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8 Things a Time Nazi Should Know

Panahon ni Mahoma, nineteen kopong kopong—get your time references right!

| October 30, 2013

8 Things a Time Nazi Should Know

8 Things a Time Nazi Should Know
We Pinoys sure like having fun with language. We have funny expressions like “panahon pa ni Mahoma” and “nineteen kopong kopong” to connote something as very, very old. However, did you know that these expressions are actually anchored on specific periods in history?

We’ve all encountered one or two grammar Nazis in our lives. (They’re the ones who will either love or hate the idea that there are Pinoy words you can’t translate into other languages.) If they do it lovingly to help us improve our mastery of language, sure. If they’re just being jerks about it, we could always ask them to check the grammar of a Pinoy language they may not be familiar with, like Filipino Sign Language, hehehe.

However, there are already too many grammar Nazis in the world. How about developing your skills as a Time Nazi, instead? Thanks to this 8List, now you can correct people if they misuse the terms below!

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowPanahon-Pa-ni-Mahoma-1-8

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowPanahon-Pa-ni-Mahoma-1-8

Pre-colonial Philippines, 14th century. Some camps note that Mahoma is the Spanish version of Mohammed and that the Islam religion arrived on our shores around the late 1300s via Muslim maritime traders. This would be a good peg for how long ago panahon ni Mahoma is (i.e. when Islam arrived in the Philippines.)

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowPanahon-Pa-ni-Mahoma-2-7

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowPanahon-Pa-ni-Mahoma-2-7

World War II, however, is the more common peg for panahon ni Mahoma. Some camps say MaHoma is a contraction of Gen. Masaharu Homma, a general in the Imperial Japanese Army, who “ordered his troops to treat the Filipinos not as enemies but as friends, and respect their customs and religion” during Japan’s occupation of the Philippines.

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowFour-score-6

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowFour-score-6

80 years. Yes, you read right, four score, not Foursquare the app. Most people may be familiar with this term from US President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address. Score means 20. Four score means four times twenty. Voila, 80 years.

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowNoong-bata-ba-si-Sabel-5

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowNoong-bata-ba-si-Sabel-5

1830s. This is expression is not lifted from the 1981 Snooky Serna movie, “Bata Pa si Sabel,” nor the 1947 Katy de la Cruz movie “Noong Bata Pa si Sabel.” Sabel, in this instance, refers to Queen Isabella II of Spain.

There is a statue of her near Colegio de San Juan de Letran (which you can visit if you have time to tour the museums in that area) across Puerta de Isabel II, a gate named after her. Her great great grandson King Carlos visited the statue when he was still a prince during a state visit to the Philippines in 1975.

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowAge-of-Aqurius-4

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowAge-of-Aqurius-4

Depends on who you ask. The Age of Aquarius is more popularly connected to the New Age counter-culture of the USA from the 1960s to the 1970s. It’s also the title of a song from the musical “Hair” and was featured in the movie “40 Year Old Virgin.”

The term, however, has its roots in astrology. An “age” lasts 2,150 years and begins when the Earth’s spring equinox sunrise aligns with a new Zodiac sign (whose locations are not the same as the locations of the constellations they are named after).

Some astrologers estimate that we are still in the Age of Pisces (est. 1 A.D. to 2150) and that the Age of Aquarius won’t begin till the year 2151.

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowIn-a-Jiffy-3

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowIn-a-Jiffy-3

33.3564 picoseconds. Physical chemist Gilbert Newton Lewis didn’t coin the term but he was the one who assigned a specific unit of time for it. Jiffy is defined as the time it takes for light to travel one centimeter in a vacuum.

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowLight-year-2

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowLight-year-2

This is a trick! A light year is not a measure of time, it’s a measure of distance. It is, however, a measure of distance based on time. Confused yet?

A light year is the distance traveled by light in a vacuum in one Earth year. Around 10 trillion kilometers. (The question now is, how many jiffies does it take to travel 10 trillion kilometers if Painter A takes one hour to paint a house and Painter B takes two hours to paint a house?)

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowNineteen-kopong-kopong-1

8 Things a Time Nazi Should KnowNineteen-kopong-kopong-1

1900. Some internet sources have pointed out that kopong is an old Tagalog word for none or zero. Ergo, “kopong kopong” means “zero zero.” Now you know! You’re welcome.