5 Unusual Filipino Words in Oxford Dictionary


As the Filipino community grows in the United States, more and more people are exposed to the Filipino language too. Did you know that there are over a hundred Filipino words listed in the Oxford Dictionary?



The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) records the English language. It features over 600,000 words, 3 million quotations, and over 1000 years of the English language. In celebration of Buwan ng Wika, we are listing down the Top Filipino Words in the Oxford Dictionary.

1. Despedida (noun)


First used in the 1920s in an article in the Washington Post, despedida means a send-off party to honor someone who is leaving a place, organization or company. It is derived from the Spansih word despedir which means farewell.

Despedida parties are organized by families and friends of the person who's leaving. They say that one person cannot prepare a despedida party for one's self.

2. Balikbayan (noun)


Balikbayan is a Filipino visiting or returning to the Philippines after a period of living in another country.


Balikbayan often come home with Balikbayan Boxes filled with goodies from the country the Balikbayan resides.

3. Pasalubong (noun)


Pasalubong is a gift or souvenir given to a friend or relative by a person who has returned from a trip or arrived for a visit. It was first used on Philippine Magazine in the 1930's.


4. Pulutan (noun)


Pulutan is the food eaten while drinking alcoholic drinks. Taken from the word "pulot" which means to pick up, adding the suffix "-an" to form a noun, pulutan was found in the 1960s.

5. K.K.B., Kanya-Kanyang Bayad (exclamation)


‘Kanya-kanyang bayad’ or K.K.B., literally means ‘each one pays their own’. It used especially to indicate that the cost of a meal is to be shared. It is first used in the 1980s.

Bonus!

Mabuhay (exclamation)


Mabuhay is an exclamation of salutation or greeting. It means "long live ——!", "good luck (to you)!", "hurrah!" or "cheers!". Mabuhay is first used in 1930s on Kingsport Tennessee Times.

These are just some of the Filipino words in the Oxford English Dictionary. Which of these words do you usually use?

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