Spread the love, share this.

Back in the day, we often hear and say out loud famous Tagalog words while playing in the streets or jesting around with good friends while hanging out in the friendly neighborhood sari-sari store. These words were commonly used by the generation who grew up in the 80’s, 90’s or even early 2000’s – before the technology took over our street life. But, do we really know the meaning of these words and their origins? 

Here are some words we’ve used when we were kids, collected over the years but still somehow relevant nowadays :



This word is used when there is a question asked (mostly riddle) and you don’t know the answer so you want the person to reveal the answer. We normally say “Sirit na!” or “Sirit na kasi” when we have finally given up guessing the answer to the question. 

The word “sirit” is derived from ‘Share it’. There, I shared it. *wink*


The word “Apir” is derived from a phrase ‘Up here’. 

We use this word when we want to praise a good job done by a friend or as a greeting. It is followed by raising a hand for high-5, a gesture of slapping palms with your friend.

Interesting isn’t? Apir!



This word is often used when we want to pause the game for a while and is followed by a ‘T-form’ like ‘time-out’ (or Technical foul) sign in basketball game. 

The word “taympers” is derived from ‘Time freeze’.



The word “Utol” is the slang for sibling (but mostly for brother) and it is derived from the Tagalog word “Kaputol” (cut from the same source). The word “Utol” became more popular in 1990’s when Robin Padilla starred in “Ang Utol Kong Hoodlum“.

Please note that the above photo is not the actual poster of Robin Padilla’s movie. 🙂


This word is popularized by OPM icon Mike Hanopol when he composed and sang “Laki sa Layaw (Jeproks)”. The word “jeproks” is a reversed word of ‘Project’. 

“Jeproks” refers to a young cool and easy-going person who came from the housing projects of the government. 

Must-Read Travel Blogs

Must-Read Travel Blogs

(Click this link)


“Yosi” is a derivative of the Tagalog word “Sigarilyo” where its first (Si) and last (Yo) syllables are combined together in reversed order. 

No further explanation required. 🙂


We use this word to assure your friend that you are telling the truth. We say “Peksman, mamatay man” or “Peksman, cross my heart”. 

“Peks” or “Pecs” comes from the Spanish word “Pecado” or “Sin” in English which completes the phrase to mean “Kasalanan man”.


A Filipino slang contraction of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. The word “Susmaryosep!” is often uttered when we hear or witness a horrible or unbelievable act. This is commonly heard from our parents but young folks use them as well in the streets. 



“Plasis” word is derived from ‘Flushes’. A flush contains five cards which are all of the same suit, but not necessarily of sequential rank. 

You will hear this word when there are people playing “Pusoy” back in the 90’s. 

Hay Naku!

“Hay Naku!” is a Tagalog slang expression which can be used in both a positive and negative manner. 

Some linguists say it comes from the phrase “Nanay ko po!” (Oh my mother!) and it is similar to “Mamma Mia” of the Italian version.

It is also similar to “Oh my gosh!” 

If you have some tips, suggestions or comments which you want to share, kindly comment below.