Origins of the Chabacano Temora

The definition of the word temora is a bit tricky. It is a word that we use to denote fear that something MIGHT happen.

Here are sentences using the Chabacano temora.

Chabacano: Lleva tu payung. Temora cae ulan.
English: Bring an umbrella. It might rain.

Chabacano: No quiere yo dale presta cen kay temora hinde conmigo paga.
English: I don’t like lending money because I might not get paid.

Chabacano: Temora ta hace lang contigo loco ese hombre.
English: That guy might just be fooling you.

Here is a sentence (using the word temora) that the bien chabacano friend of my uncle gave me.

Chabacano: Agarra enbuenamente con el baso, ultimo hora cae ese y quebra..
English: Hold the glass well (or tightly), it might fall and break.

Another example that he gave was bien bueno su costumbre hasta su ultimo hora aqui na mundo (he was very kind until his last hour in this world). The meaning of ultimo hora in this sentence is literally last hour or last moment.

If we’re going to look at the Spanish language for possible word origins, temer and temor are good candidates. Temer means to be afraid (of something) while temor is a noun meaning fear.

I was initially hesitant to write about this word as it seems to be absent in the Chabacano dictionaries that I have. But according to a friend of my uncle, this word is short for ultimora hora. Now that I think about it, it does make sense. It is very possible that temora is a shortened version of ultimo hora and this very well could explain the absence of the word temora in the Chabacano dictionaries. In an instant messaging conversation that I've had with a Chabacano-speaking friend, he writes this word as ultimora. If you speak Chabacano, you might also know this word as timora.

So it looks like the word that is known to me as temora comes from the words: ultimora hora, its present meaning evolved, from the way that people have been using or even misusing it over the years.


  1. Jerome,where does the stress fall?

    timOra or timorA?


  2. OK. In this case, perhaps you should consider the old Spanish "atemorar", a variant of 'atemorizar', but also 'sentir temor', i.e. 'temer'.
    Atemorar is not used anymore, and it is not included in the last editions of the Dictionary ot the Real Academia Española, but it was included in it from the first edition (in 1770) to 1992.

    I didn't know this word in Chabacano, Thank you!