150+ Popular Names In Thai You Need To Know

How do names work in Thai? As odd as this may seem, Thai naming conventions have a pretty unique and interesting history. Beyond that, the idea of nicknames also offers a different perspective on Thai culture. Hence, you’ll get a glimpse of names in Thai with their naming culture.

To learn Thai, having some idea of how names in Thai work can help understand how communication works and how to address people correctly. We have talked previously about how to be polite in Thai, and this topic can play a part in that. So, for today, let’s have a glimpse at names in Thai.

Thai names

What Is The History Of Names In Thai?

In Thailand, the use of surnames is a relatively recent development, introduced in the 20th century. Prior to that, individuals were identified by their first names, and middle names were not utilized. In 1913, the King mandated the adoption of surnames, aligning with Western naming conventions. This shift prompted the creation of unique and complex surnames to prevent duplication, leading to the widespread use of nicknames for simplicity.

About Thai Nicknames

Due to the length of Thai names, it’s common for individuals to have nicknames, which are shorter and more frequently used than their real names. These nicknames, assigned at birth by parents, may not necessarily relate to their given names but can be based on physical features, behavior, or desirable qualities.

Some nicknames are chosen randomly but carry symbolic meaning, such as wealth or knowledge. Interestingly, when communicating with foreigners, Thai individuals may opt for an English name to ease pronunciation, though Thai nicknames are often short and easily pronounceable in both English and Thai.

What Are The Honorifics For Thai Names

Honorifics, like คุณ (kun) in Thai, signify a person’s relationship and are used for formality. Thai honorifics, particularly pronouns, are intricate, and influenced by factors like age, gender, and politeness. Kinship terms, like พี่ (pîi), indicate relationships and may be used loosely for close connections.

Titles such as ครู (kruu) for teacher or หมอ (mǒ) for doctor are placed before a person’s name or nickname in conversation.

Thai names male

What Are The Most Common Thai Names For Males? 

Do you have a Thai male friend? You might be surprised that many Thai people share common nicknames with others. But of course, there are very special nicknames that only their family has coined. Starting with male names in Thai, a few are pretty popular.

Somchai (สมชาย)

– Real Man Or Man Of Worth

If you look up any list of common Thai names for males, you will come across this one. That is because this is by far one of the most famous names for males in Thailand. You can see the prefix ‘sǒm’ (สม) that we mentioned earlier here – in this case, together with the word ‘chaai’ (ชาย) meaning male.

Somsak (สมศักดิ์)

– Worthy Of Honor

The name Somsak is another of the more popular Thai names for males. As you can probably see, it is very similar to the name above. It once again reflects that the bearer of the name is worthy of something – honor or prestige.

Arthit (อาทิตย์)

– Sun

Those of you who are familiar with the names of the planets in Thai will know that Arthit means Sun (yes, I realize that the Sun is not a planet). While that would be a deep enough meaning alone, the Sun’s name in Thai is derived from the name of a Hindu god (and the word for Sunday).

Kittisak (กิตติศักดิ์)

– Renowned, Powerful

As with most Thai names, this one shows that you have high hopes for your child. The two parts of the name together mean something like renowned power, meaning they are particularly strong. I imagine many guys would like this to be their name.

names in Thai female

What Are The Most Common Thai Names For Females?

Just as there are many common Thai names for males, there are many common names specifically for females too.

Mali (มะลิ)

– Flower/Jasmine

Flowers and beauty are concepts often associated with femininity, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the word for flower is a common Thai name for girls. Specifically, it refers to Jasmine, grown throughout Thailand for tea and rice.

A-Nong (อนงค์)

– Beautiful

This is a nice name as it means beautiful. They say that children grow into their names to reflect their meaning and the supposed traits it conveys, so choosing a name with this meaning should be easy to understand. It is used as a female name due to some connotations for the meaning.

Porntip (พรทิพย์)

– Divine Blessing

If it wasn’t obvious yet, the meaning of this common Thai name should make it so. Thai names often have really intense meanings. This one is even a bit religious. But yes, this is where the porn prefix comes into play. Together with the word ‘tip’ (ทิพย์), which means divine or divinity, you get a really beautiful name.

Most girl names are related to being graceful, beautiful, and delicate. But, you’ll also find empowering Thai names that you can name your kids in this list. Let’s check it out!

EnglishThaiWritten LanguagePronunciation
pretty angelอัจฉราAtchara
good ladyกัลญาKanlaya
of the heartกมลาKamala
beautiful girlกานติมาKantima
spell casterมนตราMontra
good heartงามจิตรNgam-Chit
a young ladyนงค์เยาว์Nong Yao
nectarน้ำทิพย์Nam thip
beautiful ladyอรอนงค์Orn-a-nong
intelligent ladyอรญาOrraya
the beauty of the moonเพ็ญศรีPensri
beautiful girlสุภาวดีSuphawadee
daughter or girlสุดาSuda
good thingสุณีSunee
clever girlทักษอรTaksa-orn
beautiful viewทัศนีย์Tassanee

Looking for that perfect name for your baby boy? If you’re married to a Thai, then you’ll have plenty of suggestions from this list!

EnglishThaiWritten LanguagePronunciation
the sunอาทิตย์Athit
The greatest oneอธิชาติA-thichart
great fighterชยพลChayaphon
famous victoryกิตติชัยKittichai
famous clanกิตติชาติKittichat
honorable clanกิตติพงศ์Kittipong
very braveกล้าหาญKlaharn
famous oneก้องภพKongphop
to prosperไพบูลย์Phaibun
to fightประยุทธ์Prayut
mighty; powerfulเรืองศักดิ์Ruangsak
wealthy familyธนชาติThanachart

How Do You Say Name In Thai?

The Thai word for name is ชื่อ (chʉ̂ʉ)

If you want to introduce yourself, you can say ‘My name is …’ or Phǒm/chǎn chʉ̂ʉ /

Other Vocabulary For Name In Thai

Now that you know how to say ‘My name is …’ in Thai, you can try practicing introducing yourself with some of the most popular Thai names.

My name is …ผม/ฉันชื่อphǒm/chǎn chʉ̂ʉ
My name is Somchaiผมชื่อสมชายphǒm chʉ̂ʉ sǒm chaay
My name is Maliฉันชื่อมะลิchǎn chʉ̂ʉ málí
My name is Porntipผมชื่อพรทิพย์phǒm chʉ̂ʉ phɔɔn thíp

Frequently Asked Questions About Names In Thailand

What Are Some Common Thai Names?

We’ve explored lots of common Thai names in this article, including Somchai, Somsak, Arthit, Kittisak, Mali, Porntip, and many more. Of course, this is a non-exhaustive list, and there are many other popular Thai names.

Why Do Thai People Have Two Names?

Thai people usually have a nickname and a birth name. They have nicknames because their birth names are often way too long. Take famous Thai actor Bright Vachirawit for example. “Bright” is his nickname, while “Vachiwarit” is his birth name.

How Are Thai Names Ordered?

Thai names are typically ordered like this: Nickname, Birth Name, Surname. Using our previous example, Bright’s full name is Bright Vachirawit Chivaree. “Bright” is his surname, “Vachiwarit” is his birth name, and “Chivaree” is his surname.

Learn More Thai With Names

So, while this seems like a pretty long topic, it is useful and ultimately important for learning Thai. There are several things to be mindful of when speaking and addressing other people, such as honorifics. Altogether, it makes for an interesting glimpse into the culture of Thailand, its history, and how people communicate. Using polite Thai phrases will be useful if you know how to use Thai names properly.

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