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Flip is a term used colloquially by Filipino American youth to refer to those of Filipino descent.
According to the late journalist and activist Alex Fabros, Sr. (1903–1999), the term was first used among Filipinos sometime after his immigration to the United States in 1929.
The term came into widespread use in the 1980s and the 1990s.
While Flip is usually used inoffensively, the folk etymology of the term is that it is an acronym for fucking little island people which was allegedly coined by American soldiers during World War II. In response, many young Filipino Americans changed the first word of the acronym to funny, fine, or friendly. In the Philippines, the slang flip was invariably used as an acronym for fine-looking island people by several advertisements.
A more plausible etymology of the term is that it is derived from the word Filipino.
There are Filipinos who do avoid the term for other reasons (such as "flipped" being used to mean "gone crazy", giving the term a perceived negative connotation) and prefer to be simply called Filipino or Pinoy/Pinay instead.