Friday, February 23Not Your Ordinary English-Tagalog Dictionary
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Month: August 2023

What is Perfume in Tagalog? History, Types and Difference from Cologne

What is Perfume in Tagalog? History, Types and Difference from Cologne

Personal Care
The perfume in Tagalog is called “pabango,” where “bango” means fragrance. But while cologne has different properties from perfume, Filipinos also call cologne “pabango.” As a personal care product, perfume serves various purposes, especially in enhancing personal fragrance, intimacy, and positive social interactions. Perfumes are popular gifts, too. The term "perfume" originates from the Latin words "per," which means "thorough," and "fumus," which means "smoke." Later, the French invented the term ‘parfum,’ referring to the scents produced by burning incense. In ancient times, various societies utilized a mix of resins and wood during their religious ceremonies.  This tradition reached Egypt approximately in 3000 B.C., although perfumes remained confined to religious rituals un...
What is Colander in Tagalog? History and Difference from Strainer

What is Colander in Tagalog? History and Difference from Strainer

Kitchen Tools
The colander in Tagalog is called “salaan,” where “sala” here means “to filter”. As a kitchen utensil, a colander is a bowl-shaped strainer that is used for draining liquids from foods. Typically made of aluminum, stainless steel, plastic, or ceramic, colanders have evenly spaced holes to allow liquids to drain away. Most of them have handles while others also have legs for easier handling and stability. The term "colander" is believed to have originated from the Latin word "colare," which means "to strain" or "to filter." Aside from separating liquids, such as water or oil, from solid foods like vegetables or fruits, colanders are also used for draining pasta. The origin of the colander is not exactly known, but evidence suggests that sieves in ancient Egypt were made from reeds.  ...
What is Pencil Sharpener in Tagalog? History and Evolution of Design

What is Pencil Sharpener in Tagalog? History and Evolution of Design

School Supplies
The pencil sharpener in Tagalog is called “pantasa ng lapis” or simply “pantasa”. As the name suggests, this tool is designed to make the tip of a pencil pointy so that you can write or draw more easily. Despite being in the school supplies section, these sharpeners can also be found in offices and at home. They are also essential to teachers, artists, draftsmen, engineers, and architects. Before pencil sharpeners was invented, people used knives to sharpen pencils. However, the process was challenging, time-consuming, and often led to uneven results. Apparently, there are several versions as to who really invented pencil sharpeners. Nonetheless, a French book in 1822 mentioned that C. A. Boucher was the one who created the first pencil sharpener but he did not file for a patent. ...
What is Eraser in Tagalog? History, Types, and Uses

What is Eraser in Tagalog? History, Types, and Uses

School Supplies
The eraser in Tagalog is called “pambura,” where “bura” means to erase. In the UK, the eraser is called “rubber” since it’s made of rubber and is used to rub. As we all know, erasers can be in a block form or attached at the end of pencils. Both types have the same function, though. Blackboard or whiteboard erasers are called "pambura ng pisara" in Filipino. Interestingly, bread was the first eraser and became a popular erasing tool among writers from 1612 to 1770. Aside from being cheap, breadcrumbs or moist bread are readily available and can easily erase pencil marks or correct writing mistakes. However, bread tends to mold or rot and may damage paper. No wonder, writers at that time brought lots of bread with them. In 1770, British engineer Edward Nairne invented the rubber e...
What is Notebook in Tagalog? Origin, Types, and Evolution

What is Notebook in Tagalog? Origin, Types, and Evolution

School Supplies
The notebook in Tagalog is called “kwaderno” or “kuwaderno,” which came from the Spanish word, cuaderno. However, most Filipinos today call the notebook as it is. As we all know, a notebook is a stack of papers usually with lines, and a front and back cover. This writing pad is mostly used by students but is also used in other places in writing, drawing, and as a journal.  Historically, the first notebook was not made of paper and came even before paper was invented. Called the wax tablet, this ancient reusable writing tool was made of wood with a layer of wax. It was predominant during the Middle Ages when writing was performed using a pointed instrument called the stylus. When paper became readily available, erasable notebooks (called table books) were developed.  When fountain...
What is Safety Match in Tagalog? Origin, Design, and Dark Past

What is Safety Match in Tagalog? Origin, Design, and Dark Past

Kitchen Tools
The safety match in Tagalog is called “posporo,” which came from the Spanish word, “fosforo” (phosphorus). The matchstick itself is called “palito ng posporo.” Despite the popularity of lighters, many people still use matches to light a fire. This is because matches are cheaper and safer to use since they are slower to ignite. Matches leave biodegradable waste, too. Technically, there are two main types of matches - the strike-anywhere matches and the safety matches. As the name implies, strike-anywhere matches can light a fire when used on a frictional surface. The head contains phosphorus sesquisulfide, a non-toxic compound that converts into flammable white phosphorus when struck across a rough surface. On the other hand, the head of safety matches has no phosphorus. Instead, ...
What is Fork in Tagalog? History, Types, and How Filipinos Use Forks

What is Fork in Tagalog? History, Types, and How Filipinos Use Forks

Kitchen Tools
The fork in Tagalog is called “tinidor,” which came from the Spanish word “tenedor.” Like in many other countries, many Filipinos also use a fork along with a spoon while eating. But for some families in the provinces, using only a spoon is enough. A lot of them still prefer the Kamayan style, a traditional way of eating using only bare hands. Forks have been around since the ancient civilization in Egypt, Greece, and Rome, but not as eating utensils. They had long handles and two long teeth (tines), and people used knives and their hands for eating. These two-tined forks were instead used as cooking tools for lifting meats from the fire. The table fork that we know today used to be a scandalous item.. In 1004, Maria Argyropoulina, the Greek niece of Byzantine Emperor Basil II, c...
What is Spoon in Tagalog? Origin, Types, and Designs

What is Spoon in Tagalog? Origin, Types, and Designs

Kitchen Tools
The spoon in Tagalog is called “kutsara,” which came from the Spanish word “cuchara.” Aside from being the partner of the fork in eating, the spoon is used for mixing, measuring, and preparing food. Large spoons are called tablespoons, which are also used for serving. Small spoons are called teaspoons (kutsarita), which are usually used for mixing coffee or tea. No one knows exactly about the origin of spoons, although there were various versions. The earliest spoons were said to be made of bones and appeared in China during the Shang Dynasty (1600-1046 BC). Early bronze spoons in China were known to have a sharp point but were also used in food preparation. On the other hand, archaeologists found the first spoons used by ancient Egyptians, dating back to 1,000 BC. These primitiv...
What is Bathroom Shower in Tagalog? Origin, Evolution, and Designs

What is Bathroom Shower in Tagalog? Origin, Evolution, and Designs

Bathroom
The bathroom shower in Tagalog is called “dutsa” but most Filipinos call it “shower.” As we all know, a plumbing fixture that allows users to wash under a stream of water. But unlike in many countries, the shower is not that common in Filipino households. Instead, most Filipinos prefer using the timba and tabo when taking a bath or a shower.  The origin of the shower can be traced back to the Stone Age when tribes use waterfalls as their shower. During Ancient Egyptian times, society advanced and clay jugs were invented. Wealthy families then order their slaves to pour jugs of water that serve as their showers. But since the water is very cold, this tradition is seldom practiced.  Yet, ancient Greeks are considered inventors of the shower and the first plumbers. Instead of using ...
What is Water Bucket in Tagalog? Origin, Evolution from Clay to Plastic

What is Water Bucket in Tagalog? Origin, Evolution from Clay to Plastic

Bathroom
The water bucket in Tagalog is called “timba” or “balde,” a container commonly found in bathrooms of Filipino homes, along with the “tabo.” The terms “bucket” and “pail” are often used interchangeably but are not exactly the same. A bucket usually has an open top, while a pail has a lid or top and is mostly used as a shipping container.  The term “bucket” first appeared in the 13th century, and is considered as a medieval invention. It was mostly derived from the Old English word, “buc,” which means “pitcher” or “vessel.” At that time, buckets were usually made of animal organs, while water buckets were made of clay. Clay jars or buckets were heavy and cannot be carried by a single person. During the Colonial America era (early 17th century), leather buckets, which were made from...
What is Toilet Plunger in Tagalog? Origin, Types of Plungers and Uses

What is Toilet Plunger in Tagalog? Origin, Types of Plungers and Uses

Bathroom
A toilet plunger in Tagalog is called “pangbomba sa kubeta,” where “bomba” here means “pump” and “kubeta” means “toilet.” Another Filipino word for “kubeta” is “banyo,” so you may also hear some Pinoys calling toilet plunger “pangbomba sa banyo.” Aside from toilet bowls, a newly bought toilet plunger can also be used in clearing clogged drains and is common in households all over the world. The origin of the toilet plunger has many versions. One version said that it was Samuel Prosser of England who received a patent for his plunger closet design in 1777. But unlike the modern toilet plunger, his invention was unsanitary because waste would stick to the plunger. The following year, Joseph Bramah (also from England) got a patent for his plunger-like mechanism. In January 1875, a c...
What is Water Dipper in Tagalog? Origin of the Filipino Bidet

What is Water Dipper in Tagalog? Origin of the Filipino Bidet

Bathroom
The water dipper in Tagalog is called “tabo,” but this translation is weak since it’s more than a dipper. This is mainly because the plastic tabo is not common in the US and Europe. Aside from the Philippines, this Filipino version of the bidet is also mostly seen in other Southeast Asian countries including Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam.  The tabo is a very common bathroom tool in the Philippines used for getting water for various reasons. This includes bathing, hand washing, toilet cleaning, and laundry. Traditionally, Filipinos use tabo with water to clean themselves after using the toilet, instead of using toilet paper. This Filipino bidet is usually placed inside or near the pail (timba).  However, this traditional use of tabo in the toilet is not so appealing to ...