Tag: Idioms

Filipino Idioms (Tagalog Idyoma)

Sunset At Manila Bay, Photo by PH Morton

Filipino Idioms (Tagalog Idyoma)

Idioms are group of words, which have established meaning attached to them.

Hearing or reading them when not familiar with their intended definition can be mind boggling for their rather bizarre picture they perpetuate.  As an example is a British idiom “raining cats and dogs’. This means it is raining heavily, not of cats and dogs, but of the water variety.

There are plenty of Filipino idioms used  in everyday life:-

  • Balat sibuyas (onion skin), a person called balat sibuyas, means he/she is overly sensitive; someone who takes things too personally all the time.
  • Bukas ang palad (open palm) someone who is supposed to have bukas ang palad tends to be very helpful and generous, willing to lend money, anytime without asking for interest or sometimes return of the money.
  • Kaututang dila (farting tongue) Kaututang dila is someone you gossip with, someone you share your news all the time, your confidant.
  • Halang ang bituka (intestines are horizontal), a person describe as halang ang bituka is supposed to be of bad character, deplorable, untrust-worthy, and would kill for what he wants without feeling any guilt.
  • Hindi makabasag ng pinggan (can’t break a plate), this idiom usually applies to girls and womem who are especially very modest and really demure.  They move so daintily and nimbly that it would be impossible for them to break anything.
  • Makati ang paa, (this translate to itchy feet ) it means a person who likes to travel or go places.
  • May gatas pa sa labi (There is still milk on lips), meaning someone still very young, innocent and pure.  Someone who is not quite adult yet.
  • Matigas ang buto (strong bones), a person with matigas ang buto means he is very strong and possessing lots of stamina.
  • Matamis ang dila (sweet tongue), is someone who has the gift of the gab, he can speak with eloquence and fluency and therefore can influence people.
  • Malikot ang kamay (rowdy hands) a person with malikot ang kamay is someone who is a bit of a thief.  He/she takes things without permission.
  • Tulak ng bibig, kabig ng didib, (this is really hard to translate)  Anyway roughly it means what is coming from your lips is negated by how you really feel.  I do this all the time, which drives my husband crazy.  LOL. It is like when he takes me shopping, he will buy me a handbag, which I may not really like. I would just say nice lukewarmly because I don’t want to hurt his feelings. 🙂  You say what you don’t really feel.
  • Maitim ang dugo, (in English it translate to dark (black) blood.)  When a person is described as being maitim ang dugo, it means that person is evil or of no good character.
  • Magdilang Anghel (have an angel tongue), If someone who just said something really good and positive is then wished to magdilang angel so that what she just said would come true.
  • Itaga sa bato (cast in stone)  Itaga sa bato especially when said or coupled with a promise means that whatever happens that promise will be honoured and fulfilled.
  • Kabyak ng dibdib (half of the pair of chest LOL)  Kabyak ng dibdib usually pertains to the wife, the other half or better half.
  • Magaan ang dugo (light blood) Magaan ang dugo is used to discribe someone you are rather partial to even when you barely know that person.  You just know that he/she is a good sort.
  • Haligi ng tahanan (pillar of the home)  Haligi ng tahanan is usually the father( husband), who provides for the family.  He eke out a living to support the family.
  • Ilaw ng tahanan (light of the home) Ilaw ng tahanan is usually the mother (wife), who looks after the house and everyone inside it.
  • Agaw buhay (grasping life) Agaw buhay means someone is on the point of death or someone trying to cheat death, between life and death.
  • Balitang kutsero (Horse drawn cart driver’s news) When a news is said to be from a balitang kutsero, this means that the news is not proven yet to be the truth, it is still a rumour and a gossip. Not 100% reliable.
  • Buto’t balat (Bones and skin) buto’t balat (buto at balat) skin and bones which means someone who is really think, so thin you can see his protruding bones.
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