Monday, November 12, 2007

Our Word for Today is...

baling

It is supposed to be a Manobo term and it is the most famous Manobo term nowadays because it was featured by the UK Mirror as among the foreign words that describes something that was previously indescribable. It is one of the words that is universally recognizable but still speaks loudly for the culture where it came from.
Baling (manobo, Filippine): il comportamento di una donna che quando vuole sposare un uomo si reca a casa sua e si rifiuta di andarsene finchรจ non si sono presi accordi sul matrimonio.

You know what I mean. Now, they all think that all Pinays are like that. Just joking. I am also unaware such a word existed, much more in the hinterlands of Bukidnon. Although I do know some women who act like that. But this is in Manila.
Baling, I think, is an old Tagalog term meaning "to turn" and in some communities, "baling" means "wind."

UK Mirror used "baling" and other interesting and distinct words from other communities in the world other than the boring English-speaking areas and their call center slave colonies.
These are featured in "Toujours Tingo" which is the 2nd Tingo book by Adam Jacot de Boinod.
The other Filipino word featured in the Mirror article is "Layogenic" or Swardspeak for somebody attractive from far away. By my own, I can even say that it came from "layo" or "far" and the common suffix "-genic" which can mean anything but here it was shortened from "photogenic."
Here are some of the other Tiko words:
Pisan Zapra - Malay: the time needed to eat a banana.
Koi No Yokan - Japanese: a sense on first meeting someone that it is going to evolve into love.
Gattara - Italian: a woman, often old and lonely, who devotes herself to stray cats.
Physiggoomai - Ancient Greek: excited by eating garlic.
Prozvonit - Czech and Slovak: to call someone's mobile from your own to leave your number in their memory without them picking it up
Kanjus Makkhicus - Hindi: a person so miserly that if a fly falls into his cup of tea, he'll fish it out and suck it dry before throwing it away.
Pelinti - Buli, Ghana: to move very hot food around inside one's mouth.
Jayus - Indonesian: someone who tells a joke so unfunny you can't help laughing.
Baling - Manobo, Philippines: the action of a woman who, when she wants to marry a man, goes to his house and refuses to leave until marriage is agreed upon.

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