The News Today Online Edition - Iloilo News and Panay News

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Philippine English (I)

I don't like to start the controversy but I think there is many an Ilonggo now who does not know if they are speaking standard English or not.   Of course, this is due to the English variety coined by the academe and by popular media as well.

As an English teacher, I only favour two English: British and American. I am now trying to speak and write in either of the English because nowadays our readers or customers might not be Filipinos but foreigners who do not know Philippine English. I mean the common catchword for today's world is globalisation and in speaking or writing in English we also need to consider other peoples.

So I have listed here some terms common only to Philippine English:

1.          academician—a teacher in college, university or institution of higher learning.

2.          accident-prone—dangerous as ‘This is an accident-prone stretch of road.'

3.          aircon—an air conditioner, an equipment for washing air and controlling its humidity and temperature

4.          ambush interview—an unscheduled interview as with a politician, film star etc.

5.          American time—a time system in which people are always punctual in keeping appointments, schedules, etc.

6.          bedspace—a room for someone to stay as in a dormitory.

7.          bedspacer—someone who stays in a dormitory or shared room of a boardinghouse but does not take meals there.

8.          ballpen—ballpoint pen; a pen having as the writing point a small rotating metal ball that inks itself by contact with an inner magazine

9.          berks—one belonging to the same societal group especially based on age, grade, or status

10.        betamax—video cassette player.

11.        bladed—with blades or bladed weapon

12.        blue seal—an imported cigarette

13.        brownout—a partial blackout

14.        by and by—later

15.        carless—no car

16.        carnap—to carry away a car    

17.        chancing—the act of casually touching someone as a preliminary to a sexual approach without the person's consent.

18.        cigarette money—a small amount of money given as a bribe to buy cigarette

19.        colorum—an unlicensed or unregistered property or business; unlicensed or unregistered

20.        comfort room—room that is equipped with washing and toilet facilities

21.        deliver—when a woman delivers a baby, she gives birth to it

22.        domestic helper—a person employed overseas as a maid

23.        dormmate—someone who stays in the same dormitory

24.        feast day—the day set aside in the Church calendar for the celebration of a particular saint

25.        fiscal—an official having the function of a public prosecutor

26.        fiscalise—if you fiscalise a government or organization, you call attention to its abuse of authority

27.        fisherfolk—people who earn a living from fishing

28.        five-six—borrowing or lending of money with 20% interest

29.        flying kiss—air kiss

30.        gasoline boy—a male attendant at a service station

31.        grease money—a small bribe

32.        hamletting—a military tactic against people who are working against the government in which an entire community of civilians is forcibly moved to a place near a military camp

33.        holdupper—someone who commit hold-up or robbery

34.        househelp—a woman who works as a domestic servant; maid

35.        jolog—means poor; it is derived from dilis, tuyo, and itlog (d+yo+log); later it become jolog.

36.        killjoy—a person or thing that spoils the enjoyment of others by what he or she says or does

37.        KKB—it is used as an adverb and it means with each participant paying for his or her share of food or entertainment

38.        LBM—a loose bowel movement

39.        local—a telephone extension number: ‘What's your local?'

40.        LR—a public toilet for the use of women; it stand for ladies room

41.        marketing—shopping for food and daily needs: ‘My mother does the marketing after school.'

42.        masteral—a master's degree

43.        mix-mix—a form of speech involving frequent switches between languages

44.        nursery school—a school for children between 3 to 6 years old

45.        number two—a mistress kept in addition to a wife

46.        officemate—some who works in the same office as another

47.        owner jeep—a jeep used for non-commercial purpose

48.        PX—if goods, such as consumer item, are PX, they are imported

49.        quorum—four people who play mahjong or card game for

50.        rallyst—rallier

51.        room boy—a male employed to clean and tidy hotel rooms

52.        rubout—a killing

53.        salvage—it means to deprive of life; kill

54.        step-in—a woman slipper with a heel

55.        stick—a cigarette

56.        take-home—food left over from a restaurant meal that is wrapped for the customer to take away and consume later at home

57.        take out—having to do with the food prepared and packaged to be eaten elsewhere

58.        topnotcher—a person who attains the highest position in an exam or election: ‘Gloria Macapagal Arroyo was the topnotcher in the May 1995 senatorial elections.'

59.        sando—a sleeveless undershirt

60.        scotch tape—adhesive tape

61.        traffic—heavily congested with traffic: ‘So sorry, I'm late, it was really traffic again.'

It is only here in the Philippines that some people say ‘I can not cope up.' Well, there is no such thing as that, but ‘cope' only, like ‘She can no longer cope.'   Another thing is the use of ‘in' with ‘good' like ‘She is good in English.' The correct expression is ‘She is good at English.'

Another thing do not use ‘too' or ‘also' with negative sentence. Instead use ‘either' as ‘I don't like ice cream, either.'

(For enquiries, email me at banitawriters (at) writing (dot) com.)