Why Are Thai Names the Way They Are? Part 2

This post is the second post in my series dedicated to the topic of Thai names and nicknames. First of all, I would like to thank all the readers who have read, liked and also shared the previous part, the result was much better than I anticipated and I’m truly thankful for all of your support!

In the first part, you’ve already seen some quirky examples of what Thai nicknames and names are like. But that was just a tiny bit of it, so this time you will experience all the aspects of Thai names and nicknames, which will surely surprise you and hopefully impress you, because there’s something about them that is just different and real.

After gathering all the information regarding this topic, I’ve found so many interesting facts that I didn’t even know about before, and there are many things that I know about this topic just from my own experiences that I would also like to share. So, I have come up with a kind of categorization that I created myself, as well as some interesting facts about Thai names and nicknames. Here it begins:

  • The Letter Nicknames

Yes, it’s true. This type of nickname is actually pretty common, your nickname could also be almost any letters in the English alphabet and there’s a great deal of them, not only the vowels; A, I, O, U, but also all of these; B, C, D, F, J, K, M, P, Q, R, S, T, U, V and X. Well, pretty easy, isn’t it?


Pic via Pixabay

  • The Number Nicknames

This is mostly only for nicknames. This type applies for both cardinal numbers and ordinal numbers (but only a few of the ordinal ones).

– Cardinal Numbers; One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Nine, Ten
– Ordinal Numbers; First, Third

The Calendar Nicknames

I’ve heard so many nicknames and also first names that are named after the months and even after many various events and celebrations! One good reason could be the fact that many of them were born exactly on those days. For example, there are some people whose nickname is “New Year” (both in English New year and in Thai Pee-mhai) and therea re also some people with nicknames representing the month they were born in. For example: Jan (representing January), March, April, May, June, August, Oct (representing October)

Nicknames could also be the names of some months in Thai, for example for March, April, and December, etc. However, I also know many people that have nicknames and first names that don’t really have anything to do with the calendar, it’s just for the sake of naming.

Pic via Pixabay

  • The International Nicknames

This kind of Thai nickname is also used widely in Thailand, it’s actually the same as it is for Western people, I think the form is relatively practical as it doesn’t sound strange to foreign people and at the same time, I personally think that it’s cool. And as stated in the first part, this kind of nickname is mostly a single syllable, for example; Ann, Paul, Nick, Ben, Kate, Mike, Mark, Jade, Ken, Joey, Amy, etc.

  • The International First Names

The sense of this form is quite similar to the previous one. In fact, these first names themselves actually have wonderful meanings in Thai, but the way they’re written in English sounds and is coincidentally exactly like many common Western names such as Alisha, Alisa, Mina, Natasha, Tanya, etc.

That Siri from Apple

Those who use Apple products are surely familiar with this word. In Thai, Siri has lots of positive meanings and definitions, including to be an idol and to have honor, the sense of glory, blessing and something auspicious. This results in it being a common Thai first name. But to be more precise, when including “Siri” in a first name, it’s more accepted to use it for girls. Apart from that, thanks to its abundance in terms of definitions, it also appears in many Thai family names.

The Risky word – Porn!!!

I recently got to realize the importance of this word again as it’s a totally common word in Thai. In fact, the word “porn” in Thai means “wish”, ”blessing”, “gift” and “support or raise”. As you can see,  it contains a lot of positive and beautiful meanings, so that’s why it’s generally used for naming, especially when choosing the first names for women.

It’s also crucial how to really write this word in English, many women attempt to use another word instead of “porn”, they might go for; Pawn, Pawn, Phorn, Pon or Phon but then again you can’t really help when you need to say it because when it comes to pronunciation, it then exactly sounds like the word “porn” in English.

  • The Typical Ones

Also, there’s an abundance of nicknames for Thai people in Thai which could mean almost anything in the world! Here are some typical common examples:

Fah (meaning sky), Goy (meaning little finger), Prae (meaning silk), Noei (meaning butter), Ploy (meaning gem), Pim (meaning figure), etc.

There’s actually one more thing to share, a tricky one: Surprisingly, Thai names and nicknames can be written in so many different ways. So even if they sound exactly identical, they don’t necessarily need to be written in the same way!

That was almost all you need to know about Thai names and nicknames, I hope you’re now well-informed and that you found this interesting topic a weird-yet-wonderful fact, which you can’t find anywhere else in the world!

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