#FamilySunday: Generation gab

Michael G. Yu

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How does a parent embrace today's generation-speak? A dad gives it a shot.

WHAT DID YOU SAY? Even with a time machine, it would take Bill and Ted forever to learn all the new slang words. Photo from 'Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure' Facebook page

HONG KONG – My brother’s two children were talking at a family lunch one day and the highly stimulating intellectual conversation went something like this:

“Dude, that’s so lame.”

“Dude, mind your own business.”

“C’mon, dude, quit it!”

“Dude, I said mind your own business!”

Take note, these were my nieces talking.

The word “dude” has been around a long time and many who are my age will immediately think of “Wayne’s World” and “Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure” (cue: kids opening a new browser window to Google what the hell I’m talking about).

Here’s a trailer of ‘Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure’ from 1989:

When we were growing up, calling someone “dude” never caught on much in the Philippines. I don’t know when it became acceptable to call girls “dudes,” but it looks like it’s happening today.

That’s all an inevitable part of life, I guess. Language changes from generation to generation. Just like fashion, music, and Rustom Padilla’s sexual orientation.

Ah, don’t we all wish for simpler times when the only “dudes” we knew referred to Luis Manzano’s dad (kids, Google the phrase “I love you, Lucky!”)? But if we are expected to understand and connect with our children, we have to know what they’re talking about.

So I did a little research and discovered that some of today’s slang words have their counterparts from our era: 

THE ORIGINAL DOODS. Not only is the word 'dude' apparently back in fashion, Edu Manzano is back in the spotlight, too, on TV5's 'Good Morning Club.' Photo from the Edu Manzano Facebook page

1. “Angas”

Angas is like the word astig. It can convey something negative (“The dude was so angas, nobody liked him.”) or positive (“Dude, you scored 40 points last night? Ang angas mo, you already!”).

2. “Ek-ek” and “Churva,” “Beki” and “Badaff,” “Wacky” and “Kengkoy”

I remember the time I said ek-ek and the younger ones in the group stared blankly at me. Apparently, the word I needed to use was churva.

And take note that beki does not refer to the mumps, but actually means badaff (gay).

Finally, if someone shouts “wacky!” while taking a photo, that means you have to act kengkoy.

3. LOL, ROFL, LMAO, and “Sabaw”

There are words, though, that just go straight over my head. I’m told that it’s not enough to LOL (laugh out loud), ROFL (rolling on floor laughing), or LMAO (laughing my *ss off) anymore.

When something is really funny, I should LMBAO (laughing my “black” ass off — ouch!).

I also wondered why kids were saying sabaw all the time; but when I finally got it, I was, like: Halleeeeer, ‘yun lang ba?? Kalurkey, ‘di keri ng powers ko ‘yun! Sabaw! (clueless, spaced out)

But as we grow older, I guess we have to understand that people of the same generation need to find their own identities, and language is one sure way to create a sense of belonging and uniqueness.

4. “Weeeeh?” and “Meme”

Sure, we can question why today’s kids say “weeeeh?” when we used to say “oooows?” (for real?)

Or we can pine for the days when meme meant it was time to go to sleep and did not refer to viral internet photos.

But does it really matter which expressions are used? No matter how we communicate, as long as we can get our message across in a respectful way, then we can somewhat bridge the generation gap, avoid misunderstandings, and be one big, happy family no matter what our ages are.

So, mga repapeeps, there’s no need to go all stress drilon, ma-ja-jabbar ka n’yan.

If you agree that we can overcome the language barrier, dehins na ang papetiks-petiks! Tara lets, bagets, and join in on the fun.

But chongkee, bawal ang skwaniks, bawal ang gamol! You have to be at your japorms best.

Are you with me? If not, you’re so kaka. O, haaaaa?

Haha, I know. Alat, bro. Now that was pathetic.

But there’s no reason to be nega or emo about it. After all, YOLO, right?

Ah, ewan. Ambot sa imo.

NOW WHAT? Here’s a quick tutorial on bekimon, which I won’t even attempt to understand:

– Rappler.com 

Michael Gohu YuThere is the helicopter parent, the negligent parent, and then there’s Michael Gohu Yu. A doting father one minute who transforms into Homer Simpson the next, his writing on parenting reflects themes ranging from the humorous to the heartwarming. Whichever the case, though, he always aims to entertain parents of all ages.

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