Old Tagalog Words That Are Still Used Nowadays
Considered as old Filipino or Tagalog words, these are heard or used less nowadays as Filipinos specially the younger generations prefer using common Filipino words synonymous to these on the list. The Tagalog term for these words is malalim na salitang Tagalog which translates to deep Tagalog words. But even though these now rarely used Tagalog words had taken the back seat, they still 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 of these words somehow reminds you of your childhood spent at your grandparents or great grandparents house.
Why Learn Old 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 of these words as you can is also a good way in immersing yourself more into learning the language.
With that said, here is a list of over 20 old Tagalog words that chances are you will still encounter. I also included the words synonymous to these that are colloquially used along with examples.
A word that although it is seldom used nowadays in casual conversations, there's still a chance that you will hear this word when watching Filipino news.
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.
Tila means 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 just 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 which is from the Spanish word puede.
Maaari ba tayong maging magkaibigan?
Can we be friends?
This older Tagalog word means look or appearance. Instead of saying 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?
Huwad means fake. Peke is a commonly used word to mean fake which is very much close to its English word isn't it? Huwad is an older Filipino word.
Batid kong huwad ka.
I know you're an impostor.
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.
Use this word once in a while that means know or aware. When it comes to the word colloquially used, the Filipino word would be alam.
Batid kong masaya ka.
I know you are happy.
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 hunch is correct.
Sinabi is the word colloquially used to say said or told. And correct, winika is in its past tense and is an older word. It can also be a noun with just its root wika where it 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 ang iyong aklat?
Can I borrow your book?
Nawa is an older word used to express hopeful or wishful thoughts or desires. The word colloquially used is sana.
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.
Kabilang siya sa ikalawang pangkat.
She's included in the second group.
Ikubli isn't a word you'll often hear colloquially used in Filipino. Ikubli means to hide, an older word that most likely you'll still hear being used. A word synonymous to ikubli is itago which is commonly used.
Nais kong ikubli mo ang aklat na ito.
I want you to hide this book.
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 you'll often hear used is kulungan.
Bakit siya nasa piitan?
Why is he on jail?
A 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.
Kailangan ng iyong lagda dito.
Your signature is needed here.
Not your everyday word used 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.
Kailan ang inyong pag-iisang dibdib?
When is your wedding?
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.
Ang ating kapitapitagang punong-guro.
Our respectable principal.
An older Filipino word you wouldn't hear these days. The word rather used is amoy. Amoy and samyo both means smell or fragrance.
Kakaiba talaga ang samyo ng bulaklak na ito.
The fragance of this flower is really one of a kind.
A word worth knowing if you're tired of using the commonly used word 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.
Importante sa kanya ang salapi.
Money is important to her.
Your Tagalog 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 then.
Sapat na 'yan.
Strike a conversation by complimenting someone's voice. This would be your deep Filipino word to mean voice. Let the colloquially used word boses take the backseat once in a while and say tinig instead.
Ang ganda ng tinig mo.
Your voice is so beautiful.
Used to express extremeness or that something that was overly done - too/very/so much, a lot and excessively. Looking for the word Filipinos prefer to use? That would be sobra.
Labis kitang mahal.
I love you so much.