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Filipinism vs American Expression

Filipinism is evolved from Filipino localization or acculturation of the English language which resulted to the creation of words, phrases or terms that in some way maybe grammatically incorrect or foreign native English speakers. In short these Filipinisms are colloquial English words and phrases that are unique in the Philippines. Some of the most common words that are considered a result of Filipinism are as follows:

Open – to turn on. Filipinos would normally say open the lights or open the computer which essentially means turn on. The interchanging of turn on and open is because both have one Tagalog translation which is “buksan”.

Take out – To go. When buying food in a fast food restaurant. Filipinos would normally say “take out” to refer to an order to go. This is precisely because they are not dining inside the restaurant but is taking out the food they purchased to dine somewhere else.

Salvage – to be killed. In the Philippines, the term salvage has a totally opposite meaning from what it really means. It means to be extra judicially eliminated or assassinated. This is because the term salvage was commonly used in the news to refer to a hidden dead body that was recovered. Thus, a salvage victim would mean a victim of assassination.

American expressions are colloquial expressions unique to Americans. It evolved in the same manner as Filipinism because of the multicultural ethnicity in the US, which resulted to the invention of new terms and phrases. In the perspective of Filipino speakers, American expressions are also idiomatic expressions and American slang terms.

Can – toilet. This term evolved as early Americans pee in cans (similar to arinola)

Hit the sack – to sleep. The term evolved because poor people use sacks to create makeshift beds to sleep

Get it – understand. This phrase is short for “get what it means”?

Far-out – great, awesome. This term evolved from the Hippie culture to refer to the inexplicable and overwhelming feeling like getting high on drugs.

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