Saturday, February 24Not Your Ordinary English-Tagalog Dictionary

What is Nail in Tagalog? History, Types, and Sizes

A nail in Tagalog is called “pako,” which is a very important item in construction and carpentry. As you most likely know, nails have a slender shaft with a flat head and a pointed end. Also called fasteners, nails are used to join objects (usually wood) and are driven by a hammer or a nail gun. Unlike in screws, the shaft of nails is not threaded. 

nail in tagalog
Nails in the Philippines

The origin of nails is not known, but evidence shows that nails have been around in Egypt even before 3,400 B.C. Interestingly, nails are also mentioned in the Bible, including in Judges 4:21 – “Then Jael Heber’s wife took a nail of the tent, and took a hammer in her hand and went softly unto him…” and when Jesus Christ was crucified. 

For many centuries, the process of making nails was by hand. Metal workers would create the shaft by heating iron, and nailers (or slitters) will create the final design. Handmade nails vanished in the late 16th century when slitting mills were introduced in Liege (now Belgium). The design of these mills was also introduced in England and the United States. 

When the American Revolution broke out in 1765, there was a huge shortage of nails in the US after England halted the supply. This caused many Americans to burn houses so they can use nails recovered from the fire. Immediately after the war, the automation of manufacturing nails improved and several nail-cutting machines were developed. 

In 1795, Jacob Perkins of Massachusetts patented his nail-cutting machine and set up a nail factory. Almost at the same time, Joseph Dyer of England patented his own design of nail-cutting machinery. Since then, nails are made not only from steel but also from aluminum, brass, copper, and silver. Nails are also galvanized to avoid corrosion. 

There are several types of nails, depending on how you will use them. This includes common nails, brad nails, finishing nails, framing nails, roofing nails, drywall nails, and concrete nails (also called masonry nails). Nails are produced and sold according to the shaft length. In the US, they are measured as 2D (1 inch), 3D (1 1/4 in), 4D (1 1/2 in), and so on. 

Just like in the US, nail sizes in the Philippines are also measured in inches. This includes 1 inch (pakong de uno), 1 1/2 inches (pakong de uno medya), 2 inches (pakong de dos), etc. Nails are sold per kilogram. Among the common wire nail manufacturers in the country are CPME Industrial Sales Corp. and Worldwide Steel Group Inc.

Use pako in a sentence. 


Paki bili ako ng isang kilong pako, yung de uno ang haba.


Please buy me 1 kilo of nails, length is 1 inch.

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