Johnson’s buds, what?

October 25, 2007 at 10:53 pm 18 comments

It was a typical Sunday afternoon.  It was cleaning day at our house.  I was washing the floor in my bedroom.  Reggie was vacuuming the boys’ bedroom.  Ryan was cleaning the bathroom sink and counter.  Ryland was dusting in the living room downstairs.  And my husband was cleaning the car in the driveway.

I heard him come inside the house and call from the bottom of the stairs, “Ryan, give me two Johnson’s buds.”

Johnson’s buds

Ryan came to my bedroom and said, “Mommy, I don’t understand Daddy.  What does he want me to give him?”

“Give him Q-tips,” I said.

And he immediately did so. 


He then came back to me and asked, “What did Daddy say that he wanted?”

“Johnson’s buds.  That’s what we call it in the Philippines.”

“That sounds funny.  I’ve never heard of that before.”

“Well, it’s a brand name.  It’s Q-tips here in Canada.  We don’t have that there.  We only have Johnson’s buds in the Philippines.”

“Then why didn’t he just say Q-tips?”

“Daddy thinks he’s still in the Philippines.”  🙂


Entry filed under: Raising the 3Rs.

Pick Up The Pieces Hand-me-up

18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Daphne  |  October 25, 2007 at 11:59 pm

    Hehehe it’s very typical of Filipinos to use the brand name instead of the product itself. It is like saying Colgate instead of toothpaste even though the actual brand is Close up 😉

  • 2. rhodora  |  October 26, 2007 at 12:01 am

    Irene, you will be surprised – and dami nang mga brands ng cotton buds dito ngayon. hehe.

    I like the packaging of Q-tips. Neat! 🙂

  • 3. Belle  |  October 26, 2007 at 12:56 am

    sometimes, i make the same mistake to my husband. hehehe. and he’d say, speak english.

  • 4. Kyels  |  October 26, 2007 at 8:21 am

    Neat packaging — the Q-Tips.

    We don’t have that here too; only Johnson’s buds nga.


  • 5. dino & haze  |  October 26, 2007 at 3:18 pm

    I remember when I was young I used to be “taong bahay sa tindahan ni Lola” and the people would asked me “Pabili nga po ng Colgate, yung Close-Up” o kaya naman “Meron po ba kayong Coke na Pepsi?”

    Actually people from there knew that those are the English terms for toothpaste or softdrinks 🙂 ! LOL Kasi talagang sa probinsyang probinsya. Until now the sari-sari store of Aling Patty exists but people knows the difference between brand name and the English terms !

  • 6. Jayred  |  October 26, 2007 at 3:34 pm

    “Daddy thinks he’s still in the Philippines.”

    LOL. I guess it was automatic for your husband to say “Johnson’s buds.”

    Somehow, I’ve always used the generic term “cotton buds.” However, my Swiss husband doesn’t understand this term. So I just explain, “They are cotton sticks used to clean the ears.”

    That’s what you get for living in quadrilingual Switzerland where English is not one of the official languages. 🙂

  • 7. Wil  |  October 26, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    LOL. As they say, kids say the darndest things. hehe

  • 8. niceheart  |  October 26, 2007 at 11:16 pm

    Actually Wil, I said that last line. 🙂 First thing that came to mind. 🙂

    Daphne, Haze, he also calls toothpaste Colgate. 🙂

    It’s not only Filipinos who do this. Instead of saying cotton buds, people here also say Qtips, even though it’s the brand name. And there are also people who say Kleenex, instead of tissue. 🙂

  • 9. kathy  |  October 27, 2007 at 3:25 am

    Well, I still say “Xerox” when I mean “photocopy” hehe. Old habits die hard. 😀

  • 10. Swipe  |  October 27, 2007 at 9:26 am

    funny. for the longest time when I was a kid I thought softdrinks were called coke. my favorite coke was sprite and I would got to the store and say, “pabili nga ho na coke, yung sprite.” sounds stupid now but somehow they always new what I meant.

    btw, seems like this particular wordpress theme is really popular.

  • 11. bw  |  October 27, 2007 at 9:34 am

    Kinda hard to be biased on a particular brand hehe 🙂 I normally tell my little daughter “cotton buds” and she picks it up 🙂

  • 12. Gypsy  |  October 27, 2007 at 12:33 pm

    Talaga no, ibang context, iba din ang English. Hehe.

  • 13. ann  |  October 27, 2007 at 11:48 pm

    Until now may mga naririnig pa rin akong nagsasabi na “Pakodak naman tayo” w/c means papakuha sila ng picture.

  • 14. K  |  October 29, 2007 at 12:20 am

    That’s so Pinoy really. I remembered me as a child, I would buy a “COLGATE” all the time then I got a “CLOSE UP”.

    I ‘spooned’ you over at Belle

  • 15. pining  |  October 29, 2007 at 8:52 am

    funny that, my husband says Q tips too, when we don’t even use that brand (saying that, I haven’t even seen that brand here)
    and then there’s the case of the hoover, when what he meant to say was vacuum cleaner 🙂

  • 16. TeacherJulie  |  November 2, 2007 at 5:09 am

    Ah, there are several cotton buds brands in the market now. My children call these ear buds or cotton buds. Funny how we get stuck with particular brands. I can relate to that since I use to stand-in for my mother in her store. Because there were a few choices then than now kaya siguro ganun 🙂

  • 17. annamanila  |  November 2, 2007 at 8:38 am

    Hahaha .. this post is funny, NH. I guess even if I migrated to where you are, I’d also be asking for Johnson’s buds, asking the children to get me coke from the frigidaire, and asking them where the colgate is even if the label says pepsodent.

  • 18. luna miranda  |  November 13, 2007 at 1:01 am

    this blog made me smile…so true! when i’d like to buy a chewing gum, i still call it “chicklets” even if it’s ‘juicy fruit gum’.


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