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7 Old Tagalog Words That Need to Make a Comeback

From awon to wingkag, here are old Tagalog words that we should use again today.
ILLUSTRATOR WARREN ESPEJO
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An inevitable part of evolution is that an entire language can be lost. And, on a smaller scale, even words from widely spoken languages suffer the same fate. Whether it be through lack of use or proper education from school, a variety of words are in danger of disuse. Through Philippine history, we've lost several languages and words, especially in Tagalog. Here are a handful of old Tagalog words that we wish would make a comeback.

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1| Asikot/Ansikot

Photo by WARREN ESPEJO.
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Asikot or ansikot probably doesn't sound as unknown as most of the other words on this list. That's because a version of the term is still commonly used today as pasikot-sikot. The definition of asikot differs, however, as it means to loiter or loitering.

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2| Awon

Photo by WARREN ESPEJO.

If you're familiar with Ilokano and Cebuano, then awon will probably remind you of wen or tan-awon. But, in Tagalog, it was used as a more formal way to say yes.

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3| Balantagi

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It's interesting to know that there exists an old Tagalog word for the law of retaliation or "an eye for an eye." Yep, balantagi quite literally translates to mata sa mata, ngipin sa ngipin, or ang kaparusahan ay katumbas ng kasalanang nagawa.

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4| Kalatas

Photo by WARREN ESPEJO.

Kalatas sounds way too formal to use to refer to paper, but what's wrong with a bit of formality now and then? We don't know about you but papel just doesn't have the same effect as kalatas.

More: Filipino Words with No English Equivalent

5| Tungag/Tungal

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Here's a word that we desperately need to bring back: Tungag or tungal is used to describe something being awkward.

6| Paham

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Like tungag or tungal, paham is a word that would be useful in today's world. Paham simply means a learned man, someone well-trained, or a scholar.

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More: Dignified Filipino Words That Need to Make a Comeback

7| Wingkag

Photo by WARREN ESPEJO.

Wingkag sounds a bit weird at first, but it easily rolls off the tongue. What it describes is the act of opening a lock forcibly by prying it with a lever or bar.

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Paolo Chua
Paolo Chua is the Associate Style Editor of Esquire Philippines.
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