30 Noypi (Filipino) Slang Words Originating From Inversion (Binaliktad) Atbp. (and Many More)

I'm Pinoy!
Image credit: Pixabay

The other night while watching local television (I'm into La Luna Sangre), I chanced upon one of the advertisements of a noontime show which is aired by the local channel. One of the hosts of the noontime show said a word that I could only categorize as a slang term because I had never heard of the word before. I asked my partner what the word meant and he laughed and said I should invert the syllables. And when I did, then, did I only realize that the Filipino youth are back to using "inversion" of syllables or in Filipino, binaliktad na pantig. I thought that maybe the art of inversion was obsolete but, now in the age of the millennials, the language game has come alive once more. Now, there is a whole new batch of Filipino Slang words.

If you guys think that Noypi inversion is a new trend started by the millennials, think again. A lot of Filipino slang words that we still use today were coined in the 70's. Amats, dehins, olats, tibak, ermats/erpats, tsikot, and haybol are all from the 70's. If that isn't enough, you must have heard your grandparents say "Wow, japorms! Sputing tayo ah? Saan ang lakad?" ( "Wow, you're dressed! Where are you headed?").  This is just to show you that back in the day, our grandparents were as cool as cats. Even our parents too. "Laklak" is a song of their generation. When most songs today focus on "hugot"(emotions/experience coming from deep within a person), the songs in the past talk about " banal na aso, santong kabayo"(literally means holy dog, saintly horse); you'll probably agree with me that the songs back in the day are even deeper than "hugot".

The use of slang is common in any language. The Filipino language is no different. Usually these words are formed to make spoken words incomprehensible to the clueless, untrained ear and are used primarily by groups attempting to conceal (secret language or argot) or is used by people to mark their membership in ("in" crowd) or to show exclusivity from (generally the youth or young population). In other words, the use of slang is a tool to delineate or mark group identity. For example, you will never hear me use the word "petmalu" EVER thus, alienating me from the "in crowd".

In the Filipino language (Tagalog), some of the Filipino slang words are formed by the use of inversion. In any 2 syllable word (dalawang pantig na salita), the first syllable (unang pantig) and the second syllable (ikalawang pantig) exchange places. The first syllable affixes itself to the end of the second syllable to form a new word. For words having more than 2 syllables, usually, the last syllable (huling pantig) becomes the beginning of the word prefixed unto the first syllable then, the first syllable is affixed to the second to the last syllable to form a new word. The letters I and E are allophones (phonetically similar in sound) in the Filipino language so they may be interchanged. Lastly, sometimes the letter "s" is added to the end of the word for more of a stylistic effect. Sounds like it's a lot of work but, really it's simple. ☺️

Common Filipino Slang Words That Originated from Inversion:

  • Noypi-from Pinoy shortcut for Filipino
  • Astig-from Tigas meaning hard, tough
         - adj. (pang-uri) tough, macho, cool, awesome
          -n. (Pangngalan) thug
  • Dehins-from hindi which means no.
  • Rapsa- from sarap which means delicious. Ex. Rapsa ng bogchi mga lodi!
  • Bogchi- from the slang word chibog/tsibog meaning either food or "it's time to eat" or mealtime.
  • Lodi-from Idol -could be used to call a friend or could be used for a real idol, celebrity, or someone who has done something that is really impressive.
  • Petmalu-from malupit adj. to describe something amazing, exceptional, extraordinary, mind-boggling.Ex. Ito ang pinaka-petmalu na sisig sa Manila! Enka mga orbs!
  • Enka-from kain v. (pandiwa) eat.
  • Orbs/orbski- from bro/broski; shorter form of brother
  • Sogbu-from busog means full/stuffed from eating a scrumptious meal.
  • Werpa- from power, either expresses approval or encouragement
            -popularized by a Filipino Youtuber.
             Ex. More werpa to us all!
  • Repa/rema- from pare/mare- n. refers to a male/female close friend sometimes strengthened when one friend becomes the godfather or godmother of your child.
  • Longkatuts-from katulong -n. helper
  • Erpats/ermats-from latin fater/mater -n. literally, means father/mother
  • Yosi-from the word sigarilyo-n. cigarette
  • Matsala-from salamat means thank you.
  • Tsikot-from kotse -n. car, auto, oto
  • Amats-from tama  -adj. tipsy or (for drug users) the state of being inebriated
  • Tibak-from aktibista n. hardcore activists
  • Haybol-from buhay -n. life
  • Olats-from talo -v. lost, fail, did not succeed; adj. disappointed, unsuccessful
  • Lespu- from pulis-n. police
  • Goli- from ligo -n.a bath, a shower -v. to take a bath or take a shower
  • Wetpu-from puwit-n. buttocks
  • Senglot-from lasing -adj.drunk
  • Golets-from English phrase "let's go."  -v. to go
  • Ngetpa-from pangit -adj. ugly
  • Bokal-from kalbo  -adj. bald
  • Dabarkads-from kabarkada  -n. group of  friends
  • Yakang-yaka-from kayang-kaya -adj. capable, able
Slang can make you look cool... Image credit: Pixabay

Although my focus is on Filipino slang words that originated from inversion, I'll go right ahead and list some other slang words commonly used that aren't from inversion. Anyways, if you are a foreigner planning a trip to the Philippines, you can use some of these words and shock your newly found Filipino friends.

bagets-young/the youth
tsimay-house helper
praning-paranoid, hallucinating
toka-duty/work assignment
japayuki-Filipina entertainers working in Japan
charot-means "just kidding"
keribels- "I can carry (keri) myself past this obstacle (bells)"
echos/chos-kidding/joking or n. poop
chugi-killed, deleted, fired, canceled
churva- from the Greek word cheorvamus and is used when one can not verbalize what he wants to express. (this one is deep)
bongga-beautiful, spectacular, fabulous
pabebe-to act cute
hugot- expressing emotions coming from deep within with surrealistic undertones
bae-before anyone else

Actually, there are so many Filipino slang words but, some are now what you would call "laid to rest". Yes, they aren't being used anymore. Some of the other words have stood the test of time and I have read from an author that he thinks that those slang words coined during the 70's are the best. Well, I like using slang words as well but, not as extravagant a word like "petmalu". But, it is a delight that the youth are coming up with their own slang. It keeps me on my toes every time I hear something new.

Need to come back to this post for reference? Pin IT for later!

*Credit to sources:
Language Game https://en.wikipedia.org


  1. Great article! Love learning about new languages. And slang is actually one of the first words you should learn. Thanks for the information. It's a pretty long list but the more you know, the better.

  2. Thanks for taking the time to read.

  3. Petmalu! Mga lodi at orbs, mga rema at repa, golets and read! Astig tong article na to! Sogbu ka sa vocabulary! Wala ng hugot!

  4. Werpa! This article is great. Learned something from a new language.

  5. Just by looking at the words, looks like a tongue-twister. Don't think I'll be able to learn all this. But, at least I have a reference. Thanks!

  6. Reference this people. Bookmark it. You never know when you'll need this. Most esp those travelling to the Philippines. Werpa!

  7. Great article. Seems I'm tongue tied. Will keep this as a reference. Never know when I will go to the Philippines.

  8. Thanks...good to know the slang words of Filipinos.

  9. :) thanks for the info..



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