the English language. All the indigenous languages such as Ilocano and Bisaya are called "dialects". This usage of dialect was partly perpetuated by the fact it was a relic of the inaccurate vocabulary used in literature during the American period (1898–1946). To most Anglophone Filipino purists, especially linguists, the proper and accurate term is "regional language".
Dine-in — "Eat in", "for here" (opposite of "take-out"). This is commonly used by fast food attendants who have to ask whether a customer's order is a take-out or a "dine-in" one (e.g. to eat within the establishment). "Dining in" means something else in the United States.
Dirty ice cream — Non-generic ice cream sold on the streets.
Dirty kitchen — In a private home, a separate kitchen intended for the household help.
Dollar-speaking — Someone who usually speaks in English in public. Another term is "speaking dollar" (slang).
DOM — A dirty old man.
Dormmate — Someone who stays in the same dormitory. A dormer is a dormitory resident.
Double deck — A bunk bed, also known as a double bed.
Drama — Used to refer to someone who becomes emotional or expresses such emotions (usually sadness, sorrow, despair or suffering). For example, "Nag da-drama na naman siya", literally meaning "He (or she)'s getting all emotional again". This is taken from what is known locally as a "teledrama" or "teleserye", similar to a soap opera, in which characters in the drama often show such emotions. It can also be taken from the American slang term "drama queen" (see O.A.)
Duster — A sun dress. "Although she is wealthy, she wore a duster to the market so she would not be overcharged." The horsemen and cowboys, in the American Old West, wore linen coats known as "dusters", to protect their underclothing from dusty, dirty trails and roads. Also, a cleaning instrument (a duster in other parts of the world) is known as a "feather duster".
Entertain — A word you will mostly hear from a worker or employee, such as in a government office or a business building, e.g. "How can I entertain you?" or if they claim to be busy they will then reply "I cannot entertain you at this time". In standard English, the word used in this case would be "assist" (sometimes in use).
Estafa — Used in English-based Philippine law for the crime of fraud or embezzlement or small-scale economic cheating activity. From Spanish "con art".
Ex. — The abbreviation of the phrase "for example.", supplementary to e.g. This is used only in writing, and is read as "Example...". Some people use E.g. instead.
Face-out — Something (such as an electronic device) that is no longer produced or sold, and therefore cannot be obtained. (It can also refer to something that is no longer in use or in fashion.) This is likely an adoption of "phased-out", albeit mispronounced and misspelt.
Filipino time (or Manila time) — The habit of Filipinos not being on time. However, the now-mandatory and enforced Philippine Standard Time aims to turn Filipino time into "Juan Time" which is the habit of being on time.
Fill-up — To fill out a paper or document, e.g. Please fill-up this form. Sometimes "fill in". From British English.
First name — Given/christened name. The proper term "given name" is also used.
Fiscal — The title/position equivalent to public prosecutor; also its shorthand. From the Spanish fiscal.
Five-six — Borrowing or lending money with 20% interest. This also refers to certain types of businessmen (usually Indian and other South Asian) who engage in the same money lending business (20% interest) and typically commute on motorcycles. Five-six comes from a scheme of lending 5 (hundred pesos) and expecting back 6 (hundred pesos).
For a while — Used on the telephone to mean "please wait" or "hold on". Literal translation in Tagalog: Sandalî lang (correctly means "Just a moment").
FX taxi — A type of share taxi. Share taxis in the Philippines are usually Toyota Tamaraw FX, an Asian Utility Vehicle (AUV) based on the Toyota Kijang sold in Indonesia.
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)?"
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".
Get down / go down (a vehicle) — "Get off." Derived from Tagalog context (Bumabâ ka, literally meaning "(you) get down").
Gets? — "(Do you) understand?" Slang from "Do you get it?" or "Do you get me?". The usual reply is Ah, gets. ("Ah, (I) understand.")
Gimmick — A planned or unplanned night out with friends. Also, any offering during evening hours by clubs, bars and restaurants to lure customers in. Seldom used to mean a trick or device used to reach some end, or a clever ploy or strategy.
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".
Green jokes — Dirty jokes (subsequently, to be "green-minded" is to have a dirty mind, e.g. always giving sexual connotations to everything). Loan translation from Spanish "chistes verdes." By contrast, it is interesting that in standard usage the term "blue" means "obscene" or "pornographic" and is used in terms such as: "blue jokes"; "blue films"; "blue movies"; and "blue stories."
Green-minded — Dirty minded, originally from Tagalog, the word Green is "Berde", which sounds like "Birdie" (the common Tagalog euphemism for a penis).
Grotto — A cave-like garden structure which contains a statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary (mostly Our Lady of Lourdes) found in homes and sometimes in streets. It came from the English word meaning "cave" as well as the miraculous cave found in France.
Haggard — Motorcycle cop; somewhat obsolete, more commonly used now is 'hagad'.
High-blood — A term used on someone who is quick-tempered or easily angered (Mag ha-high blood na naman yan, meaning "They're going to get angry again"); or as an adjective, ("Huwag kang high blood", meaning "Don't be angry" or "Don't get angry"); a person or thing that is displeasing and makes one annoyed or angry (Nakaka-high blood ka, literally meaning "You make me really mad"). Can also mean the literal term for something that's likely to cause, or give someone "high blood pressure". (Na ha-high blood ako, literally meaning "I have high blood pressure", or "I'm suffering from high blood pressure".)
Hold departure order — An executive/judicial or court order to hold the departure for a foreign country of a criminal suspect.
Hostess/GRO — A female waiter in a bar. The same word is used to denote a prostitute, although the very word "prostitute" denotes people who ply the streets for customers. It is from the bar practice of asking a female waiter out, in exchange for money, to have sex with her. GRO is an abbreviation for the euphemistic "Guest Relations Officer" phrase which has the same source.
Ice water - Cold tap / purified drinking water on a long plastic bag.
Intro boy(s) - from the word "intro" and "boys", a loan word 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.
Kidnapable — A person who, because of his or her high social standing or considerable wealth, is a likely target for kidnapping for ransom. While this could be heard and can be considered part of Philippine street English, it is usually used tongue-in-cheek. Additionally, Filipinos would just about join any English or Philippine English or Tagalog verb with the suffix '-able', but all with a certain amount of humor understood in the usage.
Live-in — An unmarried couple who lives together in a sexual relationship; to 'live in sin', cohabitate.
Load — (Once called balance, originated as when you inquire credit balance, now obsolete.) Refers to prepaid credits on a prepaid mobile phone. Load can be acquired by "electronic reloading".
Lowbat (or lowbatt or low batt) — A blend of the words "low" and "battery", the term is often used when the battery power of an electronic device (such as a mobile phone) is running low and about to die, or has already died.
Malicious — Refers to sexually perverted speech or actions, such as sexual innuendo. Distinguishable from standard English usage which refers to harmful intent, without sexual connotations. Persons who use such speech or actions may be referred to as malicious-minded.
Maniac(or Manyakis) — Refers to a pervert person. Likely short for "sex maniac".
Masteral/s — University studies required to obtain a Master's degree. The word is obviously adapted for the master's degree program from the modifier "doctoral" used in the doctorate program. The proper term "masters" is also in use.
Middle name — Also known as middle initial when only the first letter is given, it is usually the mother's maiden surname. Filipino culture is highly patriarchal and family-centered, so the name reflects the ancestral roots of the person, with the surname from the father, and the middle name from the mother. In some legal documents middle names are written in the Spanish style, appearing after the surname and are preceded by "y" which is a Spanish conjunction. Its French equivalent, née is seldom used.
Mineral water — Is freely used to mean any PET bottled water or any water in carboys provided by bottled-water sellers, regardless of whether these are correctly or falsely mineral, purified or distilled drinking water.
Necrological service — While "necrological" is often used in standard English to refer to military records or listing of casualties and the dead, in the Philippines "necrological service" is used by funeral homes to refer to a pre-burial event consisting of eulogies and songs, especially over a deceased celebrity or public figure. Outside this page, this Philippine English phrase as such may have been first noted in writing in the Taglish elegy of Filipino poet V.I.S. de Veyra for English-language Filipino poet Ophelia Alcantara Dimalanta titled Requiem Para Kay Ophie (Dimalanta)---Makata, Kritiko ng Wika which mentions "necrological service" among other Philippine English words and phrases. "Memorial service" is also understood.
Nightclub — Used to refer exclusively to strip clubs, especially among the older generation. To avoid confusion, real nightclubs are instead referred to as "dance clubs", "discos" or simply as "clubs".
Nipa hut — An indigenous house used in the Philippines.
Nosebleed — A term used for a person who cannot speak, pronounce or understand English or any other foreign language well.
Number two — A mistress. The recipient of illicit affection by a married/involved man or woman.
OA — Abbreviated term for "overacting", sometimes also used to refer to someone “giving the drama”.
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.
Owner-type (or Owner jeep) — A customized Jeep-derived vehicle for private, non-commercial use. Usually constructed in bright stainless steel.
PX goods — Any import-restricted imported grocery item. From Post 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.
Pack up — Often used instead of "wrap up" when referring to movie sets, presentations, etc. Also, redundantly, in the context of long trips or vacations.
Pistolized — An adjective to describe a long gun with its shoulder stock removed and replaced with a pistol grip. Obsolete.
Practicumer — Refers to a student who participates in a course of study that involves the supervised practical application of previously studied theory; an intern (which is frequently preferred). (Practicum - internship)
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.
Ref — Refrigerator, as opposed to the American English "fridge", which was derived from the early 20th Century, American refrigerators made by Frigidaire. Some Anglophones use fridge. In sports, it is used as a short-hand for Referee.
Rhum — This French word listed in Webster's Third New International Dictionary is the preferred spelling of rum. This variation in spelling is a little similar to "whiskey" (U.S. and Ireland) and "whisky" (Scotland and Canada).
Sala — Refers to either a courtroom or the living room. In international English, sala would mean a large hall or reception room, or specifically in architecture, it would otherwise refer to sala Thai. From Spanish.
Salvage — A slang word for summary execution, the meaning evolved from frequent usage in sentences such as "The corpse was salvaged from the Pasig river", when the real meaning is "The corpse was found floating on the Pasig River among the salvage (refuse)". The word may have also been a pseudo-anglicism of the Spanish word "salvaje" (pronounced the same as the Tagalog word "salbahe"), meaning "like a wild animal"/"feral". When used as a verb, it means "to maul", "to attack viciously".
Sari-sari store — Refers to a small, neighbourhood convenience store or booth. Sari-sari is Tagalog for "mixed variety" or "sundry", but the term is generally used in Philippine English in combination with "store". Sometimes called a "variety store" in the Canadian sense.
Scandal - term used referring to amateur porn, celebrity porn or sex tape leaks. The correct usage of term is also used, but only common in political or juridical usage.
See-through fence — A chain link fence. Also cyclone wire fence, a term used even in government specifications.
Senatoriable — A person aspiring to become senator. From senator + -able.
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).
Service road — A non-limited frontage road or access road running parallel to a higher-speed road, usually a freeway.
Shoot — Usually said after a perfect shot of something is thrown into a container, or after a basketball has entered the ring. Came from the basketball term when a player successfully inserts the ball inside the hoop.
Singer — refers to a musical artist or performer, regardless of what musical genre, including rap and noise. Also used as a genericized trademark for sewing machine, its accessories and franchises.
Slang — Refers to strong foreign accents or pronunciation. For instance, the sentence "Your English is very slang", implies that someone has an unaccented English, that the "slangy" person is hard to understand. Distinguishable from standard English usage which refers to very informal usage of vocabulary and idioms, rather than pronunciation alone.
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 bomb — Fart/flatulence. The proper meaning (as in a bomb that is detonated when time runs out) is also used.
Tomboy — A boyish girl. A "tomboy" is almost always presumed to be a lesbian, although it may also refer to straight girls who dress and act like boys (see Gay, above). The word is rarely used, if ever, for feminine-looking lesbians. The word "tomboy" is a portmanteau meaning "Tomorrow (a) boy"
Topsiders — A classic, American boat or deck shoe, which became popular in many countries in the 1980s and were designed and manufactured by Paul Sperry in 1935.
Torà tóra — A T-28 Trojan aircraft formerly used by the Philippine Air Force and utilized during the counterinsurgency wars in the Philippines in the late 1970s and 1980s. The name "torà tóra" is derived from the film, Tora! Tora! Tora!. This movie features aircraft which resemble the T-28 Trojan in that they had a low wing and a single radial piston engine.
Traffic — Implies a traffic jam or heavy traffic. Usually used as an adjective, referring to heavy traffic volume.
Via-satellite — This phrase has been used by Philippine television channels RPN 9 (now CNN Philippines) and Q TV (now GMA News TV) to refer to satellite-fed foreign shows delayed by several minutes or hours in contrast to live television broadcasts. For instance, RPN 9 (and later ABS-CBN) might show a random NBA game coverage either "live" or simply "via satellite". Q TV, meanwhile, had broadcast American Idol "via satellite" (with more or less a 10-hour delay), except for the finals which had been traditionally shown "live".
Vulcanizing Shop — An automobile and truck tire repair shop.
Washday — A work day where an employee can wear casual clothes, as uniforms, are usually laundered that day (see Civilian). Not in use except among the older people.
We accept — Usually found on business signages, cards and flyers, the phrase "we accept" is used to refer to what orders or requirements the business can accommodate. American (and some Philippine) businesses would use the phrase "we do", as in "we do lettering" instead of "we accept lettering".
Wet market — To some Filipinos, a street market, although others use it to refer to its sense in standard English.
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.
Certain phrases uncommon outside of the Filipino community often crop up in Philippine English:
".. will be the one ...", and "... will be the one who will ..." instead of "... will ..." - e.g., "I will be the one who will go ...", rather than "I will go ...".[improper synthesis?]
"To open/kill/close an appliance/device" instead of "to turn on/off an appliance/device". The reason for this is because the Filipino words "buksan" (to open), "patayin" (to kill) and "isara" (to close), in the manner used in the sentence, have no direct translation to the English word "to turn on/off".
The usage of the first example is generally discouraged by most English tutors and teachers today as a form of redundancy.
^Author David Crystal remarks that English is used in technical contexts for intelligibility, and Taglish is used in social contexts for identity, noting that similar situations exist in other countries (e.g., as with Singlish). See Crystal, David (2003). English as a Global Language (2, illustrated, revised ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 189. ISBN0-521-53032-6
^Espinosa, Doray (1997). "English in the Philippines". Global Issues in Language Education (Language Institute of Japan) (26): 9. Retrieved March 13, 2011.
^Gonzalez, A. (2009) The Transplantation of American English in Philippine Soil, in A Companion to the History of the English Language (eds H. Momma and M. Matto), Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, UK. doi:10.1002/9781444302851.ch31
^ abExamples: . "So if they see policemen about to conduct a security survey, they should ask me first because I will be the one who will know about it. They will have to talk to me,", "Security survey for Lapu banks suggested". Philippine daily Inquirer, citing Cebu Daily News. March 17, 2008. Retrieved 2008-09-03; . "If I will be the one who will talk and explain, that will be self-serving,", Anselmo Roque (January 18, 2007). "Ecija school faculty bares university exec’s mess". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2008-09-03; . "Whoever wins on the issue of secret balloting will be the one who will win the speakership,", Norman Bordadora (July 22, 2007). "Arroyo can deliver SONA sans Speaker—Salonga". Philippine Daily Inquirer. Retrieved 2008-09-03.