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Native toPhilippines
EthnicityGay community
Language codes
ISO 639-2cpe
ISO 639-3

Swardspeak (or Chuva) is a secret language that came from the mixed language with the names Taglish and Englog. It is used by gay people in the Philippines.[1]

Swardspeak uses word from Tagalog, English, Spanish, Cebuano, Japanese, Sanskrit, and other languages. Names of Celebrities and trademark brands are also used.[2][3]

Gay people use Swardpeak to make themselves feel special.[4] The language changes a lot.[5] People who use the language are called Bekimons. This word is from the words bakla (gay) and Jejemon.[2][6]

The word "Swardspeak" came from the 1970's book called "Swardspeak: A Preliminary Study".[7] "Sward" is slang for "gay male" in the Philippines.[8]

Rules[change | change source]

Swardspeak is a form of slang.[9] It changes a lot and the meaning of words are hard to know.[10] The rules are explained below.[11]

  • The first sound changes to the letter "J" or "Sh" or to the sounds "Jo-", "Sho-", "Ju-", "Shu-", "Ky-", or "Ny-".
Word Language Meaning Swardspeak Swardspeak meaning
shorts English trousers nyorts trousers
alalay Tagalog assistant julaylay assistant
asawa Tagalog spouse jowa lover
asawa Tagalog spouse jowabelle lover
bata Tagalog child kyota child
kapatid Tagalog sibling shupatid sibling
mabaho Tagalog stinky kyoho stinky
punta Tagalog to go [to a place] jonta to go [to a place]
  • The last sound changes to "-ash", "-is", "-iz", "-ish", "-itch", "-ech", "-ush", or "-oosh" as a suffix.
Word Language Meaning Swardspeak Swardspeak meaning
dyotay Cebuano a small amount jotis a very small amount
ano Tagalog what anech exclamatory what
ito Tagalog this one itich this one
taba Tagalog fat jubis very fat
taray Tagalog bitchy taroosh very bitchy
wala Tagalog nothing wash nothing
  • Changing "a", "o", or "u" sounds with "or", "er", or "ur", especially with "l".
Word Language Meaning Swardspeak Swardspeak meaning
hello English hello heller hello (used as a wake up call)
kaloka Tagalog maddening or insanely [entertaining] kalurkey maddening or insanely [entertaining]
ganda Tagalog beautiful gander beautiful
  • Changing places of letters in a word. Used mostly in Cebuano swardspeak.[12]
Word Language Meaning Swardspeak Swardspeak meaning
dili Cebuano no, not ilij no, not
lain Cebuano bad, unpleasant nial bad, unpleasant
uyab Cebuano lover bayu lover
Word Language Meaning Swardspeak Swardspeak meaning
bayot Cebuano gay biyuti beautiful, pretty
drama English drama drama melodrama, exaggeration, drama [queen]
career English job karir to take seriously (used as a verb)
carry English carry keri to carry [oneself well]
feel English to sympathize fillet o'fish to be attracted to someone
G.I. English a member of the United States armed forces g.i. joe a foreign lover, particularly American
opposition party English opposition party opposition party a party with a lot of unexpected problems
gurang Hiligaynon old wrangler old gay man
Wake up and smell the coffee. Philippine English Wake up and smell the roses. kape to be realistic
madre Spanish mother mudra female friends with children
antipatika Tagalog obnoxious, unpleasant antibiotic obnoxious, unpleasant
baboy Tagalog pig boy band fat kid
libre Tagalog free (as in the price of goods), to treat someone out for free liberty free (as in the price of goods), to treat someone out for free
pokpok Tagalog prostitute, to pound, to hammer hammer prostitute
silahis Tagalog [sun]beam, ray silahis bisexual male
  • Words from popular culture, mostly celebrities or TV shows. Based the things they were famous for, because parts of the words rhyme, or both.
Person / Object Word Language Meaning Swardspeak Swardspeak meaning
Crayola cry English cry crayola to be sad
X-Men ex-man English a male person who came out X-Men a male person who came out
Gelli de Belen jealous English jealous gelli de belen jealous
Noel Coward no English no noel coward no
Oprah Winfrey promise English promise oprah winfrey promise
Sharon Cuneta sure English sure sharon cuneta yes, sure
Jesus Christ Superstar resurrection English resurrection jesus christ superstar fashion make-over, to change into [more fashionable] clothing
Maxine Hong Kingston taxi English taxi taxina hong kingston [to wait for a] taxicab
Optimus Prime transformation English transformation optimus prime fashion make-over, to change into [more fashionable] clothing
Coffeemate Wake up and smell the coffee. Philippine English Wake up and smell the roses. coffeemate to be realistic
Carmi Martin karma Sanskrit karma carmi martin karma
Anaconda (film) ahas Tagalog "snake", slang for "to betray" anaconda traitor, to betray
Mazinger Z bading Tagalog gay badinger z homosexual)
Barbara Streisand bara Tagalog to block barbra streisand to be rejected bluntly, blocked
Jiminey Cricket chimay Tagalog housemaid chiminey cricket housmaid
Tommy Lee Jones gutom Tagalog hungry tommy lee jones hungry
Julie Yap-Daza
(famous the book Etiquette for Mistresses)
huli Tagalog to be caught julie yap-daza to be caught [cheating][13]
Jupiter kapatid Tagalog sibling jupiter sibling
Lupita Aquino-Kashiwahara lupit Tagalog cruel lupita kashiwahara cruel
Mahalia Jackson mahal Tagalog expensive, precious, dear mahalia jackson expensive
Mariah Carrey mura Tagalog cheap murriah carrey cheap
Rita Gomez nakakairita Tagalog irritating rita gomez irritating, annoying
Pagoda Cold Wave Lotion pagod Tagalog tired, exhausted pagoda cold wave lotion tired, exhausted
Ayatollah Khomeini payat Tagalog thin fayatollah kumenis thin
Pocahontas pokpok Tagalog prostitute pocahontas prostitute
Winston Churchill sosyal Tagalog high society churchill high society
Tom Jones tomguts Tagalog hungry tom jones hungry
  • From other languages like Japanese.[14]
Word Language Meaning Swardspeak Swardspeak meaning
ビール (bīru) Japanese beer berru beer
(otoko) Japanese male otoko manly man
(watashi) Japanese me, I watashi me, I
chiquito Spanish small chiquito small
coño Spanish vagina coño high society
coño Spanish vagina coño speaker of Coño English
puñeta Spanish obscenity, means "in a fist" puñeta profanity, equal to "fuck"
Siete Pecados Spanish seven deadly sins siete pecados nosy, gossipmonger

Examples[change | change source]

Tagalog Swardspeak English
Ako ay may lobo

Lumipad sa langit
Di ko na nakita
Pumutok na pala
Sayang lang ang pera,
Pinambili ng lobo
Sa pagkain sana,
Nabusog pa ako.

Aketch ai may lobing

Flylalou sa heaven
Witchels ko na nasightness
Jumutok lang pala
Sayang lang ang anda
Pinang buysung ng lobing
Kung lafangertz sana
Nabusog pa aketch

I had a balloon

It flew up in the sky
I can't see it anymore
[I didn't know] it had popped
Wasted my money
Buying the balloon
If I had bought food instead
At least I would have been satisfied

  • Tagalog nursery rhyme "Bahay Kubo" (Nipa Hut) into Swardspeak.
Tagalog Swardspeak English[15]
Bahay kubo, kahit munti

Ang halaman duon,
Ay sari-sari
Singkamas, at talong,
Sigarilyas at mani
Sitaw, bataw, patani
Kundol, patola, upo’t kalabasa
At saka meron pa
Labanos, mustasa
Sibuyas, kamatis, bawang at luya
Sa paligid-ligid
Ay puno ng linga

Valer kuberch, kahit jutay

Ang julamantrax denchi,
Ay anek-anek.
Nyongkamas at nutring,
Nyogarilyas at kipay.
Nyipay, nyotaw, jutani.
Kundol, jotola, jupot jolabastrax
At mega join-join pa
Jobanos, nyustasa,
Nyubuyak, nyomatis, nyowang at luyax
And around the keme
Ay fulnes ng linga.

Nipa hut, even though it is small

The plants it houses
Are varied
Turnip and eggplant,
Winged bean and peanut
String bean, hyacinth bean, lima bean.
Wax gourd, luffa,
white squash and pumpkin,
And there is also radish, mustard,
Onion, tomato,
Garlic, and ginger
And all around
Are sesame seeds.

References[change | change source]

  1. "Deciphering Filipino Gay Lingo". United SEA. 27 July 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Gayspeak: Not for gays only". 30 April 2010. Archived from the original on 1 December 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  3. 3.0 3.1 "GAY LANGUAGE: DEFYING THE STRUCTURAL LIMITS OF ENGLISH LANGUAGE IN THE PHILIPPINES". Kritika Kultura, Issue 11. Kritika Kultura. August 2008. Archived from the original on 24 March 2009. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
  4. "swardspeak". Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  5. "A SEMANTIC LOOK AT FEMININE SEX AND GENDER TERMS IN PHILIPPINE GAY LINGO" (PDF). University of the Philippines. Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 February 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
  6. "Ang Bekimon (Baklang Jejemon)". July 7, 2010. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  7. "The Filipino Gayspeak (Filipino Gay Lingo)". June 5, 2006. Archived from the original on 28 January 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  8. "GAY SPEAKS on "SWARDSPEAK"". May 13, 2005. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  9. "On Philippine gay lingo". 2008-05-05. Retrieved 25 December 2010.
  10. "Gay Lingo (Made in the Philippines)". November 16, 2008. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  11. "Deciphering Filipino Gay Lingo". United SEA. 27 July 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  12. "The Filipino Gayspeak (Filipino Gay Lingo". June 5, 2006. Archived from the original on 28 January 2012. Retrieved 24 December 2010.
  13. "Etiquette for Mistresses". April 28, 2007. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  14. "Gay Lingo Collections". July 5, 2009. Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  15. "Philippines Children's Songs and Nursery Rhymes". Retrieved 25 December 2010.

Books[change | change source]

  • Visayan Swardspeak: The language of a gay community in the Philippines" - Crossroads, 1990
  • “’Performing’ the Filipino Gay Experiences in America: Linguistic Strategies in a Transnational Context.” Beyond the Lavender Lexicon: Authenticity, Imagination and Appropriation in Lesbian and Gay Language. New York: Gordon and Breach, 1997. 249–266
  • “Global Divas: Filipino Gay Men in the Diaspora”, Duke University Press Books, November 19, 2003. ISBN 978-0822332176