I’m not sure if I have blogged about this before, but while teaching in Thailand, I noticed that Thais often give themselves cute (and sometimes uniqle and ridiculous) nicknames.
Of course there are very common ones, starting with the girls, such as Dream and Cream and Ice and Gift and Mint and Mind. I’ve heard of a girl whose nickname was Guitar.
On the other hand, common male nicknames include Beer and Bank and Boy (how original) and Big. I once had a student whose nickname was Ghost. Another boy’s nickname was Mark Hughes. His dad must have been a huge Manchester United fan. He will not respond to “Mark”. You have to call him Mark Hughes.
I guess it’s quite common for Thais to have nicknames because their real names may contain up to 6 or 7 syllables. Sometimes for Thais who aren’t very familiar with words of the English vocabulary, they would just give themselves Thai nicknames.
Common ones are like, Fah (sky/blue) or Nok (bird) or Gai (chicken) or Dao (star).
But as such nicknames get more and more common, I’ve seen Thais trying to improvise and come out with creative variations.
I hope I am making these up, but no, these are real people.
“Gift” is a common female nickname, but I’ve heard of someone whose nickname was “Gift Voucher” and she had a friend with an equally creative/ridiculous/uniqle (however you see it) nickname, “Keycard”.
“Nam” is also a very common female nickname. “Nam” basically means water. Variations may include Namtan (sugar) or Nampueng (honey), but recently I met a girl whose nickname was Namsom (orange juice).
Okay, maybe using the word ridiculous may be a little mean, but I guess some people may have to stick with these interesting nicknames for a long long time. Nice to meet you, Mark Hughes.