Achievers Directory‎ > ‎T‎ > ‎Thai Culture‎ > ‎

Special words


คุณ  khoonM [singular and plural] you   - Translated "Most honored one" is an honorific title Thais use to address those who they most admire and respect.     
Khun = You
Kon Thai
Kon Farang


Khun is used with anybody but if the person is known to have other kind of title, e.g. aa-jaan (a teacher), mOO (a doctor), aa-sia' (an affluent  and powerful ethnic Chinese merchant), muad' (a police or military man of captain level), such title could be used.
Thais use sibling term to call others, e.g. Phii (older brother or sister). Strangely enough, however, nOOng (younger brother or sister) is not often used except in the North, it is used with for a waiter (or waitress).   Don't be angry if someone if a Thai yells "hey you" it's their translation of "khun" which is polite. It's common practice for Thai to call out "khun" to get anothers attention, perhaps more so at a Restaurant (someone serving them) as opposed to someone they are serviant to.

A title given to anyone by the court and only then entitled to hoard land, up to a certain rai (500?) . It was later given to single woman, by the court, as in the level equivalent to that of Khun Ying+ (probably equivalent as that of Lady of the English Court) except that Khun Ying+ is used with a woman who is married.
If I am having a direct conversation with someone who I have known for some time, e.g. Khun Pim, I would not address her as Khun Pim but simply Pim. However I would use Khun with her name if referring to her in discussion with a 3rd person. Apparently if this discussion is of an academic one, I would not need to have any honorific for her. I could simply refer to her by her name (first and last). 
When the context of kinship arises, to use Khun seems to give a hint that the speaker likes to keep distance between him and the intended hearer. A woman might use a phrase to call her husband like phOO"ai" tung+ (father of Tung, their son), but might switch to "Khun" when they began some fight. Hence, using Khun does not always suggests a close relationship.  More on hierarchy in Thai Society known as "Thii Tam Thii Soong"  (or Tee Tum Tee Soorng).



or "Mai ben rai"  or "Mai pen rai"  is used frequently in Thai Language, the expression reflects Thai people's attitude towards themselves, the people they come into contact with and the world around them. Almost everybody and everything is acceptable to the Thais. Objections and conflicts are to be avoided at all cost. Thai people are known for their tolerance and compromising nature.
ไม่เป็นไร  mai bpen rai   "It doesn't matter." — "Never mind." — "You're welcome" — "Don't mention it." — "It's no big deal."
"mai-bpen-rai" attitude makes the Thais an easy going and compromising people. It is reflected not only in language but also in social interaction, religion and politics. Interpersonal conflicts do not lead to an open confrontation unless one is ready to take the risk of losing a relationship. 
Religious and ethnic conflicts are very difficult for the Thais to comprehend.
It is very common to find a Buddhist family with Muslem and Christian in-laws as well as Chinese and American or European in-laws, the members of which are more than happy to attend all the various religious festivals celebrated by any of the members of the family.



Means Beautful, The word can be spelt Suai or Suway or Sooay means Beautiful
the word is said with a raiSING tone otherwise.  you will create a "Mangle" because with a FALling tone is means "Bad luck" .  it's easy to remember because you are SO AMAZED AT THE BEAUTY you will say the word with Joy and excitment so your tone will rise.  
สวยsuAY[is] beautiful; pretty; lovely; gorgeous; attractive; nice-looking [usually referring to women but also possibly a view]    

note: ซวย- SUày = bad luck. 
reference to a child for beautfil is Naraak  น่ารักnaaF rakH   and  
Tii-rak or tee-raak or tee-rak  means my love or my darling, honey or sweetheart  ที่รักtheeF rakH

Sa nook

The word "sanuk" means to have a good time, to enjoy oneself and to derive pleasure and joy from something.  
It's a life rule for Thai people that whatever they do it need be "sa nook". The concept of "sanuk" goes beyond the having of a good laugh or a good time at a dance or a performance. 
It's quite apparent that Thais' are more inclined to play than to work or that they mix work with play. However, a closer examination of the meaning of the word "sanuk" and "len" should show that whether it is work or play, the important requisite is that one should be able to derive satisfaction and pleasure in what one does.

The same concept of deriving pleasure from whatever one does is reflected also in the use of the word "len", which literally means to play as in these examples.
สนุก  saL nookL modifier [is] fun; enjoyable; entertaining; amusing; pleasant
รู้สึกสนุกไหม ruuH seukL saL nookL maiR example sentence "Are you happy?"
มีความสุข meeM khwaamM sookL adjective happy
Another aspect of the meaning of "len" is in negative expressions such as "mai len duay", which means not wanting to have anything to do with.  
This can be considered "kiki at" meaning Lazy!  ha ha ha (that does not mean 555)
A slang variant for "Sa nook" is "man", which describes the feeling one can get when munching one's favorite food.

 From top to bottom: Sawasdee jao (pronounced 'sawatdee'), sawasdee, jai, aroy, aroy dee, mai pen rai, sabai sabai, sabai.

1. mai bpen raimai mee bpunhaa

The first phrase roughly translates to "it doesn't matter", the second to "no problem." Together, they typify the Thai approach to life: don't get bogged down by small obstacles, don't worry, take it easy. Much to the dismay of Westerners, Thais employ these phrases even in situations that are dangerous, even life-threatening. (Westerner: "The house is on fire!" Thai: "No problem.") If a Westerner protests, he is swiftly reprimanded with jai yen (see below #4).

2. sabai

This word is usually translated as "happy", but its use is often closer to "comfortable", "relaxed", or "well." To Thais, happiness is not a state opposite that of sorrow. Rather, it is more akin to tranquillity. Sitting by the seaside with the wind blowing your hair is sabai. Winning the lottery is not.

This difference is underscored by the fact that mai sabai, or "not sabai", does not mean "sad". It means "sick", "ill", and can even be used as a euphemism for "hungover".

Suffix the word dee, or "good", to sabai, and you get the standard Thai greeting: sabai dee mai?, or "Are you well?"

Thai offers many ways to intensify an adjective. One way is simply to repeat it. Thus sabai sabai could be translated into English slang as "everything's chill" or "not a care in the world". It is wellness almost beyond words, the Thais' heaven on earth.

3. ruk

The Thai people are usually described as sentimental, encountering life emotionally rather than intellectually. This is not meant to disparage them, and in any case they often disparage Westerners for being too cerebral, too cold. The linguistic centerpiece of this worldview is ruk, or "love". Just about every Thai pop song will be propped up by ruks, often in the form of pom ruk ter, or "I love you" (ter is the informal "you", like "tu" in French).

Ruk is also the root of the common word naruk. The prefix na is the equivalent of the English suffix "able" - thus narukmeans "lovable", "adorable", or "cute." Show a Thai girl a photo of a lion cub, a live puppy, or a stuffed animal, and she is liable to squeal naruk! shortly before embracing or scratching the naruk thing's nose. (My sincerest apologies to Thai girls who don't do this.)

Ruk also gives us suttiruk, a term of endearment roughly meaning "sweetheart". (N.B.: Not to be used indiscriminately, especially as part of the phrase suttiruk ja, which means something along the treacly lines of "sweetie pie".)

4. jai

Exhibit B in the case for Thai sentimentalism - the close etymological connection between Thai words meaning "heart" and "mind". Jai, "mind", spawns the word hua jai, "heart".

The word jai forms a number of compounds that describe human emotions. In fact, my pocket dictionary lists sixty-sevensuch jai-words. Some of the most common are:

jai rorn -- hot-tempered (hot mind) jai yen -- calm (cold mind) jai lai -- cruel (bad mind) jai dee -- kind (good mind) kao jai -- to understand (enter mind) korp jai -- thank you (edge mind)

As far as the economy of the Thai language is concerned, the mind is a terrible thing to waste.

5. gin

Thais take eating very seriously, no doubt in part because of the strong Chinese influence on their culture. I know a Thai woman of Chinese ancestry who, rather than asking me "How are you", asks me "Have you eaten yet".

Gin can mean "eat", but it is more akin to the word "ingest": one can gin nahm ("drink water"), gin kao ("eat rice"), or gin ya("take medicine"). Gin is also used to describe the taking of a piece in chess.

Because rice accompanies just about every Thai meal, gin kao is usually used instead of gin to mean "eat." It is perfectly acceptable to use gin kao to describe the inhalation of a cheeseburger, for example.

6. aroy

Deriving from this preoccupation with food is aroy, which means "tasty". Thus does aroy appear in the names of many a Thai restaurant. A common experience among newcomers to the kingdom is to be offered a food they have never seen before, together with the pronouncement aroy. Thais are very proud of their cuisine, so the follow-up question aroy mai?("tasty?") is usually not far behind. (Suggested answer: aroy dee -- "yummy"? -- accompanied by a thumbs-up gesture.)

7. sanook

Sanook, meaning "fun", is a guiding principle of Thai social life. If you have recently returned from a trip, whether from Malaysia or the mall, you are likely to be asked sanook mai?: "was it fun?" An experience that is merely educational, or, as the argot has it, "intense", would probably be given the swift Thai denunciation: beua, or "boring". If it's not sanook, it's not worthwhile. Thus sanook and sabai are a common element of the names of Thailand's many watering holes.

8. ba

Westerners often receive - and deserve - the charge of ba!, meaning "crazy" or "mad". You are ba if you do anything stupid or unexpected, like driving poorly or dancing spontaneously. Tellingly, the Thai phrase for methamphetamine - the country's most destructive drug - is ya ba, or "mad medicine".

9. pai

We have already seen two forms of Thai greeting, "Are you well" and "Have you eaten". A third employs the word pai, or "go": pai nai mah, or "Where have you been". As with "have you eaten", many Westerners are taken aback by the seeming invasiveness of this question (their first thought being "it's none of your business"). But it is really little different in intent from "What's going on". (In other words, "I have been in the bathroom" is not what your interrogator is after.)

Pai is also the source of pa, which ostensibly means "let's go", or "get a move on", although a Thai will often say pa a hundred times over the course of an hour preceding actual departure.

10. sawatdeechohk dee

No collection of essential Thai phrases would be complete without sawatdee, the all-purpose Thai salutation. No need to bother distinguishing between "good morning" and "good evening", "hello" and "goodbye": sawatdee covers them all. But there are alternatives for parting, like chohk dee, meaning "good luck". Chohk dee also serves as a fair substitute for "cheers", not in the evolved British sense of "thanks", but in the old-fashioned sense of "may the road rise to meet you, may the wind always be at your back."

related topics

Other stuff

Popular Activities

Media Channels

Recommended Events

Approved Events: open page to sort by columns

Event / LocationIndustry / ThemeCost (L M H) / Durationwhy goName / link
2019.05.04 /  Comedy / Magner Festiva low  fbk group bkk nightlife 
2019.04.06 Bts Asok Comedy - International Jimmy Carr med -  in 2016 he rocked Bangkok fbk bkk nightlife 
2019.03.04  Comedy low  GLOBAL ROAST BATTLE PHENOMENON--YOUR HOOD'S A JOKE. fbk bpac  
2019.02.21 to 24 Bts Phloen Chit Garden Fair - Nai Lert Flower & Garden Art Fair 2019 low - 150 bt astonishing - heritage home TB events: Nai Lert Park Heritage Home บ้านปาร์คนายเลิศ 
2019.02.16 / Saraburi 9am to 9pm Social: Meet Locals day trip low - day trip activities Thai and Foreigners mixing it up TML: Saraburi hypo 
2019.01.26 / Suk Soi 19 Comedy / 5 star Westin Grand Hotel low international at Westin Grand Hotel Stand up Asia - fbk invite 
2018.12 30 days Dusit Festival - Aoon Ai Rak Warm love Free Thai Costume / heritage Warm love AoonAiRak 
2018.12.19 / Suk Soi 13 Comedy / battle off the best low  huge gig  fbk grp bkk nightlife 
2018.11 to Jan IconSiam Exhibition: History Boats free  New shopping mall IconSiam tb Sri Mahasamut Nov to Jan 
Showing 9 items from page Approved Events sorted by Event / Location. View more »

Places visited

Places visited: open page to see more / sort by columns

Event date yymm / locationEventVenue / HostPublication link
2018.12.20 Suk Soi 19 F&D Tapas Big Mama Tapas fbk Joy 
2018.12.03 Ratchada Museum 3D art Art in Paradise fbk bkk adventure pic n vids 
2018.11.30 Suk Soi 21 F&D Japanese Kenshin Isayaka fbk page bkk tourism: 5 pics 
2018.11.28 / Suk Bts Asok Entertainment / Diner  Dine in Dark fbk adventure pic / vid 
2018.10.23 / Phra Nakon F&D Thai Khao Tha Restaurant fbk page B.Pac pic n Vid 
2018.10.22 Siam  Park @ Siam Park @ Siam tb directory Park @ Siam 
2018.10.21 / Lat Lum Kaeo - 40 km N.West day tour to farm Rahaeng Markets td directory Rahaeng Markets 
2018.10.18 / Suk Soi 21 Nightlife - day walk lol  Soi Cowboy fbk 360 pic and vid 
2018.10.17 / Sukhumvit Bts ChitLom Shopping Mall CentralWorld Centralworld Bangkok Virtual tour 
Showing 9 items from page places visited sorted by Event date yymm / location. View more »

  • Thailand Cabinet Yes to mandatory health insurance for long stayers PHUKET: The Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) has announced that Cabinet has approved mandatory health insurance as a new requirement for all foreigners staying in the country on one-year ...
    Posted 16 May 2019, 04:58 by Happi Mess
  • World's first Groceries delivery drone Yesterday, Alphabet's drone delivery company Wing announced it's launching one of the world's first drone delivery services in Canberra, Australia following regulatory approval. ✈️📦How it works: Customers ...
    Posted 10 Apr 2019, 01:57 by Happi Mess
  • Famous Vegan caught eating Meat megga apology Famous Vegan Youtuber gets Caught in Mexico Devouring Meat. Vegan community in Shambles. FREE QR reader share this page stats sl fvybem source One of the ...
    Posted 21 Mar 2019, 02:04 by Happi Mess
  • Thai New year Festival April - SONGKRAN Top Share this page Thai New year Festival  April  SONGKRAN a tradition that suits everyone!  One of the high spots of the Traditional Thai calendar is ...
    Posted 20 Mar 2019, 19:22 by Happi Mess
  • Best Bangkok Tourist river Piers Chao Phraya River Boat ServicesThe Chao Phraya River is a perfect way to travel in Bangkok and to discover and explore many main attractions the big city has to ...
    Posted 20 Mar 2019, 19:16 by Happi Mess
  • 5 popular temples Bangkok share this page in Bangkok. The most famous ones are the Grand Palace with the Emerald Buddha, Wat Pho and the reclining Buddha, and the temple ...
    Posted 23 Jan 2019, 02:21 by Happi Mess
  • Dirty Bangkok oh yeah babe 15 Jan 2019 at 08:29 0 commentsWRITER: GARY BOYLEORIGINAL SOURCE/WRITER: POST REPORTERSBangkok firefighters on Monday 'soaked the sky' with high-pressure fire cannons in front ...
    Posted 17 Jan 2019, 00:28 by Happi Mess
  • A Newbie's Guide to Getting Settled In Bangkok by Blake Sibbitt I Co Owner at BKK BestLife Real EstateKey pointsRenting a condo: Make an appointment with an agent. Let them know what you're looking for ...
    Posted 10 Jan 2019, 01:27 by Happi Mess
  • Warm love Aoon Ai Rak Festival Bangkok Dec 18 to Jan 2019 share this pageไปคะ!! 🎊A winter festival “Love and Warmth at Winter’s End” Aoon-Ai-Rak is back and open now!!🎉From 9 December 2018 ...
    Posted 16 Dec 2018, 20:43 by Happi Mess
Showing posts 1 - 9 of 229. View more »

Bangkok Hospitality & Tourism

Donate Photos, videos and adventure stories or join our Community Groups

Become a Roaming reporter how it works