The same goes for Filipino. If you come across these phrases, and you try to translate them into your own language, you might scratch your head and go "What on earth?".
"Anong petsa na?"
Literal Translation: "What date is it?"
What it actually means: When something/someone is taking too long, and Filipinos feel frustrated about the fact, this is what they say. Once that something/someone arrives, Filipinos may say something along the lines of "After ten years, dumating ka rin!" ("After ten years, you finally arrived!") Of course, the thing didn't literally arrive after ten years; it's just that the length of time is almost comparable to a decade.
Example: "I placed my order 30 minutes ago, and it still hasn't arrived. Anong petsa na?"
Literal Translation: "That's unclear."
What it actually means: Depending on the context, this phrase can be taken literally or figuratively. For example, if you don't understand what someone is saying, you can say "Pwedeng paki-ulit? Parang anlabo ng sinabi mo kanina." ("Can you please repeat? I didn't get what you said earlier.") But "malabo" can also refer to something that has a low probability of happening anytime soon.
Example: "You think you can be summa cum laude with those grades? Malabo 'yan."
"Suntok sa buwan"
Literal Translation: "Punch the moon."
What it actually means: Speaking of probabilities, this is another phrase that refers to something difficult, if not impossible, to achieve. After all, even Neil Armstrong can't punch the moon out of orbit!
Example: "That girl is from a rich family, and you're not. Suntok sa buwan if you try to court her, you know."
"Kapit sa patalim"
Literal Translation: "Hold on to the sharp edge of a blade."
What it actually means: If someone is in a situation so desperate that they'll do everything to survive (like holding on to the sharp edge of knife), this is the phrase used to describe them.
Example: "My business has gone under, my wife left me for another man, and my bank account is in the red. What can I do? Kapit na lang ako sa patalim, pare."
Literal Translation: "Hit the ground."
What it actually means: This is a very, very derogatory term for a poor person. Unless you're a soap opera star (and you'll often hear this phrase in soap operas!), do not, under any circumstances, use this around someone who is barely struggling to get by.
Example: "Why are you mingling with that hampas lupa? Their poor money habits might rub off on you."
Literal Translation: "Dead hungry"
What it actually means: Another term for a person living in poverty. It's not as rude as hampas lupa, but it carries a similar connotation.
Example: "Look around you, guys. Don't you pity your patay gutom countrymen?"
Literal Translation: "Onion-Skinned"
What it actually means: Refers to a person whose skin is thin like an onion's (figuratively, of course). Another word that means the same thing is pikon, which is more commonly used by the younger generation these days.
Example: "Why are you so angry? It's just a joke, for goodness' sake. You're so balat sibuyas."
"Kapal ng mukha"
Literal Translation: "Thick face"
What it actually means: This is the complete opposite of balat sibuyas. If a person who is balat sibuyas is overly sensitive, then a person who is makapal ang mukha isn't sensitive at all. Usually, this is a pejorative term, but you can also say it in admiration of someone who's got nerves of steel.
Example: "You come crawling back to me after what you did? Kapal ng mukha mo ah."
"Maitim ang budhi"
Literal Translation: "Black heart/conscience"
What it actually means: Similar to its English counterpart, maitim ang budhi refers to a person so evil, that Hell spat them back out, as a Pirates of the Caribbean character would say.
Example: "That landlord who keeps raising our rent every month? Maitim ang budhi nun."
"Bukal sa loob"
Literal Translation: "Natural to the insides"
What it actually means: If you do something completely out of your own will, and not because you were forced to, then this is the best way to describe you.
Example: "I don't mind if you don't go along with me for this trip. As long as your decision is bukal sa loob mo, I will respect it."
There are more idioms where these came from. Stay tuned for them, and let us know in the comments what you'd like to see in the next installment!