Origins of the Chabacano Pacha

The word for 'kick' in Chabacano is pacha. This word comes from the Spanish patear. Patear though is a colloquial term for 'kick', it is not formal Spanish. Here are some examples of how we use the Chabacano pacha.

Chabacano: No pacha conmigo!
English: Don't kick me!

Chabacano: Ya manda le conmigo pacha contigo.
English: He asked me to kick you or he made me kick you.

Chabacano: No pacha con el perro!
English: Don't kick the dog!

Pacha is just one of the words that have its origins in colloquial or informal Spanish. it is probably one of the reasons why Chabacano got its name. Chabacano in Spanish means 'vulgar' or 'something of bad taste'.

If you're wondering how patea became pacha, it is because of palatalization. This affects the pronunciation of words which results to words like tiene being pronounced as chene in Chabacano.

I posted this article on the Zamboanga de Antes Facebook Group and these are the comments it received.


The word pacha is not found in Camins' dictionary. Santos' dictionary has it and he spells it as patea.

3 comments:

  1. Are chavacano speakers emphasizing the rolling of their tongue when pronouncing the double r?

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  2. I don't believe so. It depends mostly on the person. Some would but most wouldn't. When it comes to words like pero and perro, the meaning would be determined by the context and the pronounciation the word. The word perro is pronounced as pehro or with a prolonged e. That is my observation. Generally though, we pronounce words like barre, derrama, and etc as you would pronounce the r in Tagalog words like paaralan. Most people though would pronounce these words as bahre and dehrama (glottal stop)

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