I got a question from one of my YouTube viewers asking what my nickname ‘Mod’ means, so I post this question on my Facebook page and received a few more questions regarding nicknames. A few people would like to know the most common Thai nicknames, so I searched for it and found “Top 10 most common Thai nicknames” surveyed by the The Ministry of Culture of Thailand.
1.เมย์ May /may/ : It is a girl’s nickname. I am sure every May was born in May.
2.พลอย Ploy/ploy/ : It is a girl’s nickname, meaning precious stone or gem.
3.แนน Nan /naen/ : It is a girl’s nickname. This is not Thai language, these days Thai parents like to name their children with Western names.
4.ไอซ์ Ice /ái/ : It is both girl and boy’s name. It is a fashion nowadays that Thai parents choose an English word they think it sounds cool or cute to name their babies.
5.แบงค์ Bank : Boy’s name. Yep! It is another English word-that-sounds-cool-to-Thai-ears name.
6.น้ำ Nahm /náam/ means ‘water’. It’s a girl’s name.
7.ฟ้า Fah /fáa/ : Girl’s name meaning ‘sky’, ‘blue color’, or the short word for นางฟ้า /naang-fáa/ meaning ‘angel’
8.นิว New /niu/ : It is both girl and boy’s name. Another chosen English word.
9.บอล Ball /bon/ : boy’s name, as in round object you kick or throw or hit in a game
10.เบียร์ Beer /bia/ : Yes, it is ‘beer’ like in English meaning. Please don’t ask me why parents would want to name their children like this. Hopefully they are not alcoholic. 😛
I was laughing when I read these names in the list because I know many people with those names. I think I know about 10 guys named บอล “Ball”.
Once in a while my friends and I discuss the topic ‘Why new- generation Thai parents have to name their babies with weird nicknames?’. The most strange nickname I ever heard of is สเตตัส ‘status’ , this is a name of my high school mate’s baby boy. She did update a lot of Facebook statuses during her pregnancy.
Thai kids in my generation or my parent’s are named after cute and small animals like แมว Maew (cat), นก Nok (bird), ปู Poo (crab), ปลา Pla (fish), กวาง Kwang (deer) etc. Those names seem to be uninteresting in present day, so people came up with some cooler names like “แร็คคูน”(Raccoon) who has brothers named “บีเวอร์” (Beaver) and “ชิพมั้งค์” (Chipmunk)!!
If you think those names are not weird enough, a famous Thai actor named his baby boy แอร์บัส (Airbus). He probably would like his son to be a pilot in the future:)
There are still so many exotic Thai nicknames on my list that I have to write Part 2 and 3. I would like you to share more exotic Thai nicknames you know:)
Nickname in Thai is ชื่อเล่น /chue (falling tone) – len (falling tone)/ ; ชื่อ/chue (falling tone)/ means ‘name’ , เล่น / len (falling tone)/ means ‘play’.
Fact: Every Thai person has a first name and a nickname aka chue len. Parents give their children a chue len, in addition to a formal given name. 80% of cases the chue len is a single syllable. Occasionally, the chue len is a shortened version of the first name, but more often it is completely unrelated. The first name is used only in formal situation, or outside personal life; for example when doing business transactions. In informal case chue len is commonly used and even introduced oneself to a new friend, and the other may not discover the person’s formal name 🙂
King Bhumibol Adulyadej’s nickname is Ong Lek (องค์เล็ก); Ong is a numerative noun for kings, princes, princesses, priests, images of Buddha, gods, angels, palaces, pagodas; “Lek” means “little (one)”, a common name for younger siblings.
Do you know anyone named in the Top 10 list?