The Chabacano Rampago and Rayo

The words rampago and rayo are interjections in the Chabacano language. They both can mean 'damn it', 'darn it', 'damn', or 'darn'. Both of these I believe come from the Spanish relampago and rayos (respectively).

The words relampago and rayo in Spanish mean 'lightning' or 'a flash of lightning'. As far as the research I have done on the word relampago, it is never used as an interjection in the Spanish language. The interjection rayos (with an s) does occur in the Spanish language and it means 'damn' or 'damn it'. And because of the Chabacano accent wherein Chabacano speakers normally drop the 's' at the end of a word, we can safely assume that the Chabacano rayo came from the Spanish rayos.

This word also exists in the Chavacano de Ternate languagee. Esteban A De Ocampo, in his book, defines this word as 'ray', 'thunderbolt', and 'an insulting word or remark'. The word can also be spelled as rayu in the Chavacano de Ternate.

Other words that possibly originated from the Chabacano rampago are raman and rampet. Rampet is a fairly new word and probably was first used during the 1980s.

In the Chabacano dictionary of Rolando Arquiza Santos (2010), the words rampago, rayo, and raman are listed. Meanwhile, only the words rampago and raman are listed in the Chabacano dictionary of Camins.


  1. I've never heard rampago in Caviteño (as an interjection). But ¡rayos! is definitely said. It is a very mild expletive in Caviteño just like in Spanish, e.g. you can say it in the presence of your grandmother and she wouldn't even blink. Women can exclaim ¡rayos! in polite company. Note that you hardly hear it in Spain anymore, it has fallen into disuse. Anyway, Spaniards swear like it's going out of style, my ex-boss's (from Galicia) most used maldición was "¡Me cago en la Virgen!" while the utmost maldición from a Cuban colleague was "¡Me cago en (el coño de) tu puta madre!"

    The slightly stronger word in Caviteño is ¡caraje! from Spanish ¡carajo!, although to my ears the Caviteño ¡caraje! is milder than the Spanish ¡carajo! The more complete phrase in Spanish is, "¡te mando pa'l carajo!" Do Zamboangueños use this word?

  2. All my uncles ever say is "chingga bo nana." No subtleties there.

  3. As far as I can remember, both Rampaga and Rayo exist in the Zamboangueño dialect.

    Though, for Rayo may have dual meaning, 1.) Use when insulting as explain hereto, 2.) Rayo as in lightning or Quirlat.

    Other bad words or insulting words such as: Coño de su puta madre, Coño vos nana, hijo de puta, joden tía, joder vos, cabrón, chongo, chinga vos or simply chinga. We also use other term as a non-vulgar expresión for chinga and coño vos nana as "coconana, qué chino, ching.... gat este". Other expression for Rampago and Rayo we used to express as follow: "rampit, raman". :-)