Quirky Filipino nicknames, explained

If you have Filipino family or friends, you’ve probably encountered a nickname or two that seem really weird by non-Filipino standards.

Case in point: the comedian whose legal name is Joseph Herbert, but who’s better known as Jo Koy:

Anitra, Jo Koy, and me. Tap to view at full size.


Here’s an explainer for these nicknames, courtesy of OneDown, whose slogan is “Redefining Filipino in today’s modern world”.

The slide above might be wrong — here’s another explanation for the nickname “Totoy”:

(Kuya is the title for “big brother”, and ate is the title for “big sister”.)

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