ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Thai Language Tips - Common Phrases - Silly Synonyms

Updated on August 23, 2011

Words With 2 Meanings
In this article we will discuss Thai words that often confuse foreigners that are new to the language. Many of these words are actually pronounced much differently, in a different tone, however to the untrained ear of a farang, they do sound the same. This article is not intended to teach readers how to speak Thai, we are simply having a little fun. If you already know how to speak Thai, please don't send me emails about the different tones and how different these words are .. I know!


Thai Language is really not that easy to learn to speak fluently. The pronunciation is challenging for most Western tourists. Learning enough Thai to have simple conversations is really not that difficult. Most Thai people will appreciate you making an effort to communicate with them, and they will forgive you for making small mistakes and will try to help you along. Many of the words in Thai language will include sounds that you are not familiar with, like words that begin with "ng", or rolling "r". This should not intimidate you, if you practice repeating what you hear, you might make a few honest mistakes. Most of the time people will understand, and will just have a laugh with you. We will give you a list of a few funny synonyms that often confuse people.


Farang - In Thai language a foreigner is referred to as "farang". This is also the word for the fruit "guava". So if you hear people saying "farang", they might not be talking about you.

Sua - There are at least a half a dozen Thai words that sound similar to "sua". The most common are the words for "tiger", as well as the word for "T-shirt". Thai people often disagree that these words sound the same, but I guarantee that foreigners can't tell the difference between a tiger and a T-shirt.

Kao - Depending how you pronounce the tone of this word, it can mean "rice" or the pro noun for "he or she", as well as "enter". Therefore .. kao kao gin kao would translate "he came to eat". The Thai word for eat is always associated with rice.. I can't imagine why?

Kee - The Thai word for shit, or if you say it in a slightly different tone, it means "ride", the verb, as in "ride a bike". A common mistake that foreigners might make, is that they will try to say they are riding their motorbike .. but instead they say they are shitting themselves.

Gay - The word for "old", sounds a lot like the word for "homosexual". While the correct Thai pronunciation of "old" sounds very different, when foreigners try to say it, they often end up saying "gay" which means the same as it does in English. I have made the mistake a few times myself, trying to explain that I am old, only to have people hear that I am a homosexual.

Fuck - I am sure you know what this means in English, however in Thai .. fuck is a vegetable. So if you hear Thai people saying "fuck", they are likely talking about vegetables. Another word that sounds quite a lot like "fuck" is the Thai word for "deposit". So you can actually go to the bank, and inform the teller that you have some money and you want to "fuck".

Karee - This can mean a style of curry, however it sounds a lot like the Thai word for "prostitute". If you are going to use this word, you best make it clear that you are talking about food! Don't try to tell somebody that you are going out to buy some curry.

Jim - You might have known a few people named Jim, in Thai language this means "stab", and a toothpick is called "mai jim fun" or "a stick for stabbing your teeth". There is another word that sounds a lot like jim, and that is a word that means "vagina". I'm sure glad my name isn't Jim!

When you ask a question or make a statement in Thai language, you should always end with "krup" if you are male,and "kaa" if you are female.I have left out pronouns in the above phrases I have given you. The reason for leaving them out is because it will make it easier for you, also these statements are more commonly used in short form without the use of pronouns. It is not the same as English, where if you started talking and you left out pronouns and conjunctions, it would make you sound silly. Thai people commonly communicate with each other using these short phrases, for example when they say " where are you going" ? They say " Bai Nai" ? They never say "Khun Bai Nai" they just leave out the pronoun.

Personal Pronouns
I - POM (male) Chun (female)
Me - POM (male) Chun (female)
He - KAO
She - KAO
They - KAO
Him - KAO
Her - KAO
You - KHUN


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • profile image


      5 years ago

      That's a craejcrkack answer to an interesting question


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)