By Erma Edera
’Tokhang’ emerged as 2018’s Filipino word of the year during the Sawikaan 2018: Pambansang Kumperensiya sa Salita ng Taon (Language 2018: National Conference for the Word of the Year) held at the University of the Philippines (UP) in Quezon City on Friday.
The word was nominated by Mark Angeles, who introduced himself as a teacher.
“Tokhang” refers to the police’s anti-drug operations that literally means to “knock and plead.”
“Oplan tokhang,” on the other hand, was also dragged into controversy due to the number of deaths in police operations and those allegedly perpetrated by vigilante groups.
In second place is the word “fake news” while the word “dengvaxia” ended up in third place.
Dengvaxia is the anti-dengue vaccine that the government points to as the cause of deaths of children who received the vaccine in immunization programs.
“Foodie” was the “online favorite” based on the vote on Friday afternoon.
Other nominated words were dilawan, federalismo, quo warranto, TRAIN, resibo, DDS, and troll.
Each of the nominated words or catchphrases that had become part of mainstream discourse in Philippine society for the past two years were presented by a professor or scholar to a panel who deliberates to choose the Word of the Year.
Winners in previous years were words such as “canvass” (2004), “huweteng” (2005), “lobat” (2006), “miskol” (2007), “jejemon” (2010), “wangwang” (2012), “selfie” (2014), and “fotobam” (2016).
Sawikaan 2018 was organized by the Filipinas Institute of Translation, Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino and the University of the Philippines Information Office which aims to watch over the evolving Filipino language.
The Conference of the Filipinas Institute of Translation in UP is held once every two years.