Below list is a collection of Cebuano words that are necessarily repeated 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 is more
See also, parts of the body that are repeated.
We will add some more, you may want to bookmark this page and of course please feel to comment similar words you know. 🙂