30+ Easy Tagalog Slang Words Filipinos Use Daily

Tagalog slang words - A photo of a drawing of Filipinos preparing food for an occasion

Speaking like a local is not just about using the right terms or expressions. Sometimes, you also have to level up your words to establish a more authentic form of communication. With this being said, if there is one set of words that can seriously reflect a lot about the Philippines’ diverse culture, then that would be its unique range of Tagalog slang words.

This is why, in this article, we will give you a sneak peek at some of the rampantly used Filipino expressions that you can use to blend in perfectly in the Philippines.

At present, we are seeing a significant number of tourists from all over the world who are considering visiting the Pearl of The Orient Seas.

With its pristine historical sites, spellbinding beaches, and savory dishes, the country remains one of Asia’s highest-rated travel destinations. And if you are planning to book a trip to the Philippines, then it would be wise to level up your Tagalog vocabulary with a few local words that will surely impress the locals. 

What Are The Most Common Tagalog Slang Words?

Unlike other languages, the slang words of Filipinos are a caliber of their own. It usually features masterful use of two to three letters, playful modifications of Tagalog words, and Taglish (a combination of Tagalog and English).

Below, we have listed 20 words that we can guarantee that you will hear among your friends or colleagues of Filipino descent.

1. Nyek

Direct translation: oops

Do note that this Tagalog word can also be used interchangeably with “nge,” “nye,” or “ngek,” but it all means the same thing.

2. Jowa

Direct translation: boyfriend / girlfriend

You can use this when referring to your special someone in Tagalog. Additionally, if you want to say that someone is a girlfriend/boyfriend material, you can say “jowable.

3. Charot

Direct translation: joking

Also used as “char,” this word is widely used and is synonymous with the English phrase “just joking” or “just kidding.”

4. Chibog

Direct translation: food

This can be said to refer to food or to signify eating time.

5. Lodi

Direct translation: idol

This is the reversed version of the English word “idol.” You can use this word when speaking with someone who you look up to.

6. Petmalu

Direct translation: awesome

This is the reversed version of the Tagalog word “malupet” or “malupit,” which is synonymous with the English words “amazing” or “awesome.”

7. Mumshie

Direct translation: mother

This is a cute way of calling your biological mother or any female who is significantly older than you.

8. Werpa

Direct translation: power

This word has been part of everyday Tagalog conversation and can be used to show the utmost support to someone.

9. Keri

Direct translation: can do

When someone asks if you can do something and the answer is yes, you can use this word instead to signify that you are confident you can.

10. Bes/Beshie

Direct translation: best friend 

You can use this as a term of endearment for your closest friends. It can be added in both oral and digital conversations.

11. Praning

Direct translation: crazy 

This one is used to describe someone who is out of their mind. Do note that you should use this only with your close friends as this can be viewed as rude by other people.

12. Chika

Direct translation: gossip

If you want to ask someone what’s up with them, then you can simply say, “anong chika?

13. Kyah

Direct translation: big brother

This is a playful take on the Tagalog word “kuya” or big brother in English. You can use this when speaking with men who you do not know well.

14. Tsikot

Direct translation: car

This Tagalog slang refers to “kotse” or car in English.

15. Tigok

Direct translation: dead

Aside from this, you can also use the word “dedo” to say that something/someone is dead.

16. Wafu/Wafa

Direct translation: handsome/ beautiful

You can use this term to refer to someone who is good-looking.

17. Dehins

Direct translation: no

This is another playful take on the Tagalog word “hindi” or “no” in English.

18. Susmaryosep

Direct translation: Jesus, Mary, and Joseph

This is one of the most used interjections, which combines the Holy Names of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

19. Mumu

Direct translation: ghost / cheap

This Filipino slang can be used to refer to ghosts or spirits, but it can also be used to describe something that is of low price or make.

20. Basta

Direct translation: just because

If you do not want to explain something, you can use this word to end a statement.

How Do You Say Slang In Tagalog?

The Tagalog word for slang is balbal .

If you want to ask, “How do you say this slang in Tagalog?”, you can say, “Paaano mo sasabihin itong balbal na ito sa Tagalog?”

However, most people do not use the word balbal nowadays, as it is a rarely used Tagalog word. Instead, you can just ask them “Ano ang mga alam mong slangs sa Tagalog?”

More Tagalog Slang Terms Vocabulary List

Here is a list of common Filipino slang words that can make a tourist sound like a local in the Philippines:

Before using these words, don’t forget that Tagalog slang terms can have different meanings and connotations in different regions and contexts in the Philippines. So, always use them carefully and in the right context.

A photo of a smiling man using his phone while studying Tagalog

Decoding The Online Lingo: A Look Into Filipino Internet Slang Words

Conversations do not just happen face-to-face, right? To prepare you for online discussions in the Filipino community on social media, we have listed below ten more Tagalog internet slang words that you will undoubtedly encounter on Filipino-managed sites, forums, or online marketplaces on the internet.

Frequently Asked Questions About Tagalog Slang Words

What Are Some Modern Tagalog Slangs?

Talking about modern Tagalog slangs, Gen Z Filipinos have tons of new words in their vocabulary list. Most younger Filipinos use these Tagalog slang words when talking:

  1. Gorgy = shortened word for gorgeous
  2. Boogsh = an expression that Filipinos make after saying a joke or a conclusion to what they said
  3. Eme = works as a filler after saying a joke
  4. Forda = This shortened slang came from forda person, meaning for the person but is just cut down to forda
  5. Sheesh = An expression you can use when you’re in awe of something. It is the same word with the English slang “Sheesh”
  6. Mid lang = isn’t of good quality or just 50/50, also is the same word with the English slang “Mid”
  7. IJBOL = I just burst out laughing (same with the English phrase IJBOL)
  8. Chz = Charot or just a joke
  9. Ako lang to! = Literally means it’s just me! This Tagalog slang is used when you don’t want to exaggerate what you are saying, or you just want to be humble when achieving or doing something.
  10. Dasurv = When you want to say deserve and imply that the results of their actions are what they deserve

Most of these words are also Filipino gay lingo or internet Tagalog slang as well. So if you want to keep up with the times, learn some of these gen Z Tagalog slangs.

What Is The Filipino Slang For Girl?

Modern Filipinas use the words bes, beh, teh, ateng, ate mo, mami, mom, mader,

What Is Pinoy In Tagalog Slang?

Believe it or not, Pinoy is actually a Tagalog slang. Pinoy means Filipino or someone that has Filipino blood. It can also refer to products made in the Philippines.

For example:

  • Pinoy-made (Filipino made)
  • Pinoy food (Filipino food)
  • Pinoy music (Filipino music)
  • Pinoy na panlasa (Filipino taste)

Learn More Slangs In The Tagalog Language

The Filipino language is deeply connected with other languages, which is why native English or Spanish speakers can acquire this with no sweat. It is so easy to learn, which makes it one of the most interesting foreign languages that foreigners enjoy.

Although the US Foreign Service Institute says that Tagalog is Category III (meaning it will take 44 weeks or 1100 class hours to become a master), you can memorize it quickly. Start with these Tagalog slangs and talk to native Tagalog speakers to become familiar with the pronunciation and the writings.

Leave a Reply