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Sometimes, the same word can have several meanings depending on what language is being spoken. Language is funny that way. So if you’re in Koh Phangan and you hear one of these types of words being said...they’re not saying what you think!
In English, the following words have a completely different meaning than what they actually are.
Here we’ve gathered just a few of the most hilarious ones and translated them to what they actually mean - not what they mean in English. We’ve also compiled a list of words that just sound funny.
Thai word: Porn
Actual meaning: Blessing
There’s plenty of porn to go around in Thailand, from monk blessings to Buddhist blessings and more. However, none of it is sexual.
Thai word: Fuk
Actual meaning: Gourd
Although quite similar to one of the most vulgar words in the English language by many people’s standards, it’s just part of a few food words. For example, fuktong (pumpkin) desserts and fuk kheao (wax gourd) curry.
Thai word: Prick
Actual meaning: Chili
There are a few meanings for this word in English that range from body parts, to name-calling, to just a minor injury, but in Thai it just means spicy chilli. I guess that makes sense in a way since spicy food feels like a million pricks in your mouth!
Thai word: Thong
Actual meaning: Gold, Straight, Stomach
An English speaker will hear the word and get the image of slender undergarments but in Thai
Thong could mean a number of different things depending on how it is said.
Thai word: Kao
Actual meaning: He, She, They
No, someone did not just call you a cow!
Thai word: Aouk
Actual meaning: Vomit
This word really sounds close to its actual meaning.
Thai word: Tong Sia
Actual meaning: Diarrhea
Tong means stomach and sia means broken which means if they say diarrhea they are literally saying broken stomach. Makes sense.
Thai word: Maew
Actual meaning: Cat
This is probably the easiest Thai word you’ll ever learn! It sounds just like meow.
Thai word: Moo
Actual meaning: Pig
You’d think this one means cow...but nope! They can’t make it that easy for you now can they?
Thai word: Ow
Actual meaning: Want
You’ll hear this one a lot. It doesn’t mean someone got hurt. It is said when someone is asking if you want something or if they are saying that they want something.
Thai word: Haa
Actual meaning: Five
If you ever see a message that says 555, that means hahaha. Normally, you won’t get a text message with LOL from a Thai person...you’ll get 555. Same same but different.