Tagalog lessons from an English teacher.
Oración. Six p.m., to Catholics before WWII, meant time for the oración or evening prayer. The church announced it to the neighborhood by the well-spaced tolling of one of the bells in the belfry. Every family prayed the oración at home. The prayer began something like this: “The Angel of the Lord came down unto Mary.” “And she conceived of the Holy Ghost” etc.
It was believed that house lizards kissed the ground when it was time for the oración.
Jaské. “Oh no!” or “Oh my!” “Jaské, naiwanan ako ng bus” (used in Laguna).
Abogado de campanilla. An important lawyer. Usually with an anteroom in his office where a small bell is tinkled by his secretary before the caller is ushered in.
Pakeleng-isis. Sandpaper leaf picked from a tree for cleaning frying pans and kettles. Predecessor of steel wool.
Nakakakurtá ng utak. Curdles one’s brain. “Nakakakurta ng utak mag-review para sa bar.”
Kurirì. Fuss. “Makuriri yang si Maxi.”
Kuskus balungus; cheche bureche. “Katakutakot na kuskus balungus bago siya makaalis.”
Kursunada (from the Spanish corazon). Liking or impulse. “Kursunada nya si Letty.” “Kursunada nyang magsugal kagabi.”
Lamang lupa. Elf; underground creature
May gatas pa sa labi. Too young. “Gusto nang mag-asawa may gatas pa sa labi.”
Borloloy. Added unnecessary décor
Pautót. Palabas; showtime
Natutulog sa pansitan. Unconcerned with what’s going on, even in his own work place
Hipong tulog tinatangay ng agos. A useless person with no initiative, doesn’t fight for causes, just gets carried along by the current.
Wala maski singkong duling. Very poor.
Kalambre. Muscle cramps
Naglalampungan. Noisy cats mating
Mahalay. Lewd, lascivious
Hapis. Sadness, sorrow
Isang kahig, isang tukâ. A difficult life, like a chicken who has to scratch each time to come up with something to eat.
Putok sa buho. An illegitimate child. Refers to the Pinoy creation story of our first parents coming out of a split bamboo. The father was unknown.
Kalapating mababa ang lipad (low-flying pigeon). A prostitute
Kait. To refuse or take away. Old Tagalog songs always had phrases that went: “Ang pagibig mo’y huwag sanang ipag-kait.”
Bumbunan. The fontanel is one of the most important parts of the body. It is believed to be the spot where the soul exits when leaving its mortal coil. In a baby the fontanel is fragile. it was believed that when the baby is hungry its bumbunan is depressed.
For protection, the bumbunan should be covered at all times. Some adults apply it to themselves and believe the fontanel should be covered at the first drop of rain. My driver, for instance, does not care whether his whole body gets wet as long as his folded hanky is protecting his tough old bumbunan.
Mahamugán. Old people believe that a child must not catch the evening dew lest he/she catch a cold and get ill.
Salapid. Braided hair
Hingahan. Confidant. “Hingahan ako ni Maria ng lahat ng problema niya.”
Halaga. Price, value or rate that is often used as initial offering of a transaction. It can be haggled down to the lowest possible price.
Tapát. Last price; true. As in “tapat ako sa girlfriend ko.”
Halang ang bituka. Intestines are blocking the body. A mean or evil person
Anak ng tupa! Anak ng tinapa! Anak ka ng ina mo! All euphemisms for the biggest cuss word of all, Anak ng p___.
Halas. Used to be a common word meaning a scratch made by blades of grass or other plants.
Lalin-hawa. Infect. “May tigdas ang anak ko. Hindi ko dinala sa bahay ninyo para walang malalinan.”
Hampas lupâ. A vagabond, tramp or vagrant
Halimhim. “Sitting;” period when the hen is hatching eggs.
Malanday. Shallow. “Malanday masyado ang plato para sa ginataan.”
Hilaga, north; kanluran, west; silangan, east; timog, south.
Habagat. Wind from the west
Alwan. Maluwag, easy. “Maalwan na ang buhay ko.”
Matatág. Matibay; magtatagal; durable. “Matatag ang pag-ibig ko sa iyo!”
Pikot; pinikot. Forced to marry. “Napikot si Pepe dahil nabuntis niya ang anak ni Mang Pepe.
Piríng. Blindfold. “May larong kailangang may piring ang taya.”
Pompyang. Cymbals; slang: sex between two girls
Hasang. Gills (of a fish)
Pulikat. Cramps. “Pinulikat ako sa haba ng pila.”
Balisawsaw. Frequent urination. In the old days it was often attributed to having sat on a hot stone or stone bench.
Bigasan. Rice mill; slang: sugar daddy or rice producer
Daluyong. Alon; surge; big wave
Kayumanggi. Brown; morena
Maharót. Full of pranks; coarse; vulgar
Baybayin. Ancient Philippine alphabet
Kayo. Old name for tela; fabric; cloth
Palad. Fortune; mapalad, fortunate or lucky
Guyam-langgam. Small ant
Tagay. A toast with glass of wine or hard liquor
Kahol-tahol. Dog’s bark
Dambuhalà. Huge; monstrous