Swearing in Thailand: Did You Just Call Me a Lizard?

you can call this a lizard, but don't call someone a lizard

you can call this a lizard, but don’t call someone a lizard

When learning a language you start with the basics: ‘hello’, ‘thank you’, ‘how do I….” and all swear words.

The Thai language has some good swears, one of the most offensive is referring to someone as a lizard. Want proof? Have a read of this article from the Bangkok Post where a Deputy Prime Minister uses the term ‘ai hia’

The Article:

Plodprasop says sorry for swearing at his critics

Deputy Prime Minister Plodprasop Suraswadi has apologised after referring to opponents of the government’s water management scheme as ai hia. Mr Plodprasop yesterday backed down from remarks he made during a speech in Chiang Mai on Sunday to red-shirt supporters.

Mr Plodprasop, who had taken flak earlier for referring to protesters at the Chiang Mai water summit last month as “rubbish”, said in Sunday’s speech that he wished he had gone further and called the activists ai hia. “They [NGOs] were angry with me when I called them ‘rubbish’. This word was too soft. “In my mind, I wanted to scold them as ‘ai hia’,” he was quoted as saying on Sunday.

Hia literally means a water monitor, but it is also used as a Thai curse and is considered extremely offensive. The word ai refers to the person or people you are speaking about.

The Democrat Party and some non-governmental organisations are opposed to the 350-billion-baht flood and water management scheme. Mr Plodprasop said his comments during his speech in Chiang Mai last month were in keeping with his normal speaking style, but he apologised to those he offended.

The deputy minister, who oversees national water management affairs, is know for his sharp tongue and tough stance toward opponents.

However, after facing mounting criticism for his remarks, Mr Plodprasop promised yesterday he would be more careful in his choice of words.

Mr Plodprasop’s conflict with the environmental activists came after they insisted on organising a parallel conference to discuss Thailand’s water management problems.

The Human Rights Lawyer Association demanded Mr. Poldprasop apologise for the “rubbish” remark, but he had refused.

Please credit and share this article with others using this link:http://www.bangkokpost.com/news/local/353676/plodprasop-says-sorry-for-swearing-at-his-critics.


About faranginbangkok

I began working in Bangkok during 2008- a time that featured a great deal of political unrest in Thailand and particularly Bangkok. I had lived in San Francisco for 15 years and was working on a project in Thailand. Generally, I spent 2 weeks in Bangkok and then 3-4 weeks in San Francisco. Did Bangkok begin to feel like home? Yes, and No. Bangkok and the Thai culture forced me to feel many things, the change in culture and environment was so dramatic it forced the decision- embrace or ignore. I embraced and made Bangkok my home and base in 2009. I have enjoyed living in Bangkok, experiencing Thailand and the entire ASEAN region. I moved to Singapore in 2016...fallen behind on this blog since.
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