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Oxford Dictionary Recognizes Additional Filipino Words Like Bongga, Halo-halo, Pansit

More words and terms from the Philippine English variation were included in the current Oxford Dictionary edition.

  • Oxford English Dictionary is lead historical dictionary for the English language
  • Its third edition is the current one with only halfway completed
  • Filipino terms like bongga, pansit, pandesal, to name a few, have been included in the current edition

Filipinos has been using Filipino or Tagalog, English, and Cebuano, throughout the country. We have been used to switching from one language to another we would end up mixing them together. Most of the time, specially for those that are living in Metro Manila, people would speak in combination, or “Taglish.”

The Oxford English Dictionary, in its third and current edition, is still in the works and is still adding new words and terms. Quite recently, they have added new words that came from Philippine English variation.

Oxford Dictionary recognizes filipino words
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An article from Philstar gave more information regarding the words that were just recently added:

  • bongga: extravagant or flamboyant
  • halo-halo: a dessert made with mixed fruits, boiled sweetened white beans, milk, and flavoured crushed ice
  • kilig: experiencing a feeling of exhilaration or elation

Oxford Dictionary recognizes filipino words

Loanwords, or words that came from a different language but was given meaning with another, were also included:

  • pancit: a dish made with noodles in Filipino cooking
  • pan de sal: bread roll widely consumed in the Philippines, specially during breakfast
  • despedida: a party to honor a person that will be leaving for a trip

Some English words and phrases were also given an additional meaning since it is used differently under Philippine English:

  • viand: a dish accompanied with rice in a typical Filipino meal
  • comfort room: a public toilet
  • kikay kit: a case where women put their cosmetics and toiletries

Another particular addition was the word trapo, which was defined as “a politician that is thought of being corrupt.”

An event to commemorate the addition of the words was held in Sentro Rizal London, with Philippine Ambassador to the United Kingdom Antonio Lagdameo present. He lead the signing and turnover ceremony for the latest Oxford English Dictionary edition.

Oxford Dictionary recognizes filipino words
Image credit:

Former chief editor for OED John Simpson and their World English Editor Danica Salazar. She was happy that the ceremony was done in Sentro Rizal, in front of a Filipino audience, and that Filipinos actually help with strengthening the English language more.

The Oxford English Dictionary’s third edition is still a work in progress, with only half completed. It is estimated that it will be complete by the year 2037.

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Written by Drew Tetangco

An anime lover and an avid toy collector. He transforms into a wordsmith by night.

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