Wait. Was that English?

Keeping on with the topic of conversing in Thai and English, I have been pondering some Thai words and phrases that are obviously not of Thai origin. They either must be derived from English words or some other Western language.

Here are a few of my “Ahha! So that’s where [so and so word] comes from!” words and phrases.

Karee Pup = Curry Puff
Hmm…the delectable buttery, flaky pastry with yellow curried chicken and potatoes stuffing. I found out early on that karee = curry, but have been wondering pup = ??. As I was trying to explain a Karee Pup to a friend, the word “puff” came out.


Ded Samolay

This is a complete Thai slang deriving from “dead”. It’s a way of saying, yeah that’s REALLY dead. I understood that Ded is “dead”. But Samolay? That’s not even Thai, and it’s certainly not English.

Until one day, I heard a blind performer somewhere on the streets of Bangkok sang in a thick Thai accent of course, “When the moon hits your eyes like a big pizza pie. That’s amore”. If you don’t really know that language, I’m sure “that” and “dead” sound a lot alike. Why, that catchy verse of “That’s Amore” sounds a lot like…Ded Samolay!


And the one that totally stomped me:

Rodd May

Rodd means a car. That is clear. Rodd May means a bus, that is clear to everyone as well. But just exactly what does May in Rodd May means?

The way May is spelled in Thai is with an Ay sound vowel, the letter M, and a silent L. It seems suspiciously like a derivation of “mail”. That’s what make me wonder if the word Rodd May may have come from a postal truck from way back when? A mail car? But what does carrying mail have anything to do with public transporation??


And then there’s the word of the day


What stomped me is the relation of Farang as a foreigner and Farang the fruit. I found an article talking about origin of the word “Farang”. Still, that doesn’t explain what a guava has in common with white/western foreigners.


Please, do share your “Ahha!” moment or your “Grr…” words. I’m sure I have more, but I can only think of these 3 right now.

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