Wednesday, January 30, 2008


It is an expression but it could also be a noun, an adjective, or a verb. Its grammatical usage depends on how it is used. It has a meaning relative to its user. Its definition is still uncertain yet everyone understands it. But one thing for sure, it is a gay lingo that has been already a part of a daily casual Filipino conversation.
As stated, “churva” can be a noun, an adjective, or a verb, aside from being an expression. In the sentence “Nakita mo ba yung churva ko?” it is used as a noun. However, what “churva” is referring to is unclear. Usually, another sentence is followed to clarify the object referred by it. It could also be used to name something unknown to the speaker (e.g. “Ginagawa pa niya yung churva niya.”). As an adjective, one could use “churva” to describe something, but it is usually done when one does not know the right word to describe a person or a thing (e.g. “Ang churva ng joke mo!” or “Ang churva mo!”). As a verb, “churva” is used to tell somebody is doing something unknown to the speaker or an action of the subject in which the speaker cannot find the right word for the action (e.g. “Basta, nagchu-churva pa siya!”). As an expression, the word itself is used (e.g. one could say “Ay churva!” when a book fell from one’s desk). In other words, “churva” is basically a fill-in by the speaker when he or she cannot find the right word to use. “Churva” actually shares the same grammatical usage with its fellow gay lingo expressions such as “etchos” and “ekek” but is more widely used than the others. And because it is widely used, the public even coined terms for the famous expression. For example, churvaness or (ka)churvahan which means something or someone is in the state of being “churva”, and churvanesence which is defined as the frequent usage of the expression. It has also variants like “churvachenes”, “chuchu” and “chuva” (corruptions of “churva”), and “chuvachuchu”. Other expressions can also be added to form another variant like “anik-anik churva” (used to refer on body parts or accessories) and “churva-ekek” (usage similar to churva).
“Churva” is a term used initially by gays to express something—fun, disgust, surprise, etc. which entered the Filipino colloquial vocabulary around 2004 and 2005. But a few years after, it has been adopted by the public. As a result, the use of “churva,” as well as other gay lingo expressions, has no gender differences today. Generally, “churva” is used by women and gays. Before, it is a bit unusual to hear men using “churva” but now it has been accepted. However, most of the time, it is used by men only among their groups or peers. A man who uses it in front of strangers or acquaintances could be mistaken as a gay or someone who has the tendency to be one. Even social standing has nothing to do to its usage. In a deeper sense, the acceptance of “churva” and other gay lingo/gay expressions by the public implies the acceptance of the society on the third-sex party and of the third-sex culture.

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