How To Say Clothing Related Words In Chabacano

I’ll begin this post by differentiating the words camisa and ropa. Camisa can mean a shirt no matter what its style is. Meanwhile, ropa can mean clothes in general (pants, shirt, etc). A term that is very memorable to me is the word ropa sucio. I remember that every Saturday morning, my mom would always tell me to put my ropa sucio on the basket where all our dirty clothes (those that needs to be washed) go.

The next word on our list is the word sombrero. I believe that in other countries and in the Tagalog language, the word sombrero would signify an old-fashioned top hat. In the Chabacano language though, we would use the word sombrero even when referring to the modern baseball hats sold in department stores. All kinds of hats are called sombrero in the Chabacano language.

Now we go to the different kinds of shirt. A shirt with button/sleeves can be called un camisa con boton/mangas. A shirt meanwhile without button/sleeves can be called un camisa sin boton/mangas.

Different articles of clothing for the lower part of our body are the following: calzon, pantalon, calzoncillo, calcetin (often pronounced as calsitin), zapatos, falda, chinelas. The words zapatos and chinelas are always plural and the rest are always singular. The word for socks in the Tagalog language is medias which means 'stockings' in the Spanish language. The word calcetin is slowly being replaced in favor of the word medias in the Chabacano language.


  1. Interesting to know that the Tagalog word for socks is medias. As far as I know, medias means stockings in most of the Spanish-speaking world, as you also state, whereas calcetin means socks.

    However, in Cuban Spanish, and this may very well be the case in Puerto Rican and Dominican Spanish, medias means socks. To tell them apart, they simply say medias de hombre or medias de mujer.

    Jerome, keep up the wonderful work you are doing by means of this educational blog!

  2. yo soy zamboangueño, we also have past tense future and present.. ta dormir(sleeping) ya dormir(slept) di dormir(will sleep) insted of changing the word dormido.. ect ect.

  3. Hi Mark. Is it the Chabacano de Zamboanga that you speak? Di (as future tense marker) is Caviteno or Tertaneno.