Why These Quirky Pop Jargons?

(The Freeman) - December 17, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - If you’ve ever wondered where pop expressions like “tsugi,” “ngek” and “churva” came from, here are some of the popular origin theories of these slangs – their popular etymologic origin theories, if you will.





As a Filipino slang, the term “tsugi” – at times spelled as “chugi” – is used to refer to “killed,” “cancelled” and the like.

Attributed to be a borrowed term from the gay swardspeak lingo, there are different etymologic origin theories of the term, the most popular of which points to “tsugi’s” ties with the onomatopoeic sound effects “tsuk” and “tsak” – visual sound effects that were popularly used in Filipino-produced comic books, usually when stabbing actions are involved.

Considering the popularity of Filipino komiks in the past, it’s difficult to dismiss this particular etymologic origin theory of “tsugi” as fanciful.





Often referred to as the Filipino equivalent of “Yikes!” – though not exactly its direct translation – the term “ngek” is typically heard as a reaction to a ridiculously unheard of situation or absurd bit of news.

Also often spelled “Ngeeek!” the term’s most popular etymologic origin theory is linked with the “wrong answer” buzzers of quiz game shows – which were quite popular in the past.





Like “tsugi,” the term “churva” is attributed to hail from the gay swardspeak lingo.

It is typically used as the Filipino equivalent to the enigmatic “je ne sais quoi” – a French locution that literally translates to “I don’t know what,” a term that denotes to an intangible, difficult-to-describe quality that makes something or someone distinct.

There are different etymologic origin theories of “churva,” and the most popular notes that it’s a shortened version of the Greek “cheorvamus” – which is defined as a shortened form of “for the lack of the right word to say.”

Given churva’s close meaning to cheorvamus, it is assumed that the wordsmiths of the gay swardspeak lexicon picked the term from the Greek “cheorvamus,” for obvious reasons. (FREEMAN)

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