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The Best Thai Slang Dictionary for all Thai Learners

If you’ve been studying Thai for some time, you’ve likely found that you naturally start to understand basic words, sentences, and conversations. However, you may come across some sentences from time to time that make you ask yourself “Do I understand this correctly?” or “Is the Thai language really this weird?” For example, อย่าลำไย (yàa lam-yai) means “Don’t longan.” Doesn’t really make sense, right?

There’s also a chance that you’ve found some words you don’t know, so you try to find their meaning in the dictionary, but can’t find anything.

If either of these scenarios is the case, you may have come across Thai slang. Despite not being grammatically correct or accepted as real Thai words, Thai people use Thai slang words a lot in daily life. Thus, you’re likely to come across them one way or another. So to make your life easier, we’ve compiled this ultimate dictionary of popular Thai slang, where we translate Thai slang to English for you.

Table of Contents

  1. Thai Slangs
  2. List of Thai Slangs
  3. Things You Should Know when Learning Thai Slang

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1. Thai Slangs

Slang word” is คำสแลง (kham-sà-laaeng) in Thai. Its pronunciation is pretty similar to its English counterpart. In Thai, a slang word is a word that’s used only by some groups of people in some period of time. Thai slang in Thai culture aren’t accepted as real words and aren’t grammatically correct. Some of them have different meanings from their literal meaning, and others may have no meaning at all.

Don’t be confused. Thai slang words and Thai idioms are different, despite having a few overlapping characteristics. Neither Thai slang nor Thai idioms can be translated directly. However, idioms are accepted as real Thai phrases and are used for a long period time; slang words are not.

Thai slang words are typically created and used by the LGBT+ community and teenagers. You’re likely to find Thai street slangs in informal conversation on social media and in text messaging, as well as in social networks where people share their stories and opinions.

It’s important to learn Thai slang words if you want to really know the Thai language. It’ll surely increase your understanding of Thai in general, especially in conversations or on the internet. If you can use them, you’ll be able to speak like a native. Since slang words are only used for a limited time, you have to keep up with new slang words and phrases. Still, don’t be discouraged. Here’s a list of Thai slang in English for you to learn in 2018.

2. List of Thai Slangs

Here’s a list of Thai slang phrases and words used in daily life, categorized by type for easy usage.

1- คำนาม (kham-naam) “Noun”

ชาวเน็ต (chaao-nèt)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: People who use or express their opinion through the internet
  • Example: ชาวเน็ตมีความเห็นที่หลากหลายเกี่ยวกับเรื่องนี้ (chaao nèt mii khwaam hĕn thîi làak lăai gìiao gàp rûueang níi) — “On the internet, people have various opinions about this topic.”
  • Background story: The word ชาว (chaao) is sometimes used to describe a group of people, and the word เน็ต (nèt) is the shortened version of the word for “internet.” So Thai people just put these two words together to refer to those who use the internet to express their opinions.

กิ๊ก (gík)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: More than a friend, but not a boyfriend/girlfriend; a bit on the side
  • Example: เขาเจ้าชู้มาก มีกิ๊กทั่วบ้านทั่วเมือง (khăo jâo chúu mâak mii gík thûa bâan thûa muueang) — “He’s a womanizer. He has a bit on the side with many women.”
  • Background story: There’s no solid evidence about this, but many people think this word comes from the word กุ๊กกิ๊ก (gúk gík) which refers to people who go out and spend some time together.

คู่จิ้น (khûu jîn)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: Imaginary couple (This word is used to describe a male and a female whom people in society want to be a couple.)
  • Example: นักแสดงชายและนักแสดงหญิงคู่นั้นเป็นคู่จิ้นคู่ใหม่ (nák sà-daaeng chaai láe nák sà-daaeng yĭng khûu nán bpen khûu jîn khûu mài) — “Those male and female actors are a new imaginary couple.”
  • Background story: This word comes from the combination of two words. One is คู่ (khûu) which means “couple.” The other is jîn (think of imaginary as Thai people pronounce “gin” of imaginary jîn).

2- คำกริยา (kham gà-rí-yaa) “Verb”

นก (nók)

  • Literal meaning: Bird
  • Slang meaning: Miss out; miss (It’s normally used to explain a situation in which you like someone but that person doesn’t like you.)
  • Example: น้ำเป็นคนสวย แต่นกตลอด (nám bpen khon sǔuai dtàae nók dtà-làawt) — “Despite being beautiful, when she likes someone, no one likes her back.”
  • Background story: A bird can fly away. So Thai people compare a man/woman who doesn’t like someone back as the bird that’s flying away out of reach.

เท (thee)

  • Literal meaning: Pour
  • Slang meaning: Being dumped
  • Example: แนทเพิ่งโดนเทมา (náet phôoeng doon thee maa) — “Nat is just being dumped.”
  • Background story: It’s believed that เท (thee) is the shortened version of เททิ้ง (thee thíng) which means “throw away.”

เผือก (phùueak)

  • Literal meaning: Taro
  • Slang meaning: Be nosy; want to know
  • Example: เขาชอบเผือกเรื่องชาวบ้านสุด ๆ (khǎo châawp phùueak rûueang chaao bân sùt sùt) — “He is a very nosy person.”
  • Background story: เสือก (sùueak) is a bad word in Thai and is used to dispraise people who are nosy. As you can imagine, this is a pretty rude Thai slang word. To make it a little softer, Thai people change the alphabet, making it เผือก (phùueak) instead.

**Learn more about the vegetables that Thai people eat here.

เล้าหลือ (láo-lǔue)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: Importune
  • Example: อย่ามาเล้าหลือ (yàa maa láo-lǔue) — “Don’t be importune.”
  • Background story: –

ยอมใจ (yaawm jai)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: Give up (on people or things)
  • Example: ยอมใจกับวัยรุ่นจริง ๆ เก่งกันมากๆ (yaawm jai gàp wai-rûn jing jing gèng gan mâak mâak) — “I give up. Those teenagers are so smart.”
  • Background story: This is the combination of two words: ยอม (yaawm) meaning “surrender” and ใจ (jai) meaning “heart.” It basically means, “Because of his/her heart, I surrender/give up.”

ขิง (khǐng)

  • Literal meaning: Ginger
  • Slang meaning: Show off
  • Example: นางช่างขิงได้ทุกเรื่อง (naang châang khǐng dâi thúk rûueang) — “She can show off about everything.”
  • Background story: This is the spoonerism of an old Thai phrase. In the past, there was the phrase สิงห์ขี้คุย (sǐng khîi khui) which refers to a man who likes to show off despite not actually being able to that very thing. Its spoonerism is ซุยขี้ขิง (sui khîi khǐng). And the last word is only used as slang nowadays.

อวย (uuai)

  • Literal meaning: Give (rarely used nowadays)
  • Slang meaning: Use an exaggerated phrase on someone
  • Example: อย่าอวยนางให้มากไป (yàa uuai naang hâi mâak bpai) — “Don’t use an exaggerated phrase on her.”
  • Background story: –

แอ๊ว (áaeo)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: Allure/charming opposite sex (normally used with a female as subject)
  • Example: แมวมัวแต่แอ๊วผู้ชายจนลืมเพื่อน (maaeo muua dtàae áaeo phûu chaai jon luuem phûuean) — “Maew focused too much on the alluring man that she forgot her friend.”
  • Background story: –

โป๊ะแตก (bpó dtàaek)

  • Literal meaning: Name of Thai spicy soup with a lot of seafood
  • Slang meaning: Secret being revealed (normally used when referring to a bad secret)
  • Example: หมิงโป๊ะแตก โดนจับได้ว่าทำศัลยกรรม (mǐng bpó dtàaek doon jàp dâi wâa tham sǎn-lá-yá-gam)
  • Background story: Thai people call spicy soup with seafood โป๊ะแตก (bpó dtàaek) because there’s a lot of seafood in the soup. It’s like the fishing stake or โป๊ะ (bpó) is broken and all the seafood is coming out of the fishing stake and into the soup. In this Thai slang, the secret is compared to the seafood that’s coming out.

**Learn more about Thai dishes!

มองแรง (maawng raaeng)

  • Literal meaning: Look strongly
  • Slang meaning: Look at another angrily to show dissatisfaction
  • Example: แก้มโกรธอะไรแนนเหรอ มองแนนแรงเชียว (gâaem gròot à-rai naaen rǎaw maawng naaen raaeng chiiao) — “Why is Gam angry with Nan? She looked at her angrily.”
  • Background story: When Thai people are angry, they look at another party more intensely than usual to show their anger or dissatisfaction. So the word แรง (raaeng) which means “strong” is used to describe that look.

อิอิ (ì ì)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: Laugh
  • Example: ผู้ชายคนนั้นน่ารักจัง อิอิ (phûu chaai khon nán nâa rák jaang [laugh]) — “That man is so cute (laugh).”
  • Background story: Thai people use อิอิ (ì ì) as the sound of a cute laugh, and it’s one of the commonly used Thai slang expressions. It’s used a lot on social media and in texting.

แอ๊บ (áaep)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: Pretend to
  • Example: อย่ามาแอ๊บหน่อยเลย (yàa maa áaep nàauy looei) — “Don’t pretend to do it.”
  • Background story: The word แอ๊บ (áaep) comes from “abnormal.” Thai people called women who act cute or pretend to be cute to the point that it looks abnormal แอ๊บแบ็ว (áaep báaeo). Later, Thai people started to use the word แอ๊บ (áaep) as a slang word for this.

นอยด์ (naauy)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: Overthinking; overanxious
  • Example: จะนอยด์ไปทำไม ไม่มีอะไรซักหน่อย (jà naauy bpai tham-mai mâi mii à-rai sák nàauy) — “Don’t overthink. There’s nothing to worry about.”
  • Background story: This Thai slang word comes from “noid” of “paranoid” in English. But the pronunciation and the meaning are slightly different in Thai.

มโน (má-noo)

  • Literal meaning: Mind (it’s normally used with a religious word)
  • Slang meaning: Imagine; daydream
  • Example: อย่ามโน เค้าไม่ได้ชอบแกซักหน่อย (yàa má-noo kháo mâi dâi châawp gaae sák nàauy) — “Don’t daydream! He doesn’t like you.”
  • Background story: When you think about something and it’s not real, it’s like it only happens in your mind.

**Learn more vocabulary about religion here.

3- คำคุณศัพท์ (kham khun-ná-sàp) “Adjective”

ลำไย (lam-yai)

  • Literal meaning: Longan
  • Slang meaning: Annoying
  • Example: อย่าลำไย (yàa lam-yai) — “Don’t be annoying.”
  • Background story: Some say this word comes from the combination of รำคาญ (ram-khaan), เยอะแยะ (yóe-yáe), and ร่ำไร (râm-rai). (ร and ล sound similar.) The general meaning of these three words refers to annoyance.

**Learn vocabulary and phrases about fruit here.

เกาเหลา (gao-lǎo)

  • Literal meaning: Noodle menu without noodle
  • Slang meaning: Don’t like each other
  • Example: เอกับบีเกาเหลากัน (ee gàp bii gao-lǎo gan) — “A and B don’t like each other.”
  • Background story: In Thai, there’s a phrase, ไม่กินเส้น (mâi gin sêen), which means “don’t like each other.” Its literal meaning is “don’t eat noodle.” So Thai people used the word เกาเหลา (gao-lǎo) to describe that phrase since there’s no noodle in เกาเหลา (gao-lǎo).

**Check out the dishes you should try in Thailand here.

หัวร้อน (hǔua ráawn)

  • Literal meaning: Hot-head
  • Slang meaning: Hot-tempered
  • Example: ทอมเป็นคนหัวร้อน (thaawm bpen khon hǔua ráawn) — “Tom is hot-tempered.”
  • Background story: This Thai slang word comes from the English word, “hot-headed.” The meaning is slightly different though.

ปัง (bpang)

  • Literal meaning: No meaning. It’s the sound of a hand hitting a table.
  • Slang meaning: Outstanding; marvelous
  • Example: งานนี้ปังมาก (ngan níi bpang mâak) — “This event is so marvelous.”
  • Background story: There are two theories explaining the origin of this slang word. The first theory is that people would hit the table when they really liked something, and people tend to like things that are outstanding and marvelous. So the sound of a hand hitting a table is used as a slang word. Another theory is that this slang word comes from the combination of two words: เป๊ะ (bpé) and อลังการ (à-lang-gaan). เป๊ะ (bpé) means “exactly” or “precise” and อลังการ (à-lang-gaan) means “magnificent.” The word ปัง (bpang) gets its initial consonant from เป๊ะ (bpé) and gets its vowel from อลัง (à-lang).

ตะมุตะมิ (dtà-mú-dtà-mí) or ตั้ลล๊าก (dtân-láak)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: Cute; adorable
  • Example: ตุ๊กตาตัวนี้ตะมุตะมิมาก (dtúk-gà-dtaa dtuua níi dtà-mú-dtà-mí mâak) — “This doll is so cute.”
  • Background story: There’s no evidence of where ตะมุตะมิ (dtà-mú-dtà-mí) comes from. But ตั้ลล๊าก (dtân-láak) comes from น่าร๊าก (nâa-ráak). And น่าร๊าก (nâa-ráak) comes from น่ารัก (nâa-rák), which means “cute” or “adorable.”

ชิว (chiu)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: Chill out; relax
  • Example: เย็นนี้มานั่งชิวกัน (yen níi maa nâng chiu gan) — “Let’s relax this evening.”
  • Background story: This Thai slang word comes from “chill out” in English. But the way Thai people pronounce the word is slightly different.

กาก (gàak)

  • Literal meaning: Leftover
  • Slang meaning: Low-quality; poor
  • Example: เสื้อตัวนี้กากมาก (sûuea dtuua níi gàak mâak) — “This shirt is so low-quality.”
    Background story: –

งานดี (ngaan dii)

  • Literal meaning: Good job
  • Slang meaning: Very good; good looking
  • Example: ผู้ชายคนนั้นงานดีมาก (phûu chaai khon nán ngaan dii mâak) — “The man is so handsome.”
    Background story: –

แซ่บ (sâaep)

  • Literal meaning: Spicy; delicious
  • Slang meaning: Good looking; sexy
  • Example: ผู้หญิงคนนั้นหุ่นแซ่บมาก (phûu yǐng khon nán hùn sâaep mâak) — “The woman is so sexy.”
    Background story: –

สาย.ฝ (sǎai fǎaw)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: This word is used to describe the taste of people who like foreigners (caucasoid).
  • Example: ผู้หญิงคนนั้นสายฝ. (phûu yǐng khon nán sǎai fǎaw) — “That woman likes caucasoid men.”
  • Background story: In this case, ฝ. (fǎaw) is an abbreviation of ฝรั่ง (fà-ràng), which Thai people refer to caucasoid foreigners as. สาย (sǎi) is another Thai slang word which is explained below.

เฉียบ (chìiap)

  • Literal meaning: Very
  • Slang meaning: Cool; great
  • Example: มุกนั้นเฉียบมาก (múk nán chìiap mâak) — “That joke is so cool.”
  • Background story: This word originated from a Thai TV show, in which one of the staff members said เฉียบ (chìiap) when he saw something great or fun, and people started using it.

เกรียน (griian)

  • Literal meaning: Very short
  • Slang meaning: Irritated; aggressive
  • Example: เด็กนั่นเกรียนมาก (dèk nân griian mâak) — “That kid is irritating.”
  • Background story: In Thai, most schools make male students cut their hair very short. And in the period that the internet started blooming, male students would sometimes act aggressively online. So Thai people use the word เกรียน (griian) to refer to people that act aggressive or irritating.

เทพ (thêep)

  • Literal meaning: God
  • Slang meaning: Very good at something
  • Example: ตั้มเล่นบอลอย่างเทพ (dtâm lên baawn yàang thêep) — “Tum is very good at football.”
  • Background story: God is supposed to be capable of everything. So if you’re very good at something, it means you can do it like God does.

โลกสวย (lôok-sǔuai) or ทุ่งลาเวนเดอร์ (thûng laa-ween-dôoe)

  • Literal meaning: Beautiful world; lavender field
  • Slang meaning: Optimistic
  • Example: อย่ามาโลกสวย (yàa maa lôok sǔuai) — “Don’t be too optimistic.”
  • Background story: The first meaning of this slang word exaggeratedly implies that people who are optimistic see everything in the world as beautiful in their point of view. As for the second meaning of the slang word, there’s no clear evidence as to why lavender field is chosen to compare to beauty.

**Learn more about Thai adjectives here.

4- คำสรรพนาม (kham sàp-phá-naam) “Pronoun”

ชี (chii)

  • Literal meaning: Nun
  • Slang meaning: “ชี+name” is used to indicate a female
  • Example: ชีก้อยกำลังจะแต่งงาน (chii gâauy gam-lang jà dtàaeng-ngaan) — “Goi (woman) is about to get married.”
  • Background story: ชี (chii) comes from the English pronoun “she.” But this slang word is used differently than the English word.

นาง (naang)

  • Literal meaning: Mrs.
  • Slang meaning: Pronoun that can be used with both men or women
  • Example: ภีมอยู่ไหน นางกำลังกินข้าวอยู่ตรงนู้น (phiim yùu nǎi naang gam-lang gin khâao yhù dtrong núun) — “Where is Peem? He’s eating there.”
  • Background story: Actually, the actual word is used for females only. For the slang, it was first used as a pronoun for females only, until some groups of people started using it for males too.

สาย (sǎai) [+type of people]

  • Literal meaning: Late; line
  • Slang meaning: สาย+noun/verb refers to a group of people that likes “noun” or like to do “verb”
  • Example: แก้วเป็นสาวสายเที่ยว (gâaeo bpen sǎao sǎi thîiao) — “Kaew likes to travel.”
  • Background story: –

ซิส (sít)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: This pronoun is used to refer to a woman around the same age as the speaker (a few years older or younger).
  • Example: จะไปไหนคะ ซิส (jà bpai nǎi khá sít) — “Where are you going?” (In this case, “you” refers to a woman.)
  • Background story: This Thai slang word comes from the English word “sister,” and is a shortened version of it.

หลัว (lǔua)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: Husband
  • Example: หลัวของชมพู่งานดีมาก (lǔua khǎawng chom-phûu ngaan dii mâak) — “Chompoo’s husband looks very good.”
  • Background story: In Thai, the informal/spoken word for “husband” is ผัว (phǔua), which this slang word comes from.

ผู้ (phûu)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: Man
  • Example: ขวัญมีผู้คนใหม่แล้วนะ รู้รึยัง (khwǎn mii phûu khon mài láaeo ná rúu rúe yang) — “Do you know that Kwan has a new man now?”
  • Background story: ผู้ (phûu) is the shortened word for ผู้ชาย (phûu chaai), which means “man.”

แม่ (mâae) or ตัวแม่ (dtuua mâae)

  • Literal meaning: Mother
  • Slang meaning: This word is used to refer to people who are the best in their field.
  • Example: แอมเป็นตัวแม่ด้านแฟชั่น (aaem bpen dtuua mâae dâan faae-chân) — “Amp is the best when it comes to fashion.”
  • Background story: –

**Learn more about Thai pronouns here.

5- Slangs Used in Phrases

People Talking

แม่ก็คือแม่ (mâae gâaw khuue mâae)

  • Literal meaning: Mother is mother.
  • Slang meaning: This slang phrase is used to emphasize that she is really the best in her field.
  • Example: แม่ก็คือแม่ ลูกเกดถ่ายแบบได้ปังมาก (mâae gâaw khuue mâae lûuk-gèet thàai bàaep dâi bpang mâak) — “Lukkade looks really good in the photoshoot. She is the best in modeling.”
  • Background story: There’s no clear evidence as to how this phrase came along, but it’s used often when referring to popular celebrities who have been working for a long time, such as Patcharapa (actress) and Metinee (model).

งงไปอีก (ngong bpai ìik)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: Really confusing/very confusing
  • Example: ได้ข่าวว่าเป็นแฟนกับซีอยู่ แล้วทำไมไปเดินจับมือกับผู้ชายคนนั้น งงไปอีก (dâi khàao wâ bpen faaen gàp sii yùu láaeo tham-mai bpai dooen jàp muue gàp phûu chaai khon nán ngong bpai ìik) — “I heard she is in a relationship with C. Why does she walk hand-in-hand with that guy? This is so confusing.”
  • Background story: –

ดีต่อใจ (dii dtàaw jai)

  • Literal meaning: Good for your heart
  • Slang meaning: Make me feel good
  • Example: หนังเรื่องนี้ดีต่อใจ (nǎng rûueang níi dii dtàaw jai) — “This movie makes me feel good.”
  • Background story: Thai people relate feelings with their heart. If something makes you feel good, it’s good for your heart as well.

ที่แท้ทรู (thîi tháae thruu)

  • Literal meaning: –
  • Slang meaning: Truly; really
  • Example: อาหารจานนี้เป็นของดีที่แท้ทรู (aa-hǎan jaan níi bpen khǎawng dii thîi tháae thruu) — “This dish is really good.”
  • Background story: In Thai, the phrase ที่แท้จริง (thîi tháae jing) means “truly” or “really.” And the word จริง (jing) in English is “true,” so Thai people just put the English word instead of the Thai word.

ถามใจดู (thǎam jai duu)

  • Literal meaning: Ask your heart
  • Slang meaning: Think about it (What do you feel about it?)
  • Example: งานเยอะขนาดนี้จะทำไหวไหม ถามใจดู (ngaan yóe khà-nàat níi jà tham wǎi mái thǎam jai duu) — “There’s a lot of work. Can you do it? Think about it.”
  • Background story: As mentioned above, Thai people relate feelings with their heart. So when someone asks what you think or feel, it’s like asking your heart.

เอาที่สบายใจ (ao thîi sà-baai jai)

  • Literal meaning: Whatever makes you happy; not stressful
  • Slang meaning: You can do whatever you want (used when the speaker agrees sarcastically/reluctantly)
  • Example: จะไปก็ไป เอาที่สบายใจเลย (jà bpai gâaw bpai ao thîi sà-baai jai looei) — “You can go as you want.” (The speaker doesn’t really want you to go.)
  • Background story: Somehow, people just started using this phrase in a sarcastic way. You can use the tone of the speaker to decide whether he/she really means it or is saying it sarcastically.

6- Thai Text Slang

Phone Texting

There are two types of Thai text slang. Thai people create text slang either to make the word sound cuter or to make it easier to type. The same goes for Thai online or internet slang.

จุงเบย (jung booei)

  • Real word: จังเลย (jang looei)
  • Meaning: This word has no English meaning. It’s put after an adjective as an intensifier.
  • Example: แพงจังเลย (phaaeng jang looei) — “so expensive”
  • Background story: Some say that this word comes from a typing mistake. For example, -ั and -ุ are close to each other on the keyboard, as are ล and บ. Teenagers seem to think the sound of the slang word is cuter, so they’ve started using it.

ตะเอง (dtà-eeng)

  • Real word: ตัวเอง (dtuua-eeng)
  • Meaning: You (This word is used as a pronoun to refer to another party, which can be male or female. The tone is informal and cute.)
  • Example: ตะเองอยากกินอันนั้นมั๊ย (dtà-eeng yàak gin an nán mái) — “Do you want to eat that?”
  • Background story: The first syllable is shortened by the vowel changing to make it sound cuter.

อัลไล (an-lai)

  • Real word: อะไร (à-rai)
  • Meaning: What (It can be used as both an answer when someone calls you or as a question.)
  • Example: อัลไลอยู่ในกล่อง (an-lai yùu nai glàawng) — “What is in the box?”
  • Background story: Teenagers changed the pronunciation to make it sound cuter.

ฝุดฝุด (fùt fùt)

  • Real word: สุดสุด (sùt sùt)
  • Meaning: This word has no English meaning. It’s put after an adjective as an intensifier.
  • Example: แพงฝุดฝุด (phaeng fùt fùt) — “very expensive”
  • Background story: Teenagers changed the pronunciation to make it sound cuter.

ชิมิ (chí-mí)

  • Real word: ใช่มั๊ย (châi mái)
  • Meaning: Is this correct? Right?
  • Example: อันนี้กินได้ชิมิ (an níi gin dâi chí-mí) — “I can eat this, right?”
  • Background story: Both syllables are shortened by changing the vowel to make it sound cuter.

จร้า (jrâa)

  • Real word: จ้า (jâa)
  • Meaning: This word means “bright.” But it can be used as an answer when someone calls you or it can be put at the end of a sentence to make the tone of conversation soft and casual. For the slang, we use it for the last two purposes.
  • Example: เธอเอาอันนี้ไปกินได้จร้า (thooe ao an níi bpai gin dâi jrâa) — “You can eat this.” (casual speaking)
  • Background story: Teenagers changed the spelling to make it cuter.

บุย (bui)

  • Real word: บาย (baai)
  • Meaning: Goodbye
  • Example: ไปแล้วนะ บุย (bpai láaeo ná bui) — “I’ll get going now. Goodbye.”
  • Background story: The word บาย (baai), as you can guess, comes from the English word “bye.” And then teenagers changed the pronunciation to make it cuter.

นาจา (naa-jaa)

  • Real word: นะจ๊ะ (ná-já)
  • Meaning: This word is put at the end of an affirmative sentence to make the tone of conversation soft and casual.
  • Example: แอบมองเธออยู่นาจา (àaep maawng thooe yùu naa jaa) — “I’m peeking at you.”
  • Background story: Both syllables are lengthened by the vowel changing to make it sound cuter.

ขุ่นแม่ (khùn mâae)

  • Real word: คุณแม่ (khun mâae)
  • Meaning: The literal meaning is “mother.” But in this case, we use this word for women who are old enough to be our mother. The meaning of this Thai slang word is similar to that of แม่ (mâae) or ตัวแม่ (dtuua mâae). You only use it with women you feel are at the top in their field or a woman you consider your role model.
  • Example: คอนเสิร์ตของขุ่นแม่ปังมาก (khaaw-sòoet khǎawng khùn mâae bpang mâak) — “Her concert is really good.”
  • Background story: The first syllable is stressed so it sounds like ข instead of ค. This is to stress this word in a sentence.

555 (hâa hâa hâa)

  • Real word: ฮ่า ฮ่า ฮ่า (hâa hâa hâa)
  • Meaning: Laughing (This is a Thai slang expression. The sound of laughter in Thai is the same as the pronunciation of the number five in Thai.)
  • Example: มุกเมื่อกี้ตลกมาก 555 (múk mûuea gíi dtà-lòk mâak hâa hâa hâa) — “That joke is very funny (laughing).”
  • Background story: Thai people use it in text messages or on the internet a lot since it’s easier to type.

เหน (hěen)

  • Real word: เห็น (hěn)
  • Meaning: See
  • Example: เธอเหนหนังสือชั้นป่าว (thooe hěen nǎng-sǔue chán bpàao) — “Do you see my book?”
  • Background story: To type -็, you have to use the Shift button. To make it easier, some people just cut -็ out.

เสด (sèet)

  • Real word: เสร็จ (sèt)
  • Meaning: Finish
  • Example: เสดแล้ว (sèet láaeo) — “already finish”
  • Background story: As mentioned before, to type -็, you have to use the Shift button. To make it easier, some people just cut -็ out. And to simplify the word even more, instead of using จ as the final alphabet, Thai people use ด, which is the direct sound of จ, as the final alphabet instead.

คับ (kháp)

  • Real word: ครับ (khráp)
  • Meaning: Males use this slang word as an answer when someone calls them. Another usage is to put it at the end of a sentence to show that the speaker is male and make the sentence formal. (The literal meaning of คับ [kub] is “tight” or “too fit.”)
  • Example: ผมกำลังไปคับ (phǒm gam-lang bpai kháp) — “I’m going now.”
  • Background story: In Thai, some words have two initial alphabets. To make it easier to type, Thai people cut one initial alphabet—which is ร—out.

ป่าว (bpàao) or ป่ะ (bpà)

  • Real word: รึเปล่า (rúe bplàao)
  • Meaning: This word is put at the end of a sentence to make it a question.
  • Example: ไปเที่ยวกันป่ะ (bpai thîiao gan bpà) — “Want to travel together?”
  • Background story: People shortened the word to make it easier to speak and to type.

จิง (jing)

  • Real word: จริง (jing)
  • Meaning: True
  • Example: ข่าวลือนั่นเป็นเรื่องจิงป่ะ (khàao luue nân bpen rûueang jing bpà) — “Is that rumor true?”
  • Background story: In Thai, some words have two initial alphabets. To make it easier to type, Thai people cut one initial alphabet—which is ร—out.

พิม (phim)

  • Real word: พิมพ์ (phim)
  • Meaning: Type
  • Example: ฉันกำลังพิมรายงานอยู่ (chǎn gam-lang phim raai ngaan yùu) — “I’m typing the report.”
  • Background story: In Thai, -์ is the symbol that indicates you don’t have to pronounce the sound of the alphabet that -์ is on. Since there will be no sound of พ anyway, Thai people cut it out to make it easier to type.

เด่ว (děo)

  • Real word: เดี๋ยว (dǐiao)
  • Meaning: A moment
  • Example: รอเด่ว (raaw děo) — “wait a moment”
  • Background story: เดี๋ยว (dǐiao) and เด่ว (děo) sound similar in Thai. Since เด่ว (děo) is easier to type, Thai people use it as text slang.

7. 3 Things You Should Know when Learning Thai Slang

  • Slang is sometimes confusing for Thai people as well, especially for people who are older than middle age. And they have the advantage of being native. So Thai slang, for a foreigner, is not an easy topic. If you can understand it well, great. But if you don’t, don’t be discouraged by it. You need a lot of time to study if you’re not in the environment to use them.
  • Thai slang comes and goes. It’s like fashion. People only use it for a short period. Thus, there’s no need to remember all of them seriously, especially for text slang, as it may make you even more confused about how to spell or pronounce the word correctly.
  • Be reminded that you may confuse both pronunciation and spelling of slang words with the real words. So be careful of this when using them.

Knowing Thai slang for language learners helps you understand the Thai language better. Still, you have to be careful in what you remember. You can use slang words, and that will surely impress Thai natives, but don’t use them in formal communication, especially in writing. Also, you have to remember that Thai people won’t use slang words forever. So if you can’t remember them all, don’t worry. It isn’t necessary to remember every slang word.

Once you finish this lesson, you may want to learn even more about the Thai language and culture. Don’t forget to visit for other interesting Thai language lessons such as basic Thai vocabulary, how to introduce yourself in Thai, or how to travel in Thai. Enjoy learning! ^^

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