Category: Learn Thai

Happy New Year!

สวัสดีปีใหม่ 2559

สวัสดีปีใหม่ 2559

Please follow me down the rabbit hole because at the other side you’ll be able to use (and hear and understand) this expression for wishing your Thai friends a Happy New Year or any other happy festive day.

sweaty girl

Think of doing something physically enjoyable that makes you SWEATY like a pig (don’t tell me what it is, I don’t want to know)! You feel really good, right?

สวัสดิ์ (“s-wud”, rhymes with “hut”) is a Sanskrit word that means well-being, or “there is goodness” (“su” is good, “vasti” is “there is”). ดี (“dee”) means good (vitamin D is good for you). It’s what you say when you greet or leave someone, exactly like “shalom” in Hebrew: “peace be with you”.

So you tell someone to feel real good ‘n SWEATY whenever you meet and depart.

As for the New Year, we say it like the French: “year new” (“car red”, “girl pretty”, etc.). It takes a year to roll a PEA from Bangkok to Chiang Mai with your nose, just be careful not to SPEED. ปี (pea) is “year” in Thai.

muddyAnd like a happy pig-in-shit, you won’t have a happier experience than wallowing in a slippery mire of sweaty pea soup. Oh MY… that’s something of a new experience for you, right? (So sad…) ใหม่ (my), said with a low sad tone, means “new”.

After getting all sweaty, wallowing in a messy PEA MIRE is something you should do every year on New Year’s day. It’s a great antidote for a hang-over!

attention! Important: Pronounce “p” the same way as the “p” in “speed” – the air is kept inside your mouth, not expelled as a puff.

Also, it’s important to drop your voice and feel sad (as in “uh oh…“) when you say ใหม่ (MY). Then it means “new”, not “burnt” or “wood” or “silk”, etc.

In colloquial speech, it doesn’t really matter about the other tones.

So to wish your friends a Happy New Year, say:

สวัสดีปีใหม่ นะ

(s-wud-dee pee my, na!?)

– na!? (said with a quizzical, uncertain intonation) at the end is just to be light-hearted and polite

Helping the Medicine Go Down


(helping the medicine go down)

ยาสระผม and ยาสีฟัน

ยา means drug, medicine, cream, ointment, medical substance, or even product (e.g. for washing up liquid or mosquito coils)

สระ has two meanings, depending on how you pronounce it.

If you say สะ (dropping the ร) then it’s to rinse (and in the context of hair, it’s to wash the hair). It also refers to a pool of body of water like a swimming pool or lake.

ผม literally means “hair”, but is also used as a masculine “I” (probably because people of lower status would always keep their heads lower than people of higher status)

If you pronounce สระ as สะ-ระ (by adding in the bridge/spacer vowel) then it means “vowel”. So สะ-ระ อา means the า vowel.

ยาสระผม is shampoo, but everyone says simply: แชมพู (you’ll see this on shampoo bottles too)!

สี has two meanings also:

1. colour (on its own it’s just colour, but if you specify a colour like สีดำ then it is the colour itself: not “black colour” but just “black”)

By association, its also means to paint (a colour) onto something. สีบ้าน “to paint the house”

2. When it’s part of a compound word, it means to rub or scrape, so the most obvious one would be โรงสี which is a structure that rubs things (a mill).

Together with ขัด (“go against something”), it means to scour or scrub (ขัดสี)

And of course ยาสีฟัน is a substance [to aid in the] rubbing of teeth (toothpaste).

A แปรงสีฟัน is a brush for rubbing teeth (toothbrush).

Now, here are some interesting idiomatic expressions:

เสียดสี is to pierce/scrape (เสียด is to pierce or thrust into something, like a needle into your skin) – and the idiomatic meaning is to

be sarcastic or satirical (more the latter than the former).

ป้ายสี literally means to scrape a sign, but it’s used idiomatically to slander someone.

Finally สีลม means a windmill, and I can’t figure out why (scrape the wind?)

December is TON WAA – COM

December is ธันวาคม TON WAA – COM

It’s Christmas and we usually get a ton of presents, wow!


October วันพ่อแห่งชาติ

วันที่ ๕ ธันวาคม

National Father’s Day
Date: 5 December


May the King Prosper
(Long Live the King)

ทรงพระ king (royal monk)

Remember that ทร is “steam train”.

เจริญ prosper

Note that จร is fused, with the “dirty” vowel combination…

Also don’t forget that ญ is “yacht at night”


November is พฤศจิกายน PREUTS-A-CHIKAA – YON

พฤศจิก means “Scorpio” in the zodiac. (แมงป่อง is a “scorpion”, bug-protrusion.)

It’s getting on for the (relatively) cold season in Thailand. So the scantily-dressed whores in the beer bars and the girls in the street dance a pretty jig to keep warm.


October เปิดเรือนเยือนจุฬาฯ
15-17 พฤศจิกายน 2558

Open Visit-House Chula
(University of Chulalongkorn)
15-17 November 2015

(For) additional information…

October is TULAA – COM

October is ตุลาคม TULAA – COM

ตุลา means “justice” or “Libra” in the zodiac.

At the OktoberFest, everyone sings “Too La Laa, Too La Laa” while enjoying (lots of) mugs of beer.


October ฤกษ์ดี จัดงานแต่งงาน เดือนตุลาคม ๒๕๕๗

Auspicious wedding planner for October 2558

ฤกษ์ – auspicious
จัด – arrange, prepare
งานแต่งงาน – wedding

Please let me know if you’d like my handout on how to decipher the Thai numbers…

September is PAN-YA-GUN

September is กันยายน GUN (rhymes with “gun”) – YAA – YON

This means “the maiden (Virgo)” and comes from the Sanskrit word aṅganā, meaning woman or female animal.


I’m afraid the way to remember this month is a bit contrived, but it’s the best I could come up with after months of thinking about it. And it kind of works for me:

It’s autumn/fall, the start of a new season, in fact it’s hunting season! So you can get out your gunyaah! – and start shootin’…


Buengkaan postmark เปิดที่ทำการไปรษณีย์
1 กันยายน 2554

Opening of Buengkan Post office 9 Sep 2010

ที่ทำการ – office (place of doing work or operations)
ไปรษณีย์ – post/postal
บึงกาฬ – black/dark swamp

Buengkan is a brand new province, in the most far-flung corner of Isaan, established in 2010.

It’s claim to fame is an isolated sandstone temple (Wat Phu Tok) and a marshy lake where aquatic birds breed.

BTW, please let me know if you’d like my handout on how to decipher the Thai numbers…

August is SING-HAA-COM

August is SING-HAA-COM สิงหาคม

The Lion King is a great musical. The Lion King is a great singer. Leos are born in August (mostly)!

Leo the Lion King

If that doesn’t work for you, how about…
Pavarotti was such a great singer that he always sang in distinguished and august company!

Pavarotti in Concert

hoksingha1.jpg หกสิงหา
6 August

Click on the image to watch the teaser music video in Thai.


Because true love has but an uncertain age…
Hug so tightly til the time I have to let you go.


July is KARAKADAA-COM กรกฎาคม

Americans celebrate the 4th of July in a big way with huge fireworks.
The biggest firecracker yet is the Krakatoa volcano!

In Thai July is fire Crackers In Thai, July is Krakatoa
(Note. All four consonants กรกฎ K-R-K-D are fused together and are completely unpronouncable. So just add in the spacer “a” sound in-between each one.)

VCT Day 1 July 1 กรกฎาคม

1 July HIV Examination Day

Click on the image
to watch an infomercial in Thai.

ทุกวัน 10.00-20.00 น.

Free AIDS Advice Hotline
Every day 10H00 – 20H00

(น. = นาฬิกา) clock, watch, “H00” military hour

Institute for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Sexually Transmitted Diseases


June is MI-TUNA-YON มิถุนายน

It’s a long, hot summer and after the initial partying (in May), we have many picnics in June eating nothing but meat-tuna sandwiches.

June is a meat-tune sandwich

grand summer sale สินค้าคุณภาพ
ลดสูงสุด 70%quality goods
highest reduction 70%

(Please email me if you’d like the handout on how to recognize modern fonts.)


May is PREUTSAPAA-COM พฤษภาคม

May is a bit difficult to read and remember. The first part sounds a bit like “preuss”, a prissy little girl. the second part is the start of “party”.

So in May, there is lots of time off starting with labor day and it’s the start of summer, so a good time to go out an have picnics in your bikinis – a pretty party amongst the flowers and eye candy (for the guys as well as the girls: the girls should be stripping down to their bikinis or flimsy underwear and the guys should all be shirtless at the very least, coz it’s so hot).



พฤษภาคม.jpg เนื้อคู่คนเกิด
เดือนพฤษภาคม[Your] soulmate [for] people born in May…เนื้อคู่ (“flesh/body pair/couple”, or soulmate)
คน (person, people)
เกิด (born)
เดือน (month)

[a horoscope reading]

mayday1.jpg สุขสันต์วันแรงงาน

Happy Labour Day

สุขสันต์ to be happy/content/joyful

แรงงาน labor
แรง power/strength
งาน work

Note: ค่าแรง is “cost of labor”