17 Unpopular Pinoy English in Dubai

During my first few months here in Dubai, I find it kinda weird that some common English terms back home, isn't popularly used or understood by many here - who are also from other nation. No, they're not grammatically wrong. We were raised and taught American English. South Asia and this region are influenced mostly by British English. Just put it that way. Nothing wrong.

So if you're planning to visit Dubai, just familiarize yourself with what many speak and understand here. Below are 17 of them:

1. Gas Station. Here it is called Petrol Station. Leave gas to "Methyl mercaptan," Google it.

2. Aircon. Simply called A/C here. Makes sense.

3. CR. What CR? Comfort room? Nah! They don't know it here. It is toilet or washroom.

4. Bell pepper. These red, orange, yellow and green vegetable is called Capsicum here. I guess anyone from culinary will know anyway.

5. Resume. CV is what they call your resume here. Curriculum vitae.

6. Alcohol. I went to pharmacy to buy alcohol and the pharmacist was like, "Are you kidding me? Alcohol is not sold in any public stores in the country..." Apparently, Isoprophyl rubbing alcohol is called "spirits." (Eye roll)

7. Rotunda. That circular intersection, they call it roundabout.

8. Boundary. When I told my boss, I'm in "Sharjah-Dubai boundary now..." She don't get it. Border it is.

At first I thought, letter "i" had just fell off.
9. For rent. 'Rent' is used in ads nowadays as well. But it is "To let" you'll see everywhere.

10. Tutor. In classifieds we post tutor wanted/available. Here they say tuition available. This is so right.


11. Schedule (Operating Hours). Timings. Office timings is 8am to 5pm. Weird. Usually "timing" is used to refer to the point in time an event happens, as to 'right timing.'

12. Traffic Light. Many knows what traffic light is. But if you're on public transport, and you tell the driver to stop after the traffic light, he might shook his head. Signal is what's better understood.

13. Elevator. They call it 'lift' here. And not only that, the floor levels numbering is weird. In many cases, first floor starts at the 5th level because Parking floors (P) 1, 2, 3 or 4 comes before that. In Manila, ground floor is 1, here it is 0.

14. Iron/Ironing. Laundry shops are aplenty here and they do pressing as well. Wait what? Yes, clothes pressing is what they're more known of.

15. McDo. Yeah, sorry I had to include this one. Filipinos are so used to 'nicknames' or coined terms and we thought the world understands it as well. When I tell my office mates that we eat at McDo, their eyebrows tell me, 'What is that?' Just say the full name, McDonalds, or sing paparapapap...

16. Ache / Aching. When at the doctor, he will ask, 'what's paining?' Though, headache remains headache.

17. Passed away. "He expired" means he died. This is the weirdest I've heard.

So do you know of any other confusing terms?

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11 comments

  1. Have...or no have...lol

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  2. I see. How about dine in / take out? It's have in here / take away here in KL. The rest of what you have mentioned applies here also haha.

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  3. The overused, and I would say the indiscriminate use of the phrase, "too much" is unbearably just too much!

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  4. too much tension?!

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  5. Check Valve is No Return Valve and change Oil is Oil Change.Funny!hahaha!

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  6. My friend, do one thing. wag na wag kalimutan ang "DO ONE THING" hahahah

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  7. sad to say but its true nkaka bobo dto s dubai

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  8. also if you order sunny side up egg.. they wont understand and say they dont have but if you say BULLSEYE then they will give you sunny side up egg hehehe

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  9. Parcel for takeaway/take out... specs for eyeglasses... rectify to fix (wow, big word!)... scale for ruler...

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