Do you use slang?
Today I want to share with you how to use slang words in Thai, so you can sound like a local, even if you are not. Learning slang words in another language is always fun! It’s actually my favorite part of learning a new language. You can give the impression of being ahead of your language game with just a few clues. In addition, you will know what the people around you are up to or even what they are thinking about you if you know slang words in Thai. This can definitely be a game-changer if you use them right. So let’s get started!
it is used by the younger Thai people in an approved manner.
A: วันนี้ชุดญาญ่าฟาดมาก (wan-níi chút Ya ya fâat mâak)
Today Yaya’s outfit really nailed it!
Something that เริ่ด (rə̂rd) is cool or awesome. You can use this word when your friends tell you a story and you want to reply that this is fabulous or cool.
(chán pə̂ng jɔɔng dtǔua-krʉ̂ʉang-bin bpai Krabi aa-tít nâa)
I just booked my flight to go to Krabi next week.
B: เริ่ด (rə̂rd)
A: คนนี้ขี้โม้มากเลย มองบนแป๊บ (kon-née-kêe-móh mâak loie mong bon bpáep)
This person is so bragging! Let me roll my eyes real quick!
This is popular amongst girls to express something was awesome.
A: เมื่อวานฉันไปดำน้ำมา มันดีมากแม่
(mʉ̂ʉa-waan chán bpai dam nám maa man dii mâak mɛ̂ɛ)
I went scuba diving yesterday. It was so awesome!
A: ร้านนี้ให้ข้าวแบบจุกๆ เลย
(ráan-níi hâi kâo bɛ̀ɛp jùk-jùk ləəi)
This restaurant gives a lot of food.
This one is used if you want to express somebody’s behavior annoyed you.
(mʉ̂ʉa-kʉʉn fɛɛn gào sòng kɔ̂ɔ-kwaam maa hǎa chán yə́-mâak)
My ex sent me a lot of texts last night.
B: (มัน)เป็นไรมากป่ะ ([man] bpen rai mâak bpà)
what’s wrong with him?
This is used if you want to express to your friends to not do something
A: ฉันจะจีบนักแสดงคนนี้ (chán jà jìip nák-sà-dɛɛng kon-níi)
I’m going to flirt with this actor.
B: อย่าหาทำ (yàa hǎa tam)
don’t think about it!
A: คนนั้นพูดมากจังเลย ลำไย (kon-nán pôot mâak jang ləəi lam-yai)
That person is talking too much! So annoying!
You can use this one when you got dumped (from the relationship). Another situation is like when you and your friend agree to go out somewhere together, but you got ditched by your friend.
Situation 1 – A: เธอเทผมไปคบกับคนอื่น (təə tay pŏm bpai kóp gàp kon-ʉ̀ʉn)
She dumped me and dating another guy!
Situation 2 – A: เพื่อนเทฉันแล้วออกไปดูหนังกับแฟนแทน
(pʉ̂ʉan tay chán lɛ́ɛo ɔ̀ɔk-bpai duu-nǎng gàp fɛɛn tɛɛn)
My friend ditched me and went to the movies with her boyfriend instead!
A jâo chúu is a playboy. Depending on the context, it can be used as a joke, which is rarer, mostly it is meant as an insult.
A: อย่าไปยุ่งกับเขานะ เขาเจ้าชู้มาก
(yà bpai yûng gàp káo ná káo jâo chúu mâak)
Don’t mess with him. He is a playboy!
This can be used as a compliment to someone.
A: วันนี้สวยปังมาก (wan-née-sŭay bpang mâak)
Today you’re splendidly gorgeous.
Gig refers to a person’s casual lover. It can be used to refer to both men and women. In English, it would most likely be the equivalent to the term “friends with benefits”.
While baa is the proper word for crazy, ting tong is used in a jokier manner. It is typically used to indicate that someone is perceived as being a bit unusual or excentric.
A: คุณติ๊งต๊องจัง (kun dting-dtóng jang)
You’re so goofy!
This one is a lovely Thai slang phrase, ‘paa-sǎa dɔ̀ɔk-mái’ literally translates as ‘the flower language’. It’s very poetic, so if you hear somebody speaking paa-sǎa dɔ̀ɔk-mái, they are using words of love and tenderness. Friends may, however, mock each other if they hear such dreamy and romantic lingo because it might emphasize someone is in love.
High so, similar to high society in English is used in Thai when talking about somebody from the upper class. If your friends talk about a new venue that attracts lots of high so, you know it’s a fancy place with probably higher prices.
A: ดูคนนั้นสิ ไฮโซมากเลย
(duu kon-nán sì high-so mâak ləəi)
Look at that person, so high-class!
A very poetical slang phrase, ‘som lon’ literally means ‘an orange drops’, which in Thailand is a good thing if you catch it on the way down. Use this when you’ve had a bit of luck that you didn’t expect.
mâo moi is a slang verb for gossiping. If you hear your Thai friends mentioning that someone likes to mâo moi, you’d better keep your secrets from that person.
So this one is easy because it is like saying ‘ I get it, so when you understand what’s going on (not always easy in Thailand) but this is the word to use.
A: งานยุ่งมากจนไม่มีเวลาทำอะไรเลย เก็ตปะ
(ngaan yûng mâak jon mâi-mii wee-laa tam à-rai ləəi gèt bpá)
The work is so busy that I don’t have time to do anything. Do you get it?
I get it.
อิน (in) is used to describe an emotional feeling. For example, if you watch a movie or listen to a song that brings up emotions.
A: เพลงนี้เพราะ อินมาก
(pleeng ní prɔ́ in mâak)
The song is good, made me emotional.
If somebody is said to be grɔ̂ɔp, you know that they do not have much money (or tang) and are struggling financially. The English equivalent to this is to be ‘broke’. Sometimes it is also used as an insult.
(dʉʉan-níi grɔ̂ɔp mâak)
I’m so broke this month.
Similar to the English word paranoid it is used to describe feeling anxious.
A: เขาลืมวันเกิดฉัน ฉันนอยมาก
(kǎo lʉʉm wan-gə̀t chán chán nɔ̀ɔi mâak)
He forgot my birthday, I feel offended.
If you were supposed to finish something for work but invest time in other things because you don’t want to do it and you procrastinate it to the next day.
This is how giggling sounds to the Thai. It is used to describe something funny. So, when this is added at the ending of the sentence, it meant to be taken not so seriously
Literally translated as ‘right?’ in the question sense (as in ‘am I right?’). ‘We’re getting one more beer, chi-mi?’ is a good example.
(mǎa chán nâa-rák chì-mì)
My dog is cute, right?
This is the shorter version of น่ารัก (nâa-rák) which means cute in Thai.
(mǎa dtuua-níi dtân-láak)
This dog is cute.
Slang is mostly used by younger people. So be careful when using them, especially when you are talking to older or middle age, Thai people. If you use slang words you can surely impress Thai natives, but be careful to never use them informal communication, especially in writing. Also, you have to remember that slang words for Thai people are a fashionable thing, they come and go. So if you can’t remember all the Thai words, don’t worry. Another great way to practice Thai words is with the Ling Thai app. Take a few minutes to play through the different tests and challenges and you will learn Thai really fast and improve your skills.