Common Filipino Slangs You Need to Know

Vanny Sanclaria
4 min readAug 26, 2022


As a way to celebrate the National Language month in the Philippines, here are some of the most common Filipino slangs you need to know to help you speak like a local — and of course, understand their conversations!

If you are a tourist visiting the Philippines for the first time, it’s completely natural for you to be surprised when hearing the locals speak and talk to you using their mother tongue. You might catch some familiar places like “Mabuhay” or “Kamusta,” but most of the conversation will end up in a blurry haze of confusion on your part.

But before we go to the actual list, let’s define first what is a slang and a colloquial term.

Slang and colloquial overlaps in the area of being informal words that are commonly used by native speakers on their usual, daily life. To expand their differences, it is worth noting that slang is a type of informal language used by a certain groups while colloquialism is concentrated within a specific geographic location.

Looking at it in wider view, a slang becomes a colloquial language when it is used by people outside of the group where the slang originated from.

Now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s look at the common slang used by Filipinos in their day-to-day conversations — and sometimes gossips!

Lodi (loh-dee)

First up in this list is the slang lodi. If it isn’t obvious, lodi is just the English word ‘idol’ spelled in reverse. You can use this to describe someone you really look up to.

Pawer (pa-wer)

If you’re a fan or at least familiar with CongTV vlogs then I’m certain that you’ve heard this slang at least twenty times in one of their videos. In fact, it became the trademark phrase of the vlog channel because of how many times Cong have shouted this slang.

If this slang sounds familiar, well because it’s the Filipino version of ‘power,’ just being spoken the Filipino-accent way. This slang is usually used to express support or affirmation to someone or something.

Sometimes, the order of the syllables are interchanged that it becomes werpa but it still carries the same meaning.

Chibog (chi-bog)

When you’re sitting in a Filipino table and you hear one of them say, ‘Oh chibog na!’ then it’s your cue to dig in. Chibog na means ‘It’s time to eat,’ or ‘Let’s eat.’

Rapsa (rap-sa)

And after finishing your sumptuous Filipino meal, don’t forget to say ‘rapsa’ with feelings. It means delicious or the food is very tasty.

Walwal (wal-wal)

If one of your friends said ‘Tara, walwal,’ then gear yourself up for a night of party and booze. Walwal means that you’re gonna drink ’til you’re wasted.

Mumshie (mum-she)

For me, it’s a very endearing and sweet term to call your mother in this slang. Yes, it’s a slang word for mother but me and my friends usually call each other mumshie, too. Overall, it’s a very cute slang!

Charot (cha-rot)

Can be referred to as “I’m just kidding,” this slang is used to refer to something as a joke or to take things lightly.

Chika (chi-ka)

When someone asks you ‘Anong chika?’ it means that they are asking for the latest updates (or gossip). This can be used to spark up a conversation (or chikahan) with your friends.

Dekwat (dek-wat)

Dekwat is the Filipino slang for taking someone else’s stuff without permission. In other words, snatching.

Petmalu (pet-ma-loo)

If you want to describe an incredible, extreme, or excellent person or an act the Filipino slang way, then petmalu is the perfect choice!

Petmalu is derived from the Filipino word malupit, which means extraordinary or amazing. Usually, when someone calls you petmalu, it’s a huge praise!

Praning (pruh-ning)

Although the originally used to describe someone who’s hallucinating because of drug use, praning has evolved and is now used as a slang for someone who’s paranoid or crazy.

Be careful not use this to your friends or even strangers as you might come off as rude.

Keri (ke-ree)

There are other variations of this slang like ‘kebs,’ or ‘keribells’ but they all depict the same of meaning of being able to carry or handle a situation.

Basta (bas-tah)

Tired of explaining stuff? Just drop them a big ‘basta’ and they’ll leave you alone. Basta can be roughly translated to as ‘just because.’

The Filipino languages is very diverse in nature. And it’s exciting to see new words from by merging this mother tongue with other languages like the English language.

For instance, we have Taglish (Tagalog+English) or Enggalog (English+Tagalog) if you reverse the order.

Let me recall this tweet I’ve seen a couple of months ago. It’s not verbatim but the thought goes like, “I like Filipinos, they are very sweet but when I see a joke in English then suddenly ends in Filipino, I get confused. Then the Filipinos in the replies are all laughing. I want to know the joke, too!” That and with a crying emoji.

It’s such a habit for Filipinos to start their statement in English and then finish them with Filipino words and sometimes slang.

But more than knowing all the slang and the quirk sides of a language, at the end of the day, it’s still vital for the development and advancement of a nation. And as we all know, we are built with various languages all across the globe. We might not understand them all, but the best way to treat them is to treat them with utmost respect.