Friday, July 31, 2020

The Chabacano Sabut

When planning to go out with friends, we would sometimes use the word sabut in our conversations as in mañana ya lang kita man sabut si donde man mirahan.

The Chabacano word sabut is a very interesting one. It's one of those words which do not have an exact translation in other languages. I don't think you can even translate it directly to Tagalog. The definition of the word sabut is to have a mutual understanding. It is a very useful word and can be used in several instances.

You can use it for example to make sure that you get a fair share of the proceeds as in man sabut ya lang kita si cuanto el cada uno ay recibi.

If you take a tricycle in Zamboanga, you may need to do this several times: ya puede ya yo man sabut con el tricycle driver si cuanto yo paga para Tetuan.

I have reason to believe that the word sabut is from Cebuano. I am not sure if they use it the way we do in Chabacano, though. In Cebuano, it means 'to understand'. The same word exists in Hiligaynon but with a very different meaning.

Camins' Chabacano dictionary defines this word as 'to get snagged by its own rope such as a roped animal. In other words, it's the equivalent of the Tagalog word sabit. Some Facebook posts I have come across with does use this word with this definition.

I'm not sure why but Santos' Chabacano dictionary which came after Camins' does not even contain this word.

This word may have other meanings in Chabacano. I have been seeing posts in Chabacano in Facebook which suggests so. When reduplicated, this word also may also have a different meaning.

How about you? How do you use the word sabut in Chabacano? Or do you use it at all?