Philippine English

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The Philippines is home to over 100 million people spread across 7,107 islands in Southeast Asia. Among the more than 100 mostly Austronesian languages spoken in this densely populated archipelago is English, making the country one of the largest Anglophone nations in the world. Unlike most postcolonial nations, the Philippines did not inherit English from the British but from the Americans. When the Philippine-American War ended in 1902 and the islands officially became an unincorporated territory of the United States, the new colonial administration quickly introduced English as the primary language of government, business, and education. It established a new public school system and sent American English-language teachers all over the country. These American teachers were called Thomasites after the name of the ship they arrived in, the USS Thomas. 

Excerpt taken from OED blog post ‘Introduction to Philippine English’

Philippine English words recently recorded in the OED 

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World Englishes

  • E.g. Philippine English, Hong Kong English, Ugandan English
  • e.g. bammy, skinship, bunny hug
  • e.g. an informal social gathering, a street vendor
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Philippine English editors and consultants

The OED works in partnership with external experts from or in the Philippines to ensure that our Philippine English entries draw from local knowledge and expertise and reflect the everyday reality and distinctive identity of the Philippine English-speaking community.

Philippine English pronunciation

You can find more information on pronunciation in the OED here.

Philippine English resources: from the OED blog

The boundless optimism of Filipinos and their unshakeable belief that things will work out in their favour in the end is reflected in the phrase bahala na. Their generosity and hospitality are evidenced by their fondness for giving pasalubong, while their loyalty and deep sense of gratitude can be seen in the importance they place on maintaining good business relationships with their suki, and on repaying an utang na loob.

Excerpt taken from OED blog post ‘Release notes: new Filipino words’


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