Pinoy Nicknaming

If the Filipino advertising agency is to adopt the successful “Share a Coke” campaign done in Australia in 2011, one thing is certain, my name won’t be included.  The campaign removed the iconic Coca-cola logo from the bottles’ label and instead replaced it with about 100 different common first names in their country.  It was reported that there was about 32% increase in the sales of Coke in the first two weeks when the campaign was launched.

My name Neil won’t be included because here in the Philippines, its inhabitants has the habit of giving nicknames that simply duplicates the same syllable like Nene, Toto, Makmak, Leklek, Tintin, Jojo, Junjun, Lotlot, Maymay, Katkat, Bangbang, Kangkang, Tonton, Em-em, Jay-jay, Bibi, Gigi, Ar-ar, Tata.  Believe me.  I can go on and on and on.

Not only in terms of nicknaming people but there are other instances that we do it.  Here’s a few:

  •  “tiktik” – a name of a sleazy tabloid or it means to investigate
  • kiskis” – meaning to polish
  • siksik” – which means compacted
  • sapsap” – a  name of a slipmouth fish
  •  “paspas” – meaning to speed-up
  • bolabola” – the name we call a hawker’s fishballs
  • labolabo” – meaning chaos or confusion
  • “major major” – part of the controversial answer of Ms. Philippines in 2010 Ms. Universe pageant which the rest of the world poked fun of

I am not a linguistic anthropologist who could explain this factual phenomenon.  But there must be something in the water that makes us do this agglutinative style.  We even name the vagina and penis in this manner…

Major major eng-eng!


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