7 Chabacanized English Words

If you listen to people speak or read posts in online forums and social media websites, you will see more and more people creating Chabacano forms out of different English words.

Here are 10 English words that have been "Chabacanized" over the past years.

1. Corecta

Where it came from: Correct
What it really should be: Corregi
How it is pronounced: Corehi, Corihi

2. Protecta 

Where it came from: Protect
What it really should be: Protege
How it is pronounced: Protehe

3. Expecta

Where it came from: Expect
What it really should be: Espera, Anticipa

Unfortunately, these words are not widely known or used in Chabacano as of the moment. You might even get weird looks from your friends if you use these words, so better stick with expecta for the time being. šŸ˜œ

4. Proposa

Where it came from: Propose
What it really should be: Propone

4. Promese

Where it came from: Promise
What it really should be: Promete

5. Fontana

Where it came from: Fountain
What it really should be: Fuente

You might think that the word fuente (puente) means bridge in Chabacano. However, based on the Chabacano dictionary of Rolando Arquiza Santos, it also means fountain. Most Chabacano speakers though, will probably result to borrowing words if they encounter the need to use this word and will just say 'fountain'.

6. Factoria

Where it came from: Factory
What it really should be: Fabrica

I remember a few years back, my father and I were listening to a Chabacano radio news program. This radio announcer used the word factoria instead of fabrica. Obviously, this guy relied on his English vocabulary when he forgot the Chabacano word for factory (or maybe he didn't know the Chabacano word for it at all).

7. Groceria

Where it came from: Grocery

There are also Chabacanized English words which were once popular (in the second half of the 20th century) but are not used too much anymore these days. Some examples are actualmente (from actually), and embaraza (to embarrass). These words even made it to some Chabacano dictionaries. So if you think about it, this has been going in since the baby boomer's generation and is not exclusive to the present generation.

In a study, John M. Lipski had this to say about this phenomenon:

"More recently, the predominant source of lexical borrowing has become English, as in all other Philippine languages; not only are individual words borrowed, but entire expressions may be introduced into Chabacano speech, and among those speakers reasonably fluent in English, code switching is common. Nouns and some verbs may simply be given a Chabacano form, much as occurs in bilingual Spanish/English speech in the United States: sacrificiĆ” `sacrifice’ (Sp. sacrificar); compositĆ” `compose’ (Sp. componer); dependable `dependable’ (Sp. confiable); dolyar `dollar’ (Sp. dĆ³lar); valuable `valuable’ (Sp. valioso); serioso `serious’ (Sp. serio); preliminario `preliminary’ (Sp. preliminar), etc."

This occurrence is also present in the Tagalog language. Tagalog has been infiltrated a lot by English that we often hear some people Tagalize certain English words. This is especially true in the media where one can hear in newscasts words like prayoridad (priority), eksplanasyon (explanation) and layabilidad (liability).


  1. Hola, Jerome!

    Yes, I agree with everything that you have written in the above article. Evolution is something inevitable because as long as a language is still spoken, it is always prone to outside influence. Though it is nice to be open-minded, it can also be alarming to note where the language is heading towards. That is why, in my humble opinion, philologists and linguists should also know how to set standards on language evolution and educate the people about it. Aside from the educators, it is the media people who must set the example on the correct usage of language because they are source of the youth for sound language use, be it in print or multimedia. As my friend Dr. Teresita AlcƔntara said, nowadays we are not only developing a Chabacano of Spanish but rather creating a new Chabacano--Chabacano English. What do you think? Your opinions are most welcome.

    Thank you very much. God bless you!

    CĆ©sar Jr.

  2. Un palabra que ya oi yo este mga dias amo "promese" en vez de "promete"...

  3. Si. Tiene mga gente ta habla promese en vez de promete. :D

  4. no hay pa tambien yo puede oi ta habla "promese" ni usa ese palabra sino "promete" gayot yo ta usa.
    jendeh yo tan camali el "promete" es Verbo y el promesa es nombre?

    ya promete yo que hay atende yo tu casamiento.
    acorda tu que tiene kita promesa a uno otros porque si ya cae yo na rio, hay salta tambien tu na rio. ^_^ jejejejeje

    yo? cosa ba yo? purista o preservationist? ^_^
    este mi situaciĆ³n Jerome>>>

    Nunca yo acepta con estos mana palabras (pronombre):
    ka, ikaw, de ikaw de carabao bao. haaay que bien duele gat se na mis ojos y orejas... dol aquel ba quiere tu derepente corregi canila.

    este pa. . . el original palabra del :de aton, con amon, con aton,et.al." >>> kanamon, kanaton, aton, amo y kanila pero no quiere yo deleatra con esos como ansina sino ta escribi ya yo como ansina "con aton, con amon, canila, et.al.: masquen el kanun ta deleatra tambien yo como "canon" o Morisqueta, el Breakfast ta llama ya gayot yo ahora como Desayuno mientras el Lunch ta llama ya yo Almuerzo, etcƩtera.

    no quiere tambien yo usa palabra "ulan" sino "aguacero y Lluvia", no queire tambien yo escribi "kirlat" sino querlat o quirlat o rayo.

    no quiere tambien yo escribi "kay" sino "cay", no queire tambien yo escribi "porke y por ke" sino porque y por que (because and why).

    Haaay . . Dios ya lang cuidao conmigo pero para conmigo, puede yo habla que yo ambos Purist y Preservationist.

  5. Proposa, promese y fontana. Tambien no hay pa yo oi esos palabras. En tal caso tienne se ta usa, bien poco personas se ta usa.