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PickUpThai: Colloquial Thai Compound Words

PickUpThai: Colloquial Thai Compound Words

Colloquial Thai Compound Words…

Word you know + Word you know = Word you probably don’t know!

It’s me again, Yuki Tachaya (from Pick up Thai), a professional private Thai teacher who loves to teach things that textbooks don’t teach. Last time I wrote an article on colloquial terms & expressions, if you’ve missed it, you can read it here: Colloquial Thai Terms and Expressions. This time, I’d like to share with you guys some useful Thai compound words that we do use frequently in everyday colloquial Thai! I am sure you have learned all those compound words that contain the word “ใจ” or “ขี้” – the classic sets! This article will show you something similar but new, exciting, interesting and useful!! Enjoy.

1. ทำตัว /tam tua/
ทำ to do, to make + ตัว body, self = ทำตัว to behave.

ถ้าทำตัวไม่ดี อดกินขนมนะ
If you don’t behave, you won’t get your treat.

2. หักหน้า /hàk nâa/
หัก to break + หน้า face = หักหน้า to make someone lose face, to embarrass someone.

He always makes me lose face in front of other people.

3. ไม่เอาไหน /mâi ao nǎi/
ไม่ negative particle + เอา to take, to get + ไหน which = ไม่เอาไหน terrible.

รสชาติไม่เอาไหนเลย วันหลังทำให้อร่อยกว่านี้หน่อยนะ
This tastes terrible. Make it more tasty next time!

4. เข้าท่า /kâo thâa/
เข้า to enter + ท่า posture, pose = เข้าท่า = good, appropriate.

That’s a good idea!

5. บอกใบ้ /bàwk bâi/
บอก to tell + ใบ้ mute = บอกใบ้ to give a hint.

ไม่รู้อ่ะ ช่วยบอกใบ้หน่อย
I don’t know. Give me a hint!

6. เล่นตัว /lên tua/
เล่น to play + ตัว body, self = เล่นตัว to play hard to get.

เขาชอบเล่นตัวอยู่นั่นแหล่ะ ผมชักจะเบื่อแล้ว
She keeps playing hard to get, I’m starting to get fed up.

7. ไม่เห็นหัว /mâi hěn hǔa/
ไม่ negative particle + เห็น to see + หัว head = ไม่เห็นหัว to not respect, to disregard.

เขาเจอใครก็ไม่ไหว้ ไม่เห็นหัวผู้ใหญ่เลย
This guy never bows his head to greet anyone he meets, he totally disregards the elders.

8. เรื่องมาก /reûang mâak/
เรื่อง story, affair + มาก many, a lot = เรื่องมาก picky, fussy.

เรื่องมากจัง แบบนี้เมื่อไหร่ก็ทำไม่เสร็จสักที
You’re so picky. You’ll never get it done if you don’t stop being like this!

9. ในหลวง /nai lǔang/
ใน in + หลวง royal = ในหลวง the informal term Thai people use to refer to the King.

Thai people love their King.

10. เก็บตัว /gèp tua/
เก็บ to keep + ตัว body = เก็บตัว to isolate oneself, to introvert.

เขาชอบเก็บตัว ไม่ค่อยสุงสิงกับใคร
He likes to isolate himself and hardly ever interacts with other people.

11. ออกนอกเรื่อง /àwk nâwk reûang/
ออก to exit + นอก outside + เรื่อง story, affair = นอกเรื่อง to talk off topic, to derail.

คุยเรื่องนี้ให้รู้เรื่องก่อน อย่าเพิ่งออกนอกเรื่อง
Let’s settle this first. Don’t change the topic yet.

12. ใส่ความ /sài kwaam/
ใส่ to put + ความ matter, affair = ใส่ความ to slander.

ฉันไม่ได้ทำสักหน่อย อย่าใส่ความมั่ว
I didn’t do it. Don’t accuse me without knowing the truth!

13. มีหน้า /mii nâa/
มี to have + หน้า face = มีหน้า to not feel ashamed to do something shameful.

ผมทำให้เขาเสียใจ ผมไม่มีหน้าไปขอเขาแต่งงานหรอก
I caused her pain. I’d feel too ashamed to propose to her.

14. ลงตัว /long tua/
ลง to go down + ตัว body, self = ลงตัว arranged, settled.

After everything is settled, I’ll contact you.

15. ให้ได้ /hâi dâai/
ให้ to give + ได้ to be able to = ให้ได้ definitely, no matter what.

ไม่ว่ายังไง ปีหน้าฉันก็จะไปลอนดอนให้ได้
Next year, I will go to London no matter what!

If you can’t get enough of Thai colloquial terms and expressions, visit my website, Pick Up Thai, and learn more cool stuff that textbooks don’t teach, like my Facebook page, PickUpThai, which I update almost every day. And don’t forget to check out my video lessons on my Youtube channel, PickUpThai, including the latest one on Popular Thai Slang.

Last but not least, learn how you can win a free private lesson with me on Skype at my Facebook page or my Twitter account.

Yuki Tachaya
Pick Up Thai | YouTube: PickUpThai | twitter: @PickupThai

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PickUpThai: Colloquial Thai Terms and Expressions

Colloquial Terms and Expressions

Colloquial Thai Terms and Expressions…

My name is Yuki Tachaya. I am a native Thai speaker (and a professional private Thai teacher). I’d like to share my knowledge of colloquial Thai with everyone here as I am well aware that Thai learners have difficult times learning colloquial terms and expressions because Thai textbooks hardly ever mention them, if they do at all. So these are some of the commonly and frequently used idioms and expressions in colloquial Thai that you have probably heard but never understood or have never heard before. Enjoy!

1. แบบ /bàep/
Thai people use the word “แบบ” or sometimes “แบบว่า” as a filler word in pretty much the same way that English speakers use the word “like”. If you pay attention, you would probably hear Thai people say this every day.


เขาบอกฉันตรงๆว่าฉันอ้วน ฉันก็แบบ..ไม่ต้องบอกก็ได้มั๊ง
He told me flat out that I was fat so I was like… he doesn’t really need to tell me this, does he?

2. บ่นเก่ง /bòn gèng/
a verb followed by เก่ง is quite often used in colloquial language. It literally means to be good at doing something. “บ่นเก่ง“ means “good at complaining.” However, Thai people use this idiom far more often and with more things than English speakers use “to be good at“. Sometimes, it means “do something all the time” rather than “good at doing something”.


พ่อสูบบุหรี่เก่ง ส่วนลูกก็ช้อปปิ้งเก่ง
The father is a chain-smoker while the daughter is a shopaholic.

3. เนียน /nian/
“เนียน” is a popular slang word among teenagers and young adults. It gets used in various contexts and the meaning keeps changing. It could mean anything from “to fit perfectly” to “to pretend nothing happened” or “to act innocent” to “to pretend one doesn’t know something”, depending on the context. “เนียน“ is very similar to the action of “camouflaging”, where you don’t get noticed and just blend with the environment.


He could fool everyone with his lies (nobody could notice there was something wrong).

อย่ามา(ทำ)เนียน ฉันไม่โง่นะ
Don’t act like nothing happened. I’m not stupid.

ไม่รู้ก็ไม่เป็นไร ทำเนียนๆไปไม่มีใครรู้หรอก
It’s OK if you don’t know. Just pretend you do, nobody would notice.

4. ตรงไหน /dtrong năi/
“ตรงไหน“ literally means “where”. If you say “ชอบตรงไหน”, it means “What do you like about it?” (What aspect of it do you like?) We think of aspects as spots so we ask where referring to which spots. Moreover, we also use “ตรงไหน” in phrases like “สวยตรงไหน” meaning “How is she beautiful?” and that suggests that the speaker does not think she is beautiful.

Another example:

How am I old? (I’m not old!)

5. ไม่เห็น /mâi hĕn/
“ไม่เห็น“ followed by an adjective, a verb or an adverb is commonly used among people of all ages. The literal meaning of ไม่เห็น is “to not see”. For example, “ไม่เห็นสวย” means “It’s not beautiful” or “I don’t see how it is beautiful.” You use “ไม่เห็น“ to give an opinion that is different from what other people or most people think or that turns out to be different than expected. You can even use both “ไม่เห็น” and “ตรงไหน” together, such as “ไม่เห็นสวยตรงไหน”.

6. เก่งออก /gèng òk/
An adjective followed by ออก is another idiom that is frequently used in colloquial language. Literally, “ออก” means “out” but we often use “ออก“ in this context when you want to contradict other people’s opinions. For example, if you say “เขาเก่งออก”, it means “I think he’s quite good!” implying that other people or someone else doesn’t think the same. Usually you use it after someone has already given his opinion first.


A: ร้านนี้ไม่เห็นอร่อยเลย
The food here doesn’t taste good like I thought!

B: ฉันว่าอร่อยออก
I think it’s pretty good!

7. ทิ้ง /tíng/
Most people probably know the expression “บอกรัก” which means to confess one’s love. When you break up, the person who breaks up is the person who “บอกเลิก” and the other party is the person who “ถูกบอกเลิก”. “ถูก” followed by a verb is a passive voice structure. In colloquial language, we say “ทิ้ง” which means “to throw away” in the context of relationships. “ทิ้ง” (to dump) is a more informal version of “บอกเลิก” while “ถูกทิ้ง” (to be dumped) is also the same as “ถูกบอกเลิก” in meaning but more informal. It also sounds more emotional as well. People usually empathize with the person who “ถูกทิ้ง”.

8. แถม /tăem/
Generally, แถม means to “give away something for free” usually after someone has already made a purchase of something else. “ของแจกฟรี” means a freebie or a give-away and “ของแถม’ means a gift or a premium. You get “ของแถม” for free in additional to what you buy. However, in colloquial language, “แถม” has another meaning, that is “moreover” or “plus”.

Example: ผู้ชายคนนี้โคตรหล่อแถมยังใจดีอีก
This guy is super hot, plus he’s also a kind person too! (implying that the second quality comes as a gift.)

If you wish to learn more colloquial terms and expressions, please visit my website Pick Up Thai where I devote to teach Thai learners what textbooks don’t usually teach and post everything I know that I believe to be useful for Thai learners from my perspective as a language learner myself. See my Youtube video on colloquial expressions. There’s even more on my YouTube Channel: pickupthai :)

Yuki Tachaya
Pick Up Thai | YouTube: PickUpThai | twitter: @PickupThai

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