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The Filipino Word 'Gigil' Is Making Rounds on Mainstream Media

Will it be added to the English dictionary soon?
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Although the Filipino language owes its origins to various other languages and has adopted countless words from the country’s past colonizers, there are some words that remain unique to those who speak the language. These are the incomparable Filipino words that, when translated into English, do not quite convey the same emotion or do not have a direct one-word equivalent. Thus, words such as ‘kilig,’ ‘balikbayan,’ and ‘barkada’ have all found their ways into the Oxford English Dictionary. Another uniquely Filipino word that may soon follow suit is ‘gigil.’

It’s a word Filipinos know well. It defines that indescribable feeling of pure adoration when we see a cute baby. It also describes that pure frustration we get when we are angry at someone, and from that anger, we nearly tremble. The term ‘gigil’ has been gaining traction on the internet after the BBC released a video introducing the Filipino term to cultures outside of the Philippines. ABS-CBN reporter Monette Rivera, actor and Jeepney bartender J.P. Moraga, and Noel Pangilinan of the Asian American Writers workshop contributed their takes on the word and how it is used.

h/t: BBC Culture

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About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Senior Staff Writer
Hannah is a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She’s originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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