Pinoy slang made popular by celebrities

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Thanks to Vice Ganda, Rufa Mae Quinto, and other celebrities, our street jargon has widened considerably.


When a feud is about to explode and you want to retreat from a potential confrontation, just smile and say, “Love, love, love!”

Take it from Kris Aquino, one of the celebrities who can take credit for inventing or popularizing some Pinoy slangs.

From ‘70s to ‘80s, the words such as Repapips, Kosa, Resbak, Ermats, Erpats, Toma, Yosi, Syota and Haybol became extremely popular. Thanks to the action stars and rock stars!

In the ‘90s, Robin Padilla made the words dehins, utol, astig so cool.

Dehins even made it to Eraserheads’ hit song “Pare Ko.”

Stars and showbiz indeed have played a role in setting the trend not just in fashion, style, and beauty, but also in speech.

Some terms may not sit well with the staunch devotees of the Filipino or Tagalog.

They’d probably raise their eyebrows, and retort, “You are murdering the language!”

But doesn’t PG have more finesse? And it’s certainly more subtle than “patay-gutom,” right, Annabelle Rama?

PEP.ph (Philippine Entertainment Portal) lists some unusual words and catchphrases that have become part of our street lingo because the celebrities made them popular.

1. “You can never can tell.”

It was actually a quote that, over time, has penetrated our daily convos. Some don’t actually realize it's grammatically incorrect, but, heck, it has become an expression like its depends.

Showbiz fans claimed they heard it from Vilma Santos. A few Netizens said Ara Mina said it too.

But Manunuri and veteran entertainment columnist Mario Hernando corrected, “It’s from Daria Ramirez.”

2. "Super duper!"

There was a period in Carmina Villarroel’s life when this was her favorite expression, like she would use it as a superlative for her every adjective. She was really super-duper happy using it.

3. Atsetse!

The word originated from Vic Sottoand then child wonder Aiza Seguerra.

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It’s supposed to be the expression when you’re surprised or shocked, accompanied by a simultaneous movement of an arm and a leg to one side.

4. Ngeee!

Dolphy used “nge” in most of his movies.

But if you lived through the ‘90s, you’re more familiar with “ngee,” along with “esmyuskee,” which was made popular by Ang TV.

5. Esep-Esep as in isip-isip

Remember Amy Perez when she co-hosted the segment “Pera o Bayong” for MTB (Masayang Tanghali Bayan) with Roderick Paulate?

While giving the contestants more time to choose over pera o bayong, she and the audience would chant, “esep-esep!”

You can tell that to a friend dumbed down by an unhappy relationship, “Friend, esep-esep!”

6. Pag may time...

Netizens claim it went viral after YES101 FM DJ Chico Loco said it on air. We initially thought it came from Ryzza Mae Dizon.

The usage is: verb then repeat the verb then add “pag may time.”

Hence, another way of telling your friend acting dumb over an unhappy relationship, “Friend, esep-esep din pag may time!”

7. Look up!

Ryzza Mae’s contribution to the street lingo is this two-word sentence.

After launching the look-up pose via her show, selfie fans began doing their selfies saying,”Look up!” instead of “cheese.”

8. Wagas.

This word traces its origin back to 2011, when it was used as the new superlative.

Often used satirically to note that something is exaggerated, as in “wagas kung makatawa” to describe a friend who laughs annoyingly.

Love Radio FM DJ Papa Jack, including Jose Manalo of Eat! Bulaga, contributed to its popularity.

9. Ka-berks

Kabarkada, katropa, a friend.

Popularized by the eponymous youth-oriented show of ABS-CBN in the 90s, Berks, featuring Heart Evangelista, Camille Prats, Angelica Panganiban, John Prats, Carlo Aquino, Karel Marquez, Janus del Prado, Glaiza de Castro, and Sarah Christophers.

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All of us have our own ka-berks, yes?

10. Dabarkads.

Eat Bulaga! practically can have this word patented.

11. Pasaway.

Ethel Booba made it a popular expression when she co-hosted Extra Challenge with Paolo Bediones.

12. Paki-explain. Labyu!

One of the funniest satirical punch lines from Bubble Gang, popularized by Michael V as Donya Ina, a mother critical of the vanities, foolishness, and stupidities she sees in social media.

Donya Ina may be funny, but she actually makes sense.

Example: “Do your FB friends really want to know what you eat? Nakakayaman ba iyan? Paki-explain. Labyu.”

13. Boom.

Another expression made popular by Bubble Gang.

Remember Boy Pick-up, Ogie Alcasid’s character?

When a story or a punchline has an underlying meaning, it is emphasized by saying “boom,” with matching gesture of the hips thrusting forward and hands wide apart pulled with a slight sudden force.

14. Boom Panes.

Vice Ganda has added “panes” to “boom” and made it as one of his favorite catchphrases in Gandang Gabi, Vice!

A person’s story that is too incredible to believe is boom panes. Anything that’s a flop is boom panes.

But Vice Ganda’s “Boom Panes” song actually became a hit!

15. Waley and Havey

Waley, say, when a joke falls flat and havey when it makes its mark.

Put simply, as popularized by the It’s Showtime hosts, waley expresses disapproval and havey, approval.

16. May nag-text, agad-agad, and 'di ba puwedeng…

As one of the Showtime jurors, Vice introduced, “May nag-text,” and he would read a comment or message that supposedly came from whoever.

'Di ba puwede was also made popular by Vice. It appeals to something that’s widely-assumed, but not necessarily true.

Agad-agad is usually Vice’s retort to any exaggerated statement or claim.

Example: Super love nina Sarah Geronimo at Matteo Guidicelli ang isa’t isa, puwede na silang mag-asawa.

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Agad-agad? 'Di ba puwedeng date-date muna without chaperone?

17. E ‘di wow!

This is the latest expression popularized by Vice Ganda.

But the word wow, normally used as a compliment, is tinged with sarcasm here.

To a friend who brags about every new thing he buys, you say, “E di WOW!” Exaggerate the “wow.”

18. Todo na ‘to, Okay fine, Go go go, and To the highest level

All these came from just one lady, Rufa Mae Quinto, who repeatedly uses them in all her shows.

Did we miss out on anything, PEPsters? The space below is yours...


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