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Rarely Used Filipino Words You Need To Know

Updated on July 12, 2018
Rarely used Filipino words.
Rarely used Filipino words. | Source

Rare Filipino or Tagalog words are heard or used less nowadays as Filipinos prefer using common Filipino words. The Tagalog term in these words is malalim na salitang Tagalog which translates to deep Tagalog words. But even though these words had taken the back seat with the millennials creating new unrecognizable slang words that are uniquely millennal and speaking informally, these rarely used Filipino words have that spark that contributes to making the Filipino language more interesting, offering a glimpse of the past through olden words in those times. You might not realize or admit it, but hearing some older Filipino/Tagalog words somehow reminds you of your childhood spent at your grandparents or great grandparents house.

The language is unique on its own. Even considered old and rarely used in a day to day basis, just like the commonly used words, affixes are still used to indicate their meaning.

Learning Rarely Used Filipino Words

Although time had gone passed through these unique and rarely used Filipino words, they are still worth knowing. Not only these are still spoken or used by older Filipinos but many of these are used by Filipino news anchors aside from being used formally.

Learning as much deep Filipino words as you can is also a good way in immersing yourself more into learning the Filipino language.

With that said, we better start having these deep Filipino words that chances are, you will still encounter although synonymous words are preferably and colloquially used.



A word that although it is seldom used nowadays on casual conversations, there's still a chance that you'll encounter this word.

Nais means want or like though these days the word gusto is much used. But don't say nais to say you like someone, it sounds weird.

Nais kong mapag-isa. (I want to be left alone)



Seems like or looks like. The word often used today though to say so is parang. The word parang could also mean meadow and is pronounced the same.

Tila masaya ka ngayon. (Seems like you're happy today)



Maaari means can. Use it sometimes to brush up on your deep Filipino words. The word usually used to say so is pwede.

Maaari ba tayong maging magkaibigan? (Can we be friends?)



This older Tagalog word means look or appearance. Instead of using hitsura, which is the common word used when asking or describing a person's appearance, try saying wangis instead.

Bakit ganyan ang kanilang wangis? (Why do they look like that/Why are they dressed up like that?)



Fake. It is fake. You're fake. Peke is a commonly used word, very much close to its English word isn't it?

Isa kang huwad! At iyan ay huwad rin! (You're an impostor! And that's fake as well!)



You'll likely hear andito instead of narito, but the word earned its spot. It's one of those deep Tagalog words that chances are you will still encounter.

Narito ako sa kusina.

I'm here in the kitchen.



The word means know. Alam is colloquially used.

Batid mo ba ang nais kong sabihin? (Do you know what I want to say?)



Protest and show contrast using ngunit instead of pero which is usually used. Another word synonymous to ngunit is subalit.

Maganda siya ngunit suplada naman. (She's beautiful but snobbish)



Say that your hunch or assumption is correct in a word not commonly used - sapantaha. Indeed, it's a hunch! Akala is the Tagalog word colloquially used.

Batid kong tama ang aking sapantaha. (I know that my assumption/hunch is correct)



Sinabi is the word colloquially used to say said or told. And correct, winika is in its past tense. The word can also be a noun with just its root, wika where wika means language.

Iyan ang kanyang winika. (That's what she said)



Libro is commonly used as the Tagalog word for book. But make learning fun by learning an older synonymous word - aklat.

Maaari bang hiramin and iyong aklat? (Can I borrow your book?)



An older word for the commonly used sana which is used to express hopeful or wishful thoughts or desires.

Nawa ay makapagbakasyon kayong lahat para sa reunion natin. (I wish that you all would be able to have a vacation for our reunion)



A word that means group in Filipino is pangkat if you want to use a different word once in a while than the borrowed Spanish word grupo which is usually used.



Ikubli isn't a word you'll often hear colloquially used in Filipino. Ikubli means hide, an older word that most likely you'll still hear being used. A word synonymous to ikubli is itago which is commonly used.



Don't do anything illegal or you'll end up here. Yes, if you're thinking this word has something to do with being behind bars, you're not wrong. Piitan means jail but isn't your usual Filipino word. Another word colloquially used is kulungan.



A deep Filipino word that means care. Another word which means just the same that is commonly used is aruga.

Kailangan niya ng kalinga.

He needs care.


Your signature in Filipino. Lagda means signature. A word colloquially used is the borrowed Spanish word pirma.


Pag-iisang Dibdib

Not the colloquially used word to say wedding but pag-iisang dibdib is still used these days when referring to being united in marriage. The Filipino word commonly used is kasal.



Kapitapitagan also written kapita pitagan, an older Filipino word that is still heard being used when introducing someone venerable or someone worth of high respect. Kapitapitagan is synonymous to the commonly used Filipino word kagalang galang. Which one to use? The choice is yours.



An older Filipino word you wouldn't hear these days. The synonymous word rather used is amoy. Amoy and samyo both means smell.



A word worth knowing if you're tired of using the commonly used Filipino words to mean money - kwarta and pera. Yes, salapi means money too. You just don't hear it often. It's an older Filipino word you might want to use.



Your Filipino word for enough. Although another word synonymous to it is colloquially used, there's still chances of you hearing sapat. But would you rather go with the flow and use the commonly used word to say so? Tama would be your word.


Sapat na ba ito?

Is this enough?

Commonly used - Tama na ba ito?


Strike a conversation by complimenting someone's voice. This would be your deep Filipino word to mean voice. Let the colloquially used word boses to take the backseat once in a while and say tinig instead.



Used to express extremeness or that something that was overly done - too/very/so much, a lot and excessively. The Filipino word synonymous to labis that is colloquially used is sobra.


Labis ka niyang mahal.

He loves you so much.


Labis siyang mahiyain.

She's excessively shy.

Over 20 deep Filipino words you'll still likely hear. It may not be much as there are a lot more but some will be added as they come to mind.

Have a word you expect to be in the list? Leave it in the comment below.


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