The other day my friend said she admired a Thai singer so much because he was so charming and handsome, then the other friend expressed her disagreement and called her “ตาถั่ว dtaa-tùa”! I was laughing at them and thought I had to write about this interesting expression.
“ตาถั่ว dtaa-tùa” peanut eyes is Thai expression used in two different situations;
ตา /dtaa/ means ‘eye’
ถั่ว /tùa/ means ‘beans, nuts’
 Used to call a person who is unable to see or find things that are in front of their eyes
For example; โทรศัพท์วางอยู่ข้างหน้า แกตาถั่วมองไม่เห็นได้ไง
/toe-rá-sàp waang yùu kâang-nâa gae dtaa tùa mawng mâi hĕn dâai ngai?
The phone is right in front of you, How could you be so blind and didn’t see it?
 Used to call a person who selects something that is considered tasteless in most people’s view.
For example; แกชอบผู้ชายคนนั้นเหรอ ไม่หล่อเลยอ่ะ แกตาถั่วมาก!
/gae châwp pûu-chaai kon nán rĕr? mâi làw leoi à, gae dtaa tùa mâak!/
You like that guy? He is not handsome at all, you are so blind!
The story of this expression is from a symptom when someone has cataracts in the eye which prevents that person to see clearly. In the old times this symptom was called ตาถั่ว dtaa-tùa
Another Thai expressions related to ‘ตา /dtaa/ eye‘ that are commonly used in daily life;
ตาเป็นสับปะรด dtaa bpen sàp-bpà-rót eyes like a pineapple
If you can imagine when you peel a pineapple fruit. As the first layer of a pineapple’s rind is cut away, the spines inside the fruit are revealed in small, round recesses, and they look like “eyes.” This proverb compare a person who has help or spy to get information for him/her or to lookout for , to watch things that he/she has many eyes as a pineapple, eyes are everywhere, seeing everything, in all directions.
When I was young my mom often said to me อย่าทำอะไรไม่ดี แม่มีตาเป็นสับปะรดนะ /yàa tam à-rai mâi dee mâe mee dtaa bpen sàb-bpà-rót/ meaning “Don’t do anything bad, I have many eyes like a pineapple.”
Left Eye Twitching Superstition
There is a Thai saying ตาขวาร้าย ตาซ้ายดี data kwăa ráai, data sáai dii (right eye is bad, left eye is good)
Thai people believe that left eye twitching ( ตาซ้ายขยิบ ) is associated with the impending arrival of some good fortune or good news. This is opposed to the belief of approaching misfortune on the twitching of the right eye (ตาขวาขยิบ). So while a twitch in the left eye indicates good luck or even a major gold rush, a twitching right eye is considered a bad omen which foretells of bad luck headed your way! People also believe in other eyelid twitching superstitions, where a twitch in the lower left eyelid means you can expect to cry soon, or someone is gossiping about you.
Disclaimer: This article is for informative purposes only. If you experience any serious twitching or discomfort in the eyes, make sure you seek medical help. : )