For a while now, my co-teachers and I have been “bullying” (playful, of course) another co-teacher saying that she is a “bourgeois”, since she is born in a rich family, has very different taste compared to the rest of us, and is weak in Filipino. Basically, the name calling and fooling around started with that fault of her. Nonetheless, we don’t mean this in any way to correct her, it’s just friends being good friends to each other. Haha
Anyhow, “bourgeois” is a French word which in Filipino is translated to as “burgis”. Now, I was solely responsible for circulating this word and supplying its meaning to my co-workers. As a lazy student, I’ve always relayed on finding meaning through context than its dictionary meaning.
Now, here’s the catch.
If you look up the meaning of “bourgeois” in the dictionary, it’s a French word which means “middle class”. In a sense, I made a mistake of calling my co-teacher “bourgeois” after calling her “burgis” since the direct translation doesn’t match my purpose. On the other hand, upon useful research, it turns out that the word “burgis” has a different connotation in Philippine history and culture:
“Popularized during the 70s when student activism and the exposure to socialist ideology in Philippine campuses were on the rise. Derived from the French word bourgeois; and referred to anything associated with wealth, high living, and social and cultural sophistication.” (https://groups.google.com)
In short, I’m still right and I can still use the word to play around.
Nonetheless, this mistake was a realization for me.
In our school, despite most of my co-teachers born from affluent families and are better at English than Filipino, I have co-teachers that knows Filipino well. However, nobody ever bothered to correct me!
It’s either we were all ignorant or the trust that my co-teachers have on my knowledge is beyond me, or even themselves. I know I can persuade very well if I put my mind into it, but this is one very amusing episode of a skill I’ve never bothered to acknowledge.