10 Cebuano Words That Really Might Have No English Equivalent

What’s the Cebuano word for toothpaste?
posted on: Wednesday, April 23, 2014
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Digital Agitator

Tutpis? Kulgit?

Yeah, some English words can’t just be translated to Cebuano like what’s the Cebuano word for ICE?

We also have a fair share of words that can’t be translated to English as well, right?

This list may not be long enough, that’s why “kamo na la’y bahala ug puno”.

1. Dokot


This is more like a recurring joke. “Ma’am, unsay iningles sa dokot?” That’s how my classmate asked our teacher when we were in elementary. Answer,  burnt rice? Maybe?

2. Sud-an


They say it’s viand but viand means ‘an item of food’.

Sud-an is the partner of dokot (burnt rice) and if you eat sud-an without rice, you’ll be reprimanded “ayaw lanlana ang sud-an!”.

3. Gaba


It’s our version of karma. We have a common saying “Ang gaba dili magsaba” and our grandparents taught us about how we shouldn’t harm other people. I used to believe in this and maybe that’s the reason why I was bullied in third grade. (sigh)

4. Santol


Santol is just well… santol in English because English speakers don’t have santol in their homeland. The sweet n’ sour taste of this fruit was always my favorite and it’s skin can also be used as a ‘bullet’ for luthang.

5. Pwera buyag


“Your baby is so chubby!”, then you answer “pwera buyag (or puyra buyag)”. In English, we simply say “Thank you, you too!”.

6. Kilig


This word deserves to be mentioned. Derived from Tagalog, ‘kilig’ is better than the English equivalent ‘butterflies in one’s stomach’ . I mean, how did the butterflies get there? Anyway, kilig is the feeling  when your crush sits beside you and you feel a strange sensation tingling your whole body, especially when you’re with Coco Martin.

7. Panuhot

facebook, rodolfo sabayton jr.

When you feel a variety of discomfort in your stomach and your body is abnormally cold then you have panuhot. How do you relieve panuhot?

Ask your grandma, she’s an expert when it comes to folk illnesses.

8. Pasmo


When you’re on a diet and always skipping meals then chances are, you’ll get pasmo. Your hands will tremble and you’ll feel weak. You should boil a bottle of softdrink then inhale its vapor. You can drink the boiled beverage afterwards.

9. Bahala na


This is one of the things that define us Filipinos. Bahala na, “I’ll just leave it to God”, and sometimes “Bahala na si Batman”. But whatever it means we always say it when facing a hard challenge.

We’ll just keep on going, maybe our Bahala na attitude could elect the right politicians someday.

10. Ikapila


Translate this in English, “Ikapila nga presidente si Noynoy Aquino?”.  Reply ASAP.

Everyone can add more to this somewhat short list.

And if you have any violent reaction on what I wrote, be very wary about gaba. Hahaha.

So let the conversation about this interesting topic begin.

Post your thoughts in the comments below.