filipino, tagalog-english or, in pinoy (slang for Pilipino or Filipino): maynd yor on bisnis, skrats yor on kaliskis

Kaliskis is scales. This expression is used to tell someone not to meddle in your personal life without offending (much). This is done by adding the rhyming, playful phrase, “scratch your own kaliskis” and saying it with a smile (or smirk), in a joking manner. You just cannot mouth those words and not smile or snigger; the use of a pinoy word in a mostly english expression and rhyming kaliskis with “business” always seems silly and comical to me.

“Scratch your own kaliskis” is interesting. I thought initially kaliskis referred to fish scales—smelly and slimy ones. And when you use this expression you are, obviously, telling your well-meaning, but nosy friend that she should only help you out with your difficult life after she has taken care of her own messy, stinky one. I think kaliskis can also refer to the snake’s. The snake, or ahas in Filipino, is one of the worst creatures a person can be likened to. Snakes, as in many other cultures, are associated with being treacherous (“traydor”), cold, unfeeling. Then there is the biblical serpent which is associated with the ultimate personification of evil, the Devil. So, to each our own scales.

Wow, Mare, lalim.


Kaa, the lispy, hypnotic snake from Disney’s Jungle Book