Understanding Royal words in Thai

by | Nov 20, 2020 | advanced Thai Tips, Thai, Vocabulary

Become fluent in any language!

Thai royal words or คำราชาศัพท์ (raa-chaa sàp) can be difficult even for Thais themselves because it is not used in everyday conversation.

There are 3 cases in which we use royal words:

  1. We use it when talking about the royal family

  2. When talking about Jesus as written in the bible or Buddha as written in Tripitaka.

  3. When sarcastically implying that someone behaves like a royal family (aka. a rich and spoiled person)

I remember that I had to memorize these words when I was in grade 2. After a test, I forgot all of them but thanks to the 8 pm royal news that cuts right in between Thai’s night-time movies, I started remembering the more used words. There are movies that use royal vocabs such as พระนเรศวร (prá ná-ray-sŭan) and a few movies on Netflix that can help you learn these words.

I have filtered out the most common words that I hear in the news and that I have read because I believe that the one that I don’t know, you don’t really need to know :P.

Let’s get started!!!

Thai Royal Vocabulary

Common Royal Verbs

ทอดพระเนตร (tôt prá nâyt)to see
พระราชทาน (prá rât cha taan)to give
เสด็จ (sà-dèt)to go
ประทับ (bprà-táp)to sit
โปรด (bpròht)to like
ประชวร (bprà-chuan)to be sick
เสวย (sà-wŏie)to eat
บรรทม (ban-tom)to sleep
สรงน้ำ (sŏng náam)to take a shower
เสด็จประพาส (sà-dèt bprà-pâat)to travel
พระราชปุจฉา (prá râat bpùt-chăa)to ask
ทรงเครื่อง (song krêuang)to dress up
ทรงพระครรภ์ (song prá kan)to be pregnant
บรรทม (ban-tom)to sleep
ต้องพระราชประสงค์ (dtông prá râat-chá-bprà-sŏng)to want to get
ทรงพระสรวล (song prá sŭan)to laugh

Royal words for body parts

พระเกศา (prá gay-săa)hair
พระอุทร (prá ù-ton)stomach
พระนาสิก (prá naa-sìk)nose
พระทนต์ (prá ton)tooth
พระทรวง (prá suang)chest
พระกรรณ (prá gan)ear
พระชิวหา (prá chiw-hăa)tongue
พระบาท (prá-bàat)foot
พระโอษฐ์ (prá òht)mouth
พระพักตร์ (prá pák)face
พระเนตร (prá nâyt)eye

Nouns

The are many royal words that are nouns. Here I will only give you the few that are important. The full list is too big and useless. Even for Thais, it’s totally acceptable to use the normal word instead of the royal word if you don’t know.

ฉลองพระบาท (chà-lŏng prá-bàat)shoe
ฉลองพระองค์ (chà-lŏng prá ong)tops
พระกระยาหาร (prá grà-yaa-hăan)rice
พระแท่นบรรทม (prá tâen ban-tom)bed


As long as kings and royalties continue to exist in Thailand, the Thai language will continue to have these royal vocabularies as an important part of the Thai language.

I encourage you to learn them to recognize them so that when you hear someone say these honorifics or vocabs you will understand. And if you hear them, don’t be shy to ask people around you for the meaning.

Subscribe