July 09, 2006

More Tagalog words in Merriam-Webster...not!

Himbos, Mouse Potatoes and Bling, Oh My! Here Come the New Dictionary Entries

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — Need tips on how to groom a unibrow or soul patch?

Just google it. Or get a mouse potato to do it for you.

If you're still lost, grab the latest edition of Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary for a definition of those and about 100 other words that have made their way into its pages.

But be warned: you might come across a drama queen (a person given to often excessively emotional performances or reactions), an empty suit (an ineffectual executive), or a himbo (an attractive but vacuous man — think "male bimbo".) (Click on blog title for rest of the story. Originally published on FOXNews.com, July 6, 2006.)

Hmm...let's try out those new words in a sentence. That himbo with a phat soulpatch sure got a lot of bling! Ridiculous. Hey, William Safire, where are you when we need you?

Out of curiousity, I went to the Merriam-Webster's web site here to see whether more Tagalog or Filipino words may have been entered. Apart from the popular amok, boondocks and jeepney, also listed were abaca, adobo (although of Spanish origin, the dictionary correctly identifies it as a Philippine dish), barong (but it is defined as a Maranao knife instead of the more popularly known Filipino dress shirt), cogon, and yo-yo. With all our OFWs in every part of the world, I can't for the life of me understand why there aren't more foreigners speaking Tagalog. Hey Pinoys out there! Propagate our beautiful language and let's take over the world!


Anonymous said...

The problem is that Filipinos living overseas and has children born in say, America or Australia don't even teach a word of Tagalog to them. It's the second generation that influences the host country's language. Take the example of the Jewish settlers in New York city, they introduced Yiddish words into the local vernacular (schlep, schmuck, schlemiel). Filipinos on the other hand do not love their culture or language, so how on earth will Tagalog influence world English??? The only way for Tagalog words to enter the English language is through the media, music and cultural influences.

The reason why the word "boondocks" entered the English language is because of the American soldiers who picked up the word during the Filipino-American war. Interaction and the need for the love of one's culture will then influence the other culture, which in turn more loan words will enter the language.

Okir said...

I believe the first place I encountered anything about the origin of amok was in a book by the Philippine historian, Wm. Henry Scott. He said that in the southern Philippines (cebuano?) the term meant something like "choppy water." I *think* it was either in his "Pre-Hispanic Source Materials for the Study of Philippine History," or in "Cracks in the Parchment Curtain."