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Thai Slang You Might Need to Know: Free Audio and Spreadsheet Downloads Included

Benjawan Poomsan Becker

Benjawan Poomsan Becker (of Paiboon Publishing fame) has a Thai and Lao Interpreters’ Study Group ล่ามไทย ນາຍພາສາລາວ on Facebook where they share tips and secrets of the trade.

While Benjawan hasn’t lived in Thailand for years she’s passionate about keeping up with new additions to the Thai language. And whenever she comes across new Thai slang, she adds it to the exceptional Talking Thai <> English Dictionary+Phrasebook.

Interpreters and translators will obviously be aware of homegrown slang but they need to have the translations at the tips of their tongues. Understanding Thai slang is also a great way for students to learn more about the language as well.

Just recently Benjawan shared her shortlist of Thai slang with the Interpreters’ Study Group.

With permission from Benjawan (thanks!) below is her list. The notes in the parenthesis are mine (not set in stone) so if you have suggestions, please, don’t be shy (contact me).

At the bottom of this post you’ll find two files to download: audio and spreadsheet (English, Thai script, and transliteration included). Of course, audio files for each of the words (recorded by Benjawan) can also be found in the dictionary. Have fun! I sure did.

กรอบ /gròp/ dirt poor
กร่อย /gròi/ boring
กระตั๊ก /grà dták/ abundant
กระต่ายตื่นตูม /grà-dtàai dtèun dtoom/ chicken little and the sky is falling (rabbit frightened of noise)
กิ๊ก /gík/ boyfriend, girlfriend, lover in a non-serious relationship
เกิด /gèrt/ have a chance to shine
แก้มือ /gâe meu/ try to do better when given a second chance (to fix a new hand)
ไก่อ่อน /gài òn/ inexperienced person (innocent chicken)
ขาประจำ /kăa bprà-jam/ regular customer
ขี้เต่า /kêe dtào/ armpit
ขี้เลื่อย /kêe lêuay/ dull minded (sawdust)
ขึ้นกล้อง /kêun glông/ photogenic (rise in the camera)
เขี้ยวลากดิน /kîeow lâak din/ tough, not easily give in (long in the fang)
ควาย /kwaai/ stupid person (buffalo)
ค่าโสหุ้ย /kâa sŏh-hûi/ overhead (cost / expense – Chinese origin?)
คุณไสย /kun-săi/ black magic
เครื่องร้อน /krêuang rón/ act immediately with enthusiasm (hot engine)
งก /ngók/ stingy
งงเต็ก /ngong dtèk/ confused
งูๆปลาๆ /ngoo ngoo bplaa bplaa/ knowing very little about something (snake snake fish fish)
จ๋อย /jŏi/ be sad and dejected (to be pale)
จับกบ /jàp gòp/ stumble and fall (to catch a frog)
จ๊าบ /jáap/ cool (Onomatopoeic word?)
จิ๊ก /jík/ steal little things (the sound of pecking something?)
เจ๊ /jáy/ older sister (Chinese word)
เจ๊ง /jéng/ going out of business (collapse)
เจ๋ง /jĕng/ cool, great!
เจาะลึก /jòr léuk/ investigate thoroughly (to drill deep)
แจ๋ว /jăew/ wonderful! (Onomatopoeic word?)
แฉ /chăe/ reveal (possibly from English ‘share’)
ชวด /chûat/ miss, lose out on (rat, animal of the Thai zodiac)
ชะนี /chá-nee/ “woman” used by gay men (gibbons sound like ผัว /pŭa/, husband)
ช้างน้ำ /cháang náam/ big, fat person (hippo)
เช้งกะเด๊ะ /cháyng gà dé/ beautiful and sexy woman (Onomatopoeic word?)
เชย /choie/ old-fashioned
เชียร์แขก /chia kàek/ try to get customers to buy (English loanword: ‘cheer’ on guests)
ซวย /suay/ unlucky
ซา /saa/ subside
ซ่า /sâa/ showy
ซิ่ง /sîng/ brave and hip in expressing oneself (shortened from ‘racing’)
เซ้ง /sáyng/ lease (Chinese origin?)
เซ็ง /seng/ dull
ดอกฟ้า /dòk fáa/ high-ranking woman of rich and powerful family (sky flower)
ดองงาน /dong ngaan/ procrastinate on one’s work (pickling the job)
ดำน้ำ /dam náam/ guess (diving without knowing what you’ll hit)
ดีแตก /dee dtàek/ turning out to be not so good (broken goodness)
ดูไม่จืด /doo mâi jèut/ not looking good (look not bland?)
เด็กกะโปโล /dèk gà-bpoh-loh/ dirty, uncivilized and innocent child (childish child)
เด็กแนว /dèk naew/ young person that follows all the new trends (stylish kids)
เดิ้น /dêrn/ stylish and modern, go-go (shortened from ‘modern’)
เดี้ยง /dîang/ dead, out of order, broken
ไดโนเสาร์ /dai-noh-săo/ old-fashioned (dinosaur, English loanword)
ตกม้าตาย /dtòk máa dtaai/ fail before reaching success (fall down from horse and die)
ตงฉิน /dtong-chĭn/ work honestly (Chinese origin?)
ต้ม /dtôm/ bamboozle, trick, deceive (to boil)
ต่อยหอย /dtòi hŏi/ very talkative (to keep punching a shell to break it)
ตัวซวย /dtua suay/ jinx (unlucky person)
ตาถั่ว /dtaa tùa/ be careless (peanut eyes)
ติ๊งต๊อง /dtíng-dtóng/ wacky (Onomatopoeic word?)
ติดดิน /dtìt din/ down-to-earth, earthy (to stick to the ground)
ตีนแมว /dteen maew/ burglar (cat feet – cats walk softly, soundless)
เตะฝุ่น /dtè fùn/ unemployed (to kick the dust)
เต่าล้านปี /dtào láan bpee/ very old-fashioned person (million year old turtle)
แต๊ะอั๋ง /dtáe-ăng/ grope or touch sexually (Chinese origin?)
ทึ่ง /têung/ amazed (Onomatopoeic word?)
ทุเรศ /tú-râyt/ obscene, shabby (ugly)
นกเขา /nók kăo/ cock, penis (dove)
นกต่อ /nók dtòr/ informant (bird decoy)
นั่งนก /nâng nók/ sleep while sitting (sitting bird)
น้ำเน่า /nám nâo/ soap operas (drains are not filled with good water)
นิ้ง /níng/ superb (Onomatopoeic word?)
เนี้ยบ /níap/ perfect, smart
บอกผ่าน /bòk pàan/ inflate the price of something
บ๊อง บ๊องๆ /bóng · bóng bóng/ crazy (Onomatopoeic word?)
บ้าๆบอๆ /bâa bâa bor bor/ crazy (Onomatopoeic word?)
ปล่อยไก่ /bplòi gài/ embarrassed, make silly or careless mistakes (to release chickens)
ปอดแหก /bpòt hàek/ chicken-hearted (broken lungs)
ปั้นเรื่อง /bpân rêuang/ make up a story (to mold a story)
ปากหอยปากปู /bpàak hŏi bpàak bpoo/ someone who gossips and causes damage to others (shell mouth, crab mouth)
ปิ๊ง /bpíng/ click – between lovers (Onomatopoeic word?)
แป๊บ /bpáep/ one little moment (Onomatopoeic word?)
ผีเสื้อสมุทร /pĕe sêua sà-mùt/ big ugly woman (character from Thai literature)
เผา /păo/ gossip about, talk behind one’s back (to burn someone)
ฝรั่งจ๋า /fà-ràng jăa/ Western idolizer
ฝอย /fŏi/ chat, brag
เพื่อนซี้ /pêuan sée/ very close friend
แพะรับบาป /páe ráp bàap/ scapegoat (goat sin)
ภาษาดอกไม้ /paa-săa dòk máai/ language of love (flower language)
ม้ามืด /máa mêut/ dark horse (unexpected winner)
มีกะตังค์ /mee gà dtang/ rich (to have coins – gà dtang comes from satang สตางค์ which means coins/money)
มือขึ้น /meu kêun/ having good luck (hand up)
มือตก /meu dtòk/ having bad luck (hand down)
เมาท์ /mao/ speak with friends for fun, chat (shortened from ‘mouth’)
แมงดา /maeng-daa/ pimp (insect, giant waterbug)
ไม่ใจ /mâi jai/ coward (no heart)
ไม่เป็นสับปะรด /mâi bpen sàp-bpà-rót/ bad tasting or low quality (not a pineapple)
ยาบ้า /yaa bâa/ methamphetamine, meth, amphetamine, speed (crazy medicine)
ร้อนตับแตก /rón dtàp dtàek/ darn hot (row of dried nipa palm leaves used as a roof – doesn’t break but feels like it)
รู้อย่างเป็ด /róo yàang bpèt/ jack of all trades, master of none (to know like a duck)
เรื่องขี้ผง /rêuang kêe pŏng/ easy matter or trivial (story dust)
ลองของ /long kŏng/ try something usually bad
ลักไก่ /lák gài/ cheat in a game (to steal a chicken)
ลูกมือ /lôok meu/ helper or assistant (small hand)
วาบหวาม /wâap wăam/ provoking sensation or sexually explicit (Onomatopoeic word?)
เวอร์ /wer/ too much (shortened from ‘over’).
สวิงเด้ง /sà-wĭng dâyng/ scream with excitement
สะเออะ /sà-ùh/ meddle
สันดาน /săn daan/ trait
ไส้แห้ง /sâi hâeng/ destitute (dry intestines – to be starving)
หน้าโหล /nâa lŏh/ common looking face (a dozen faces – everything the same)
หมดตูด /mòt dtòot/ dead broke (finished pooping)
หมวย /mŭay/ young Chinese woman (Chinese origin?)
หมาวัด /măa wát/ poor man (temple dog)
หมาหมู่ /măa mòo/ group of dangerous men (a group of dogs)
หมู /mŏo/ easy (pig)
หยวน /yŭan/ give in reluctantly
หลุดโลก /lùt lôhk/ eccentric or quirky (out of this world)
หวย /hŭay/ lottery, lotto
ห่วย /hùay/ bad, no good
ห่วยแตก /hùay dtàek/ crap! (bad broken)
ห้องกง /hông gong/ jail (cell room – hông gong rhymes with Hong Kong)
หายต๋อม /hăai-dtŏm/ disappear for a long time (disappear + the sound of throwing something into the water)
แห้ว /hâew/ lose one’s opportunity, to blow it (chestnut)
เฮง /hayng/ fortunate, lucky (Chinese origin?)
เฮี้ยน /hían/ manifesting the power of an evil spirit
ไฮโซ /hai soh/ high-class (shortened from ‘high society’)


Speak Like a Thai 1&2…

Many of the words (with phrases) in this list can be found in Benjawan’s Speak Like a Thai series.

Speak Like a Thai Volume 1
Speak Like a Thai Volume 2

Smartphone Apps: Talking Thai <> English Dictionary+Phrasebook…

There is no better Thai dictionary with audio and phrases than the Talking Thai-Eng-Thai Dictionary by Paiboon Publishing and Word in the Hand. It’s an amazing resource that keeps on getting better. Most of the slang used in this post will be in the dictionary.

iOS app: Talking Thai <> English Dictionary+Phrasebook
Android: Talking Thai <> English Dictionary+Phrasebook

Thai slang download files…

Spreadsheet Download (zip): Thai Slang To know – 498kb
Spreadsheet Download (pdf): Thai Slang To know – 80kb
Audio Download (zip): Thai Slang To know – 1.9mg zip

Note: These files are for personal use only (please do not place them on other websites).

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My passion is promoting the Thai language. Fullstop. Oh, and traveling. I'm passionate about that as well. And photography too.

4 Comments

  1. I believe that’s “crab mouth” not “crap mouth”.

  2. Priceless. I’m almost tempted to leave it in.

  3. Great resource for me.
    Thank you for sharing.

  4. You are welcome.

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