KEY WORD INDEX

PROVERBS & IDIOMS

 

กระต่ายสามขา - krataai saam khaa

A rabbit with three legs - to stand one's ground.

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กระต่ายหมายจันทร์ - krataai maai jan

A rabbit aiming for the moon - to wish for something impossible.

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กระโถนท้องพระโรง - krathohn thong phra rohng

The house's golden spittoon - a convenient scapegoat for all ills, a whipping boy.

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กิ้งก่าได้ทอง - king kah dai thong

A chameleon that acquired gold - a nobody calling for attention by showing off his belongings.

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กู้หน้า - koo nah

To save face - to get out of a difficult situation without damaging one's reputation.

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ก่แดด - kae daed

A grown-up/mature sun - a precocious child.

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ขนทรายเข้าวัด - khon saai khao wat

To carry sand into the temple - to seek gain that benefits all.

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ข้าวคอยฝน - khao khoi fon

Rice waiting for rain - to wait a long time for something to happen.

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ข้าวใหม่ปลามัน - khao mai pla man

New rice, fat fish - fresh lovers (a newly married couple).

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ขี่ช้างจับตั๊กแตน - khi chang jap takkataen

Ride an elephant to catch grasshoppers - to receive little reward from a major investment/overdo [use a gun to shoot a mosquito].

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ขี้หมูราขี้หมาแห้ง - khee moo rah khee mah haeng

Mouldy pig shit, dry dog shit - trivial and insignificant.

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เข้าเมืองตาหลิ่ว ต้องหลิ่วตาตาม - khao meuang tah liw tong liw tah tahm

Entering the land of the squinted, one should also squint - do in Rome as the Romans do.

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คบคนพาลพาลพาไปหาผิด - khop khon phan phan pha pai ha phit

To associate bad people will lead to bad things - to associate with scoundrels is looking for trouble [fellowship with knaves leads to crime].

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คบชู้สู่ชาย/สาว - khop choo soo chai/sao

To indulge in a relation with a male/female paramour - to have amorous adventures or an affair.

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จนแต่มีเกียรติดีกว่ามั่งมีแต่อัปยศ - jon tae mih kian dih kwa mang mih tae apayot

Poverty with dignity is better than wealth based on shame - honesty above richness.

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จับได้คาหนังคาเขา - jap dai kah nang kah kao

Catch someone with skin and horns - catch someone red-handed.

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จับปลาสองมือ - jap pla song meua

Catch one fish with two hands - if you want too much you will end up with nothing [run after two hares, catch neither].

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จับไม่มั่น คั้นไม่ตาย - jap mai man khan mai taai

If you don't hold it firmly, you can't squeeze it to death - unable to fix the blame squarely on someone.

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ชักหน้าไม่ถึงหลัง - chak nah mai theung lang

To be willing but not reach ones back - to be unable to make both ends meet.

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ชั่วฟ้าดินสลาย - chua fah din salai

For the sky and earth to vanish - to the end of the world, for ever, for eternity.

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ช้างตายทั้งตัวเอาใบบัวมาปิด - chang taai thang tua aw bai bua mah pid

Cover (up) a death elephant with a lotus leaf - in spite of even the best efforts bad or wrongful things can not be hidden entirely.

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ชาติเสือไม่ทิ้งลาย -chaht seua mai thing laay

A tiger doesn't throw off its stripes - one can't change someone's old habits [a leopard cannot change his spots].

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เฒ่าหัวงู - tao hua ngu

An old man with a snakehead - a dirty old man.

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ติดลมบน - tit lom bon

To float on the upper wind - to have a stable position.

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เต่าใหญ่ไข่กลบ - tao yai khai kop

A large tortoise covering its eggs - someone who did something suspicious but acts and speaks good mannered to cover up his act.

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ทุบหม้อข้าวหม้อแกง - thup moh khao moh kaeng

Destroy the rice pot and the soup pot - ancient war strategy in which troops were deprived of food to encourage them to fight the enemy for it [to take the bread out of one's mouth].

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น้ำขุ่นยู่ใน น้ำใสอยู่นอก - nahm khun yuh nai nahm sai yuh nouk

Dirty water is inside, clear water is outside - to hold your tongue and keep up appearances.

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น้ำขึ้นห้รีบตัก - nahm keun hai rihp tak

Hurry to scoop water when the tide is high - make hay while the sun shines.

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น้ำท่วมทุ่ง - nahm tuam tung

Water submerges the field - to speak a lot but say little.

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แบ่งภาค - baeng phak

A god who incarnates part of himself as a human, whilst retaining his existence in the upper world - to divide oneself into two, to work in two places at the same time.

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ปล่อยเสือเข้าป่า - ploi seua khao pah

To release the tiger into the forest/jungle - ingratitude for an act of kindness.

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ปลาตายน้ำตื้น - pla taai nahm teun

Fish die in shallow water - with the back against the wall.

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ปลาหมอตายเพราะปาก - pla mo taai pro pahk

Climbing gouramies (pla moh) die because of their mouths - to be hung by the tongue.

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ปากกับใจไม่ตรงกัน - pahk kab jai mai trong kan

The mouth and hearth are not the same - to be a hypocrite.

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ปิดทองหลังพระ - pit thong lang phra

To put gold leaf on the back of a Buddha image - to do good without caring for rewards or admiration.

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ฟ้าหลัฝน - fah lang fon

Sky after rain - after rain comes sunshine.

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มะนาวกลมเกลี้ยงไม่มีใครกลึง - manao klom kliang mai mih krai kleung

A lime is round and smooth without being turned on a lathe - a genius is born, not made.

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มันไส้ - man sai

Greasy intestines - not feeling satisfied.

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มากับพระ - ma kap phra

To come with Buddha - to not think bad of anyone.

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ไม้ใกล้ฝั่ง - mai klai fang

A log close to the river bank - to have one foot in the grave.

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ไม่เต็มบาท - mai tem baht

Not a full baht - crazy.

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ไม่เห็นโรงศพไม่หลั่งน้ำตา - mai hen rohng sop mai lang nahm tah

Tears don't gush until one sees the coffin - not see evil until it is too late [he who will not listen to advice must suffer for it].

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ยิงกระต่าย - ying krataai

To shoot rabbits - to piss, to pee (only of boys).

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ยุงร้ายกว่าเสือ - yung rai kwa seua

A mosquito is more dangerous than a tiger - don't neglect but beware of the little things.

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รักพี่เสียดายน้อง - rak phih sia daai nong

Love the eldest but yearn for the younger one - to waver.

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รักวัวให้ผูก รักลูกให้ตี - rak waw hai phook rak look hai tih

Love your cattle, tie it up; love your children, spank them - if you love your children you need to discipline them [spare the rod spoil the child].

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รำไม่ดีโทษปี่โทษกลอง - ram mai dih thoht pih thoht klong

Blaming the flute and drum for not dancing well - refuse to take responsibility for ones actions, instead putting the blame on someone else.

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ลูกไก่อยู่ในกำมือ - look kai you nai kam meua

To hold a chick in the hand - to have control over someone.

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แล้วก็แล้วกันไป - laew ko laew kan pai

Past things have gone by - let bygones be bygones.

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วันพระไม่ได้ีหนเดียว - wan phra mai dai mih hon diaw

There is more than one Buddhist holy day - you'll get another chance at this.

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วัวแก่กินหย้าอ่อน - waw kae kin yah oan

(An) old cow/cattle eating young grass - an old person with a young lover [old muck-hills will bloom].

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สมน้ำหน้า - som nahm nah

It befits the sight of one's face - it serves you/him right.

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สอนจรเข้ว่ายน้ำ - son jorakeh wai nahm

Teaching a crocodile to swim - trying to teach someone who is already an expert.

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หนอนบ่อนไส้ - non bon sai

A worm undermining the intestines - a traitor.

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หน้างิ้วคิ้วขมวด - nah ngiw kiw khamuak

Chinese opera player with a face of knitted eyebrows - to be in a rage or fury.

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หน้าแตก - nah taek

To break the face - to lose face.

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หน้าเนื้อใจเสือ - nah neua jai seua

Face of flesh, heart of a tiger - specious, hypocrite [two-faced]

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หนีเสือปะจระเข้ - nih seua pa jorakae

Flee a tiger to meet a crocodile - to go from bad to worse [to go from the frying pan into the fire].

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หาเหาใส่หัว - ha hao sai hua

Look for lice to put on one's head - to look for trouble.

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เหมือนจับปูใส่กระด้ง - meuan jab poo sai kradong

Like catching crabs to put into a basket - trying in vain to get a grip on something, as it keeps on running away or slipping out of your hands (to deal with something that is a handful).

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เหมือนน้ำกลิ้งบนใบบอน - meuan nahm kling bon baibon

Like water running on a caladium leaf - to be at the end of one's rope, to be driven to the wall.

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หมดหนทาง - mot hon tahng

End of the road direction - to be at the end of one's rope/tether.

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อ้อยเข้าปากช้าง - ohy khao pahk chang

Sugarcane in the mouth of an elephant - a fait accompli.

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อาบน้ำร้อนมาก่อน - hahp nahm ron mah kon

Taken a hot bath before - have experience in dealing with problems.

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