Filipino slang word ‘layogenic’ is the BBC’s ‘Word of the Day’

January 20, 2020 - 12:57 PM
Photo by Luke Lung via Unsplash

A rather recent Filipino coinage “layogenic” was featured on BBC Two, the second flagship channel of British Broadcasting Corporation, as its “Word of the Day” entry on Facebook.

It defined the word as “a person who is attractive from a distance but not from close up.”

BBC Two did not include the origins of the word but it was first used in the Philippines in the context of photography.

“Layo” is the Filipino word for “far” while “-genic” is a term borrowed from English, particularly from the word “photogenic.”


Posted by BBC Two on Tuesday, January 14, 2020


“Photogenic” is an English term that means someone who is “suitable for being photographed especially because of visual appeal,” according to Merriam-Webster.

“Layogenic” is not included in any official dictionary yet but a crowdsourced online lexicon for slang words and phrases has an entry.

Urban Dictionary lists the word of Filipino origin meaning “a person who appears attractive from a distance, but not up close.”

The slang word is also featured in other foreign websites such asĀ Mental Floss, italki,Ā Just English and Day Translations, among others.

It is unclear how the term “layogenic” started but it appeared to originate when the word “photogenic” became popular among Filipinosā€”given their selfie-loving natureā€”to the point that other words in similar contexts were created like “talikogenic.”

“Talikogenic” or “talikodgenic” refers to someone who is only attractive when seen from the back or behind. It is a mixture of the Filipino word “talikod” which means behind or at the back of and “-genic” from photogenic.