Of course, the ones we mentioned yesterday aren't the only idioms in the Filipino language. Here are 10 more expressions that anyone learning the national language of the Philippines should know.
Literal Translation: "The sun's fruit"
What it actually means: This is the Filipino term for prickly heat, since it "blossoms" after overexposure to the heat from the sun.
Example: "Sorry, I can't go to the beach with you. I have bungang araw."
"Dalawa ang Bibig"
Literal Translation: "Two mouths"
What it actually means: Someone who is so talkative, they might as well have two mouths.
Example: "You know that friend of yours from yesterday? He was quite the life of the party! Dalawa ang bibig eh!"
Literal Translation: "Have the tongue of an angel"
What it actually means: This is uttered in the hope that something, a statement or a wish, will come true — much like the proclamations of an angel.
Example: "Stop worrying about the exam results. You'll pass with flying colors, I just know it!" "Magdilang anghel ka sana."
Literal Translation: "Flaming cogon (a type of grass)"
What it actually means: If a person changes interests faster than they change clothes, they're considered ningas kugon. It also refers to the phenomenon where someone is initially enthusiastic about a venture, but then gradually loses the will to follow through as time goes on.
Example: "Wow, look at all our first day sales! Our business will be a success, I just know it!" "I don't know, sir. Our customers are pretty ningas kugon when it comes to trends."
"Magsunog ng Kilay"
Literal Translation: "Burning the eyebrows"
What it actually means: Just as Westerners "burn the midnight oil" when working long and hard into the night, Filipinos burn their eyebrows. In a figurative way, of course.
Example: "Good grief, my deadlines have piled up one after the other. Magsusunog ako ng kilay tonight."
Literal Translation: "Windy"
What it actually means: When a person is a braggart, it's said that they're mahangin or full of air, similar to the Western "windbag."
Example: "I don't like that guy you hang out with. He's so mahangin. All talk, no walk."
"Magaan ang Loob"
Literal Translation: "Light insides"
What it actually means: When a Filipino says that they have "light insides" with you, it means they're comfortable around you.
Example: "So far, you've shown yourself to be reliable, trustworthy, and full of integrity. That's why magaan ang loob ko when it comes to you."
"Malikot ang kamay"
Literal Translation: "Fidgety hands"
What it actually means: When a person has kleptomaniac tendencies, they are said to be malikot ang kamay. If the person is an actual thief (specifically, a petty one), they're also called mabilis ang kamay ("quick hands")
Example: "I'd be careful around that child if I were you. They may look innocent, but malikot ang kamay niyan. I suggest you keep your valuables as far away from that child as you can."
"Kumukulo ang dugo"
Literal Translation: "Boiling blood"
What it actually means: This is one of those Filipino expressions that, when transliterated into English, means the same thing as its Western counterpart. When you're so angry that you feel like your top could blow over any minute, you're said to be kumukulo ang dugo.
Example: "Goodness gracious, one misfortune after another. Kumukulo na ang dugo ko, ah!"
Literal Translation: "Rubbing a fish's snout vigorously"
What it actually means: When someone takes too long to get to the point, or when they make a fuss out of something trivial, they are said to be kuskos balungos.
Example: "For goodness sake, stop being so kuskos balungos! What is it that you're trying to tell me?" "Uh, your zipper was down the whole time you were on the stage."
- Balimbing – can refer to a type of fruit, but can also be used to describe a person who switches sides without batting an eyelash. Often used as a derogatory term for Filipino politicians who change parties whenever it's convenient for them.
- Balat-Kalabaw – thick-skinned like a carabao. Has a similar meaning as makapal ang mukha, but less pejorative.
- Makapal/Butas/Sukat ang Bulsa – has a thick/thin/just right-sized wallet, respectively. Used to describe the state of one's finances.
- Pag-iisang dibdib – "Dibdib" literally means chest, but in this context, it means heart. Literally, the union of two hearts, or the marriage of two people.
- Saling-pusa – Literally, a cat who joins. Used to refer to children who join in on adult activities.
And that wraps up our two-part series on Filipino idioms. If you have any thoughts about this post, or any of the previous posts, please don't hesitate to join in on the discussion and comment below!