Filipino inverted words older than Spanish rule
by Ramon T. AycoMay 12, 2009
(First publish in my “Culture Column” on
June 2009 issue)
This coming June 12, the Philippines will celebrate its “Independence Day”. To be more exact:Philippine independence from Spanish rule.In this connection, I would like to discuss something about our language, the Filipino language.Not about our literary language but something about Filipino slang words.
Joseph “Erap” Estrada.
One of the most popular slang words in the Philippines are theinverted words like erpat (short for father), ermat (short for mother),lespu (pulis meaning policeman), dehins (hindi meaning no), astig(from matigas meaning hard), atab (from bata or child) etc. Erap, inwhich former President Estrada is popularly known, is an invertedword of “pare”.Have you ever been wondered when this Filipino inverted wordsbegan? Michael Tan, in his article posted in Philippine DailyInquirer on March 27, 2009 said: “Rereading Tagalog Slang Dictionary reminded me of thetendency, in the 1970s, to create new words by inverting syllables. Thus, “yosi” came fromplaying around with the first and last syllables of “sigarilyo.” … It was quite a feat for youngFilipinos to conduct a conversation with these transposed syllables and I remember friends whocould convert every word in a sentence into their inverted slang equivalents. The inversion