History and Culture

'Kilig' and 'Teleserye' Make It to Oxford English Dictionary

Choose Philippines
Choose Philippines | Apr 14, 2016
'Kilig' and 'Teleserye' Make It to Oxford English Dictionary

Remember when the teleserye On the Wings of Love made us all kilig? Or when Jadine became the most kinakikiligan loveteam? That's right. The Filipino word "kilig" has no direct translation in the English word and it's exclusive to us Filipinos. One can use the English phrases "butterfly in the stomach" or "squeal in excitement" but nothing can summarize it better than the word "kilig."

Just last March, the aforementioned word made it to the Oxford English Dictionary, which is widely regarded as the accepted authority on the English language. It's about page describres it as "an unsurpassed guide to the meaning, history, and pronunciation of 600,000 words— past and present—from across the English-speaking world." Because the English language, like all languages, is continously evolving, OED updates its list four times a year: March, June, September, and December. It looks beyond the United Kingdom and the United States and includes foreign words that are widely used side-by-side with the English language.

The entry 'kilig' on OED indicates that the word can be used as an adjecitive and as a noun. It is also categorized as Philippine English.


A. adjective

  1. Of a person: exhilarated by an exciting or romantic experience; thrilled, elated, gratified.
  2. Causing or expressing a rush of excitement or exhilaration; thrilling, enthralling, captivating.

B. noun

  • Exhilaration or elation caused by an exciting or romantic experience; an instance of this, a thrill.

OED also included official phrases that can be used with the word, such as "kilig to the bones," "kilig factor," and "kilig moment."

'Teleserye," another Philippine English entry, is defined as a television soap opera. Like "kilig," its roots is from the Tagalog language.

How to use these words in an english sentence? Easy! "Which teleserye gave you the best kilig moment?"


Learn More About the Filipino Language:
1) Filipino Teacher Fights 'English Only Policy,' Promotes Nationalism

2) Mga Salita sa Filipino na Maraming Nilalaman: Ang Wika sa Mga Rehiyon (Unang Bahagi)

3) Mga Salita sa Filipino na Maraming Nilalaman: Ang Wika sa Mga Rehiyon (Ikalawang Bahagi)

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