Word Nerd: What Does ‘Bardagulan’ Actually Mean And Where Did It Come From?

The word ‘bardagulan’ has been around for a long time, but it has popped up more often in recent months.

Sometime before this year’s national elections, the word bardagulanwas on everyone’s lips. Supporters of opposing politicians engaged in ‘online bardagulan’. But what does that word actually mean and where did it come from?

The origin of ‘bardagulan’

The FreebieMNL team spoke to UP College of Mass Communication Professor Jonalou Labor. According to him, the word has been around since the ’80s, when slang words were popular.

Its root word is bardagul, which refers to the act of fighting. The word emerged when Pinoy action films were at their peak, and slang Tagalog was often used in scripts. But the word is so much more than to signify fighting.

Prof. Labor said that it symbolized diverging opinions between two parties. It illustrates people outwitting each other and mocking others’ ideas. It was coined when Facebook and Twitter weren’t around yet. People fought with words and fists.

The word itself is comedic in nature, but it means something serious. In a ‘bardagulan’ event such as a street fight, someone could actually get hurt, or worse, die.

Its characteristics

‘Bardagulan’ means deferring opinions. It means fast and witty retorts since it originated in the streets. Since it is street slang, only a specific social class knew what it meant and what it implies. ‘Bardagulan’ used to be a term for the poor and the proletariat.

But, all social classes have recently engaged in it since it’s not only done in the streets but online as well. Still, the winner is determined by their social class. What might that mean?

It means that if you engage in ‘online bardagulan’, for you to win, you must have fast WiFi and good hardware. If your phone lags while you’re verbally sparring with someone, you lose.

You’ll also lose if you’re not witty enough. You must understand the importance of word choice. Choosing your words carefully will give you an edge. You must also have the confidence to use these words because if you don’t, your opponent will mock you.

‘Bardagulan’ is a display of wit

People have a tendency to one-up each other, no matter the context. You only have to display your wit to win, and a win is often characterized by the other party blocking you.

RELATED WATCH: Mimiyuuuh teaches rapper Saweetie Filipino slang

‘Bardagulan’ has transcended from being a slang word. It now encapsulates all forms of fighting and is sure to evolve in the distant future.

Featured Image Daniella Sison

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