Sunday, March 3Not Your Ordinary English-Tagalog Dictionary
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Personal Care

What is Towel in Tagalog? Origin, Types, and Tuwalya ng Baka

What is Towel in Tagalog? Origin, Types, and Tuwalya ng Baka

Personal Care
The towel in Tagalog is called “tuwalya,” while the smaller face towel is called “bimpo” or “labakara.” As we all know, bath towels are pieces of thick but soft cloth we use to dry our body after taking a bath or shower. They are available in a wide variety of fabrics, including bamboo, cotton, hemp, linen, polyester, ramie, and wool. Towels are essential in every household, regardless of social status. The towel originally came from Bursa, Turkey, around the 17th century. The Ottomans, who ruled Turkey back then, were experts at making carpets. They used their skills to make towels with fluffy loops, which we now call terry cloth. Towels started as fancy, often hand-embroidered cloths called pestamals. This traditional Turkish towel was long enough to wrap around the body. At that tim...
What is Nail Clipper in Tagalog? Origin, Designs, and Evolution

What is Nail Clipper in Tagalog? Origin, Designs, and Evolution

Personal Care
Also sometimes called a nail cutter, a nail clipper in Tagalog is called “panggupit ng kuko,” where “gupit” means to cut and “kuko” means fingernails and toenails. This grooming tool is common in every part of the globe, including the Philippines. Its design is somehow different from the nail cutter, but this term is not common in the country. Instead, most Filipinos refer to both of them as “nail cutters.” The origin of the nail clipper is not well documented but nail-cutting can be traced back to ancient civilizations. At that time, various methods were used to trim and maintain fingernails and toenails. In ancient Egypt, around 3000 BCE, people used small knives or sharp stones to cut their nails. This practice was not only for personal grooming but also held cultural and religio...
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 Eyeglasses in Tagalog? Origin, Types, and Evolution

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

Personal Care
A pair of eyeglasses in Tagalog is called “antipara,” but most Filipinos today no longer use this term. Instead, they call eyeglasses “salamin sa mata,” where “salamin” means “glass” and “mata” means “eyes.” And as we all know, this piece of eyewear corrects vision and improves visual health. Eyeglasses can be a fashion accessory, too.  The exact origin of the eyeglasses is unknown, although glass existed 4,000 years ago in Mesopotamia. Yet, it is believed that Salvino D’Armati of Florence, Italy invented eyeglasses in the 13th century. However, there are no historical records to prove it. In fact, some documents claim it was a hoax and that his name did not exist at that time.  Nonetheless, the first eyeglasses were called “rivet spectacles” and were known for being like two len...
What is Sanitary Napkin in Tagalog? History and Design Evolution

What is Sanitary Napkin in Tagalog? History and Design Evolution

Personal Care
The sanitary napkin in Tagalog is called “pasador.” However, Filipinos today use this term very rarely and call sanitary napkins as they are. As we all know, this feminine hygiene product is used by women who are currently dealing with menstruation. Also called sanitary pads or menstrual pads, today’s sanitary napkins are not the way they used to be.  According to history, ancient Greek women used homemade rags wrapped around wooden plugs during their menstrual period. Ancient Romans used disposable woolen pads made of woven cotton, which holds the blood odor. On the other hand, ancient Egyptians used papyrus (the earliest form of paper) to create a tampon-shaped device.  Between 1854 and 1915, several menstrual products were submitted for patent but were taken out. This includes...
What is Toothbrush in Tagalog? History, Types, and Sacamuela

What is Toothbrush in Tagalog? History, Types, and Sacamuela

Personal Care
The toothbrush in Tagalog is called “sipilyo” or “sepilyo.” This personal oral hygiene tool is the best friend of toothpaste in keeping our teeth clean and strong. A Philippine legend said that “sipilyo” is a coined term from the Spanish words, “si (yes) and “pillo” (naughty). It was believed that toothbrushing is a way to control Filipinos from saying bad words.  Nonetheless, the origin of the “toothbrush” dates back to 3500-3000 BC. During that era, Babylonians brush their teeth using a brush made of thin threads from twigs. When tombs of ancient Egyptians were discovered, archeologists found some “toothsticks”. On the other hand, ancient Chinese used chewing sticks made from aromatic twigs.  The Chinese people are also believed to have invented the first toothbrush with bristl...
What is Toothpaste in Tagalog? History, Evolution, and Brands

What is Toothpaste in Tagalog? History, Evolution, and Brands

Personal Care
The toothpaste in Tagalog is called “pasimada” or “kremang pansipilyo.” However, Filipinos simply call toothpaste as it is, or “tutpeyst.” As a great partner of toothbrush, toothpaste does not only clean our teeth, it also helps strengthen them and provides fresher breath. And like in other countries, Filipinos love to take care of their teeth.  The origin of “toothpaste” goes back to ancient Egypt, around 5000 BC. At that time, people used dental powder that consists of ash, crushed eggshells, oxen hooves, pumice, myrrh, and water. And because there was also no toothbrush back then, ancient Egyptians mostly likely put the powder mixture on their fingers to scrub their teeth.  The Ancient Greeks and Romans were said to have also used dental powder. But unlike ancient Egyptians, t...
What is Bath Soap in Tagalog? Brief History, Types, and Uses

What is Bath Soap in Tagalog? Brief History, Types, and Uses

Personal Care
Bath soap in Tagalog is called "sabong pampaligo“ or "sabong panligo," a cleansing agent used during bathing or showering. “Sabon” means “soap,” while “pampaligo” or "panligo" means “for bath.” Bath soaps come in various forms, including bars, liquids, gels, and foams, to cater to different personal preferences. Unlike the "sabong panlaba," they are designed to remove dirt, oil, and other impurities from the body.  Bath soaps are also formulated with additional ingredients to enhance their effectiveness and provide various benefits. Fragrances are often added to impart pleasant scents, while natural or synthetic additives may provide soothing properties. Regular use of bath soap helps control body odor and maintains skin health.  Soap has a rich history dating back centuries. The...
What is Ornamental Comb in Tagalog? Brief History and Uses

What is Ornamental Comb in Tagalog? Brief History and Uses

Personal Care
A decorative or ornamental comb in Tagalog is called "payneta" which was commonly used by Filipino women during the Spanish period in the Philippines. As a hair accessory, payneta is usually worn while attending special events such as traditional dances, religious festivities, and weddings. The name "payneta" comes from the Spanish word "peineta," which means "comb."  As expected, this special design of hair comb goes back to the 19th century in Spain. Nevertheless, there are proofs showing that it was also used as early as 500 BCE on the Iberian Peninsula. In the early 1800s, a larger version of this ornamental comb became a popular headpiece among elite women in major cities of Argentina and Uruguay.  Known for its ornate and elaborate design, the payneta is typically made of v...
What is Lice Comb in Tagalog? Different Designs and How to Use

What is Lice Comb in Tagalog? Different Designs and How to Use

Personal Care
A lice comb in Tagalog is called “suyod,” a special type of hair comb. As the name implies, a lice comb is used to remove lice and their eggs (nits) from the hair and scalp. Lice are small insects that feed on blood from the scalp and infest the hair. These wingless parasites are usually found on the head and lay eggs close to the base of the hair shafts.  Head lice (kuto in Tagalog) are quite common among children, especially in school settings. But while these parasitic insects are known to be rampant during hot, humid conditions, they are present all year round. Because of their small sizes, they can crawl from one person to another without getting noticed and can also spread through shared items.  Unlike an ordinary hair comb, suyod has very fine, closely spaced teeth on both...
What is Hair Comb in Tagalog? Description, Uses, and Evolution

What is Hair Comb in Tagalog? Description, Uses, and Evolution

Personal Care
Comb or hair comb in Tagalog is called “suklay,” a grooming tool used for untangling, styling, and arranging hair. It typically consists of a row of narrow teeth or prongs extending from the handle. The teeth of a comb are designed to glide through the hair and are made of various materials, including bone, plastic, metal, and wood.  Combs come in different colors, shapes, sizes, and designs. The gap between comb teeth (tooth spacing) varies, depending on the type and intended use of the comb. The wider gap helps minimize pulling or snagging that can cause hair breakage. On the other hand, fine-toothed combs can help achieve a more polished and neater look. A lice comb (suyod) is a special kind of hair comb, while a payneta is an ornamental comb. For women, suklay is commonly use...
What is Chamber Pot in Tagalog? Brief History and Unique Uses

What is Chamber Pot in Tagalog? Brief History and Unique Uses

Personal Care
A chamber pot in Tagalog is called “arinola.” Also sometimes spelled arenola, the arinola is a portable toilet or receptacle used for urination and defecation indoors. Made from thin metal or plastic, the arinola is a round bowl with a handle and lid and resembles a very huge cup. This portable urinal is usually placed in bedrooms and hospitals.  Chamber pots are commonly used at night when people don't want to go to the toilet or are unable to. Arinola is also used if there is no indoor plumbing. Some people put some water in the chamber pot before using it. In the past, people empty their arinola in the morning by throwing the contents out of the window or in the garden.  The word 'chamber' is an old term for bedroom, with chamber pots being around since 600 BC but with differe...