Below list is a collection of Cebuano words that are necessarily repeated (gibalik-balik) to provide a whole new meaning. There are several cebuano or bisaya terms that are repeated but it sometimes mean not the true “thing” or true meaning of the word, like duwa-duwa (from word duwa which means play hard and repeated to mean just playing for fun). Another is pusil, this means a gun but if you say pusil-pusil, it means a toy gun.
Here are samples of those words that needs to be repeated.
1. Habal-habal – skylab (Habal only refers to animals mating)
2. Otot-otot – a kind of plant/flower (Otot only is fart)
3. Bis-bis – watering a plant
4. Duk-duk – could also be duk-dok or dok-dok, means to hammer
5. Kat-kat – climb up
6. Tang-tang – to untie
7. Barong-barong – a small house or nipa hut (Barong only means a traditional/old Filipino dress for men)
8. Tas-tas – damaged stitch in a bag or sack
9. Hong-hong – whisper
10. Bit-bit – to carry
11. Data-data – to pay in installment terms
12. Kuri-kuri – doing something or just anything
13. Bola-bola – bola means ball, bola-bola means a little ball, this supposed not quality with repeated words but there is a viand which is called bola-bola which translate to “meatballs”
14. Ubay-ubay – there are more
15. Kiling-kiling – like a boat in the sea, sway to left and right by waves
16. Kum-kum (or kumkum) – to grasp with a hand closed
17. Kup-kup (or kupkup or kopkop) – raised and cared of/for
18. Sip-sip – feeling close with superior to get promotion
19. Bad-bad (or badbad – another term for hubad) – similar to tang-tang; to untie
20. Ayu-ayu – take care
21. Tagod-tagod – to chop (as meat or vegeatables)
Please bookmark as we will add some more and of course you too can add by simply writing it into the comments below.