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LEXICON

 T          

 

taab (ตาบ)

Thai. A decorative or protective neckpiece, which at some time in the past was worn by kings (fig.) and warriors, and sometimes also by Thai dancers. Nowadays, it can still be seen on traditional marionette puppets (fig.).

taak (ทาก)

1. Thai. Name used for almost all types of snails, slow-moving gastropod molluscs with a spiral shell. There are many different types and may live on land, in freshwater or in the sea. A commonly seen kind in Thailand is the Apple Snail (fig.), which lays its pink eggs, clung together in clusters. These pink, caviar-like, clusters of eggs are typically found near freshwater, often on poles or the stalks of plants that stand in the water, such as rice (fig.). This particular type of snail is therefore an natural enemy of rice plants and has several names in Thai, including hoy cherih (หอยเชอรี่), i.e. ‘cherry snail’. Generally, snails are also called hoy taak (หอยทาก). Alternatively transcribed thaak.

2. Thai general name for slugs and used for any gastropod mollusc that either has a very reduced, a small internal or no shell at all. There are many different types. Some species of slugs feed on leaves and thus often destroy plants, though other species are predators, eating snails, earthworms or even other slugs. Besides this many slugs may occasionally also eat carrion, including dead of their own kind.

3. Thai for leech, a bloodsucking, worm-like, invertebrate and hermaphrodite animal living on land and with the scientific name Haemadipsa interrupta, of the family Hirudinae. Bloodsuckers are commonly found in Thai rainforests and will cling to passer-bys, people and mammals alike, and suck their blood. Its bite is not painful but the leech will inject an anti-haemostatic agent that prevents the blood from curdling and enables the leech to suck blood without difficulty. Bloodsuckers usually stick to their host until they are full and then let go and drop off by themselves. To remove them sooner one could spray them with salt or burn them with a cigarette. To prevent leeches from attacking, locals often smear a mixture of saliva and tobacco on their exposed skin, but one may also spray insecticide or a mosquito repellant containing diethyl-m-toluamide (DEET). Leeches were in the past often used medically, for bloodletting. Akin to the taak is a leech living in freshwater which has the Latin name Hirudinaria manillensis and is in Thai known as pling.

taan (ฐาน)

See tahn.

taanbat (ฐานบัทม์)

See tahnbat.

taanphrakon (ธารพระกร)

Thai. Royal stick or sceptre, part of the Thai regalia or kakuttapan. It represents the king's power over his subjects to lead them in the right directions, yet under the totsaphit rajatham or ten royal virtues, ruling with righteousness for the benefit and happiness of the Thai people.

taanphraphuttarup (ฐานพระพุทธรูป)

See tahnphraphuttarup.

taban (ตะบัน)

Thai name for a betel nut grinder, a cylindrical tool with a metal rod and a wooden pestle, which is used to mash the mixture of betel nut, chalk and spices, making it finer and easier to chew. The cylindrical tube is usually made from iron or brass, and its bottom end is plugged with a wooden pestle that serves as a stopper. An appropriate amount of betel nut and piper betel leaves is chopped and put into the cylinder and then pound with the metal rod, until they are fine. Then, the wooden pestle is pushed forward to force the mixture along the cylinder to the open end. The grinder is typically a part of a traditional betel set (fig.). See also POSTAGE STAMP.

taban fai (ตะบันไฟ)

A lighter made on the principle of the fire piston. It consist of two parts, that is: a cylinder called krabok taban and a compressor named look taban. This primitive fire starting device was widely used by several primeval tribes in the jungles of Southeast Asia, as was observed by British explorers already in the mid 1850's. Unlike other primitive fire starting methods such as the bow or hand drill, the fire saw, flint and steel, the fire piston operates by compression, a principle later adopted by the diesel engine invented by Rudolf Diesel. It is believed that the idea of the primitive fire piston may have inspired him. The tool may be made from buffalo horn, elephant tusk or hardwood, which is  turned into a hollow round, cylinder-like rod or bar with a lathe. It is about 8 to 12 centimeters long. The end of the krabok taban is often made into a pointed shape to allow the insertion of a pointed piece of metal to scrape out the ashes. The compressor is usually made from the same material as the cylinder but a little longer and with a good grip to make it easy to handle and avoid hurting your hand when the compressor is pressed down the cylinder to ignite a spark. At the end of the compressor a concave is drilled out to store the kindling or fueling agent, such as kapok. The taban fai is a lighter that will ignite a spark by rushing the compressor down in the cylinder. This causes an explosion of the air inside and makes a spark that will light the kindling attached in the hollow concave at the end of the compressor. It is also called fai ad, fai yad, bok yad, lehk tob fai or fai tob.

Tabebuia chrysantha

Tupian-Greek. Botanical name for the Trumpet Tree or Golden Tree, a deciduous tree of the genus Tabebuia, in the family Bignoniaceae. The tree originates from South America and the name tabebuia, a neotropical genus of about a hundred species, is a contraction of tacyba and bebuya meaning ‘ant wood’ in the Tupi dialect, a language spoken by Indian peoples living along the coast of Brazil, in the Amazon River valley and in Paraguay. Chrysantha is a Greek compound word (χρυσάνθα) which derives from the words chrysos (χρυσός, ‘golden’) and anthos (άνθος, ‘flower’), and means ‘golden flower’, due to its yellow trumpet flowers. In Thai it is known as leuang india (เหลืองอินเดีย) meaning ‘yellow India’. It usually blooms in two or three flushes from March to May, producing flowers in bulbous clusters. The tree is often multi-trunked and has a height that ranges from 6 to 12 meters.

Tabebuia rosea

Tupian-Latin. Botanical name for the Rosy Trumpet Tree, a deciduous tree of the genus Tabebuia, in the family Bignoniaceae. It blooms from January to April and produces light to dark pink trumpet flowers, usually with fading to dark yellow eyes which mostly grow in clusters. The tree originates from South America and for the etymology of the name tabebuia see Tabebuia chrysantha. In Thai the tree is called chomphu phanthip meaning ‘pink celestial strain’. It is similar to the Tabebuia impetiginosa, i.e. the Lavender Trumpet Tree.

Tabinshwehti (တပင်‌ရွှေထီး)

Burmese. One of 37 nats that belong to the official pantheon of spirits worshipped in Myanmar.

Tae Chew (แต้จิ๋ว)

1. Thai name for an ethnical subgroup of the Han Chinese people who principally live in the coastal region of southeastern China, especially in the Chaozhou (潮州) prefecture of Guangdong (Kwangtung - 广东) province, from where more than half of the ethnic Chinese population in Thailand trace their ancestry. They speak a branch of Chinese belonging to the Southern Min dialect, equally known as Tae Chew. Most of them came to Siam as traders, especially during the Ayutthaya Period and at least as early as the 13th century AD. King Taksin (fig.), who was the son of a Tae Chew immigrant named Hai-Hong, actively encouraged Chinese immigration and trade. Thailand today has about 8.5 million ethnic Chinese of which 56% are Tae Chew. Also transcribed Teochew, Taechew, Teochiu and Tae Chiw. See also Susahn Tae Chew.

2. Thai name for the largest Chinese dialect group in Thailand, spoken in most places, apart from Phuket and Songkhla, where the predominant Chinese dialect is Hokkien (and to some extend Hakka), and the North, where Hakka is the most important Chinese dialect, though most of the Hakka people can usually speak Tae Chew as well. It is the largest Min language and the only branch of Chinese that cannot be directly derived from Middle Chinese (the language spoken from the 6th to 10th century AD) and therefore has little intelligibility with most other Southern Min dialects. Much of the Tae Chew that is spoken in Thailand today is a rather old form of the original vernacular and not spoken anymore in the motherland, where the local tongue continued to develop over time. In Mandarin it is known as Chaozhou hua (潮州话), literally a ‘dialect of Chaozhou’. It is also transcribed Teochew, Taechew, Teochiu and Tae Chiw.

taen (แตน)

See toh.

taeng (แตง)

Thai. General name for plants of the family Cucurbitaceae, of which many are grown in Thailand, such as taeng kwa (a small cucumber), taeng rahn (a large cucumber), taeng thai (a melon), taeng moh (the watermelon), etc. Compare with makheua.

taeng moh (แตงโม)

1. Thai for the watermelon, a fruit of the genus Citrullus and with the scientific name Citrullus lanatus. There are numerous varieties, differing in size, shape, coulour of skin and flesh. The watermelon belongs to a large and distinguished family of vines, which includes gourds and cucumbers, many of which names in Thai start with the prefix taeng. While some of these vines are climbers, the watermelon with its large and heavy fruit spreads across the ground. Its sweet succulent flesh is usually red, but may also be yellow (fig.). Its seeds too are edible and roasted these are a popular snack throughout Southeast Asia.

2. Thai. Name for one of the two drum barges used in the Royal Barge Procession, the other one being Ih-Leuang (อีเหลือง). Whereas the Ih-Leuang barge opens the parade as the first boat in the middle, preceded only by the reua pratu nah (เรือประตูหน้า) or ‘front door boats’ that actually sail on the sides, the Taeng Moh barge sails out in front of the King's Golden Swan Barge.

Taengwood Tree

Name for a kind of tree found in some countries of mainland Southeast Asia, including Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam, and that produces tropical hardwood. It is listed in the Dipterocarpaceae family and though disputed, it is usually given the botanical name Shorea obtusa. In Thailand, it is known as Teng or Mai Teng (ไม้เต็ง) in general; Jik or Mai Jik (ไม้จิก) in Isaan; and Ngae or Mai Ngae (ไม้แงะ) in the North, besides a variety of more specific regional names, including Mai Teng Khao (เต็งขาว) in Khon Kaen; Chan Tok, Chanatok or Chanatak (ชันตก) in Trat; Nao Nai (เน่าใน) in Mae Hong Son; Kho Jeua (เคาะเจื้อ) or Jeua (เจื้อ) in the Lawa dialect of Chiang Mai; Prajad (ประจั๊ด) in the Khmer dialect of Buriram; Prajeuk (ประเจิ๊ก) in the Khmer dialect of Surin; Lahnai (ล่าไน้) in the Karen language; Lenai (เหล่ไน้) in the Karen dialect of the North; Laeney (แลเน่ย) in the Karen dialect of Mae Hong Son; Oung Liang Yong (อองเลียงยง) in the Karen dialect of Kanchanaburi, etc. According to Thai Buddhist folklore, the Buddha was seated in deep meditation under a Taengwood Tree, when Muchalinda (fig.), the king of nagas (fig.), protected him against heavy rain by making a cover with its multi-headed figure, whilst coiling its body under the Buddha, to lift him above the floodwaters, a scene that in iconography is known as the naagprok pose (fig.). The tree grows in relatively dry areas and in Thailand up to an altitude of 1,300 metres. It is deciduous, grows up to 27 meters tall, but usually smaller, and flowers from January to July, producing distinctive yellow flowers in drooping branched clusters, with long narrow and pointed petals, that are twisted and overlapping, but not fused together at the base. It has nut-like fruits with 3 shorter and three larger wings. The wood is a preferred source of firewood, while the yellow resin from its trunk, known as dammar, from Malay and meaning ‘resin torch’, is used to make torches, as well as paraffin wax used in batik (fig.). The hard timber has a long lifespan and is commercially exported, usually under the name Taengwood Balau, whereas the tree is also commonly known as Burma Sal and Siamese Sal.

tah jorakae (ตาจระเข้)

Thai. ‘Crocodile eyes’. Term used in iconography to refer to a style of eyes of certain characters from the Ramakien, especially demons or yak, and in which the upper eyelid in part covers the eyeball, similar to those of crocodiles (fig.), known in Thai as jorakae. If the eyes are wide open, with the pupil completely visible, the style is known as tah phlohng (fig.). See also tah mangkon.

Tahkahy Nah Chang (ตาข่ายหน้าช้าง)

Thai. ‘Elephant-faced Mesh’. Name of a kind of kreuang khwaen, i.e. net or frame-like, stringed flower arrangements, that are used to suspend at windows, doorways, gables, etc. This particular type is rather simple and is knitted in a triangular shape using mainly jasmine buds (fig.) and dok rak (fig.), and is adorned at the corners with colourful flowers, often yellow jampah flowers (fig.), or small garlands made of dok rak and roses. The tapering sides are also adorned, usually with the same kinds of flowers, but of a smaller size. Its name derives from the fact that the shape is remniniscent of that of the head from an elephant as seen from the front.

tahmanae (ตามะแน)

Thai. A name for Hog Deer, next to neua saai.

tah mangkon (ตามังกร)

Thai for dragon eyes.

tahn (ฐาน)

Thai. Base or pedestal for a statue. Also transcribed taan. See also thaen.

tahnbat (ฐานบัทม์)

Thai. Base or pedestal for a Buddha image in the form of an upside-down lotus (fig.). Also transcribed taanbat.

tahn singh (ฐานสิงห์)

Thai. ‘Lion base’. The foot of a pedestal in the form of a lion's paw.

tahnphraphuttarup (ฐานพระพุทธรูป)

Thai. Base or pedestal for a Buddha image, often in the form of a lotus (fig.), but also in other forms such as elephants (fig.). When the pedestal has outward turned legs in the shape of a lion's paw, it is called tahn singh. Regularly pedestals may have a pah thip, an ornamental cloth hanging from the bottom of the Buddha image, in front of the pedestal (fig.). At Phra Phutta Monthon, a Buddhist compound and park in Nakhon Pathom, there are four garden sections with garnite pedestals, that represent the sangwechaniyasathaan sih tambon (สังเวชนียสถาน ๔ ตำบล), i.e. the four major stages in the Buddha's life (fig.), namely his birth (fig.), his Enlightenment (fig.), his first discourse (fig.), and his demise (fig.). These pedestals are also are depicted on a set of Thai postage stamps issued in 1988 (fig.). Also spelt taanphraphuttarup.

tah phlohng (ตาโพลง)

Thai. ‘Wide open eyes’. Term used in iconography to refer to a style of open, somewhat bulging eyes of certain character from the Ramakien, especially demons or yak. In this style, the pupil is completely visible. When, however, the upper eyelid partly covers the eyeball, the style is known as tah jorakaen (fig.). Compare also with the term dragon eyes.

Tai

1. An animist people in Southwest China (Sipsongpannah), though not ethnically Chinese, who from the 9th century began to migrate southward, little by little, into parts of Southeast Asia and the fertile Chao Phraya valley. They settled down in an area that nowadays would cover Burma, Laos and Thailand. They are the predecessors of the present-day people of the Thai race. See also Tai Yuan. MORE ON THIS.

2. A branch of the Tai–Kadai language group, that comprises of Thai, Lao, Shan, and Zhuang.

3. An ethnic minority group in Vietnam, also known as Tay.

4. An ethnic minority group in Vietnam, also known as Thai.

tai chi (太极)

Chinese. Martial art and system of calisthenics with slow controlled movements, fully known as tai chi chuan. While popular and prevalent throughout China, in Thailand, it is practiced each morning in Bangkok's Lumphini Park by both the young and -especially- the old, though usually by people with a Chinese background. The gracefully performed movements are aimed at developing concentration, balance and grace while bringing inner peace. It is often performed with certain gear, such as folding fans (fig.) or –usually fake– swords (fig.), and more recently also a special racket and a ball made heavy with sand are being used to practice a form of tai chi known as rou li (fig.).

tai chi chuan (太极拳)

Chinese. ‘Great ultimate boxing’. Chinese martial art which has many traditional schools and different styles, sometimes including weapons such as tessen war fans (fig.), etc. One of its earliest masters is said to have been the supposed 13th century grandmaster Chang Sanfeng, a semi-mythical Chinese Taoist monk (fig.) who is believed to have been a former Shaolin disciple. The gracefully performed movements whilst holding a fan or other weapon are aimed at developing concentration, balance and grace. In the West often known simply as tai chi.

Tai chi tu

See Taijitu.

Taihe Shan (太和山)

Chinese. ‘Mount of the Greatest Peace’ or ‘Mount of Great Harmony’. Name of a mountain in China's Hubei province. In mythology, it is believed to be the abode of Zhenwu, the protector god of the North in Chinese Taoism. On the opposite sides of the Yangtze River in Wuhan, the capital of Hubei, there is a Tortoise Mountain and a Snake Mountain, a clear reference to the tortoise-snake, the symbol of Zhenwu. In the past the area was known for its many Taoist monasteries which were academic centres of research and teaching, with emphasis on meditation, martial arts, traditional medicine, agriculture and Taoist art. Also referred to as Mount Wudang.

tai jian (太监)

Chinese. ‘Highest supervisor’. Term for a court eunuch in Imperial China.

Taijitu (太極圖)

Chinese. ‘Diagram of the supreme Ultimate’. Name for a Chinese symbol (fig.) which represents the principle of yin and yang, and therefore often mistakenly called yin-yang. Also spelled Tai chi tu.

tailorbird

Name of a small bird belonging to the genus Orthotomus. They are warblers and are usually brightly coloured, with green or grey upperparts and a yellow-white or grey underside. Some species have reddish-brown on the head. They have short wings with rounded tips and a short tail which is typically held upright. Its bill is flat and rather wide and long compared to its head. At the corners of its bill are short, hard hairs. Tailorbirds build their nests by piercing the edges of a large leaf which are then sewn together with plant fiber to make a cradle in which the actual grass nest is constructed. It is a resident breeder in tropical south Asia, from Pakistan and India to southern China and Indonesia. Worldwide there are 15 species of which 5 are found in Thailand i.e. the Mountain Tailorbird, the Common Tailorbird, the Dark-necked Tailorbird, the Rufous-tailed Tailorbird, and the Ashy Tailorbird (fig.). In Thai it is called nok krajib.

Taiping Rebellion

Tai Ping (太平) may mean ‘Heavenly Peace’, ‘Highest Peace’ or ‘Peace and Security’, and is the name given to a widespread civil war in southern China between 1850 and 1864, in which about 20 to 30 million people perished, making it history's most deadly civil war and leading to the devastation of the Yangtze delta, China's so-called rice bowl. The rebellion against the then ruling Qing Dynasty was led by a heterodox Christian convert with the name Hong Xiu Quan (洪秀全), who claimed that he was the younger brother of Jesus Christ. The rebels attempted to replace the corrupt feudal system, as well as all Chinese folk religions, with social reforms that were anchored in a kind of pseudo-Christian belief system that promoted full social equality, land redistribution, and common property for all. Whilst the former ideal, i.e. to do away with the dynasty, inspired Sun Yat Sen, the first president of the republic, as well as Mao Ze Dong, the latter seems also to have been enthused by certain principles shared by communism. Hong Xiu Quan founded the Taiping Heavenly Kingdom and placed its capital at Nanjing. Although he controlled large parts of southern China, his troops –known as the Chang Mao (长毛) or ‘Long-hairs’– were besieged by imperial forces throughout most of the rebellion. British sailors had initially sided with the Xiao Dao (小刀) or ‘Small Swords’ rebels, one of a number of revolutionary groups in that period, due to the fact that this group had occupied the walled city of Shanghai and most of the Chinese sections of the city, yet had not invaded the foreign concessions. However, the French supported the imperial government and brought in troops to support the imperial army. This dual stand caused foreigners to fight each other and thus the British authorities, who until then had officially remained neutral, were forced to side with the French. In the end, the rebels became divided by infighting and were eventually crushed by the Qing imperial army, with the aid of French and British forces.

Tai Sui (太岁)

Chinese god of the year. Name of any of the Sixty Heavenly Generals, who assist the Jade Emperor in his task to guard the mortal world. READ ON.

Tai Yai (ไทใหญ่)

Thai. ‘Great Tai’. One of the subgroups of the Shan people, who also live in Thailand. They are also referred to as Tai Luang (ไทหลวง) or Tai Lohng (ไตโหลง), and is English as Tai Proper, besides the name Ngiaw, which is used in general for all the Shan people. Sometimes transcribed Thai Yai.

Tai Yuan (ไทยวน, ไท-ยวน)

Name for a subgroup of the Tai people, which lives in Northern Thailand and whose members today all have the Thai nationality. They are also referred to as Khon Meuang (คนเมือง), Tai Lan Na (ไทล้านนา), and Tai Neua (ไทเหนือ), though the latter term is also used for a group of people living in Yunnan. Sometimes transcribed Thai Yuan.

Tak (ตาก)

Name of a province (map) and its capital city on the eastern banks of the Ping River in North Thailand, 426 kms north of Bangkok with a population of approximately 21,000. This province is home to the first outpost to which king Naresuan and his army went on their return from the battle. Its places of interest include the Bhumipol water dam (fig.) and Thi Loh Suh waterfall (fig.), one of Thailand's largest and most impressive waterfalls. The province has eight amphur and one king amphur, and is known for its annual Loi Krathong Sai Lai Prathip Phan Duang Tradition (fig.). See also Tak data file.

takaab (ตะขาบ)

1. Thai for centipede.

2. Thai name for a roller bird, as in nok takaab thung, the Indian Roller.

3. Thai. Name of a rhythmic instrument.

4. Thai name for a centipede-like stick made of split bamboo.

takan (ตะคัน)

Thai. ‘Censer’. Earthen receptacle for burning incense or gum spices, as well as an ancient dish-shaped, clay phaang pha theed-like receptacle used as lamp (fig.).

tak baat (ตักบาตร)

Thai. To put food in the alms bowl of Buddhist monks. An alms bowl is called baat (fig.) in Thai and tak baat is an act usually done in the morning during bintabaat (fig.).

Tak Baat Thewo (ตักบาตรเทโว)

Thai. To put food in the alms bowl of Buddhist monks as an act of tamboon on the morning of the first night of the waning moon of the 11 month of the lunar calendar, to remember the occasion when the Buddha came down from the heaven, known in Thai as Thewalohk (เทวโลก), i.e. ‘World of the gods’. The word Thewo (เทโว) is an abbreviation of the Pali word Theworohana (เทโวโรหนะ), which translates as the ‘descend from Thewalohk’. It takes place around owk pansa, at the end of the rainy season.

Ta Keo (តាកែវ)

Khmer. ‘Tower of crystal’. Temple in Angkor dedicated to Shiva and built in the late 10th to early 11th century AD, under the auspices of Jayavarman V.

takhob (ตะขบ)

Thai name for a small tree with the botanical designation Muntingia calabura. This tree has tiny white flowers and bears small round edible date-like berries, that initially are green, but which turn red and sweet when ripe (fig.). The juicy fruits contains a large number of tiny yellowish seeds. They are a favourite food source for many fruit-eating birds (fig.). It is widely found in Vietnam, where it is called trung ca (trứng c), i.e. ‘fish eggs’. It originates from South and Central America, and in Thai it is also called takhob farang, whereas in English it has a variety of names, including Singapore Cherry, Strawberry Tree, Jamaican Cherry, and Panama Berry. The berries somewhat resemble the acidulous fruits of the Governor's Plum, which is also known as Indian Plum, i.e. a tree with the botanical name Flacourtia indica.

takiab (ตะเกียบ)

Thai for ‘chopsticks’, a pair of small, slightly tapering sticks of even length, usually square at one end and round at the other, that are both held in one hand as eating utensils in Eastern cuisine. They are the traditional ‘cutlery’ of the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Taiwanese and Vietnamese, each with its own distinctive variation. In Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries they are used only with noodle dishes. Ordinary chopsticks were initially made of wood or bamboo, but also of ivory, jade and other precious materials as a luxury item. In ancient China, the emperor used silver chopsticks to check if there was poison in his food, as it was believed that if the food was poisoned the colour of the chopsticks would change from silver to black. Nowadays, chopsticks are commonly made of plastic. Though plastic is more environmentally friendly (the Chinese alone use an estimated 45 billion pairs of disposable chopsticks per year which adds up to 25 million fully grown trees) and better resistant to wear, wooden chopsticks are far more convenient as they provide a much better grip for picking up food, against the plastic ones which have a tendency to let things slip. Wooden chopsticks, especially the larger sized ones, can also be used for cooking (fig.), whereas plastic ones can't, since the high temperatures would damage them or produce toxic emissions. Chopsticks are believed to have originated in ancient China where they are called kuaizi. Japanese chopsticks differ from those from China in that they are made of lacquered wood (fig.) and taper to a pointed end, whereas Chinese chopsticks end in a blunt tip. The latter is more commonly used for picking boiled rice from a plate that is placed on the table, whereas the Japanese type is used to sweep the rice from the bowl into the mouth, holding the bowl in front of the mouth. In general, Thailand uses the Chinese type but also sells the others, mainly as souvenirs. In China, when finished eating, one should lay the chopsticks on the plate and certainly never place them upright, like in a glass or another vessel, as that is done on certain occasions to memorize a deceased person. In Vietnam, it is believed that chopsticks placed vertically in a rice bowl look very much like incense sticks burned for the dead (fig.), and is hence an evocative sign not appreciated anywhere.

takian thong (ตะเคียนทอง)

Thai name for a large, rapid growing tree with buttressed roots and a dark brown, flaky bark. It has the botanical name hopea odorata and is in English known as the gagil tree. It is a widespread species, distributed from the west coast of India, Bangladesh, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, lower Myanmar, throughout Indochina, including North Vietnam and peninsular Malaysia. In Thailand, it is prevalent throughout the country in lowland evergreen dipterocarp to dry evergreen forests up to an altitude of 900 meters. It is occasionally found by streams, open forest, near beaches and peat swamp forest. Its wood is often used by sculptors to make large artistic carvings (fig.). In Thailand it bears flowers around January-December and fruits from January to August. In Isaan it is also known by the name kaen.

takkataen (ตั๊กกะแตน, ตั๊กแตน)

Thai. ‘Grasshopper’ or ‘mantis’. Straight winged insect of the genus Mantis, with long strong hind legs, that enable it to jump far. There are many different species occurring in diverse sizes. Locusts and certain larger species of grasshoppers are eaten by some Thai people, and can be seen for sale at many food markets throughout the country (fig.). Its taste is told to be nutty. Commonly seen is the large praying mantis (fig.), a predatory insect that holds its forelegs like hands folded in prayer. In Thai the latter is called takkataen tam khao, which translates as ‘rice crushing mantis’.

takkataen lang ngo (ตั๊กแตนหลังงอ)

Thai name for the Monkey Grasshopper.

takkataen phung phluy (ตั๊กแตนพุงพลุ้ย)

Thai. ‘Pot-bellied grasshopper’. Designation for the Large Brown Leaf Katydid (fig.). The last word (phluy) is usually pronounced without the ‘l’, i.e. phuy, thus in full: takkataen phung phuy.

takkataen tam khao (ตั๊กแตนตำข้าว)

Thai. ‘Rice crushing grasshopper’ or ‘rice pounding mantis’. General name for any praying mantis (fig.), a predatory insect of the genus Mantis, that holds its forelegs like hands folded in prayer. Its Thai name is derived from its physical form, which resembles a saak tham khao (สากตำข้าว), i.e. a pestle used to grind rice in a mortar. Other Thai names include takkataen yohng yoh (ตั๊กแตนโยงโย่), takkataen tha phanom (ตั๊กแตนท่าพนม) and takkataen toy muay (ตั๊กแตนต่อยมวย), meaning ‘grasshopper halfway between sitting and standing’, ‘grasshopper in a phranommeua pose’ (i.e. with the hands together as a greeting or to pay respect, like in a Thai wai) and ‘boxing grasshopper’, respectively. Praying mantises belong to the order of Mantodea, which has nine families and includes more than 200 genera worldwide, each genus with several members of its own. In total, there are 2,210 species of mantis found in tropical areas all over the world. The genera native to Asia include the Armantis, Ameles, Asiadodis, Creobroter, Deroplatus, Hierodula, Odontomantis, Rivetina, Tenodera, Theopompa and Theopropus. The most commonly found species in Thailand are the Hierodula bipapilla Serville (Green Mantis) and Hierodula membranacea Burmeister (Giant Asian Mantis). Mantises generally have a green or brown colour, but there also exist species that are beautifully coloured, or have -sometimes colourful- markings, e.g. Spotted Flower Mantis (fig.). Due to their predacious nature, it either waits motionless to ambush unsuspecting prey or slowly stalks it, often using a sit-and-wait strategy (yohng yoh - โยงโย่) to get within striking distance. It therefore has the need for a good camouflage and certain genera have less ordinarily shapes, such as that of leaves, sticks, flowers or flower buds. These are in Thai often referred to as malaeng phi, i.e. ‘ghost insects’ (fig.). Some species may grow up to a length of about 25-30 centimeters and they are sometimes kept as pets. See also Mantis Shrimp. In Thai known generally as takkataen. See also WILDLIFE PICTURES.

Takkatoh (ทักทอ)

Thai. Name for an animal from the Himaphan forest, similar to a lion but with a trunk and tusks like an elephant. In Pali the cross between an elephant (gaja) and a lion (singha) is called Gajasingha (fig.), of which there are several types. It is similar to the Kodchasih (fig.), but with a goatee and furry hair on the top of its head which extends to the front, a bit like a Mohawk haircut.

takoh (ตะโก)

A Thai name for persimmon.

takong (ตะกอง)

A Thai name for the Indochinese Water Dragon, alongside lang and king kah yak.

takong (ตะข้อง)

Thai. ‘Creel’. Name for a bamboo basket (fig.), which is used as a tool for keeping aquatic animals (fig.), such as crabs, fish, shrimps, clams, etc. They usually have a narrow bottleneck-like opening that can be closed off with a lid in the form of funnel-shaped spikes (fig.), known in Thai as nga (fig.). There are many different kinds and shapes, some with the form of a animal and called accordingly, such as takong pet (duck creel), takong mah (dog creel - fig.), takong gai (chicken creel), etc. A takong pet is a creel woven in the shape of a duck and typically has floats on its sides to enable it to drift on the water, like a duck (fig.). Sometimes transliterated takhong and also called kong, an aphaeresis.

takrai (ตะไคร้)

Thai for any kind of plants or grasses belonging to the genus Cymbopogon which has a variety of about 55 species, including lemon grass (fig.), citronella grass, etc. Takrai is a widely used herb in Southeast Asian cooking. Its stalks contain a citrus flavoured oil but are too hard to be eaten, except for the softer inner part. When used fresh it is therefore usually finely sliced or sometimes bashed and added to food where its aromatic oils are absorbed. Although habitually served with the dish for flavour it is generally not meant to be eaten. It is used in a variety of Thai dishes, such as tom yam, tom kha, etc. It is also exists in dry or powdered form. Commonly found in Thailand are the species Cymbopogon flexuosus and Cymbopogon citratus. Besides takrai this herb has many local names, depending on place. In North Thailand it is called jakrai, in the South krai, in Mae Hong Son ka hom, in Surin churt kreuy or lo kreuy, and the Karen call it howo tapoh.

takrai nihb mahk (ตะไกรหนีบหมาก)

Thai.  ‘Betel nut scissors. Name for a betel cutter, i.e. a metal or copper tool with two handles, of which one side has a blade, the other a modified groove. The head is habitually engraved with ornamental designs, and often made in the form of a naga-head or the head of another animal, often mythological, such as that of a hongse or a singha, generally depending on the region. It is used to pinch or nip off slices of betel nut and is usually part of a traditional betel-set (fig.). See also POSTAGE STAMP.

takra sai kai (ตะกร้าใส่ไก่)

1. Thai. ‘Fowl basket’. Name for a kind of basket used to transport fowl, also referred to as a poultry basket (fig.). May be transcribed takraa sai gai or takrah saai gai. See also soom kai.

2. Thai. ‘Fowl basket’. Name for a kind of basket used to transport fighting cocks. May be transcribed takraa sai gai or takrah saai gai. See also soom kai.

takraw (ตะกร้อ)

1. Thai. Traditional game played over a net (fig.), similar to volleyball, but with a rattan ball, also called takraw (see below). READ ON.

2.  Thai. A lightweight spherical ball, originally loosely hand-woven of rattan (fig.), though these days usually made from more durable, synthetic materials, such as polyester, and used in a foot sport that is also known as takraw (see above). Officially, the ball must have a circumference of between 42 and 45 centimeters, have 20 intersections and 12 pentagonal holes. It has a weight that ranges from 150 to 180 grams. In the past, one form of torture used in Thai prisons was a large rattan takraw ball, referred to as the elephant ball (fig.), which on the inside had sharp nails sticking through. A prisoner was put inside the ball, which was then kicked around by elephants, encouraged by the guards. Also called look takraw (ลูกตะกร้อ) and sometimes spelt takro.

3.  Thai. A basket made from rattan with a long handle, that is used for picking fruit from trees. Also spelt takro.

takro (ตะกร้อ)

See takraw.

takrut (ตะกรุด)

Thai. A charm of rolled gold or silver strips, or of a bullet shell (fig.) usually filled with 108 herbs blessed by a monk, providing immunity from physical assault to those who wear it strung around the neck or the waist, though there are also smaller versions that are worn around the wrist. It sometimes has a piece of cord tightly coiled around it (fig.). It is usually an alternative for those who want supernatural protection against bullets but don't like to get a sacred tattoo. Also trakrut. See also takrut sahm huang and takrut song huang.

takrut sahm huang (​ตะกรุดสามห่วง)

Thai. ‘Three-looped takrut’ or ‘three-ringed takrut’. A charm that consists of a cylinder with three loop-like rings at the top, often made from glass and sometimes with a piece of cord tightly coiled around it. It generally contains a piece of paper with religious writings on, and is blessed by a senior monk, usually a Luang Pho or a Luang Poo. See also takrut song huang.

takrut song huang (ตะกรุดสองห่วง)

Thai. ‘Two-looped takrut’ or ‘two-ringed takrut’. A charm that consists of a cylinder with two loop-like rings at the top, often made from glass and sometimes with a piece of cord tightly coiled around it. It generally contains a piece of paper with religious writings on, and is blessed by a senior monk, usually a Luang Pho or a Luang Poo. See also takrut sahm huang.

Taksin (ทักษิณ)

Thai. ‘South’ or ‘southern’. The wind direction guarded by the lokapala Phra Yom. See also Udon, Isaan, Burapah, Ahkney, Horadih, Prajim and Phayap.

Taksin (ตากสิน)

Thai. ‘Wealth of Tak’. General who after the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 assembled an army (fig.) in Chanthaburi to chase out the invading Burmese from Thailand, and afterward became King of Siam making Thonburi the new capital (fig.). He was born as the son of a Tae Chew immigrant in the Ayutthaya Period (fig.), during the reign of king Borommakoht and given the name Sin, meaning ‘Wealth’ or ‘Treasure’. After serving as a royal page in his youth he became deputy governor and later governor of Tak province which gained him his name Taksin, i.e. ‘Sin of Tak’ or ‘Wealth of Tak’. He was executed in 1782 by order of general Chakri, after trumpedup charges of megalomania (fig.). He was subsequently sentenced and beaten to death according to the then prevailing protocol, i.e. under a red satin cloth or in a velvet sack and with a sandalwood club. However, there is a popular belief that a convicted criminal was substituted for Taksin and sentenced in his place whilst the ex-king was spirited off to a hidden retreat in Nakhon Sri Thammarat, where he died only in 1825. His official title is King Borom Racha IV. See also list of Thai kings. MORE ON THIS. See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

takuad (ตะกวด)

Thai name for a monitor lizard of the species varanus bengalensis.

talaat nahm (ตลาดน้ำ)

Thai. ‘Water market’. A floating market where people trade from boats. Two kinds of boats are typically used, i.e. reua jaew and reua tae. These are found throughout the country and on the Bangkok canals, such as Talaat Nahm Khwan-Riam, i.e. Khwan-Riam Floating Market (fig.), on Khlong Saen Saeb. The floating market most visited  by foreign tourists is Damnoen Saduak in the province Ratchaburi. Less touristy is the floating market of Sai Noi in Nonthaburi and those in Samut Songkhram, including the daily talaat nahm ‘amphawaa’, and the talaat nahm ‘tha kha’ and talaat nahm ‘bang noi’, which open only a few times per month, on dates determined by the traditional lunar calendar. The Ayodhaya Floating Market or Talaat Nahm Ayodhaya (ตลาดน้ำอโยธยา) in Ayutthaya (fig.) is visited by mostly Thai tourists and on a regular basis the organizers put on a cultural show, both on land and in boats, featuring historical events from the Ayutthaya Period, with actors dressed as warriors (fig.). Floating markets were promoted during the campaign for the 1971 Visit ASEAN Year, which resulted in the publication of a postage stamp (fig.) in that year. Also talaat thong nahm.

Talaat Nahm Khwan-Riam (ตลาดน้ำขวัญ-เรียม)

Thai. ‘Khwan-Riam Water Market’. Name of a floating market located on Khlong Saen Saeb, a major canal in Bangkok, i.e. a section past the last jetty of the Bangkapi express boat service near Wat Sri Boon Reuang. The market area is around Wat Bang Peng Tai (fig.) and both sides of the canal are connected with a bridge in the form of the skeleton of an ancient rice barge. Visitors can take a boat trip along the waterway or have a meal at one of the many barges turned restaurant or coffee shop, although there are also ample shops and stalls on land. Around the market there is also a range of Thai cultural effigies on display, as well as some live animals, such as rabbits, miniature pigs and ponies, and different species of ducks, geese and swans. Also transcribed Talaat Nahm Kwan-Riam. See also Ban Suan Phuttasin.

Talaat Nahm Khwan-Riam

talaat thong nahm (ตลาดท้องน้ำ)

Thai. ‘Market (talaat) in the middle (thong) of the water (nahm)’. See talaat nahm.

talaew (ตาแหลว)

Thai. Thin strips of bamboo (fig.) called tok (fig.), which are plaited (fig.) into a circular or star shaped object with five or seven points, found mainly in northern Thailand. The hill tribes, place them at the entrance to their houses or villages to keep away the spirits of the deceased. Similar items, usually circular in shape, are placed in paddy fields during the rice growing season (fig.) as a protection for the offers made to Poh Sop (fig.). It may also be used as a charm on a pot containing a potion, or as a boundary mark. Also called chalaew.

talapat (ตาลปัตร)

Thai. Originally a feather fan or, like the pad bai laan (fig.), a fan made of  a palm leaf, and which is used by Buddhist monks to hide their face when preaching or chanting, similar to the  pad yot (fig.). Though nowadays, it is often made from other materials, such as cloth. As the described religious fan it has an approximately 70 cm long handle, but there is also a similar type, that in general is referred to as kreuang soong, which has a much longer handle, about two meters in length. Its use may be stationary, or it may be carried around in royal processions and ceremonies as a symbol of royalty or honour. In some ways the longer variety has a similar purpose as the chattra or chat (fig.) and it is often used or displayed simultaneously (fig.).

talisman

An object which it is believed to bring good fortune to its holder. The counterpart of an amulet, which rather serves an apotropaic purpose.

Talking Hill Myna

Common name for a tropical bird that belongs to the starling family Sturnidae. It is also called Hill Myna or Common Hill Myna, and In Thai it is known by the names nok khun thong and nok ihyang dam. This genus has representatives in tropical southern Asia, from India and Sri Lanka in the West, to Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia in the East. Until recently, only two species were recognized, i.e. Gracula religiosa and Gracula ptilogenys, but several additional subspecies of Gracula religiosa have now been listed as being distinct species, including the Gracula religiosa intermedia, which is found mostly in northern Thailand, and the Gracula religiosa religiosa, which is found on the southern peninsula, where it is sometimes called nok khun thong kwai by the locals. This glossy black bird typically has large yellow wattles on the head, usually in the area of the neck, though their position and shape varies with species. Its legs and beak are bright yellow or orange. The Talking Hill Myna gets its name from its ability to mimic human speech, a skill for which it has become a popular pet (fig.), both in Thailand and overseas. It is still fairly common in the wild, though not normally outside the forests.

talokbaat (ถลกบาตร, ตลกบาตร)

Thai. ‘Bowl-case’ or ‘bowl-bag’. An alms bowl-sack with shoulder strap, a removable bag with a cloth sling, used for carrying an alms bowl (baat) in. It sometimes has a foot at its base, on which the bowl can rest when placed on the floor or on a table (fig.).

tam (ธรรม)

Thai name for dhamma.

tam (tằm)

See con tam.

tamarind

An evergreen tree that grows to 25 meters and has the Latin name Tamarindus indica. Its fruits have elongated pods of a woody structure, somewhat reminiscent of pea pods. There are several varieties, mostly sweet or sweet-sour, as well as some other, related species, such as makhaampom, makhaamthet and velvet tamarind. Tamarind fruits develop in three distinct stages: growth, maturation and ripening, and they are usually harvested at two stages, i.e. half ripe and fully ripe. At the half ripe stage the pulp is yellowish and has a more dense consistency, particularly in the case of sweet forms. At the fully ripe stage the pulp shrinks, due to loss of moisture, and changes to reddish-brown and becomes sticky. At this stage, the sticky fruit sits very lose in the peel, around shiny brown seeds, and is held together by inedible fibres (fig.). Sometimes tamarind is also harvested at the unripe, growing stage, when the fruit is sour, the seeds soft and white, and its peel still attached to the greenish-white flesh. It is then eaten entirely, i.e. with skin, seeds and flesh, dipped in a mixture of sugar, salt and chilies, or processed for other purposes. Tamarind is slightly laxative and is processed as an ingredient for phad thai, chutney and curries, as well as in drinks. In Thailand, the general name is makhaam (fig.) and sweet varieties are widely grown in Phetchabun province.

tambon (ตำบล)

1. Thai. ‘Rural administrative subdistrict’. A subdivision of an amphur administered by a kamnan and consisting of several mu ban or villages. Thailand has a total of 7,255 tambon. In Bangkok, subdistricts are named khwaeng.

2. Thai. The major stages in the Buddha's life, the four most important being referred to as sangwechaniyasathaan sih tambon (สังเวชนียสถาน ๔ ตำบล), namely his birth, his Enlightenment, his first discourse, and his demise. These stages, symbolized by stone pedestals, are represented on a set of Thai postage stamps issued in 1988 (fig.).

tamboon (ทำบุญ)

Thai. Offering or merit making for religious purposes to gain advantage either for oneself or for a third person. This may consist of make temple offerings (fig.), donate food to mendicant monks (sai baat - fig.), release birds (fig.), release or feed of turtles or fish (fig.), a temporary stay in a temple, burning candles or joss sticks (fig.), attach gold leaf to Buddha images or other sacred objects (fig.), a prayer (fig.), etc. It could be said that tamboon could be seen as a social safety net, if not the backbone of the country, since not everyone is covered by the governmental social security system which is basic and benefits only some. Often the people selling flowers, birds or fish food are disabled or poor people without an education nor a job, trying to make a living. By buying from those individuals one supports them. The merit therefore does not necessarily comes from the act of feeding the fish or releasing a bird in itself, but more so from the fact that one is supporting a fellow citizen who is not as well off. In this way Buddhist temples may likewise act as intermediaries, collecting from the rich who make merit and distributing among the poor. See also dana.

tamboon sai baat (ทำบุญใส่บาตร)

Thai. To perform a good deed or to make merit (tamboon) by giving an offering into (sai) the alms bowl (baat) of a Buddhist monk. Sometimes in temples several alms bowls are arranged in a long row in which small coins, usually 25 satang (fig.) are offered. This form of tamboon may occur in combination with Buddha images as in the phra prajamwan system (fig.). See also sai baat.

tamleung (ตำลึง)

1. Thai. A monetary that equals 4 ticals. See also saleung and kon tamleung thong.

2. Thai. A weight unit that equals 4 baht or 60 grams. See also saleung and kon tamleung thong.

tammaht (ธรรมาสน์)

Thai. A pulpit in the form of an elaborately carved seat. See also phanak phing.

Tamnaan Luang Pho Loy Nahm Hah Phi-Nong (ตำนานหลวงพ่อลอยน้ำ พี่น้อง)

Thai. Legend of the Five floating Luang Pho brothers’. Name of a legend that in English is referred to as the Legend of the 5 Floating Buddha Statues. According to the legend, there once were five brothers who ordained and became enlightened monks. They prayed together and vowed that they would dedicate their lives to help all living creatures, by stopping their suffering. When these five monks passed away, their spirits dwelled in five Buddha statues and displayed their miraculous power by allowing these Buddha statues to float along five rivers, until they stranded and were found by the local villagers, who enshrined each Buddha statue in a temple in the vicinity where they were found. The five Buddha images and temples are: 1. Luang Pho Sothon (fig.), a Buddha image seated in the dhyani pose, which was found in the Bang Pakong River and is today enshrined in the Sothon Wararam Woriwihaan Temple (fig.) in Chachengsao; 2. Luang Pho Toh (fig.), a Buddha image seated in the bhumisparsa pose, which was found at the Chao Phraya River and now located at Wat Bang Phli Yai Nai (fig.) in Samut Prakan; 3. Luang Pho Wat Rai Khing (วัดไร่ขิง), a Buddha image seated in the bhumisparsa pose, which was found in the Nakhon Chai Sri River and now housed at Wat Rai Khing in Nakhon Pathom; 4. Luang Pho Wat Ban Laem (วัดบ้านแหลม), a Buddha image standing in the pahng um baat pose, which was found floating in the Mae Klong (แม่กลอง) River and is now standing at Wat Phetchasamut Worawihan (วัดเพชรสมุทรวรวิหาร) in Samut Songkhram; and 5. Luang Pho Wat Khao Ta-Khrao (วัดเขาตะเครา), also known as Luang Pho Thong Khao Ta-Khrao (ทองเขาตะเครา), a Buddha image seated in the bhumisparsa pose, which was found at the Phetchaburi River and is currently enshrined at Wat Khao Ta-Khrao in Phetchaburi. Since these Buddha statues are 5 in number, they were depicted on a set of 5 Thai postage stamps, each with a value of 5 Baht, and issued on 5/5/2555 BE, that is 5 May 2012 AD (fig.), believed to be an auspicious date for the occasion.

tamnaay laksana (ทำนายลักษณะ)

Thai. ‘Personality prophecy’. Refers to a scene in Buddhism where the reusi Kaladevaila honoured the newborn prince Siddhartha causing the latter to perform his first miracle by placing himself on top of the turban of the sage (fig.). On the fifth day after his birth king Suddhodana invited eight brahman priests to foretell the future of the prince. Seven of them proclaimed that he had the auspicious signs of a monarch or a buddha, depending on whether he would strive for a secular or religious career. The eight brahman confirmed that if he denied a worldly life he would attain Enlightenment.

Tamnak Phra Mae Kwan Im (ตำหนักพระแม่กวนอิม)

Thai. ‘Residence hall of the goddess of Mercy’. Name of a Chinese temple in Bangkok's Laht Phraw (Lad Phrao) district, dedicated to the goddess Phra Mae Kwan Im, i.e. Kuan Yin. It was built in 1983 by the venerable Kuang Seang (Guang Seng), the head monk of the Mahayana Order. It has a large pagoda with Chinese dragon pillars and countless statues of the goddess of Mercy. Besides a garden corner with statues of this goddess in 32 positions, the temple garden also features plenty of other, often life-sized, marble sculptures with themes from Taoism,  Buddhism, Chinese traditional life and Chinese mythology (fig.), such as the animals of the Chinese zodiac, prince Ang Hai Yi, Lang Tai Su, the monk Tang Sam Chang Lang, etc. The temple observes very strict rules. Monks ordained here have to be vegetarian and are not allowed to disrobe. They must meditate, abandon worldly life and  to devote themselves to dharma.

tandava (ताण्डव)

Sanskrit. Cosmic dance of the Hindu god Shiva. See also Nataraja and kalachakra.

tang meh (ตังเม)

Thai name for nougat, a sweet made from sugar or honey, nuts and egg-white. Different from the West is that usually roast peanuts, called thua lisong (ถั่วลิสง), are used, whereas in western nougat, called tang meh farang, several kinds of roast nuts are used, ranging from almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts to pistachios, but usually not peanuts. It is made in a huge block filled with pulverized, roast peanuts. From this block a string is pulled using some strength which is cut into small pieces (fig.). The term tang meh possibly derives from the Chinese word for nougat (fig.), i.e. niu ga tang (牛轧糖), in which the character tang (糖) is the Chinese equivalent of the Thai word kanom, i.e. ‘candy’.

Tanimbar Corella

Common name for a species cockatoo, with the scientific name Cacatua goffiniana. It is the smallest species of the white cockatoos and originates from the Tanimbar Archipelago in Indonesia. It has been introduced in several other countries, including also Singapore, and occurs in Thailand as a feral bird (fig.). The Tanimbar Corella is overall white, with pinkish-salmon lores, a pinkish tinge on the upperparts, and a washed yellow tinge on the underside of the wings and tail. It has a short crest, of which the feathers can be raised. The legs and feet are bluish-grey, the beak is deep pale, and the colour of the eyes can range from reddish-brown in females to brown or black in males, though otherwise both sexes are similar. Juveniles have dark grey eyes. Its habitat includes open forest and cultivation. In Thai this bird is called kra tua goffin (กระตั้วก็อฟฟิน).

tanka

Pali for thangka.

Tan Khun Khun Luang (ท่านขุนขุนหลวง)

Thai. The next title in ascending line after a Khun or Khun Luang, now obsolete. Also the popular name for a Khun.

tanta (दन्त)

Sanskrit. ‘Tooth’ or ‘tusk’. An attribute of Ganesha (fig.) and refers to his broken tusk that he uses as a divine weapon to destroy obstacles. In Thai called nga tih hak, literally ‘broken off tusk’. Also danta.

Tantima (ทัณฑิมา)

Thai. Mythological bird of the Himaphan forest. It has the head of a bird and the body of a Garuda. According to legend, it loves to dwell near lotus pools, where it looks for fish. In some legends this bird has the face of a human and it is sometimes associated with the bird Sadayu, the younger brother of Samphati. It is usually depicted holding a long rod with both hands and is often seen in pairs, standing guard at the gates of certain temple buildings (fig.), such as in Wat Phra Kaew, where a bronze pair guards Wihaan Yod (fig.). Also referred to as nok Tantima.

tantra (तन्त्र)

Sanskrit. ‘Weave’, ‘loom’, ‘warp’, ‘groundwork’ or ‘underlying principle’. A term used to refer to a collection of sacred texts and practices associated with Tibetan Buddhism (fig.). There are also tantric texts in Hinduism. The central theme of the tantra is the divine energy and creating power symbolized by the female characteristics (shakti) of a god, personified in a goddess.

Tantrism

A late form of Brahmanism, that consists of a Hindu doctrine in which the worship of demons −in particular Devi− plays an important role, as well as a mystical form of Vajrayana Buddhism. Tantra yoga is described as the extreme expression of Hinduism and designed to invoke possession by Indian spirits, in order to break the chain of reincarnation. It is a form of occultism, in which the shakti of Durga or Kundalini force is aroused, releasing psychic powers that can be channeled either into white or black magic by the medium. Whereas white magic is employed in healing, advanced disciples in black magic indulge in the most degenerate and perverse behaviour, from human sacrifices to sorcery, including meditation on severed human heads, the eating of bits of flesh and unconsumed parts of cremation rites, and other horrifying practices. It became important in Northeast India after the 8th century AD, and is still practiced in Mongolia, Tibet and Nepal. It expanded the Buddhist pantheon and emphasizes the worship of shakti, whilst placing greater importance on the esoteric practices based on the tantra.

tao (เต่า)

Thai for ‘turtle’, ‘terrapin’ or ‘tortoise’. The Thai word tao is used to refer to all species of turtles and tortoises, despite the fact that ‘tortoises’ are in reality land turtles, and ‘turtles’ are either aquatic or semi-aquatic reptiles, including ‘sea turtles’ and ‘terrapins’. Often no difference is made when translating the word from Thai, using one for the other and vice versa. Other languages, such as Chinese and Sanskrit, also have certain words that are not specific whether it concerns a turtle or tortoise, i.e. the Chinese word gui refers to both, whereas bie specifically means ‘turtle’. Besides this Chinese has specific words to refer to certain mythological creatures that are some form of turtle or tortoise, e.g. Xuanwu. In Hindu mythology the second avatar of Vishnu is known as Kurma, which translated means either ‘turtle’ or ‘tortoise’, though from the context it can be understood that it rather was a turtle, since Kurma supported the churning stick during the churning of the Ocean of Milk (fig.), thus preventing it from going in the soft soil of the ocean. Given the above and the fact that foreign texts, or translations thereof, are often ambiguous in their meaning, Thailex may at times also use one term for the other, usually depending on the origin of the word or following the original texts, but only when related to mythology. In the domain of science, Thailex always uses the proper term, e.g. with animal names. If such was unspecified or unclear from the original text, then the word ‘turtle’ is used, which correctly refers to any of all the species. See also tao mangkon.

tao (เท้า)

1. Thai for ‘foot’ or ‘pedestal’.

2. Thai for ‘to lean on’. In this regard it can be used as a prefix for the name of deities or gods, on who one leans in need. It can than be written with a capital letter in English.

Tao (道)

Chinese. ‘Right Way’. The all embracing, ultimate and primordial principle of Taoism. Also transcribed Dao.

tao angloh (เตาอั้งโล่)

See tao tahn.

tao bai mai (เต่าใบไม้)

Thai. ‘Leaf turtle’. Name for the Asian Leaf Turtle.

tao ban (เต่าบ้าน)

Thai. ‘House turtle’. A name for the Giant Asian Pond Turtle, along with tao waai.

tao bua (เต่าบัว)

Thai. Lotus turtle’. A name for the Yellow-headed Temple Turtle, alongside tao wat and tao bung hua leuang.

tao bung hua leuang (เต่าบึงหัวเหลือง)

Thai. Yellow head turtle’. A name for the Yellow-headed Temple Turtle, next to tao bua and tao wat.

tao dam (เต่าดำ)

Thai. ‘Black turtle’. A name for the Black Marsh Turtle.

tao dao india (เต่าดาวอินเดีย)

Thai for Indian Star Tortoise.

tao dao pa-mah (เต่าดาวพม่า)

Thai for Burmese Star Tortoise.

tao hab (เต่าหับ)

Thai. ‘Shut turtle’ or ‘closed turtle’. Name for the Southeast Asian Box Turtle. The name refers to fact that the plastron, the flat to slightly concave part of the shell structure on the turtle's underside, fits tightly in the openings of the dome-shaped carapace.

tao hok leuang (เต่าหกเหลือง)

Thai name for the Asian Forest Tortoise. The word hok translates as ‘spill’ or ‘six’ and may refer to the sometimes hexagonal shape of this tortoise's scutes, whereas leuang means ‘yellow’ and refers to the carapace's colour, which is dark brownish gray with light brown to vague yellow clouds in the centre of each scute, which are striated.

tao hoo (เต้าหู้)

Thai for tofu.

Tao Hua (桃花)

Chinese. Peach Blossom’, a Taoist deity, who is also referred to as the peach god. READ ON.

tao jan (เต่าจัน)

Thai for Keeled Box Turtle.

Taoism

An influential philosophy in China, probably founded in the 4th century BC by Lao Tzu (fig.), and advocating humility and religious piety. The Tao-te Ching forms the basis of Taoism, in which Tao is the comprehensive ultimate and primordial principle. Its objective is to become one with the Tao by comprehending the universal law that everything returns to its source. It has been described as a square circle, a sound that can't be heard and an image without form. It is everything and nothing, and although it is nowhere it can be seen without looking for it. Also transcribed Daoism. See also Yu Huang, Quan Zhen, and Qiu Chang Chun.

Taoist

1. Follower of Taoism. Also transcribed Daoist.

2. Adjective of Taoism.

tao kaem daeng (เต่าแก้มแดง)

Thai. ‘Red-cheeked turtle’. A name for the Red-eared terrapin, alongside tao yipun.

tao kaem khao (เต่าแก้มขาว)

Thai. ‘White-cheeked turtle’. A name for the Black Marsh Turtle.

tao ko laai (เต่าคอลาย)

Thai. ‘Striped neck turtle’. A name for the Chinese Stripe-necked Turtle.

tao kra-ahn (เต่ากระอาน)

Thai name for the Mangrove Terrapin.

Tao Maliwaraat (ท้าวมาลีวราช)

The distinguished old man who came from his abode in the Himalayas to arbitrate the differences between Ramachandra and the demon king. Also transcribed Thao Maliwaraat and Thao Maliwaraht.

tao mangkon (เต่ามังกร)

Thai. ‘Dragon-tortoise’. Name of an auspicious animal from Chinese mythology. It has the characteristics of two kinds of favourable animals, i.e. the tortoise and the dragon (fig.). It is depicted with the head of a dragon and the body of a tortoise (fig.). It is the symbol of longevity and power, because the tortoise is an animal with a long life, whereas the dragon is animal with an enormous strength.  It is thus a combination of the great virtues of both the dragon and the tortoise (fig.), two out of the four animals from Chinese paradise. Those four animals are the tortoise, the dragon, the hongse and the tiger, though in some instances they may consist of a dragon, tortoise, red phoenix or other bird, and a white tiger (fig.). The tortoise with dragonhead embodies the intelligence and ability, that comes with courage, and the prestigious and influential power of the dragon, as well as the steadfast power, endurance, happiness and lasting physical force of the tortoise. A statue of the dragon-tortoise is believed to have the power to bring about or enhance progress, strength, fortune, influence, etc., depending on how the statues is placed with regard to the points of the compass. It is sometimes depicted with the characteristics of all four animals from Chinese paradise, i.e. the tortoise, the dragon, the hongse and the tiger (fig.). A female dragon-turtle is, like the Rui Shi lion, usually depicted with a young (fig.). Sometimes transcribed thao mangkon. See also tortoise-snake.

dragon turtle (female)

tao nah (เต่านา)

Thai. ‘[Rice-] field turtle’. A name for the Rice-field Terrapin.

tao rahng (เต่าร้าง)

Thai name for the fishtail palm.

Tao Ramathep (เท้ารามเทพ)

Thai. Name of the guardian god of the holy relics of the Buddha, together with Tao Kadtukam (Kattukam). In iconography he is generally represented together with the demon-god Rahu (fig.) and seated with the right knee uplifted in a casual yoga position. Though, sometimes he is depicted seated in half lotus position on the coiled body of a snake that uses its head as a cover, similar to the pahng nahg prok pose with Vishnu (fig.) and some Buddha images (fig.). He is also depicted on the front side of the famous Jatukam-Ramathep amulet (fig.). Also spelled Thao Ramathep.

tao sahm san (เต่าสามสัน)

Thai. ‘Three-keeled turtle’ or ‘three-barred terrapin’. A name for the Rice-field Terrapin, and referring to the three strong keels or bars on this turtle's carapace, which is somewhat reminiscent of the upper shell of horseshoe crabs (fig.).

Tao Samon (ท้าวสามล)

The old king with seven daughters from the story of Santhong. Also known as king Benares.

tao tahn (เตาถ่าน)

Thai. ‘Charcoal stove’ or ‘cinder oven’. Name for a brazier, a kind of a small charcoal stove (fig.) which is often used on markets, etc. It is made of earth, chaff, ashes, galvanized iron and cement. It is also called tao angloh, which name derives from a Chinese earthen stove, and this kind of furnace, sometimes in a somewhat different style, may also be referred to as tao wong, i.e. ‘circular stove’ (fig.). Besides charcoal, also kindling is sometimes used for fuel, especially with the tao wong. Also transliterated tao thaan.

tao tawaan (เตาตาหวาน)

Thai. The oven stoked up to heat the pans used to process sugar from the bud of the coconut palm (fig.). ‘Tao’ means oven, ‘ta’ is the bud of the tree that produces the fruits and ‘waan’ sugary or sweet.

Tao-te Ching (道德经)

Chinese. ‘Book of the way’. Book that forms the basis for the philosophy of Taoism and is attributed to its founder Lao Tzu.

Taotie (饕餮)

Chinese. Name of a ferocious mythological animal, the fifth son of the Dragon King (fig.), commonly represented in the form of a zoomorphic mask motif. READ ON.

tao turiang (เตาทุเรียง)

Thai for a kind of kiln used in Sawankhalok.

tao waai (เต่าหวาย)

Thai. ‘Rattan turtle’. A name for the Giant Asian Pond Turtle, alongside tao ban.

tao wat (เต่าวัด)

Thai. Temple turtle’. A name for the Yellow-headed Temple Turtle, besides tao bung hua leuang and tao bua.

tao wong (เตาวง)

Thai. ‘circular stove’. It uses kindling for fuel, rather than charcoal. See also tao tahn.

tao yipun (เต่าญี่ปุ่น)

Thai. ‘Japanese turtle’. A name for the Red-eared terrapin, alongside tao kaem daeng.

tapathi (တပသီ)

Burmese term for a recluse, ascetic or hermit (fig.). They typically dress in dark brown robes and wear a distinctive hat, which is similar in shape to that of the Indian rishi (fig.) and the Thai reusi (fig.). In Mon, the term is ithi, which drives from the Pali word risi, which in turn derives from the Sanskrit word rishi.

taphaab (ตะพาบ)

Thai common name for the Asiatic or Malayan Soft-shell turtle, found in Southeast Asia. It belongs to the family Trionychidae and has the scientific name Amyda cartilaginea. In Thailand it is also known by the names taphaab nahm (ตะพาบน้ำ), taphaab suan (ตะพาบสวน), taphaab khao tauk (ตะพาบข้าวตอก), taphaab thammada (ตะพาบธรรมดา) and taphaab thai (ตะพาบไทย), meaning ‘water soft-shell turtle’, ‘garden soft-shell turtle’, ‘popped rice soft-shell turtle’, ‘common soft-shell turtle’ and ‘Thai soft-shell turtle’, respectively. In Isaan it is called pla fah (ปลาฝา), literally ‘capped fish’. It has a round to oval, olive-grey to green carapace with dark spots and a soft belly, white with males and grey with females, though the shell of juveniles is somewhat darker, with tiny yellow and larger dark spots. The yellow spots are also visible on the juvenile's head, which has a typical nozzle-shaped snout. Males have long and thick tails, but those of females are short. A mature Asiatic Soft-shell Turtle can grow to a length of over 80 centimeters and a weight of 35 kilograms or more. It occurs in rivers and canals, as well as in garden beds, in all parts of the kingdom. Some people, mainly Chinese, breed soft-shell turtles for consumption, but not the Chinese or Taiwanese soft-shell turtle (Pelodiscus or Trionyx sinensis - fig.), as that particular species grows much slower. The Siamese or Striped Narrow-headed Soft-shell Turtle (Chitra chitra), also known as Giant Thai Soft-shell Turtle and Burmese Chitra, and in Thai as taphaab mahn laai (ตะพาบม่านลาย), meaning ‘dotted or striped-curtain soft-shell turtle’, is allegedly the largest known Soft-shell Turtle in the world, measuring up to 140 centimeters and weighing around 150 kilograms (fig.). It is found in Indonesia, Myanmar, Malaysia and Thailand.

tapioca

Starch gained from the thickened root of the manioc (fig.). Also tapioca starch and cassava. In Thai paengman.

tapioca balls

A snack of tapioca dough obtained by kneading small-sized tapioca pearls in warm water, and filled with minced pork and condiments, such as ground white pepper, ground roasted peanuts, fish sauce, onion and palm sugar. The dough is steamed on a piece of cloth spanned over the mouth of a large pot and covered by a cone-shaped lid, until the balls have become semi-transparent (fig.). It is typically served with lettuce leaves, chopped fried garlic, chopped coriander and prik khee noo chilies, very similar to kanom pahk moh. In Thai known as kanom sakoo sai moo, i.e. ‘sago-snack filled with pork’.

tapioca starch

See tapioca.

tapohn (ตะโพน)

Thai. A drum with a double drum head, horizontally placed in a holder and played with both hands whilst sitting on the floor. Sometimes called pohn.

Ta Pu Yie (淡浮院)

Tae Chew-Chinese name for Anek Kuson Sala. In Thai, it is transcribed Tah Poo Ih (ต้าผู่อี่). In Mandarin, it is pronounced Tan Fu Yuan, transliterated in Thai as Tahn Foo Yewian (ต้านฝูเยวี้ยน).

taqiyah (طاقية)

Arabic term for the brimless, short, and rounded cap, worn by Muslim boys and men (fig.). In English, it is known as a prayer cap, and Thai in called kapioh (fig.), yet in some places it may also be called a kufi, topi, or just a cap. There are many varieties and it can be of any colour, but often it is –and in some instances needs to be–white.

Tara (तर/तारा)

1. Sanskrit. ‘One who enables crossover’. Name of a bodhisattva, i.e. a Buddhist goddess, who is especially worshipped as the shakti or spouse of Avalokitesvara (fig.). Her name is derived from the word ‘to cross’, and refers to her function, i.e. to help mankind to cross safely from birth to death. She is described as full of compassion and devoted to alleviating the suffering of mankind. Gradually, she became the personification of love and compassion. In this sense, she is associated with the Chinese goddess Kuan Yin (fig.). Eventually, Tara was elevated to the status of mother of all buddhas and is often depicted with a royal crown and holding a vajra. Her name is sometimes spelled Tārā, which means ‘star’ and is related to dara, the Thai word for star, and a term used for both heavenly bodies and celebrities. In Vajrayana Buddhism, there are five goddesses named Tara, corresponding to the five jinas or transcendental buddhas. They are the consorts of the five great bodhisattvas, who were created by the jinas and hold the rank of a bodhisattva. In Tibetan Buddhism, there are 21 forms of Tara, each with a different colour, posture, and attribute (fig.). They can have either peaceful or wrathful appearances. The most frequent forms are Green Tara and White Tara (fig.).

2. Wife of the monkey king Vali in the Indian epic Ramakien.

taro

See pheuak.

Tarut (ตรุษ)

Another pronunciation for Trut.

Tatakot (ตถาคต)

Thai. Term for a buddha or Buddha, derived from the Sanskrit word Tathagata.

Tatar Grasshopper

Name of a 6 to 7 centimeter large grasshopper, with the scientific names Cyrtacanthacris tatarica, Acanthacris tartarica, and Cyrtacanthacris ranacea. It has a long, tapering body, which is overall brownish, with alternating light and dark brown streaks, as well as some pale yellowish markings. Its antennae are pale yellow and it has dark spots spread allover the outer-wings, leading to its nickname Brown-spotted Locust. It has three pairs of legs, the larger posterior pair with some spines, similar to the Bombay Locust. It feeds on cotton and corn leaves and is hence considered a potential pest. In Thai it is known as takkataen saitahkhaentahkris (ตั๊กแตนไซตาแคนตาคริส), a transliteration of this creature's designation in Latin, as well as by the name takkataen faai (ตั๊กแตนฝ้าย), which means ‘cotton grasshopper’.

Tatar Grasshopper

Tathagata (तथागत)

Sanskrit word meaning a buddha or Buddha. In Thai Tatakot.

tat molih (ตัดโมฬี)

Thai. ‘Cutting the hair tuft’. In religious context the term refers to prince Siddhartha who cut his hair after the Great Departure, thus giving up his secular life to start his spiritual existence. See also Pittih Kohnjuk.

tattoo

See sak.

Taungmagyi (တောင်မကြီး)

Burmese. Name of a spirit that belongs to the official pantheon of 37 nats worshipped in Myanmar.

Taungoo Mingaung (တောင်ငူမင်းခေါင်)

Burmese. One of 37 nats that belong to the official pantheon of spirits worshipped in Myanmar.

Taungthu (တောင်သူ)

1. Burmese. Another name for the people of the Pa-oh ethnic group (fig.) in Myanmar. Also transcribed Taundhu.

2. Burmese term for cultivators of agricultural crops other than paddy. Also transcribed taundhu.

Tavatimsa

Pali. The heaven of 33 gods presided over by Indra. It's a place on the summit of the mythical Mt. Meru and one of the heavens that can be reached by accumulated merit. The Buddha spent one rainy season there preaching to his mother who had died shortly after his birth. The Buddha descending from Tavatimse heaven is often portrayed in Southeast Asian art and was the starting point for the creation of the walking Buddha image that originated in Sukhothai. This heaven is said to house Chulamanie, a stupa containing hair from the Buddha, which is worshipped by Buddhists during certain nights by releasing kohm loy, i.e. paper lanterns, into the sky as offerings (fig.). In Thai called Dawadeung.

tawaai (ถวาย)

Thai. ‘To present, to dedicate’. Term used when the receiver is a prince or monk, as in tawaai phra traipidok. If the recipient is a king, the correct term is toonklaw tawaai or nomklaw tawaai.

tawaai naet (ถวายเนตร)

See paang tawaai naet.

tawaai phra traipidok (ถวายพระไตรปิฎก)

Thai. To present (tawaai) a volume of the Tripitaka (traipidok) to a monk, as a form of tamboon.

tawak (ตวัก)

Thai. A ladle made of coconut shell and wood. Its handle is made of wood and attached to the coconut shell scoop or bowl whickered by a piece of rattan. It somewhat resembles a wooden spoon. There are generally three types of ladle, that is one with a shallow bowl, one with a slightly deeper bowl and one with a very deep bowl. Also called krajah or jah, in southern Thailand it is called jawak or wak, and in the North phaak. See also krabuay.

tawed (เตว็ด)

Thai. ‘Figure’. Another word for jawed.

Tawny Coster

Common name of a butterfly (fig.), with the scientific designations Acraea terpsicore and Acraea violae. In Thai, it is known as phi seua non nahm kathokrok (ผีเสื้อหนอนหนามกะทกรก), which translates as ‘thorny butterfly passiflora caterpillar’, a name that refers to the leaves of the Passiflora foetida, which the larvae of this butterfly, which are reddish-brown with fine black spines, prefer to feed on. The upperside of the male butterfly is tawny, with transverse black spot on the forewings and a black apex and termen. The hindwings also have some black spots and black border, with pale, almost white spots. The underside is similar to the upperside, but paler, and females are similar to males, but duller. In both sexes, the antennae are black, the head and thorax black with pale brownish-yellow and white spots, and the abdomen is black near the front and orangey at the back, with narrow transverse black lines. On the head there is also has an orangey epistome.

Taxila (तक्षशिला)

Sanskrit. An ancient Buddhist centre of learning in present-day Pakistan, nowadays in ruins.

Tay (Ty)

Vietnamese. With an estimated 1.5 million members, the second largest ethnic group in Vietnam, after the majority of Viet people. Most members live in the hills and valleys of northern Vietnam and are self-supporting agriculturalists. They typically inhabit small villages of  a dozen or so households, usually located at the feet of mountains, where they cultivate the fertile plains, planting rice and other crops, such as corn and sweet potatoes. Most Tay abide by animism and ancestor worship. They speak Tai and are are closely related to the Nung, and the Zhuang (fig.) in China. In China, the Tay are known as Dai Yi (岱依) and are, together with the Nung, classified as members of the Zhuang.

tazaung (ဆောင်)

Burmese. Room’ or ‘chamber’. Name of small pavilions, located within Buddhist temple complexes or palaces in Burma. There are different types with different functions, with some being similar to the Thai sala, while others are more reminiscent of a mondop, or may serve as the temple's belfry, or as a building that connects two main halls in a monastery or a palace. Also hsaung.

tea

See cha.

tea brick

Dried tea which is pressed into an easily transportable and storable block, in the past usually square in shape, though in our time the dried tea may be pressed into chunks of any form, sometimes even decorative, as a souvenir or a novelty item, such as the form of Chinese gold ingots (fig.) or ancient Chinese coins (fig.) called fang kong qian (fig.), perhaps to indicate that they in the past were also used as a form of currency, though most commonly they are nowadays disc-shaped. Also referred to as compressed tea. See also cha.

tea bricks

tea ceremony

A ritualized form of making, serving and drinking tea. Though these rituals can be found in many countries with a tea culture worldwide, they are practiced typically by people from nations such as China, Korea and Japan. The Chinese tea ceremony, which is locally called cha yi (茶仪), includes certain gestures, e.g. the server will lift the teapot high-up three consecutive times while pouring the hot water on the dried tea leaves, whilst the drinker will tick with his index and middle fingers together on the surface of the table to express his recognition, yet without saying a word. When pouring ready-to-drink tea from a pot, rather than just hot water on tea leaves, often an additional cylindrical cup is used, in which the tea is poured first. Afterward, the tea is poured from the cylindrical cup into the drinking cup and the cylindrical cup is held under the nostrils to absorb the aroma before dinking the tea. Chinese people always use tea to welcome guests in their home, filling a cup of tea for only seven-tenths of its capacity, believing that the other thirty percent will be filled with friendship and affection, in line with Confucius' wisdom: ‘behave toward everyone as if receiving a great guest’. See also Chinese tea house and Lu Yu.

tea egg

A chicken's egg boiled until hard and then simmered in black tea, which is mixed with various spices, such as ground cinnamon, star anise (fig.), fennel seeds, cloves and Szechuan peppercorns, and soy sauce. To allow the fragrance and flavours of the tea and spices to penetrate the hard-boiled egg, the shell is gently cracked all around, which produces marbling that becomes visible when the egg is peeled (fig.). In Chinese tea eggs are known as chayedan, i.e. ‘tea-leaves eggs’.

tea house

See Chinese tea house.

teak

Name for a deciduous tree with the botanical name Tectona grandis. It is recognizable from its large rough leaves (fig.), and the dull coloured flowers and seeds that sit on the sides and rise above the canopy. The leaves are somewhat reminiscent to those of the ton phluang, but have a rough surface, rather than a smooth one (fig.), and when squeezed, they release a dark red sap. According to some sources it is the tree under which Siddhartha was born (fig.) and of which Maha Maya holds a branch standing during the delivery, a scene often depicted in art (fig.). Other sources however state that Maha Maya reached out to pick a flower of the Ashoka blossom when the prince was born. Besides this, the tree is famed for its use as tropical hardwood (fig.), which is sometimes called djatiwood and in Thai known as mai sak. Due to its hard qualities it is used for furniture, as well as for carving art (fig.), especially for making very detailed reliefs (fig.). The tree itself is in Thai called ton mai sak.

teak tree

In Thai ton mai sak. See teak.

teakwood

In Thai mai sak. See teak.

Temiya (เตมีย์)

Thai-Pali. Name of the bodhisatta in one of the jataka stories, when he was born as the son of Queen Chanda Devi, the wife of the king of Kashi, i.e. Varanasi. READ ON.

Temminck's Tragopan

Common name for a medium-sized pheasant, with the scientific name Tragopan temminckii. Adult males are crimson, with grey-edged, white ocelli-like spots below and black-edged, white spots above. They have a brown tail, barred with chestnut and a grey tip, a dark bill with some faded yellowish patches, and pinkish-orange legs. The neck, breast and hind-crown are dark orange, whilst the forehead and ear-coverts are black. They have bare blue facial skin, and an inflatable dark-blue lappet on the throat, as well as inflatable, horn-like appendixes over the eyes. These features stand at the origin of its Chinese name, i.e. hong fu jiao zhi (红腹角雉), which translates as red-bellied horned pheasant. Adult females are brown, with white spots, and a bare blue eyering. This bird is widespread in northern India, China and some northern areas of Southeast Asia, such as Northwest Vietnam.

temple

See wat or araam.

Temple of Heaven

See Tian Tan.

temple tree

Nickname for the frangipani tree, often grown in temples grounds.

temple drum

Large drum in temples and monasteries usually kept in the drum tower or ho klong (fig.). The most common is called klong aew.

Ten Judicious Kings of Hell

According to popular Taoist beliefs influenced by Buddhist karma, the Ten Judicious Kings of Hell (fig.), who come up against the Ten Celestial Judges, are responsible for the judgement of the soul after death by examining the deeds of the newly-deceased, in order to dispense punishments for evil acts and rewards for good deeds, and accordingly give them a reincarnation in a fit form. The concept comes from the apocryphal Sutra of the Ten Kings, which describes the ten spheres through which a soul must pass on its way to rebirth. It was believed that each sphere was presided over by a king and hence hell is made up of ten courts. They are also called the Ten Kings of Hell (Diyu - fig.) or the Ten Yama Kings and are sometimes depicted in the presence of Ksitigarbha (fig.), the bodhisattva of hell beings, who is regarded as having powers to rescue souls from undesirable forms of rebirth. In Vietnam, they are known as Thap Dien Diem Vuong (Thập Điện Dim Vương), and statues of the judges are often found in pagodas, as funeral rites for the saving of the souls of the deceased were once closely linked with Buddhist rituals.

termite

Name of a small subtropical or tropical antlike, social insect of the genus Isoptera, of which there are an estimated 4,000 species. They are sometimes referred to as white ants and in Thai called pluak (ปลวก). The genus has several families, the three main ones, which are economically the most significant as pests, being Kalotermitidae, Rhinotermitidae and Termitidae, with the latter including the subfamily Macrotermes. In Southeast Asia alone there are about 270 species, with around 90 of them living in Thailand. Eleven of those are economically significant as pests and are divided into two main categories, i.e. dry wood termites and subteranean termites, in Thai known as pluak mai haeng (ปลวกไม้แห้ง) and pluak tai din (ปลวกใต้ดิน), respectively. In Thailand, about 95% of all economic damage is caused by two species belonging to the last group, i.e. the rubber termite or Asian subterranean termite (Coptotermes gestroi) and the Mound-Building Subterranean Termite (Globitermes sulphureus), which in Thai are known as pluak yahng phara (ปลวกยางพารา) or ‘rubber tree termite’ and pluak tih sahng jom pluak (ปลวกที่สร้างจอมปลวก), respectively. Termites live in large colonies, often inside a termite mound (fig.). Physically, termites differ from ants by three main features: 1. termites' antennae are straight and look like a very fine string of pearls, whereas those of ants are elbow antennae, i.e. bent in an angle; 2. the termite's waist is broader than that of ants; 3. in alates, i.e. winged adults, the termite's wings are equally long and shaped the same, whereas those of ants are not the same size nor shape.

termite mound

Name of a sculptured, cone-shaped, hard earth mound, home to a small tropical antlike social insect called termite (fig.). Termite mounds  can be small or tall, and the outer form can be rather simple, with a smooth rounded shape, to quite complex, wavy structures (fig.), which increases the surface area and thermal mass, providing a cooling system during the day, as well as a heating system at night, by flattening out the daily temperature fluctuations, since the thermal mass will absorb thermal energy when the surroundings are higher in temperature than the mass, and give thermal energy back when the surroundings are cooler. Besides this, there is a complex system of labyrinth-like tunnels and cavities inside a termite mound. Cool wind is drawn into the base of the mound via channels and its coldness is stored using wet soil. As the air warms during the day, it flows upwards and out of the mound via vents. This gives the mound the ability to keep a stable temperature throughout. Termites live in large colonies and do not feed on wood as is commonly believed but on fungus, as they lack enzymes in their intestines to break down wood cellulose. Inside the termite mound, there are several chambers, including a nest chamber and humid food chambers used to cultivate fungus. These fungus gardens are supplied with wood fiber, hence the confusion with regard to their nourishment. Termites are heavily preyed upon by other insects, reptiles, birds and even larger mammals, such as the pangolin and some bears. Worker termites build and maintain the chambers as well as a labyrinth of tunnels leading to them. Soldier termites have the important task of defending the termite mound from enemies and for that reason have enlarged jaws. Unlike ants termite workers may be of either sex, but only one male and female in the entire colony reproduce: the queen with her distended abdomen produces eggs and the king fertilizes them. At certain times, often at sundown during the rainy season, the nest will send out large swarms (fig.) of winged offspring (fig.) to establish new colonies. In popular Thai speech, these winged termites are called maeng mao (fig.), meaning ‘drunken insects’, since they seem to be completely disorientated and once they have dropped on the floor, they act even more so, going around in circles, as if they are drunk. Although the majority of them will die, it takes only one male and one female to become the king and queen of a new colony. In Hinduism, termites and ants are considered divine beings and are believed to be the first beings ever created. As such, they are the subjects of a number of myths, especially in connection with procreation. In traditional folklore they play an essential role in the creation process. Some say the world was created from their excreta, whilst others believe that the first humans were made from the clay of termite mounds. In India, it is also widely believed that rainbows originate from termite mounds or anthills. In addition, termite mounds and anthills are the haunt of snakes, which are inextricably connected with the cult and myths of the naga. Also known as termitaria and in Thai called jom pluak (จอมปลวก).

terracotta

Italian. ‘Baked earth’. Hard orange to brown clay, used in architectural decorations, sculpturing and pottery. It is made into unglazed, usually brownish-red earthenware, including statuettes. Famous places where terracotta is produced, include Koh Kred or Ko Kret (เกาะเกร็ด) in Nonthaburi, Dan Kwian (ด่านเกวียน) in Nakhon Ratchasima, and Ban Thung Luang (บ้านทุ่งหลวง) in Sukhothai. Sometimes spelled terra-cotta.

Terracotta Army

See Terracotta Warriors.

Terracotta Warriors

Name for a collection of about 8,000, life-sized, terracotta funerary statues (fig.), that were excavated near the mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang Ti, the first emperor of the Qin Dynasty and the founder of China. The terracotta sculptures allegedly represent exact replicas of the then soldiers and servants of the aforementioned emperor, and beside warriors, such as archers, cavalrymen and infantrymen, the collection also includes horses, chariots and charioteers, as well as officials, acrobats, strongmen and musicians. Each statue is said to be unique, varying in aspect, height, uniform and hairstyle, in accordance with the model's function, rank and military unit. The Terracotta Warriors were discovered by accident in 1974, in the district of Lintong, about 40 kilometers East of the city of Xi'an. Today, the Terracotta Warriors have become one of China's prime tourist attractions, and copies of the terracotta army's soldiers and chariots (fig.) can be found all over China, as well as abroad, such as in Thailand's Anek Kuson Sala (fig.). Construction of the tomb, with 35 square miles the largest in China (i.e. 500 times bigger than any other tomb excavated in the nation), was started as soon as emperor Qin ascended the throne and is said to have lasted 37 years, hence it continued even after his death. At one point some 710,000 people worked on it. So far, no one has been able to find the entrance to the tomb where the emperor is buried.

tessen (鉄扇)

Japanese. ‘Iron fan’. Name for a war fan, a folding fan with outer spokes made of iron and used in oriental warfare, originally from Japan. The fan was designed to look like a normal, harmless folding fan, so it could be taken to places where swords or other weapons were not allowed. The war fan was used as a throwing weapon or for fending off arrows, kung-fu stars and darts, and even as an aid in swimming. Some tessen were solid clubs shaped to look like a closed fan. A certain style of tai chi chuan using a fan (fig.) is derived from the use of war fans. In Chinese it is called tie shan and in Thai pad lek.

tetrahedron (τετράεδρον)

Greek term for a building with four gable ends. See also jaturamuk.

teuk chang (ตึกช้าง)

Thai for ‘Elephant Building’.

teuk hun yon (ตึกหุ่นยนต์)

Thai for ‘Robot Building’.

tha (ถะ)

Thai name for a Chinese-style pagoda (fig.).

thaan (ถ่าน)

Thai. ‘Charcoal’. Burnt wood used as a fuel. Charcoal is produced by removing fluid from wood by means of heating it in the absence of oxygen. The process of carbonizing the wood therefore takes place in a oven underneath the ground and takes several hours. Charcoal is mainly used by street vendors using a small charcoal brazier called tao tahn (fig.) for cooking food on (fig.), and in foundries. Also transcribed tahn.

thaan tawan (ทานตะวัน)

Thai for ‘sunflower’. A kind of annual flowering plant, with a large flower head and the botanical name Helianthus annuus. It is produced commercially, in Thailand especially in the provinces of Saraburi and Lopburi, with the latter celebrating an annual Sunflower Blooming Festival in December. It's seeds are edible and roasted they are a popular Thai snack. There are several cultivars. See also POSTAGE STAMP (1) and (2).

thaat (ธาตุ)

See that.

thablang (ทับหลัง)

Thai for lintel.

thabthim (ทับทิม)

1. Thai for pomegranate, the name of a tropical tree and its fruit, of the genus Punica. The fruit has a thick and tough rind, and inside it has many seeds with a reddish pulp varying in colour from deep crimson to pale rose, hence its name which derived from French means ‘many-seeded apple’. The reddish-pink flesh covering the seeds is translucent and juicy and tastes either sweet or sweet and slightly sour. The tree fruits during the rainy season. In Chinese it is named shi liu, which is written with the character shi, meaning ‘stones’ and refers to the many seeds, while it is also homonymous with the word shi meaning ‘generation’. It is regarded as one of the three fruits of abundance, together with the peach and the fingered citron, and is thus often represented in Chinese art (fig.).

2. Thai name for ruby, a rare transparent precious stone varying in colour from deep crimson to pale rose.

3. Thai name for a Chinese goddess, who is fully known as Chao Mae Thabthim (fig.).

Tha Chang Wang Luang (ท่าช้างวังหลวง)

Thai. ‘Main Palace Elephant Wharf’. Location at the Chao Phraya River in Bangkok, near the old city gate at the Grand Palace, where in the reign of Rama I, the royal palace elephants were taken to bathe. When in 1808,  the Phra Sri Sakyamuni Buddha image (fig.) from Sukhothai was transported to Bangkok by raft, in order to be installed at Wat Suthat (fig.), a wharf was built at the location to unload the Buddha image. However, the large image could not pass through the city gate, which was consequently demolished and a new one was built afterward, which was named Pratu Tha Phra (ประตูท่าพระ), i.e. ‘Buddha Wharf Gate’ or ‘Buddha Port Gate’ and the wharf is since then referred to as Tha Phra, i.e. ‘Buddha Wharf’ or ‘Buddha Port’. Today, it is still a boat landing from where ferries cross the river and which is by local residents unofficially still called Tha Chang, i.e. ‘Elephant Wharf’.

Tha Chin (ท่าจีน)

Thai. ‘Chinese Seaport’. Name of a river in central Thailand, that flows through the Central Plains. It  is a tributary of the Chao Phraya River, that splits off near the province of Chainat and then flows southward, more or less parallel to the Chao Phraya, but to its West, until it empties into the Gulf of Thailand at the province of Samut Sakon. The Tha Chin River is an important source for local distribution of tap water. Only near its mouth at Samut Sakhon is the river called Tha Chin, i.e. the old name of Samut Sakon, because in the past, it had been a trading port dealing with a vast number of Chinese junks. However, along its flow, the river is known by a variety of regional names: after it splits from Chao Phraya River at Chainat, it is called Makhaam Thao River; near Suphanburi it is known as the Suphan River; and near Nakhon Pathom it is referred to as the Nakhon Chai Sri River. Tha Chin is also transliterated Tachin and is pronounced Thah Jihn.

thaen (แท่น)

Thai. Base, pedestal or altar. See also tahn.

Thaen Khwan (แทนขวัญ)

Thai. Name for a species of water lily, with the botanical name Nymphaea tan khwan and commonly as the Tan-khwan Water Lily. This free-blooming hardy water lily originates from Thailand and blooms all year round. It is a hybrid of the Perris Fire Opal and the Sirius, and was bred by Pairatana Songpanich of the Department of Agriculture. The colour is deep pink, almost red, and some varieties have a rosy colour. The form of the flower is star-like, with layers of petals, formed by 44 to 48 petals. It is depicted on a Thai postage stamp issued in 2008 (fig.).

Thaen Phong (แทนพงศ์)

Thai. Name for a species of water lily, with the botanical name Nymphaea tanpong and commonly as the Tanpong Water Lily. This free-blooming hardy water lily originates from Thailand and blooms all year round. It is a hybrid of the Mayla and the Madam Ville Frongoniere, and was bred by Pairatana Pongpanich of the Department of Agriculture. The flower bud tapers towards the top end and bulges in the middle, whilst the tip of the petals is pointed. The petals are white and red, whilst the layers of petals are specially dense, with more than 45 petals. This water lily is depicted on a Thai postage stamp issued in 2008 (fig.).

Thagyamin (သိကြားမင်း)

Burmese. ‘King Thagya’ or ‘Lord Thagya’. Name of the nat who is the appointed leader of all other nats, i.e. nature spirits or spirits from mythology (fig.), especially the spirits of those who met a violent and unjust death, and of which there is a pantheon 37 in total, although Thagyamin himself has not suffered a sudden and violent death. He was designated their leader by King Anawrahta in the 11th century, in an effort to merge the existing practices of animism with those of Theravada Buddhism. Thagyamin is said to rule over the deva plane of existence and is often depicted holding a conch in both hands, or a conch in one hand and a yak-tail's fly-whisk in the other. Sometimes he is represented standing on a three-headed White Elephant, similar to Erawan, the mount of the Hindu god Indra, with whom he is identified. In Buddhism, he is associated with Shakra. Sometimes transcribed Thagya Min and also called Thagya nat.

thahaan sarawat (ทหารสารวัด)

Thai for ‘military policeman’. See also Sarawat Thahaan.

Thahng Chang Pheuak (ทางช้างเผือก)

Thai. ‘Path of the White Elephant. Thai name for the Milky Way.

Thahng Rot Fai Mareutayu (ทางรถไฟมฤตยู)

Thai for Death Railway.

Thai (Thi, ไท)

Vietnamese-Thai. Name of an ethnic minority group in mainland Southeast Asia, not to be confused with the present-day people of the Thai race, who inhabit Thailand. There are many subgroups. In Vietnam, the traditional attire of the women consists of a long-sleeved blouse or a short-sleeved shirt in pale blue, purple, white or pink colour, worn over a long black skirt with a green waistband. The short-sleeved shirt is trimmed with a black collar-like band with silver buttons or clips, whereas the long-sleeved blouse has no buttons, but is of one piece. The latter is typically covered with an embroidered cloth that is wrapped around the lower torso, and stretches from the breasts to navel. Also spelled Tai and sometimes Thay or Tay, of which the latter spelling is not to be confused with the other ethnic minority group in Vietnam.

Thai (ไทย)

1. The present-day people of the Thai race, formerly called Siamese, who inhabit Thailand.

2. Language spoken by the present-day people of Thailand.

Thai Air Force Museum

See Royal Thai Air Force Museum.

Thai Airways

Name of the national airline of Thailand, which was established in 1988 but already operated since 1960 under the name Thai Airways Company, Thailand's then domestic carrier in a joint venture with Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS). The carrier's first commercial flight was from Bangkok to Hong Kong and took place on 1 May 1960 using a Douglas DC-6B, which was named Sri Sunthon by King Bhumiphon and appears on a Thai postage stamp issued in 2010 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of this inaugural flight (fig.). During this period, the aircraft of the Thai Airways Company were painted (fig.) with the name Thai International (fig.), which later is changed to just Thai (fig.). In Thai, the national flag carrier is known as thai as kahn bin thai (การบินไทย) and in English it is usually referred to as Thai Airways International.

Thai Bank Museum

Museum founded by the Siam Commercial Bank, Thailand's first ever local bank (fig.), and located at its head office in Chatuchak District (fig.). The museum exhibits objects and information on the historical development of the Thai financial world and commercial business, which is strongly related to the bank's own history. In Thai, the museum is known as Phiphithaphan Thanakhaan Thai (พิพิธภัณฑ์ธนาคารไทย). See also Mahison Rachareuthay and Bank of Thailand Museum.

Thai Black Tarantula

See beung.

Thai-Chinese Culture & Arts Exchange Centre

Organization that looks after the coordination of the cultural exchange relations between Thailand and China. It is located in Bangkok's Huay Khwang (ห้วยขวาง) District, opposite of the Chinese Culture Centre (fig.). In Thai, it is known as Soon Laek Plian Silapa Wattanatham Thai-Jihn (ศูนย์แลกเปลี่ยนศิลปวัฒนธรรมไทย-จีน).

Thai Constitution

See Ratthathammanoon.

Thai fisherman pants

See kaangkaeng le.

Thai gold

Thai gold usually contains 96.5% gold, which is a bit over 23 karat. The remaining 3.5% are silver and bronze. Thai gold is measured in
baht, a unit of weight that equals 15.244 grams for gold bars and ingots, and 15.16 grams for gold jewelry. Because pure gold is considered too soft to make jewelry, a lower karat like 18k is recommended. The price of Thai gold is published daily by the government and every gold shop uses that price for selling their gold items on that particular day. Gold shops display the buying and selling prices on their windows. Thai gold is a popular item amongst the Chinese population during Chinese New Year (fig.) when the young traditionally buy gold to give to senior family members. Since 1982, a well-liked collectable among Thai-Chinese people are the popular Chinese gold panda coins (fig.), which are issued annually (fig.) by the People's Bank of China (fig.). See also Chinese gold ingot.

Thai Heritage Conservation Day

Since 1985, an annual event organized on 2 April, the birthday of Princess Sirinthon, to celebrate her efforts to preserve a variety of national heritages, such as culture, art, language, literature, history, archeology, architecture, music, and religion. Since 1988, this annual event is commemorated by issuing a set of postage stamps (see list). In Thai, Wan Anurak Moradok Thai.

Thai Human Imagery Museum

Museum in Nakhon Pathom with a permanent exhibition featuring life-size wax images of famous Thai and foreign personalities, both from real life and mythology, as well as with scenes from Thai culture, both from the past and present-day life. The wax images are created by master artist Duangkaew Phityakonsilp and his sculpture team.

Thai Khoo Fah (ไทยคู่ฟ้า)

1. Thai. ‘Thai Pair of the Sky’. Name of the Government House of Thailand, i.e. a building in Neo-Venetian Gothic style, that resembles the Palazzo Santa Sofia in Venice and since 1963 houses the offices of the Prime Minister and the cabinet ministers. It was built in 1923, in the reign of King Vajiravudh (fig.), and designed by the Italian architect Annibale Rigotti. It was initially referred to as Baan Norasingh and Teuk Kraison, i.e. ‘House Norasingh and Kraison Building, and served as the residence of General Chao Phraya Ram Rakhop (รามราฆพ), i.e. Momluang Feua Pheungboon Na Ayutthaya (เฟื้อ พึ่งบุญ ณ อยุธยา) and his family. When the general eventually moved, he sold the edifice to the government during the time when Phibun Songkram (fig.) was premier, to be used as a reception venue for foreign guests of the government, rejecting a bid from the Japanese government, who wanted to turn it into their Embassy. But at the time, the government lacked the necessary funds for the purchase, so the Royal Treasury was asked to step in and buy the property on their behalf, for the amount of 1 million baht. The office of the Prime Minister was given the care of the building, and had it renovated and modified with the help of the Italian sculptor Corrado Feroci (fig.). Though the government initially used it as a venue to entertain foreign guests of the government, from 1963 onward it is used as the Government House. When Sarit Thanarat/Dhanarajata was premier, he further purchased the land and mansions around the Government House, including the assets that belonged to the Royal Treasury in front of the Department of Highways, for nearly 57 million baht. Today, Thai Khoo Fah (fig.), is located on a 45,000 square meters plot of land near the Royal Turf Club in Bangkok (fig.). In 2012, the building was published on a postage stamp, to mark the 80th Anniversary of the Office of the Prime Minister (fig.).

2. Thai. ‘Thai Double Sky’. Name of an Airbus A319 CJ, which purchase was approved by the former prime minister Thaksin Shinawat, to serve as the Office of the Prime Minister, and nicknamed the Thai Air Force One. After the coup of 2006, which ousted Thaksin Shinawat, the aircraft was transferred to the Royal Thai Air Force. It is currently used primarily to transport VIPs and as a reserve aircraft for members of the royal family. Its Thai name is the same as that of the Government House of Thailand, as it was meant to serve as its double in the sky.

Thailand

Thailand is a unified kingdom, previously known by the name Siam. It was officially established in 1238 AD, the traditional founding date. The kingdom is the only Southeast Asian country never to have been colonized by a European power. It is located in Southeast Asia, southeast of Burma, bordering the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand, and covers an area of 514,000 km, whereof 511,770 km is land and 2,230 km is water. Of 4,000 km water ways 3,701 km are navigable throughout the year by boats with a draught up to 0.9 meters. Its land boundaries total 4,863 km, bordering 1,800 km to Burma, 803 km to Cambodia, 1,754 km to Laos and 506 km to Malaysia, whilst its coastline is 3,219 km long. The climate is tropical to subtropical, that is, rainy, warm and cloudy during the southwest monsoon from mid-May to September, dry and cool during the northeast monsoon from November to mid-March, whilst the southern isthmus is always hot and humid. The highest point is Doi Inthanon, with an altitude of 2,565.33 meters. The population reaches nearly 65 million, of which 75% is Thai, 14% Chinese, and 11% other, with a 33.4 million strong workforce of which 49% work in agriculture, 14% in the industry and 37% in services. The main industries are tourism, textiles and garments, agricultural processing, beverages, tobacco, cement, light manufacturing such as jewelry, electric appliances and components, computers and parts, furniture and plastics, whilst also being the world's second-largest tungsten producer, and third-largest producer of tin. The main agriculture products are rice, cassava, rubber, corn, sugarcane, coconuts and soybeans. Natural resources include tin, rubber, natural gas, tungsten, timber, lead, fish, gypsum, lignite and arable land. Thailand has a free-enterprise economy and welcomes foreign investment. Exports feature textiles and footwear, fishery products, rice, rubber, jewelry, automobiles, computers and electrical appliances. With 95%, the majority of the people practice Buddhism, mainly the Theravada school; other religions include 3.8% Islam, 0.5% Christianity, 0.1% Hinduism, and 0.6% others. Besides the capital Bangkok, which is not a province but a special administrative area that is administered as a province, there are 77 provinces. The Thai currency is the ‘baht.

Thailand Balloon Festival

Annual event in Bangkok featuring balloon art, i.e. multiple party balloons that are made into sculptures. During the 4th Thailand Balloon Festival in June 2009, the main theme was creatures from Thai mythology, featuring multiple balloon sculptures of fabulous creatures (fig.), many of them inhabitants of Himaphan forest, including the most gigantic Hanuman in Asia (fig.). The happening, organized for the first time in 2006, should not to be confused with the Thailand International Balloon Festival, which features hot air balloons. In Thai, the Thailand Balloon Festival is called thetsakahn look pohng yak.

Thailand-Burma Railway

See Death Railway.

Thailand-Burma Railway Centre

The Thailand-Burma Railway Centre in Kanchanaburi is an interactive museum, as well as a research and information Centre dedicated to presenting the story of the Thailand-Burma Railway, which ran from Nong Pladuk in Thailand to Thanbuyuzayat in Burma and was built by the Imperial Japanese Army during WW II. The museum consists of eight galleries featuring: an introduction in view of a timeline; the different phases of planning; construction and logistics; a geography of the railway; the living conditions in the camps; medical aspects; a summary of the deaths; the end of the war; and what happened after the war. The museum has video and slide show displays and sixty panels describing the history of the Death Railway from its inception to the final scene of the line in 1947, in both Thai and English. The text is supported by artwork, (electronic) maps, scale models, graphics, actual war time photographs and plans. The museum is situated just beside the Don Rak war cemetery, on which it offers a panoramic view from its coffee shop. See also the Hellfire Pass Memorial.

Thailand Cultural Centre

Complex in Bangkok that promotes the culture and arts of Thailand, especially the performing arts, such as khon. For this purpose, the venue has several auditoria and an outdoor amphitheater. It also features a cultural library and several permanent exhibition on Thai life and culture, including a collection of khon masks. The Thailand Cultural Centre was built with a grant from Japan and in tribute features a Japanese pavilion and Japanese-style garden (fig.), as well as a Thai pavilion, which is built over a pond and houses a Buddha image. The foundation stone was laid on 1 April 1983 by Princess Sirinthon and the venue was inaugurated on 9 October 1987 by King Bhumiphon. The Thailand Cultural Centre is located in Huay Khwang (ห้วยขวาง) District, adjacent to the Chinese Culture Centre (fig.), and is built on a plot of land measuring 22 rai, 2 ngan and 83 wah, donated by Mr. Phairoht (ไพโรจน์) and Mrs. Thipawan Jirachanahnon (ทิพย์วรรณ จิรชนานนท์). The centre is under the supervision of the Fine Arts Department and is also referred to as Thailand Culture Centre. In Thai, it is known as Soon Wattanatham Haeng Prathet Thai (ศูนย์วัฒนธรรมแห่งประเทศไทย).

Thailand Earth Observation Systems Satellite

Name of the first satellite in Southeast Asia, that is used for natural resource exploration in Thailand and which is operated by the Thailand's national space agency, i.e. Geo-Informatics & Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), in cooperation with EASD Astrium SAS in France, who developed the satellite. The project is funded by the Thai Ministry of Science and Technology and stems from the cooperation between the French and Thai governments. It is also referred to by its abbreviated name, i.e. THEOS, which is Greek for ‘God’. The satellite was launched into orbit on 1 October 2008 from Dombarovsky Air Base near Yasny in Russia, using a Dnepr carrier rocket of the International Space Company Kosmotras. The satellite has an orbital inclination of 98.78 and orbits earth every 101.4 minutes. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

Thailand Post

See Praisanih Thai.

Thai Labour Museum

Museum on the evolution of Thai labour, from the time that slavery still existed up to the present. It is located in Bangkok's Makkasan district, in a building that was first used as the office of the Railway Police and later as office of the Labour Union, from where it conducted its operations. In front of the museum a monument is erected to celebrate the dignity of labour, which consists of a sculpture of a man and a woman pushing a large mechanical wheel forwards, symbolizing the (cog-)wheel of (labour) history (fig.). Inside the museum, murals depict the history of the evolution of Thai labour, and displays objects from the past, such as a Chinese rickshaw, an important vehicle of the past. A former police cell, which still has metal bars, has been adapted as a library with the works of prof. Nikhom Chantharawituhm (ศ. นิคม จันทรวิทูร), the foremost expert on Thai labour. The exhibition is divided into six themes, i.e. 1. forced labour as the foundation of the ancient society; 2. labour during the time of the reformation of the country; 3. the sorrows of the labourer; 4. labour and democracy; 5. from the dark age to the golden age; and 6. Thai labour today.

Thai Lu (ไทลื้อ)

Ethnic minority group who migrated around 200 years ago from China's Xishuangbanna to Thailand and mainly settled in the province of Nan. Their religion is similar to Thai Theravada Buddhism. In Nan they have influenced Buddhist architecture and a typical Thai Lu style temple is recognizable from its thick walls with small windows and stairs with broad handrails and double or triple roofs with curved gable boards. They build their traditional houses of wood or bamboo on solid wooden poles. On the ground floor is usually the kitchen and a place for weaving. They are known for their handwoven fabrics. In Thailand they are also called Lawa and Lua. See also Wa.

Thai Mask Play

See khon.

Thai Military

See kong thap.

THAIPEX

Abbreviation for ‘Thailand Philatelic Exhibition’, a biannual event organized by the Thai Post Office, in which stamp collectors exhibit their national and international stamp collections. There may also be competitions. The exhibition is usually held in August in a location in or around Bangkok. It was first held in 1971 under the name ThailandPEX, and has occasionally been organized under different names, especially when it was part of a larger international event. Since 1973, special commemorative stamps with the Thaipex logo have been issued on the occasion of each of the exhibitions. In Thai, it is known as ngan sadaeng trah praisanih yahkon haeng chaht (งานแสดงตราไปรษณียากรแห่งชาติ), which translates as ‘national postage stamps' exhibition’.

Thai Phuan (ไทยพวน)

Name of a Tai Theravada Buddhist people spread out in small pockets over most of the Isaan, with other groups dotted in Central Thailand and Laos. They number around 205,000 and their population is split fairly evenly between Laos and Thailand. Their language is closely related to other tribal Tai languages. In the beginning of April the Thai Phuan of Sri Satchanalai hold their annual Buat Chang Had Siew ceremony in which they use elephants to parade buatnaag novices into the temple. Also transcribed Tai Phuan and sometimes called just Phuan or Lao Phuan.

Thai Pony

See mah klaeb.

Thai Red Cross Society

Society founded on 26 April 1893, during the reign of King Rama V, to provide relief to the victims of the territorial conflicts along the borders of Siam and French Indochina, over land on the left bank of the Mekhong River. Initially and prior to 1906, the organization was called Red Unnahlohm Society of Siam, referring to the insignia worn on the cap of the soldiers of those days. At first, the society only dispatched medical supplies, food and clothing to the soldiers engaged in defending the country, and aided to alleviate the suffering of the injured. Later, during the reign of King Rama VI, the scope of its activities was widened to include general health care, disease prevention and relief services. In 1920, the society was recognized officially by the International Committee of the Red Cross and a year later accepted as a member of the League of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. The society has always been closely associated with the royal family and is under royal patronage, with many projects initiated by royal members, such as the Queen's Housing Resort in Sri Racha (fig.). From its foundation onward successive queens have been the Thai Red Cross Society's presidents and at present princess Sirindhorn serves as executive vice president, while a council of 20 members and 12 representatives from the provincial Red Cross chapters are appointed by the queen to oversee the operations of the organization. The Thai Red Cross Society is represented in all of Thailand’s 76 provinces and the provincial Red Cross chapters are usually chaired by the provincial governor’s wife. Besides hospitals (fig.) and administrative offices, the society has several specialized branches and services, such as a cancer institute (fig.), a national blood centre, an organ donations centre (fig.), a nursing college, a first-aid and health training centre, a research centre, a children's home for orphans (fig.), etc. In the society's Queen Saovabha Memorial Institute anti-tuberculosis (fig.) and rabies vaccines, as well as snake serums are produced (fig.), both for domestic use and export. In Thai called Sapaakahchaad Thai.

Thai Red Cross Youth

Movement founded on 27th January 1922 by the initiation of Prince Boriphat Sukhumphan (fig.), the then Executive Vice-president of the Siam Red Cross Society, and initially known as the Siam Red Cross Youth Division. Its goal is to inculcate Thai youth to be good citizens, have self-dedication, as well as values and ideas of peace and good health, and to offer voluntary services to the society. Hence, on January 27th the annual Thai Red Cross Youth Day is observed. There are today more than 900,000 Thai Red Cross Youth members all over the nation, though the majority are girls. Initially, membership was available for children aged 8 to 18, but in 1978 the age range was expanded from 8 to 25 years old. In Thai, the organization is known as Yuwakahchaad Thai (ยุวกาชาดไทย) and its emblem is a red cross on a white background in a pale blue circle, the same colour as the girls' uniforms, whereas boys wear a white shirt over blue shorts. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

Thai Song Dam (ไทยทรงดำ)

Another name for Lao Sohng.

Thai Water Dragon

See Indochinese Water Dragon.

Thai Waterworks Museum

Museum located at the Samsen Water Treatment Plant in Bangkok's Phaya Thai District and housed in the former and first water treatment plant of the country. It is divided into three parts, i.e. a pure water storing area, a pumping section and a filtering plant. The museum (fig.) explains the evolution of Thailand’s waterworks system, which was initiated under the auspices of King Rama V, in order to give his subjects access to clean water. He set up a government unit led by Chao Phraya Yommaraat (fig.), the then Minister of Public Works, in order to set up and manage the system, whilst also providing personal resources as a starting fund for its establishment. Hence, construction of the first water treatment plant was started in 1909, in the reign of King Rama V, but was completed only in the reign of King Rama VI, who declared it open in November 1914 under the name Bangkok Waterworks Authority. In 1967, the unit became a state enterprise and has since then been renamed the Metropolitan Waterworks Authority of Thailand. On 17 July 2013, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided over the opening ceremony of the Thai Waterworks Museum, well ahead for the celebrations of the 100th Anniversary of Thailand's first water treatment plant in November 2014.

Thai Yai (ไทใหญ่)

See Tai Yai.

Thai Yuan (ไทยวน)

See Tai Yuan.

Thaksin (ทักษิณ)

1. Thai name for the South. See also Isaan and Phayap.

2. Thai. Name for a kind of base for chedi, and also known as tahn thaksin.

3. Thai. Another name for Shiva, the Hindu deity who represents destruction.

thaksinahwat (ทักษิณาวรรต)

Thai. A circular procession around a temple, an important shrine or a stupa, in a clockwise direction with the temple or shrine on the right, whilst holding candles, or other offerings. It is practiced during some Buddhist festivals such as Khao Pansa. It is the opposite of an uttarawat. Compare this with the Sanskrit word pradakshina.

thalae mek (ทะเลเมฆ)

1. Thai. ‘Sea of ​​clouds’. Name for a natural phenomenon that arises due to low stratiform clouds that form a foggy band, often floating in between mountains.

2. Thai. ‘Sea of ​​clouds’. Name for a lunar mare, i.e. a dark spot of basaltic lava on the moon's surface, visible from Earth, and in generally referred to by its Latin name Mare Nubium.

Thalang (ถลาง)

1. Ancient name for Phuket. It derives from the old Yawi word telong, which means ‘cape’ and the Malay name for the island, i.e. Tanjung Salang, which means ‘Cape Salang’ and was itself distorted into Junk Ceylon in some Western sources. The northernmost amphur of the province, which was the location of the old capital, is still named Thalang. Sometimes transcribed Tha-Laang.

2. Name of the northernmost amphur of the province Phuket, where the old capital used to be located. It is also the former name of the island and is sometimes transcribed Tha-Laang.

tham (ถ้ำ)

Thai for cave.

Tham Khwan Deuan (ทำขวัญดือน)

Thai. Name of a ritual in which the hair present at birth, which in Thai is called phom fai, is shaved. The ritual is consequently also known as Kohn Phom Fai and often referred to as Phittih Tham Khwan Deuan. It takes place when the infant has reached the age of one month (deuan), i.e. pass the danger period, when the infant is considered to be no longer at risk of dying. An auspicious day is chosen and on the occasion, it will also be given its name. The term Tham Khwan literally means ‘to perform welcoming rites’. Compare also with khwan and Phittih Kohnjuk. See also POSTAGE STAMP.

thamma (ธรรม, ธัมมะ)

Thai pronunciation of the Pali word dhamma.

Thammasat (ธรรมศาสตร์)

Thai ‘Legal science’. The term derives from the Sanskrit word Dharmasastra, an ancient book of the law in Hinduism, and refers in Thai to the science or philosophy of the law, i.e. jurisprudence. In the late 19th century, the Thai legal system was reformed with the assistance of Gustave Rolin-Jaequesmyns, a Belgian diplomat and adviser to king Chulalongkorn, who helped to establish law courts and founded the International Law Institute, the precursor of the Thammasat University founded by Pridi Phanomyong (fig.), where he is now honoured with a statue.

Thammayut (ธรรมยุต, ธรรมยุติ)

Thai word derived from the Pali word Dhammayutika, meaning ‘group adhering the dhamma’. It is the name of a sub-sect of the Thai Theravada school of Buddhism, founded in 1833 by king Mongkut and modeled after an early Mon form of monastic discipline which is generally stricter than its counterpart. Its aim was to make monastic discipline more orthodox, as it was found that there were serious discrepancies between the rules given in the Pali Canon and the actual practices of the monks. It also tried to get rid of all non-Buddhist, folk-religious and superstitious elements that had become part of Buddhist practices. Thammayut monks are expected to attain proficiency in meditation, as well as Buddhist scholarship through study of the scriptures. They are allowed to eat only once a day, before noon, and only what is in their alms bowl. This is in contrast with the monks of the Mahanikaai sect, who specialize in either meditation or study of the scriptures, not in both, and are allowed to eat twice before noon, as well as to accept side dishes. In 1855, the Khmer king Norodom invited a Cambodian monk educated in the lineage of king Mongkut, to establish a branch of the Thammayut order in Cambodia. With the passing of the Sangha Act of 1902, the Thammayut sect was formally recognized as the lesser of Thailand's two Theravada denominations. It became stronger under royal patronage and the present-day royal family is purportedly still closely associated with the Thammayut order. Also called Thammayutnikaai.

Thammayutnikaai (ธรรมยุตินิกาย)

See Thammayut.

tham moh (ทำหม้อ)

Thai for pottery making.

Tham Pah Acha Thong (ถ้ำป่าอาชาทอง)

See Wat Tham Pah Acha Thong.

thana (သနပ်)

Burmese name for the Sebesten Tree, a tree with the botanical name Cordia dichotoma, of which the leaves, called thana hpe, are used in Myanmar as a wrapper to make cheroot-cigars (fig.).

thanaakhaan (ธนาคาร)

Thai for ‘bank’, i.e. a financial institution. The first ever Thai bank that came into being is the Siam Commercial Bank (fig.), founded in 1907 and sprouting from the Book Club which was established in 1904. Later other banks were established, such as the Government Savings Bank (fig.), which was founded in 1913 under the name Saving Treasury and initially located in the Grand Palace, and using the personal funds of King Rama VI. The word Thanaakhaan derives from the Sanskrit term dhanagara, in which dhana means ‘wealth’ or ‘money’.

thana hpe (သနပ်ဖက်)

Burmese. ‘Thana leaf’, i.e. the leaves of the Cordia dichotoma, which are edible. In Myanmar, they are also dried and used as a wrapper to make cheroot-cigars (fig.).

thanaan (ทะนาน)

Thai name for a vessel made of a coconut shell and used for scooping rice, which later became a unit of capacity for uncooked rice, now officially settled at one liter and called thanaan luang. See also thang.

thanaan luang (ทะนานหลวง)

Thai. The official unit of capacity for measuring uncooked rice, equivalent to one liter. The term is derived from a vessel made of a coconut shell, used for ladling rice, which is known as thanaan. See also thang.

thanaka (သနပ်ခါး)

Burmese. Traditional fragrant paste used in Myanmar for cosmetic purposes and facial painting. It consists of organic wood powder mixed with water, which is obtained from pulverizing or rubbing (fig.) wood bark of the Wood-apple Tree (Limonia acidissima) on a stone slab (fig.). Markets in Myanmar usually have ample thanaka wood vendors selling chunks of wood (fig.), which they may saw into smaller sizes to order (fig.). The use of thanaka is very popular, especially amongst Burmese minority groups in parts of Thailand and in Burma, both as protection from the sun or simply as a decoration. By some it is also believed to have protective powers. When under British rule as part of the British-Indian Empire, Burma has long been administered as a province of India and the practice is probably a Burmese adaptation of a Hindu tradition known as tilaka, a Sanskrit word used for a coloured mark worn on the forehead of most Hindus, typically as a sign of spiritual devotion (fig.), or as a decoration. Like the tradition, the word thanaka is most likely also related to this Sanskrit word. The custom also occurs in Laos where it is known as kajae. Also transcribed thanakha.

Thandawgan (သံတော်ခံ)

Burmese. One of 37 nats that belong to the official pantheon of spirits worshipped in Myanmar.

thang (ถัง)

1. Thai name for a bucket or pail, used for storing uncooked rice. It is customarily made from wood, with a metal ring on the top rim, in the centre and at the bottom, and a wooden grip in the middle of the opening, leveled with the top of the bucket. This bucket traditionally has a capacity of 20 liters, and is used to scoop and measure rice. As such, it stands at the origin of a measure of capacity, especially for rice, equivalent to 20 liters and referred to by the same name.

2. Thai name of a measure of capacity, especially for rice, equivalent to 20 liters. The term is derived from a wooden bucket used for storing uncooked rice. One thang equals 20 thanaan, officially referred to as thanaan luang and equivalent to 20 liters; 50 thang equals 1 ban or ban luang; and 100 thang is the equivalent of 1 kwian, officially known as kwian luang.

thangka (टङ्क)

1. A piece of cloth, often made from silk, painted with deities from Tibetan Mahayana Buddhism. Also tanka. Compare with mandala.

2. An object of veneration and a source of inspiration when meditating. Also tanka. Compare with mandala.

Thani (ตานี)

1. Thai. Old name for the town of Pattani in the South of Thailand.

2. Thai. Name for a species of banana. See gluay thani.

thao (ท้าว)

Thai honorary title meaning ‘lord’, ‘prince’ and ‘king’. Also used in a feminine way and accordingly translated as ‘dame’, ‘princess’ and ‘queen’. In titles usually transcribed with a capital letter Thao, but also often spelled tao or Tao.

Thao Barot-Nang Usa (ท้าวบารส-นางอุษา)

See Nang Usa-Thao Barot.

that (ธาตุ)

1. Thai. One of the four  elements from antiquity, namely earth, water, air and fire. Also spelt thaat.

2. Thai-Laotian. A relic of the Buddha or a shrine with a relic of the Buddha. Common in Laos and some parts of Thailand. Also spelt thaat.

3. Thai. A funeral temple for members of the monarchy. Also spelt thaat.

thawaanbaan (ทวารบาล)

Thai term for dvarapala, which derives from the Pali words thawaan and paan (ปาล), which mean ‘door’ or ‘gate’, and ‘to look after’ or ‘to guard’, respectively. In Thailand, the term often refers to any of the giant or demon, i.e. yak guardians, found at entrances of temples, palaces, and important tourist attractions.

Thayaan Phikaat (ทะยานพิฆาฎ)

Thai. A Thai Army Lieutenant, who in 1912 took an aviation course in France. Afterward, he received a proper Air Force rank and was at the same time promoted to Group Captain. He took his aviation training course together with Army Captain Luang Ahwut Sikhikorn (fig.) at Mourmelon-le-Grand (fig.), a military airfield in northern France, flying a Nieuport 11 trainer monoplane (fig.). They were sent to France together with Army Major Luang Sakdi Sanyawut (fig.), who received his initial training at Villacoublay (fig.), a military air base near Paris, and learned to fly in a Breguet Type III biplane (fig.). Of both aircrafts replicas are on display at the Royal Thai Air Force Museum in Bangkok (fig.) and the planes are depicted on the first two postage stamps of a double set of 8 postage stamps each (fig.), issued in 2012 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of theses pioneer's initial training, which eventually led to the establishment of the Royal Thai Air Force. The trio became known as the Founding Fathers of the Royal Thai Air Force, sometimes referred to as the Parents of the RTAF, and Thayaan was bestowed with the title of Phraya. He is also known as Thip Ketuthat.

theen (เถร)

Thai-Pali. ‘Elder’. A senior Buddhist monk who has been more than ten years in the priesthood. Also thera as in Theravada. May also be spelt then.

thein (သိမ်)

The ordination hall at Buddhist temples in Burma and as such the Burmese counterpart of the Thai bot.

Theng (เท่ง)

Thai. Name of one of the tua talok characters (fig.) in the lesser Thai shadow play known as nang thalung. He is usually depicted as an old man with dark skin, a big nose, a bald forehead and curly hair in the back of his head, a potbelly, and wearing only a checkered sarong, a pahkaomah behind which he carries a southern-style knife called miht aai krok, and wearing a kind of shawl or necklace. Characteristically, his face is reminiscent of a hornbill (nok hang), and his one hand is shaped as a human penis complete with testicles (fig.). The character was reportedly invented in Songkhla Province as a change to the classical characters that up to then were depicted with a slim and tall figure. He is also referred to as Aai Theng (อ้ายเท่ง).

THEOS

Abbreviation for Thailand Earth Observation Systems Satellite.

thep (เทพ)

See thevada.

thepaniyai (เทพนิยาย)

Thai. ‘Mythology’. A legend or myth.

thepanom (เทพนม)

Thai. A compound word referring to a statue (fig.) or depiction of an angel, thep, thevada, deva or devi in a respectful posture clasping the hands as a token of worship and sign of respect, a gesture commonly known as phranom or phranommeua. Also thephanom.

thepatida (เทพธิดา)

Thai. A goddess or angel.

thepchumnum (เทพชุมนุม)

Thai. ‘Assembly of thevadas’. The rows of devas, garudas, yakshas, etc., often seen as decoration on rajarot, royal sedan chairs (fig.), chedis, temples, etc., both in sculptured form and as painted murals. One of the more well-known thepchumnum are those of the two golden redented chedis at the compound, in which 4 monkeys and 16 giants from the Ramakien support the base of these pagodas, which were built by King Rama I to house the ashes of his parents, i.e. those of his mother in the gilded chedi on the North, and those of his father in the gilded chedi on the South (fig.).

thephanom (เทพนม)

See thepanom.

The Philatelists Association of Thailand

Association of stamp collectors and interested persons, under the royal patronage of Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn. It was established in 1975 and originated from a group of enthusiastic stamp collectors who, together with some senior officials of the then Post and Telegraph Department, officially founded and registered the association. Their first ever meeting was held on 9 August 1975 to elect an ad-hoc executive committee, as is required by the association's regulations, and therefore 9 August of each year has been designated as the Association's establishment day. On 9 August 2011, a Thai postage stamp was issued to mark the 36th anniversary of its establishment (fig.). In Thai, the association is known by the lengthy name samahkhom nak sasom trah praisanihyahkon haeng prathet thai.

Thep Kasatri (เทพกษัตรี)

Thai heroine with the title of thao who in 1785 prevented a Burmese invasion of Phuket Island, together with her sister Sri Sunthon. Also known as Chan, Satri and Thep Krasatri. See also heroines of Phuket.

Thep Krasatri (เทพกระษัตรี)

See Thep Kasatri.

Thepnorasi (เทพนรสีห์)

Thai. Creature from Thai mythology with a body that is half man and half lion, and also known as Thepnorasingh (เทพนรสิงห์), literally ‘Angel-lion’. It is similar to Narasimha, yet differs in this that the latter has the body of a man with the head of a lion, whereas in Thepnorasi the head and torso are those of a man and the part from the hips down that of a lion or singha (fig.). It is a creature from Himaphan forest and is depicted either standing or walking upright. It serves an apotropaic purpose and could be seen as the Thai equivalent of the Burmese Manuthiha (fig.). See also Apsonsi.

Theppaksi (เทพปักษี)

Thai-Pali. ‘Angel-bird’. Name of a mythical creature, half-bird half-celestial being from Himaphan Forest, with the upper body of a thep, i.e. an angel depicted as a male human, and the lower body of a bird (paksi - fig.). It is similar to the Kinnon but has no winged section with feathers on its lower arms (fig.).

Thep Patchanna (เทพปัชชุนนะ)

The god of the storm clouds in Lan Na folklore. His mount is a mom. Also known by the name of Watsawalahok Thep.

thep prajam wan (เทพประจำวัน)

Thai system in which each day of the week corresponds with a certain deity. These seven deities (fig.) are Phra Jan for Monday (fig.), Phra Angkahn for Tuesday (fig.), Phra Phut for Wednesday (fig.), Phra Phareuhadsabodih for Thursday (fig.), Phra Suk for Friday (fig.), Phra Sao for Saturday (fig.) and Phra Ahtit for Sunday (fig.). In Thai the days are derived from these gods and their names appear in them e.g. Thursday is wan phareuhad, Sunday is wan ahtit, etc. See also wan tua, dao prajam wan, sat prajam wan, Phra prajam wan and sih prajam wan.

The Queen's Gallery

Thai art gallery founded in response of queen Sirikit's whish to provide a permanent home for the exhibition of a wide range of Thai visual arts, especially sculpture and paintings, in order to promote Thai culture and artists, both young and well established talents. The gallery also acts as an education centre giving training courses to Thai nationals from all backgrounds, turning them into professional artists in various disciplines. The queen is a loyal patron of the gallery.

thera (เถระ)

See theen.

Theranuthera (เถรานุเถระ)

Thai-Pali. The Buddhist hierarchy, the governing body of the Buddhist clergy. See also Sangha.

Therasapha (เถรสภา)

Thai-Pali. Buddhist council. See also Sangkayana.

Theravada (थेरवाद)

Sanskrit-Pali. ‘Words of the elders’ or ‘teachings of the elders’. A Hinayana sect of Buddhism that spread to Southeast Asia from India via Sri Lanka, where it is the dominant form of Buddhism. Its texts are written in Pali.

Therawaht (เถรวาท)

Thai for Theravada.

thet (เทศน์)

Thai. ‘Sermon’, as in kanthet and kreuang kanthet.

thetsakahn (เทศกาล)

Thai for ‘festival’, ‘festival season’, ‘festivities’ and ‘holiday’.

thetsakahn kin jae (เทศกาลกินแจ)

Thai. Lent or fasting period according to Chinese custom. In translation it is generally called Vegetarian Festival. This nine-day festival is celebrated the most exuberantly in Phuket, but is also popular in other regions and all over Thailand restaurants place small yellow banners with red Thai and Chinese characters (fig.) to indicate that they serve vegetarian food. It is believed the soul and mind are purified by refraining from meat consumption. Believers will gather to help clean out spirit shrines and light candles to prepare the arrival of nine angels. To symbolize their presence, nine lanterns are lit up and placed aloft a pole, known as Ko Teng. A ceremony is also held to welcome Yok Ong Song Te. Festival partakers dress in white, place yellow and red banners and make small altars in front of shop houses (fig.). On the sixth day of the festival in Phuket this custom is accompanied with parades in which spiritualist mediums chastise themselves whilst in a trance, doing such things as body piercing and walking over hot coals. Other participants walk over lit candles whilst receiving a stamp with red Chinese signs on their back. Throughout the festival firecrackers are used abundantly to add lustre and noise to the celebrations. On the last day of the festival there will be a goddess procession. This festival usually takes place somewhere in the beginning to the middle of October and coincides with the Indian festival of Vijayadazaami, to which it bears many resemblances. See also jae.

thetsakahn look pohng yak (เทศกาลลูกโป่งยักษ์)

Thai name for the Thailand Balloon Festival.

thevada (เทวดา)

Thai. A deva, god, deity, angel, miracle worker or something divine.

Thevasathaan (เทวสถาน)

Thai. ‘Divine place’ or ‘angelic place’. Name of a Brahmin temple built in 1784, on the orders of king Rama I, to be used for holding Brahmin rites and ceremonies. The temple comprises of three Thai-style buildings, made from brick and mortar. Each building has a different colour of roof and is actually a Hindu shrine, each for another deity. The first one on the premises from the main entrance, with a brown roof, is devoted to the god Shiva and contains his image in a blessing pose, whereas the building in the middle, with a green roof, has a shrine dedicated to Ganesha, and the last shrine, with an orange roof, is devoted to Vishnu. In front of the first building is a large golden statue of Brahma, enshrined under an open, arched pavilion. Past the entrance on the left is a small garden with a pile of rocks, topped by a small golden statue of Shiva, and on the opposite side stands a tall sala tree. In the back of the compound is an assemby hall where devotees gather. This temple is located adjacent to the Giant Swing, another residue of one of the Brahmin rites from the past. Sometimes referred to as the Brahmin Shrines, in Thai Boht Phraam, and also transcribed Devasathan.

Thevasathaan Uthayaan Phra Phi Kaneht (เทวสถานอุทยาน พระพิฆเนศ)

Thai. ‘Place of the deity Ganesha’. Name of a religious complex, also referred to as the Ganesha Idol Park in Chachengsao Province, and located on the banks of the Bang Pakong river at Bang Talaht, in the king amphur Klong Kheuan. It is allegedly the world's largest bronze statue of Ganesha, described to stand 39 meters tall (fig.), and the project was officially initiated in a casting ceremony held on 28 January 2012, in which the giant head of the statue was cast using phaen thong kham, donated by the public. The lampothon statue is in the Chaturbuja-style, i.e. with four arms, and with a halo in the shape of a lasso called pasa, an attribute that in Hindu iconography represents an instrument used to destroy desire and craving. At the top of the lasso is a circle wreathed in flames, similar to the chintamani (fig.), with the word ohm inside. Among his attributes are also a writing brush, that represents literature and refers to his role as the god of arts, as well as some food favoured by Ganesha, such as mango. At his left leg sits a rat, i.e. the official vehicle or vahana of Ganesha. See also Wat Samaan Rattanaraam.

thevathut sie (เทวทูต )

Thai. ‘Four divine emissaries’. The several life phases, ending in death. A term used to indicate the observations of Siddhartha when he went outside the palace walls for the first time and noticed the suffering of ordinary people. He consequently met an ascetic or hermit (samana), a cripple, a sick man and a dead man. The term stands for old age, sickness, death and rebirth, respectively. See also Four Encounters.

thian ob (เทียนอบ)

Thai. A horseshoe- or U-shaped fragrant candle used for smoking sweetmeats, such as khao too maprao oun. The curved candle has a wick sticking out on each side, which are both lit and blown out again, after which the smouldering scented candle is quickly placed into a pot, usually on a small platter in the centre, together with the sweetmeats and closed off with a lid, allowing the smoke to spread and its aroma to penetrate the sweetmeats. When the smoke has died out, the process is repeated until satisfactory. Also called thian ob kanom.

thian pansa (เทียนพรรษา)

Thai. ‘Pansa candle’. Name for large candles which are cast (fig.) as a means of tamboon, either in an decorative mould or elaborately carved afterwards, before being carried around in a procession (fig.), at the beginning of the rainy season, with the start of khao pansa. Yhe candles are entered in a contest in which neighbouring villages compete against each other for the most beautiful candles. Eventually the candles are offered to the local temple (fig.). See also Wax Candle Festival. Also transcribed thian phansa.

thian phae (เทียนแพ)

See toob thian phae.

thian phu luang (เทียนภูหลวง)

Thai. A plant, with the botanical name Impatiens phulungensis, that is found only in Thailand. It is a succulent that blooms between July and October, and bears bright pink flowers, that have heart-shaped petals (fig.). The plant grows mostly in mountainous areas, and is commonly found in Phuluang Wildlife Sanctuary, in Loei Province.

Thich Quang Duc (Thch Quảng Đức)

Name of a Vietnamese Mahayana Buddhist monk, whom on 11 June 1963 publicly burned himself to death in Saigon, in protest of the violation of religious freedom and the discriminative policies against Buddhists by the then South Vietnamese regime. For his ritualistic suicide, the abbot of Phuoc Hoa Pagoda went by car (fig.) to the spot where he was to immolate himself and calmly seated himself in the lotus position. A fellow monk then poured gasoline over his head and Thich set himself alight with a match (fig.). After his death, he became venerated as a bodhisattva (fig.).

Thick-billed Pigeon

Name of an olive green pigeon with the binomial name Treron curvirostra and a distinctive, heavy bill, red at the base and yellowish green at the tip. Being sexually dimorphic, females are recognized by a green mantle, whereas that of males is maroon, yet both sexes have red legs and the same characteristic, yellow wingbars and pale blue-green orbital rings. Different from the female, the male also has light underparts and a grey crown. Thick-billed Pigeons inhabit most forest types, including mangroves and are found through much of Thailand, where it is called nok khao plao thammada. Also known as Thick-billed Green-pigeon.

Thien Khuyen (Thin Khuyển)

Vietnamese. Name of the Vietnamese-Taoist Judge of the Heavens. READ ON.

thihra (ธีร)

Thai. ‘Learned man’, ’ wise man’ and ‘genius’.

thihraraat (ธีรราช)

Thai. ‘Learned king’ or ‘wise king’. A designation given to king Vajiravudh for his literary work.

Thinglish

Term, mostly used by expatriates living in Thailand, to express the incorrect use of English grammar, vocabulary (word choice) and pronunciation by Thais, often due to interference from their own language, as well as local anomalies and colloquialism. For example, the Thai term for ‘same’ in is meuan kan (เหมือนกัน), but can also be meuan meuan kan (เหมือนเหมือนกัน), thus in English, the Thais will often say the word same twice, i.e. ‘same same’. With regards to incorrect pronunciation, typical examples are: university and electricity, which are pronounced ‘univer-city’ and ‘electric-city’, with the penultimate and ultimate syllables pronounced as city (town); vegetable, which is pronounced ‘vege-table’, with the penultimate and ultimate syllables pronounced as table (furniture), etc. In addition, there is also a certain laziness of the tongue, which is by the way equally commonly found in the Thai language, when the letter R is either unpronounced or swapped for an L, and vice versa. A common example is the question from a Thai waiter for more rice, i.e. ‘You want mo(le) lice’? The incorrect use of grammar often relates to syntax, i.e. the grammatical arrangement of words into a sentence, as in the example ‘you are my friend’, which Thais often almost literally translate from Thai, i.e. khun pen pheuan khong phom, or simply khun pheuan phom (คุณ [เป็น] เพื่อน [ของ] ผม), meaning you [are] friend [of] I/me, into ‘you my friend me’, seemingly also thinking that ‘my friend’ is one indivisible term as it is and that the word ‘friend’ on its own doesn't exist, as is often thought with the word birthday too, which is usually spoken of as ‘happy birthday’, e.g. tomorrow is my ‘happy birthday’. Thinglish or the incorrect interpretation of English may sometimes lead to misunderstanding or funny situations, especially when the R is swapped for an L, as in the incident when a Thai tour guide with regards to politics was asked the question ‘How often do you have elections in Thailand?’, he greatly astonished replied ‘Eve-l-y morning’! Sometimes spelled Tinglish and also called Thenglish, Thainglish and Thailish.

Thipchakratiwong (ทิพย์จักราธิวงศ์)

Thai. Name of the dynasty that ruled Chiang Mai from 1774 to 1939. This period started after the revolt of Lan Na against Burmese rule, that began with the liberation of Lampang and the 1774 recapture of Chiang Mai by the Siamese king Taksin, and lasted until seven years after Chiang Mai was made a province of Siam in 1932. This dynasty includes Chao Kawila, the first king of Lan Na under Siamese rule and is also known by the name Chao Jed Ton, the ‘Dynasty of the Seven Lords’. See also list of Thai kings.

Thip Ketuthat (ทิพย์ เกตุทัต)

See Thayaan Phikaat.

third eye

1. The name at times given to the curl of hair between the eyebrows of some gods, otherwise called an urna. According to legend it radiates the beams of light that enlighten the world and is a symbol for great, all-seeing wisdom. It is one of the marks of an enlightened being. In oriental iconography it is often depicted as a round sign, though it may also be depicted as an actual, additional eye (fig.). In Hinduism it is regarded the seat of occult power. The third eye of Shiva, for example, will eventually consume the universe and that of Durga created the goddess Kali. Besides this it is also seen as the ajnakhya, one of the six chakras or centres of spiritual energy of the body, representing inner vision. Hindus often place a red, white or black mark, called pundra or tilaka, on their forehead which indicates either a third eye or refers to their marital status, its significance varying from community to community. Sometimes called a buddha eye (fig.). See also Wisdom Eyes.

2. The colloquial name for the iridescent, photosensitive spot between the eyes in some reptiles and which is officially known as the pineal gland (fig.). This gland recognizes differences in light and is thought to help avoid threats from above, such as attacks from aerial predators, as well as to assist with basking, in order to keep the body temperature within certain boundaries, i.e. thermoregulation. Also called pineal eye or parietal eye.

Third Lotus Prince

A title given to Nezha, the Taoist child-deity, who is fully known as Nezha San Taizi. He is usually depicted holding a magical Golden Hoop in the left hand and a Fire Spear in the right hand, whilst subduing a sea dragon (fig.). In Chinese, Lian Hua San Taizi, literally ‘Third Lotus Flower Crown Prince’.

thobe (ثَوب)

Arabic. ‘Garment’. Term for a type of long outer garment with wide sleeves, worn by Muslim men, and similar to the jubbah (fig.), that –except for the hands and face– covers the entire body to almost ankle-length. Also transcribed thaub or thawb.

thod kathin (ทอดกฐิน)

See kathin.

thod man pla (ทอดมันปลา)

Thai name for local fish cakes. The term could be interpreted as both ‘oil fried fish’ and ‘fried fish fat’. Ingredients include fish meat; a spicy curry paste, normally used to make nahm phrik kaeng (fig.); sliced Chinese longbeans, called tua fak yao in Thai (fig.); bai makrud or kaffir leaves (fig.), cut into slivers; chicken egg yolk; sugar and salt. The items are mixed into a paste and fried in oil as flat slabs. They are a Thai specialty often found as a snack on markets or as a starter in restaurants.

thod phah (ทอดผ้า)

Thai. Offering robes to Buddhist monks in Thailand. Also thod phah pah.

thod phah pah (ทอดผ้าป่า)

Thai. Ceremony in which laymen present robes and other offerings to Buddhist monks in Thailand. Also thod phah.

thohn ram manah (โทนรำมะนา)

Thai name for two hand drums, i.e. the klong thohn and the klong ram manah, played as a pair in Central Thai traditional music (fig.), especially in string ensembles. The thohn gives a low pitch and the ram manah gives a high pitch. In 1970, these drums were depicted played as a pair on one of a set of four Thai postage stamps featuring Thai musical instruments (fig.). Also transcribed ton rammana, tone ram manaa, or similar.

thom (ធំ)

Cambodian or Khmer for ‘great’, as in Angkor Thom.

Thonbanhla (သုံးပန်လှ)

Burmese. One of 37 nats that belong to the official pantheon of spirits worshipped in Myanmar.

Thonbodih (ธนบดี)

Thai name for a deity associated with the Chinese wealth god Tsai Shen Yeh or Chai Sing Ihya (fig.). Usually referred to as Phra Thonbodih.

Thonburi (ธนบุรี)

For a short period a former capital of Siam, founded after the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 (fig.) and then situated in vast swampy delta with the nicknamesea of mud’. Located near the estuary and on the right bank of the Chao Phraya River, it lays opposite Rattanakosin and is today a khet (zone) of greater Bangkok. The capital was founded by King Taksin (fig.) and is home to Wat Arun, as well as the Princess Mother Memorial Park (fig.). Today, the area has a large network of canals and a boat tour on those is a popular tourist attraction (fig.).

Thonburi Train Station

Built in 1900, during the reign of king Rama V, at the mouth of Bangkok Noi Canal. The site was originally a property of a Muslim family which was relocated to the other side of the canal, where king Rama V had a mosque built for them in compensation. During WW II the Imperial Japanese Army used the rail line to deliver weaponry and supplies to its troops in Kanchanaburi, as part of the construction of the Thailand-Burma Railway. During the war the station was entirely damaged by bombs and was rebuilt in its original architectural style after the war was over, commissioned by Phibun Songkram. The train station resumed service and the station was the terminus and departure point for mainly southern-bound trains, as well as trains to and from Kanchanaburi. In 2003, the land of the station and its surrounding area was purchased by the adjacent Siriraj Hospital (fig.) for expansion. Hence, the rail track was shortened and the train service was moved about a kilometer eastward, whilst the old train station became a museum on the history of the hospital, officially known as the Siriraj Bimuksthan Museum (fig.).

Thonburi Palace

In Thai, it is known as Phra Rachawang Deum, literally the ‘Former Palace’, but is usually translated as the ‘OLd Palace’. It was the royal residence of King Taksin, located in Thonburi, adjascent to Wat Arun, and today within the Royal Thai Navy Headquarters at the old Wichai Prasit Fort (fig.). After the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, then general Taksin assembled an army (fig.) to expel the Burmese from Siamese territory and in 1768 founded Thonburi as the new capital, while also becoming the new King of Siam. However, amidst a power struggle with General Chakri, he was accused of megalomania, put on trial, found guilty and executed in 1782, whereupon General Chakri ascended the throne himself as King Rama I. He moved the Siamese capital to the eastbank of the Chao Phraya River, where he had Phra Rachawang, i.e. the Grand Palace (fig.) built as his residence and Thonburi Palace consequently became known as the ‘Former Palace’. The complex includes the Throne Hall, i.e. a venue which was in the Thonburi used for holding court and important ceremonies; Sala Somdet Phra Chao Taksin Maha Raj (fig.), a shrine that housed a statue of King Taksin holding a sword in one hand, but which now has been relocated to the riverfront (fig.); Keng Koo, a twin residences in Chinese-style, which are referred to as the Chinese-rooftop Twins (fig.); Phra Pin Palace Building (fig.), which in the Rattanakosin Period served as the residence of Phra Pinklao, the younger brother of Rama IV, who was the Uparacha, as well as the former Royal Thai Naval Academy (fig.), which can be seen from the riverfront gate, that bears the Naval Academy's emblem (fig.), as well as a plaque commemorating the Academy's establishment in 1906 by King Chulalongkorn (fig.), of which the text also appears on a postage stamp issued in 2006, to mark the Royal Thai Naval Academy's 100th Anniversay (fig.). See POSTAGE STAMPS.

Thong Bo Po Ro (ธง ภ.ป.ร.)

Thai. Name for the personal Royal Flag of King Bhumiphon, in full known as Thong Bhumipon Adunyadet Parama Rajatiraat, and which consists of a golden crown over his initials, the letters B () P () and R () in yellowish-orange, blue, and white, on a yellow field, the colour of his birthday (see sih prajam wan). Another version of the same personal Royal Flag of the King, consists of a yellow field with the logo and text in red print (fig.), and in addition to the crown and the initials, it has a ribbon with the text Song Phra Charoen (ทรงพระเจริญ), which is rajasap, meaning ‘to prosper’ or ‘to be prosperous’, but is usually translated as ‘Long Live the King’. Pronounced Thong Po Po Ro and often transcribed Thong Bor Por Ror.

thong chaht (ธงชาติ)

Thai. ‘National flag’. The flag of a nation. The present Thai national flag is a horizontal striped red-white-blue-white-red banner. According to vexillology, the colours symbolize the nation (red), the monarchy (blue) and religion (white). It was introduced in 1917 by King Rama VI and replaced the thong chang (fig.), the then Siamese flag consisting of a white elephant on a red field (fig.). The present flag is also known by the name thong trai rong, meaning tricolour (fig.). See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

thong chang (ธงช้าง)

Thai. ‘Elephant flag’. The former Siamese flag consisting of a red field with the figure of a white elephant in the middle (fig.). Today this can still be seen as part of the ensign of the Royal Thai Navy (fig.), placed in a circle on the thong chaht, the present Thai tricolour. Besides this the navy also has a flag consisting of a blue field with a white circle (fig.). This circle depicts a yellow chadah-like crown above a chakra encircling an anchor. The former Siamese national flag was used from 1855 to 1917, prior to that the elephant was smaller an encircled by a chakra (fig.), a flag sometimes referred to as thong chang chak (ธงช้างจักร - fig.) and also used simultaneously by the Siamese Navy. In turn, the latter was an adaption of the former naval and national flag, which has only a chakra on a red field (fig.), a flag called thong chak (ธงจักร) and only proceeded by the first Siamese flag, sometimes referred to as thong sayaam and consisting of just a plain red field (fig.). Flags following the thong chang are thong chang song kreuang chak (ธงช้างทรงเครื่องจักร), i.e. a red field with a decorated White Elephant and a small chakra in the top left corner (fig.), thong chang song kreuang (ธงช้างทรงเครื่อง - fig.), the same flag without the chakra, and eventually the present tricolour (fig.). See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thongdaeng (ทองแดง)

Thai. ‘Copper’. Name of the 17th royal dog of King Bhumipon Adunyadet, i.e. a female copper-coloured dog, that was born as a stray dog (fig.) in a soi (side street) nearby a Medical Centre on Rama IX Road, on Saturday 7 November 1998, as one of a litter of 7 puppies, from a mother called Daeng (แดง), i.e. ‘Red’. The other puppies, mostly female, were named Lamun (ละมุน), Kalua (คาลัว), Nun (หนุน), Kohroh (โกโร), Kohsoh (โกโส), whilst the only male puppy was named Thongleuang (ทองเหลือง), which means ‘Brass’. When the King presided over the opening ceremony of the Rama IX Medical Center, a doctor presented Thongdaeng to King Rama IX. At that time, Daeng was ill and unable to sufficiently care for her litter. The King took Thongdaeng to Dusit Palace, where she was adopted by Ma-li (มะลิ), i.e. ‘Jasmine’, a dog already owned by the King, who had just delivered 9 puppies herself the day before Thongdaeng arrived. In 2000, Thongdaeng became pregnant from Thongtae (ทองแท้), a Basenji dog whose name translates as ‘Real Gold’, with similar features to Thongdaeng and also raised by the King. Hence, on Tuesday 26 September 2000, Thongdaeng delivered a litter of 9 puppies, 3 female and 6 male, at the Veterinary Faculty Clinic of the Kasetsart University in Bangkok. The female puppies were named Thongchompunut (ทองชมพูนุท), Thongyod (ทองหยอด) and Thong-att (ทองอัฐ), whereas the male puppies were named Thong-aek (ทองเอก), Thong-muan (ทองม้วน), Thongthat (ทองทัต), Thongphlu (ทองพลุ), Thongyip (ทองหยิบ), and Thongnopphakhun (ทองนพคุณ). Thongdaeng's full name and title are Khun Thongdaeng Suwanna-chaht (คุณทองแดงสุวรรณชาติ), which is sometimes spelled Khun Tongdaen Suvarnnachad. In 2002, the King wrote a biography of his so-called uncommon common dog, titled Reuang Thongdaeng (เรื่องทองแดง), i.e. the ‘Story of Thongdaeng’, which instantly became a bestseller. See also sunak and POSTAGE STAMPS.

Thong Duang (ทองด้วง)

Thai. ‘Golden chrysalis’. Birth name of Chao Phraya Chakri, who later became king Rama I.

Thong Kongsun (ธงกงสุล)

Thai. ‘Consular Flag’. Flag of the Consul of Thailand. It consists of the thong trai rong, i.e. the National Tricolour (fig.) as a background, with additionally a white elephant on a blue circular background. It is similar to Thai Ambassador Standard (fig.), known in Thai as Thong Raja Thoot, but on the Consular flag the elephant is depicted without regalia nor on a pedestal.

thongkhamplaew (ทองคำเปลว)

Thai for gold leaf.

thong kwahw (ทองกวาว)

Thai name for the Tiger Claw, a tree also known as Flame of the Forest and Bastard Teak.

Thong Maai Yod Jom Phon Reua (ธงหมายยศจอมพลเรือ)

Thai. ‘Flag that intends the rank of admiral of the fleet’. Name for the flag of the Admiral of the Fleet of the Royal Thai Navy (fig.). It consists of a navy blue field with five white chakra, one in each corner and one at the centre of the flag, akin to the rank (fig.).

Thong Maha Raj (ธงมหาราช)

Thai. ‘Flag of the Great King’. Name for the Royal Standard, a yellow field with a red Garuda. The Queen has the same emblem but depicted on a swallow-tailed flag, named Thong Rajanih (fig.). There are two models, i.e. Thong Maha Raj Yai and Thong Maha Raj Noi, meaning ‘Big Royal Standard’ and ‘Small Royal Standard’, respectively. Whereas the first one relates to a large square flag, the second refers to a smaller model of it, not larger than 60 centimeters and prolonged with a long, white, slightly tapering, swallow-tailed streamer (fig.). The Crown Prince has a similar flag called Thong Yaowaraht in Thai, i.e. a red Garuda on a yellow field, but the yellow field is surrounded by a broad blue frame (fig.). Other princes in the Chakri dynasty use a flag called Thong Rajawong which consists of a blue field with a yellow disc that features a red Garuda (fig.), whereas other princesses have the same emblem, but depicted on a swallow-tailed flag. Besides this the present king, Rama IX, also has a personal flag called Thong Nai Luang and consisting of a yellow field with the king's initials (... - P. Ch. R.) underneath the Phra Maha Phichai Mongkut, the Thai royal crown in the form of a chadah (fig.). During his reign also several memorial flags were designed (fig.), i.e. on his 50th (fig.) and 60th anniversary on the throne (fig.), to commemorate his 72th birthday (fig.), i.e. the sixth cycle of 12 years according to the zodiac, his 80th birthday (fig.), etc. See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Maha Raj Noi (ธงมหาราชน้อย)

Thai. ‘Small Flag of the Great King’. Name for a smaller model of the Thong Maha Raj which is also known as Thong Maha Raj Yai. It cannot be larger than 60 centimeters and is prolonged with a long, white, slightly tapering, swallow-tailed streamer. It is similar to the Small Standard used by the Crown Prince (fig.). See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Maha Raj Yai (ธงมหาราชใหญ่)

Thai. ‘Big Flag of the Great King’. See Thong Maha Raj. See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Nai Luang (ธงในหลวง)

Thai. ‘Flag of the King’. The personal flag of the king. It bears the Thai Royal Emblem on a yellow-orange field, i.e. the king's initials B.P.R. (ภ.ป.ร. - fig.) underneath the Phra Maha Phichai Mongkut, a chadah-like crown. It is flown throughout the kingdom year round, especially on 5 December, the king's birthday, when it is seen on display in large numbers. In Thai, the flag is called Thong Nai Luang or Thong Barama Phithai.

thong phra phutta sahtsanah (ธงพระพุทธศาสนา)

Thai. ‘Flag of Buddhism’. Flag consisting of an orange field with a dhammachakka (fig.). Also known as thong thammachak. Besides the Thai Buddhist flag there is also an International Buddhist flag, in Thai known as thong phra phutta sahtsanah sakon (fig.). See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

thong phra phutta sahtsanah sakon (ธงพระพุทธศาสนาสากล)

Thai. ‘International flag of Buddhism’. International Buddhist flag consisting of five vertical stripes in blue, yellow, red, white and orange, followed by five horizontal stripes of the same colours. Vexillologicaly the five colours are symbolic of the five Buddhist commandments, known as sihnha in Thai. Besides this, each vertical colour represents a different aura as emanated from the body of the Buddha when he attained Enlightenment, i.e. blue represents loving kindness, peace and universal compassion; yellow corresponds to the middle path; red stands for the blessings of practice, i.e. achievement, wisdom, virtue, fortune and dignity; white symbolizes the purity of the dharma; and orange represents the Buddha's teachings and wisdom, reminiscent of the colour orange in the sih prajam wan which corresponds with the pahng samahti pose in the Phra prajam wan system, both associated with Thursday. The five horizontal colours together are a compound of the five vertical colours and represent a sixth aura, known as the ‘essence of light’. The five vertical and five horizontal stripes together also symbolize the ten Buddhist precepts (as with the flag, an additional five to the first five) as upheld by novices (naen) and most lay people on special occasions, e.g. on Buddhist holy days or during Buddhist Lent. However, in Nepalese tradition, the five colours represent five parts related to the body of the Buddha, with blue representing the hair of the Buddha; whilst yellow stands for his dress; red symbolizes the blood of the Buddha; white the teeth and bones of the Buddha; and orange represents the Buddha's heart. The flag was originally designed in Colombo, Sri Lanka and first hoisted in public on Visakha day in 1885. Besides the International Buddhist flag, Thailand also has a national Buddhist flag known as thong phra phutta sahtsanah or thong thammachak (fig.). See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Rajanih (ธงราชินี)

Thai. ‘Flag of the Queen’. Name for the Standard of the Queen. There are two models, i.e. Thong Rajanih Yai and Thong Rajanih Noi, meaning ‘Big Standard of the Queen’ and ‘Small Standard of the Queen’, respectively. Whereas the first one relates to a large, rectangular, swallow-tailed flag, the second refers to a smaller model of the Thong Maha Raj, not larger than 60 centimeters and prolonged with a long, red, slightly tapering, swallow-tailed streamer (fig.). Besides this, Queen Sirikit also has a personal Royal Flag (fig.), referred to as Thong So Ko (often transcribed Sor Kor and short for Thong Sirikit Kitthiyagon), named after her initials, the letters S () and K (ก) in blue and white (fig.). These are placed on a light blue field, the colour of her birthday (see sih prajam wan), and under a golden crown, similar to the personal Royal Flag of the King (fig.), but without the radiating beams of light at the top (fig.). See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Rajanih Noi (ธงราชินีน้อย)

Thai. ‘Small Flag of the Queen’. Name for the Small Standard of the Queen. It refers to a smaller model of the Thong Maha Raj, not larger than 60 centimeters and prolonged with a long, red, slightly tapering, swallow-tailed streamer. The Small Standard of the Queen is thus the same as the Thong Maha Raj Noi, the Small Royal Standard used by the King (fig.), but with a red streamer, opposed to the white one used for the King. See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Rajanih Yai (ธงราชินีใหญ่)

See Thong Rajanih.

Thong Raja Thoot (ธงราชทูต)

Thai. ‘Flag of the Royal Envoy’. Standard of the Ambassador of Thailand. It consists of the thong trai rong, i.e. the National Tricolour (fig.) as a background, with additionally a white elephant in ceremonial dress and on a pedestal, against a blue circular background. It is similar to the flag of the Royal Thai Navy (fig.), but with a blue rather than a red disc, whereas the consular flag of Thailand, known as Thong Kongsun, is the same apart from the elephant, which is depicted without regalia nor on a pedestal (fig.).

Thong Rajawong (ธงราชวงศ์)

Thai. ‘Flag of the Royal House’. Standard for members of the Chakri dynasty, other than the King, Queen, Crown Prince or Royal Consort of the Crown Prince. There are two models, i.e. Thong Rajawong Fai Nah and Thong Rajawong Fai Nai. However, if left unspecified it most likely refers to the first, rather than to the latter. Of each model exist two types, referred to as Yai and Noi, meaning ‘Big’ and ‘Small’, respectively. Whereas the first one relates to a large square flag with a yellow circle that features a red Garuda (fig.), the second refers to a smaller model of it, not larger than 60 centimeters and prolonged with a long, slightly tapering, swallow-tailed streamer which is white for princes (Fai Nah) and red for princesses (Fai Nai). See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Rajawong Fai Nah (ธงราชวงศ์ฝ่ายหน้า)

Thai. ‘Flag of the Royal House for Officials of the King’. Standard for princes of the Chakri dynasty, other than the Crown Prince, consisting of a square blue field with a yellow disc that features a red Garuda. Besides this type which is sometimes referred to as Thong Rajawong Yai Fai Nah, there is also a smaller model, named Thong Rajawong Noi Fai Nah. This consists of a smaller flag, not larger than 60 centimeters and prolonged with a long, white, slightly tapering, swallow-tailed streamer. Also called Thong Rajawong Yai Fai Nah. See also Thong Rajawong Fai Nai and Thong Rajawong. See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Rajawong Fai Nai (ธงราชวงศ์ฝ่ายใน)

Thai. ‘Flag of the Royal House for Ladies of the Court’. Standard for princesses of the Chakri dynasty, other than the Royal Consort of the Crown Prince. It consists of a blue field with a yellow circle that features a red Garuda, depicted on a swallow-tailed flag. Besides this type which is referred to as Thong Rajawong Yai Fai Nai, there is also a smaller model, named Thong Rajawong Noi Fai Nai. This consists of a smaller flag, not larger than 60 centimeters and prolonged with a long, red, slightly tapering, swallow-tailed streamer. Also called Thong Rajawong Yai Fai Nai. See also Thong Rajawong Fai Nah and Thong Rajawong. See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Rajawong Noi Fai Nah (ธงราชวงศ์น้อยฝ่ายหน้า)

Thai. ‘Small Flag of the Royal House for Officials of the King’. Standard for princes of the Chakri dynasty, other than the Crown Prince, consisting of a flag akin to the Thong Rajawong Fai Nah, a square blue field with a yellow disc that features a red Garuda, but not larger than 60 centimeters and prolonged with a long, white, slightly tapering, swallow-tailed streamer. See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Rajawong Noi Fai Nai (ธงราชวงศ์น้อยฝ่ายใน)

Thai. ‘Small Flag of the Royal House for Ladies of the Court’. Standard for princesses of the Chakri dynasty, other than the Royal Consort of the Crown Prince, that consists of a small flag similar to the Thong Rajawong Fai Nah, but not larger than 60 centimeters and prolonged with a long, red, slightly tapering, swallow-tailed streamer. See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Rajawong Yai Fai Nah (ธงราชวงศ์ใหญ่ฝ่ายหน้า)

Thai. ‘Big Flag of the Royal House for Officials of the King’. Another name for Thong Rajawong Fai Nah. See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Rajawong Yai Fai Nai (ธงราชวงศ์ใหญ่ฝ่ายใน)

Thai. ‘Big Flag of the Royal House for Ladies of the Court’. Another name for Thong Rajawong Fai Nai. See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

thong samphao (ท้องสำเภา)

Thai. ‘Junk belly’. Name for an architectural style in which the base of a building, pedestal or other structure is boat-shaped. The named derives from a Chinese junk, which in Thai is called reua sampao (fig.).

thong samrit (ทองสัมฤทธ์)

Thai for ‘bronze’, an alloy consisting mainly of copper, known in Thai as thong daeng (ทองแดง), with usually tin as an additive, which in Thai is called dihbook. However, it may also consist of different compositions, one in particular which is referred to as brass, known in Thai as thong leuang (ทองเหลือง), and that is made with copper and zinc as an additive, of which the latter in Thai is called sangkasih (สังกะสี). It is widely used in the making of sculptures (fig.).

Thong So Ko (ธง ส.ก.)

Thai. Name for the personal Royal Flag of Queen Sirikit (fig.), fully known as Thong Sirikit Kitthiyagon, and which consists of a golden crown over her initials, the letters S () and K (ก) in blue and white, on a light blue field, the colour of her birthday (see sih prajam wan).

Thongthaem Tawanyawong (ทองแถมถวัลยวงศ์)

Thai. Name of a younger brother of King Chulalongkorn and a son of King Mongkut and His consort Queen Sangwaan. He was born on 17 October 1857, and is fully known as Prince Thongthaem Tawanyawong Krom(ma) Luang Sanphasaatsuphakit (ทองแถมถวัลยวงศ์ กรมหลวงสรรพสาตรศุภกิจ). The prince is remembered as the Father of Film, who brought back equipment from Europe when he travelled there with his brother King Chulalongkorn in 1897. He became the first Thai filmmaker and filmed the King at court and in royal ceremonies between 1900 and 1910. The prince died on 16 April 1919 and is depicted on a Thai postage stamp issued in 1997, to commemorate the centenary of cinematography in Thailand (fig.).

thong thammachak (ธงธรรมจักร)

Thai. ‘Dhammachakka flag’. Another name for the Thai Buddhist flag (fig.), in Thai officially called thong phra phutta sahtsanah. Besides the Thai Buddhist flag there is also an International Buddhist flag, in Thai known as thong phra phutta sahtsanah sakon (fig.). See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

thong trai rong (ธงไตรรงค์)

Thai for tricolour. Name for any flag consisting of three colours, but in Thailand the name generally refers to the present national flag which is horizontal striped red-white-blue-white-red. See also thong chaht. See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Yaowaraht (ธงเยาวราช)

Thai. ‘Flag of the Young King’. The Standard of the Crown Prince, consisting of a square yellow field with a red Garuda, surrounded by a blue border. It is derived from the Royal Standard, called Thong Maha Raj in Thai (fig.). There are two models, i.e. Thong Yaowaraht Yai and Thong Yaowaraht Noi, meaning ‘Big Standard of the Crown Prince’ and ‘Small Standard of the Crown Prince’, respectively. Whereas the first one relates to a large square flag, the second refers to a smaller model of it, not larger than 60 centimeters and prolonged with a long, white, slightly tapering, swallow-tailed streamer (fig.). The different flags can be specified even more by adding certain other suffixes, i.e. Fai Nah (ฝ่ายหน้า) which means ‘official of the king’ and refers to the flag used by the Crown Prince personally, or Fai Nai (ฝ่ายใน) which means ‘lady of the court’ and refers to the flag of the Royal Consort of the Crown Prince, who uses the same emblem but depicted on a swallow-tailed flag (fig.), called Thong Yaowaraht Fai Nai. Other princes in the Chakri dynasty have a blue field with a yellow disc or circle that features a red Garuda, whereas other princesses have the same emblem, but depicted on a swallow-tailed flag. Also called Thong Yaowaraht Fai Nah (ธงเยาวราชฝ่ายหน้า). See also Yaowaraht. See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Yaowaraht Fai Nai (ธงเยาวราชฝ่ายใน)

Thai. ‘Flag of the Young King's Lady of the Court’. The Standard of the Royal Consort of the Crown Prince. It uses the same emblem as the Thong Yaowaraht, but is depicted on a swallow-tailed flag. Also called Thong Yaowaraht Yai Fai Nai (ธงเยาวราชใหญ่ฝ่ายใน). See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Yaowaraht Noi (ธงเยาวราชน้อย)

Thai. ‘Small Flag of the Young King’. Name for a smaller model of the Thong Yaowaraht which is also known as Thong Yaowaraht Yai. It cannot be larger than 60 centimeters and is prolonged with a long, white, slightly tapering, swallow-tailed streamer. It is similar to the Small Royal Standard used by the King (fig.). Also called Thong Yaowaraht Noi Fai Nah. See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Yaowaraht Noi Fai Nah (ธงเยาวราชน้อยฝ่ายหน้า)

Thai. ‘Small Flag of the Young King, Official of the King’. Full name for Thong Yaowaraht Noi. See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Yaowaraht Noi Fai Nai (ธงเยาวราชน้อยฝ่ายใน)

Thai. ‘Small Flag of the Young King's Lady of the Court’. A small version of the Standard of the Royal Consort of the Crown Prince (fig.). It consists of smaller model of the Thong Yaowaraht, not larger than 60 centimeters and prolonged with a long, red, slightly tapering, swallow-tailed streamer. See also Vexillology & Heraldry.

Thong Yaowaraht Yai (ธงเยาวราชใหญ่)

Thai. ‘Big Flag of the Young King’. See Thong Yaowaraht.

thoralek (โทรเลข)

Thai for ‘telegraph’. Telegraphy was introduced in Thailand in 1875, when King Rama V instructed the Directorate of Joint Logistics to construct the first telegraphic cable between Bangkok and Pahk Nahm (ปากน้ำ), in Samut Songkhram province. From then on the telegraphic message service expanded and was available to the public until 1 May 2008, when after 133 years the service came to an end due to the development of technology in communication.

Thoranee (ธรณี)

See Thoranih.

Thoranih (ธรณี)

Sanskrit-Thai. Mother or goddess of the earth. She appears as a witness of the Buddha's accumulated merits from earlier lives, just before the moment of his Enlightenment. In art, she is usually depicted wringing water from her hair, thus aiding the Buddha in his resistance against Mara by flushing his army of spirits away, saving the Buddha from the temptation of desire, though this scene is in China portrayed by a male deity pouring water from a kalasa-like flask (fig.). In Thailand, she is known as Mae Phra Thoranee and is the chosen symbol of the Democratic Party. In Myanmar, the deity of the earth is known as Wathoun Darei (fig.), which may also be transcribed Wet Thonedaree, i.e. the earth production spirit, and who is represented as a male figure (fig.). See also bhumisparsa and maravijaya. Also spelled Thoranee and in Sanskrit pronounced Dharani, as in Brah Dharani.

thousand-year egg

See khai yiew ma.

Thread-waisted Wasp

Name for a wasp in the family Sphecidae, a family in Thai referred to as mahrah, which also includes mud daubers and digger wasps. The common name Thread-waisted Wasp refers to the wasp's abdomen, which has a stalk-like front end. Thread-waisted Wasps are typically more than 2.5 centimeters long and are parasitic on insects and spiders, which they sting and paralyze, but not kill. Instead, they store them alive in their nests as provisions for their future larvae. The female wasp will lay its eggs in the nest, close it off and then fly away, never to return. Once hatched, the wasp grubs feed off the paralyzed insects or spiders.

Three Ages of Buddhism

The three periods or divisions of time following the Sakyamuni Buddha's passing. It is believed by some in Mahayana Buddhism that different Buddhist teachings are valid in each period according to the different capacities of the people born in each respective period to accept the dharma. The three periods are further divided into five 500-year periods, with the last one being a time in which the current Sakyamuni Buddhism would lose all its power of salvation and a new buddha, i.e. Maitreya, would appear to save humankind, aided by ten thousand bodhisattvas. This time period, known as the Latter Day of the Law (or the Age of Dharma Decline), would be characterized by great tribulation and would last for a long period, described as ten thousand years.

Three Jewels

See Rattanatrai.

Three Kingdoms

1. A period in Chinese history, in which three kingdoms, that is the Wei, Shu and Wu, competed for control in the Yangtze Delta region of China, after the fall of the Han Dynasty in 220 AD. The period is usually placed between the foundation of the Wei in 220 AD and the conquest of the Wu in 280 AD, though many Chinese historians place the beginning of this period much earlier, at the Yellow Turban Rebellion in 184 AD. It is part of an era of disunity, known as the Six Dynasties, six contemporaneous and sometimes consecutive Chinese dynasties, that besides the Three Kingdoms includes the Jin Dynasty (265-420 AD), as well as the Southern and Northern Dynasties (420-589 AD). In Thai Saam Kok.

2. A Chinese historical narrative during the period between 169 AD and 280 AD, from the turbulent years at the end of the Han Dynasty until the reunification of the land, and which covers the power struggle of three competing kingdoms. It features both real and fictional characters and events, and chief personages include Khong Beng, a sagacious counsellor and clever strategist; Jo Cho,  a shifty general; Kuan U, a brave and faithful warrior (fig.) with his adopted son Kuan Ping (fig.) and his aide-de-camp Chou Tsang (fig.); and Lao Pie, a wise and faithful ruler. It was written by Luo Guanzhong (Lo Kuan-chung), most likely in the 14th century AD, and is also known as the Romance of the Three Kingdoms. The story has been widely adapted for screen. In Thai Saam Kok.

Three Kings Monument

1. Monument in Chiang Mai that commemorates the treaty between the three kings of the Lan Na empire, i.e. King Ngam Muang of Phayao, King Mengrai of Chiang Mai, and King Ramkamhaeng of Sukhothai. MORE ON THIS.

2. Monument at Wat Phuthaisawan, in Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya, featuring three important kings of the Ayutthaya Period, i.e. King Naresuan (fig.), King U-Thong (fig.), and King Ekathotsarot (fig.). MORE ON THIS.

Three-legged Money Frog

See kaangkok sawan.

Three Pagoda Pass

Name of a gateway in the northern part of Kanchanaburi province, that marks the rugged Thai-Myanmar border and was an important corridor in history for the overland Thai-Burmese trade route between the Gulf of Siam and the Andaman Sea. Being one of the few places to access either kingdom overland, it was the spot from where marauding Burmese armies marched into Siam on their traditional invasions, as well as the most plausible route used by the Imperial Japanese Army during WW II to build the Thailand-Burma Railway. In 1785 it was the scene of heavy fighting, when the Burmese Bodawhpaya launched a major attack on Siam. Surasinghanat, the then Siamese viceroy took up position in Kanchanaburi and successfully blocked the invasion route, eventually causing the Burmese to withdraw. The pass is named after three small pagodas that stand near the border with Myanmar, at about 22 km north of Sangkhlaburi. The three pagodas are part of the provincial coat of arms of Kanchanaburi (fig.) and the site today has a small border market. Also Three Pagodas Pass and in Thai Dahn Chedi Sahm Ong (ด่านเจดีย์สามองค์), literally the ‘Outpost of the Three Chedis’.

Three Refuges

See Traisarana.

Three-spot Grass Yellow

Common name for a species of small butterfly in the family Pieridae, with the scientific designation Eurema blanda. It can best be identified by its yellow underside, where it characteristically has three cell spots on the underside of the forewings, hence the name. In Thai, this species is known as phi seua naen sahm jut (ผีเสื้อเณรสามจุด). Also spelled Three Spot Grass Yellow.

Three Star Gods

English name for Hok Lok Siw.

Three-striped Palm Civet

Name of a species of civet, with the scientific name Arctogalidia trivirgata, which is also commonly known as the Small-tootlyhed Palm Civet, despite its seemingly rather large pointed teeth. Its fur is mainly a tawny-buff color, with a darker greyish-tawny head and the final one-third of the tail brownish, whilst the underparts are slightly paler. On the back it has three distinct dark brown stripes, that run along the length of the body, and which are fainter in females. In this civet species, it are only the females that posses a scent gland underneath the tail (fig.). This gland confusingly resembles testicles and an untrained eye can consequently easily mistake the female for the male.

thua fak yao (ถั่วฝักยาว)

Another spelling for tua fak yao.

thua leuang (ถั่วเหลือง)

Thai name for the soybean.

thua ma hae (ถั่วมะแฮะ)

Thai name for a pod-like vegetable, in English referred to as pigeon pea. The pods grow on a 2.5 to 3 meter high shrub of the genus Cajanus cajan, which has yellow flowers.

thua phoo (ถั่วพู)

Thai name for the Winged Bean, a kind of edible legume from a plant with the scientific name Psophocarpus tetragonolobus, found all over South and Southeast Asia. It grows well in hot, humid climate and virtually all of the plant is edible, including the beans, leaves, flowers and tuberous roots. It is also known as Goa Bean, Asparagus Pea and Asparagus Bean.

thua rae (ถั่วแระ)

Thai name for a pod-like vegetable, with bean-like peas, that sit in a pod which is steamed or boiled, and peeled before consumption. The peas have a bitter taste and are eaten as a snack. They can be seen for sale throughout the country, usually by itinerant food vendors. Confusingly, the name is also used as a synonym for thua ma hae (Cajanus cajan), as well as for thua leuang (Giycine max, i.e. soybean).

thuay chaam (ถ้วยชาม)

See kreuang thuay chaam.

thudong (ธุดงค์)

Thai. Expression for a monk to take to the road or travel. Often this is a kind of walking meditation to eradicate unwholesome thoughts that cause unhappiness, a form of samaati as well as merit making. The monk may then carry a klot, an umbrella to meditate under in the forest or at temples gardens, or to sleep under in the forest. A famous travelling monk is Phra Siwalih.

thung chai (thng chai)

Vietnamese. Name for a basket boat, i.e. a small, round, keel-less paddle boat, used by many fishing communities in central and southern Vietnam. Traditionally, it is woven from bamboo and made waterproof with buffalo dung and tar, yet today they are often made of other materials, such as polyester (fig.). Due to its flat bottom, this kind of large-sized coracle has a very low depth, allowing it to be used in shallow waters at Vietnam's beaches. It is found only is central and southern Vietnam, starting from about Danang downward (fig.).

Thung Makhaam Yong (ทุ่งมะขามหย่อง)

Thai. Betel nut tray tamarind field’. Name of a public park in Ayutthaya, and the place where Queen Suriyothai (fig.) in 1549 mounted a war elephant (fig.) in battle against the invading Burmese army (fig.), and was consequently killed defending her husband and nation. On 14 May 1996, King Rama IX visited Thung Makhaam Yong and symbolically harvested some rice from a local paddy field using a kiyaw, a short-handled sickle-like knife (fig.), which had a customized handle inlaid with mother-of-pearl, bearing the name of Ayutthaya province, as well as the emblem marking the King's fiftieth anniversary on the throne (fig.). To commemorate the event, a granite slab was later erected at Thung Hantra (ทุ่งหันตรา), featuring a gilded statue of the king holding a replica of the sickle he used during the occasion. When King Bhumiphon and Queen Sirikit on 25 May 2012 revisited Thung Makhaam Yong, the local governor officially requested for royal permission to replace the replica of the sickle in the hands of the king's rice-harvesting statue, with the authentic one used in 1996. Also transcribed Thung Makham Yong. See also makhaam and yong.

thurian (ทุเรียน)

Thai name for durian.

thuyen giay (thuyền giấy)

Vietnamese. ‘Paper boat’. Name for a ceremonial boat made from colourful paper around a light wooden frame, which is set afloat on the water as an offer to the deceased, especially to victims of drowning and akin to the Chinese ritual of gong de, in which relatives of the deceased offer paper paraphernalia to their dead. The ritual is also reminiscent of a ceremony performed by the Chao Le, i.e. the sea gypsies of Thailand, in order to bring prosperity and happiness in a forthcoming year, by building a two meter wooden boat which is filled with mementos and set adrift on the sea, as well as of the Paper Boat Procession in Hong Kong. In the latter, villagers throw a variety of symbolic rubbish on to a paper boat which is later burnt outside the village, while during the procession, held on the morning of the 15th day of the first lunar month as part of the annual Chinese New Year celebrations of the local P'aang community, a Taoist priest gives ritual cleansing to the households he passes, whereas a village boy called San Nin Tsai, i.e. ‘New Year Boy’, offers good wishes, while both collect hong bao (fig.), i.e. red envelopes with monetary gifts. Besides this, the Chinese also hold Boat-Burning Rituals to ward off pandemic diseases, wile white paper boats set adrift are typical items sent to deceased on new year's eve.

tiab (เตียบ)

Thai. A cone-shaped tray-like container used for offering food to Buddhist monks, often fashioned into the form of a lotus, and generally made from lacquer (fig.). They usually consist of one compartment, sometimes divided by a tray creating a double space, in which the food is placed. Centuries ago they were produced in Chian Toong.

tianhe (天)

Chinese. ‘Heavenly crane’. Birds of paradise that in Chinese mythology transport Taoist sages on their backs.

Tian Hou (天后)

Chinese. ‘Heavenly Empress’. A title given to Mazu.

Tian Tan (天坛)

1. Chinese. ‘Altar of Heaven’. Name of a complex of Taoist buildings, located in the South of Beijing, China. In English, it is usually referred to as the Temple of Heaven. It was constructed between 1406 and 1420, during the Ming Dynasty, and was commissioned by the Emperor Zhu Di (Yong Le - fig.), who moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing and who also ordered the construction of the Forbidden City. In the 16th century, the complex was extended and another three prominent temples in the city were added by the then Emperor Jiajing, in line with the remaining directions of the compass, i.e. the Altar of the Sun (日坛) in the East –now in ruins, which surface was red-glazed, symbolizing the sun; the Altar of the Earth (地坛) in the North, which surface is yellow-glazed, symbolizing the earth; and the Altar of the Moon (月坛) in the West, which consists of a white marble platform, symbolizing the moon. The Temple of Heaven was used by the emperors of the Ming and Qing dynasties for heaven worship, i.e. annual ceremonies of prayer for a good harvest, the only time an emperors knees would touch the earth in the centre of a round white marble platform. The pagoda of Wat Thawon Wararam in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, which is erected on the left bank of the Kwae Yai River (fig.), is a replica of the Temple of Heaven's main hall, that is the Hall of Prayer for a Good Harvest. The main hall is also depicted on the popular silver and gold Panda Coins issued annually by the People's Bank of China since 1982 (fig.). The present-day building in China is actually itself also a replica of the original building, which was destroyed in 1889 by a fire caused by lightning. It is said that the original pagoda had its three roofs coloured blue (roof above), yellow (roof in the middle) and green (roof below), colours symbolizing heaven, earth and the mortal world respectively, though it could also be interpreted as blue for heaven, yellow for the emperor (as in the Forbidden City - fig.) and green for the earth, with the emperor as the so-called son of heaven situated in between heaven and the mortal world, thus symbolizing his kingly role as liaison between heaven and earth, which in turn is reminiscent of the etymology of the Chinese character wang (fig.). In the adjacent park people gather to perform all kinds of activities, such as tai chi (fig.), public choir singing (fig.), card games, water calligraphy (fig.), dancing, etc. Also spelled Tien Tahn.

2. Chinese. ‘Altar of Heaven’. Name of a giant Buddha image at Po Lin Monastery on Lantau Island, Hong Kong. The statue is named after the Temple of Heaven in Beijing, because its base is modeled after that of the Altar of Heaven (fig.). In addition, the base of a Buddha image (known in Thai as tahn), could be regarded as a kind of altar (which is similarly called tan or tahn in Chinese), is built on top of a mountain, which in Buddhism often stands symbol for heaven. Also spelled Tien Tahn.

Tibetan Buddhism

The Buddhist religion as practiced in Tibet and certain regions of the Himalayas, including northern Nepal, as well as Bhutan, where it is the state religion. Tibetan Buddhism encompasses teachings from the schools of Hinayana, Mahayana and Vajrayana Buddhism, and its canon uses Tibetan as its spiritual language. This type of practice of Buddhism has spread to many countries due to the Tibetan Diaspora, i.e. communities of Tibetan people that emigrated from Tibet when it was annexed by China. It is estimated to have around 15 million followers worldwide. Among its prominent exponents is the 14th Dalai Lama (fig.). Tibetan Buddhism has four main traditions, each nicknamed after the colour of the elongated crescent-shaped hats they wear during special ceremonies, i.e. Nyingma or Red Hat Sect (fig.); Kagyu or Black Hat Sect; Sakya, another Red Hat Branch; and Gelug or Yellow Hat Sect (fig.). Traditionally, all monks and novices wear typical wine-coloured to purple robes (fig.), sometimes mixed with yellowish-orange undergarments (fig.). One of the largest and most important temples of Tibetan Buddhism is Yonghe Gong in the Chinese capital Beijing (fig.). More broadly, Tibetan Buddhism may also be referred to as Lamaism.

tical (ทีคัล)

Thai. Name for the Thai currency until 1897, when king Rama V changed it to baht. Actually pronounced tican.

tican (ทีคัล)

Thai pronunciation for tical.

Tichakon Jatubot (ฑิชากรจตุบท)

Thai-Pali. Four-footed Bird. Name of a compound, mythological creature from Himaphan forest, that has the body of a lion and certain features of a bird, i.e. wings, a fan-like tail, and clawed feet. Its complexion is light green, apart for the tail which is yellowish. Like the animal, its name is also a composition, i.e. the word tichakon (ฑิชากร) means bird’, the word jatu (จตุ) means ‘four’, and the word bot (บท) is derived from baht, which is Thai-Rajasap for ‘foot’.

Tickell's Brown Hornbill

Another name for the Rusty-cheeked Hornbill (fig.).

tie shan (铁扇)

Chinese for ‘iron fan’. See tessen.

tiger

Third animal of the Chinese zodiac, as the third year of the animal cycle (fig.). Those born in the Year of the Tiger are said to have admiring but –at the same time– threatening qualities, reminiscent of the awe the tiger instigates, i.e. the wonder for its magnificence, but also the terror for its power and strength. The Bengal Tiger's skin was originally an emblem of the Hindu god Shiva, who killed the ‘tiger of desire’ and used its skin as his meditation seat (fig.). In Hindu mythology, the tiger is the vahana of Durga, the consort of Shiva in her terrible form (fig.), and in Chinese mythology, it is the mount of Lu Tong-pin (fig.), whilst the arahat Pindola is in general depicted sitting on –i.e. subduing– a tiger (fig.), referring to his control over the animal, as well as over his passions. The tiger (fig.) features on many a Thai postage stamp, such as the Zodiac Year of the Tiger Postage Stamp issued in 2010 (fig.), the Songkraan Day Postage Stamp issued in 1998 (fig.), and one stamp in a set of four wild cats issued in the same year (fig.). In Sanskrit, the tiger is known as viagra and in Thai it is called seua. The best chance to see tigers in the wild is doubtlessly India, which today is still home to around 1,500 Bengal Tigers.

tiger claw

1. The pointed nail on a tiger's paw.

2. Nickname for a deciduous tree with the botanic name Butea monosperma, also known as Flame of the Forest and due to its resemblance to teak, also called Bastard Teak. It can grow up to 15 meters high and its fruit gives the gum ‘Bengal kino’. It blooms in February and its flowers are alike to those of the creeper Mucuna bennetti. They are sickle-shaped, orange-coloured and their outline resembles the French lily or, as seen from its side and according to its name, the claw of a tiger. In Thai, this tree is called thong kwahw and it is the floral emblem of Chiang Mai University.

Tiger Moth

Common name for a group of moths within the family Arctiinae, a large and diverse family of moths, that also includes Lichen Moths, Footmen and Wasp Moths. The most distinctive feature of this family is the possession of a tymbal organ on the metathorax, a membranous organ also present in cicadas and capable of producing ultrasonic sounds, used to attract mates, as well as a defense against predators. In Thai called phi seua laai seua (ผีเสื้อลายเสือ).

Tiger Prawn

Common name for a kind of marine crustacean, with the scientific designation Penaeus monodon, and previously also named Penaeus carinatus, Penaeus tahitensis, Penaeus coeruleus, and Penaeus bubulus. The Tiger Prawn is widely distributed, its natural habitat stretching from the eastern coast of Africa, across the Indian Ocean to the Sea of Japan and northern Australia, whilst being an invasive species in the Gulf of Mexico. It is the most widely cultured prawn species in the world, farmed or caught for food on a commercial scale. Its name derives from the black and white bars on its back, which are reminiscent of the stripes of a tiger (fig.). In Thai, it is called kung kulah dam (กุ้งกุลาดำ). See also POSTAGE STAMPS.

tihn pet farang (ตีนเป็ดผรั่ง)

Thai. ‘Foreign duck-feet’. Name for a small tree, that grows up to 8 meters tall and originally comes from Central America. READ ON.

ti klong phen (ตีกลองเพล)

Thai for the beating of the klong phen-drum in a Buddhist temple, marking the eleventh hour and the start of phen, the hour between eleven and twelve in the morning, when Buddhist priests have their last meal of the day.

ti look lo (ตีลูกล้อ)

Thai. ‘Hit the wheel’. Name of a traditional children's game (fig.), in which a ring or hoop is bowled along by hitting it with a wooden stick, without stopping or letting it fall over. The game starts from a certain point and the first one to arrive at the finish line wins the game.

tilaka (तिलक)

Sanskrit. Literally it means ‘freckle’ or ‘mole’, but generally it is the term for a coloured, often red (fig.), white, white and red, or black mark applied on the forehead of Hindus, typically as a sign of devotion, usually of a spiritual nature. It has many forms and can refer to many different things, its significance varying from community to community. It may be worn on a daily basis, like with priests of followers of certain sects, or on particular occasions only, like after a visit to a temple or at the beginning of a journey, when usually a red dot is placed (fig.). It may be applied purely decorative or as an identifying mark. The dot with Hindu women is a form of tilaka known as bindi, a Hindi word that derived from the Sanskrit word bindu. It means a ‘dot’ or ‘drop’ and refers to their marital status. Equally, the Tibetan word for ‘drop’ is tikle and is likely etymologically related to tilaka. Religious sects often have their own designs of tilaka called pundra literally ‘sectarian mark’ and those are sometimes worn on other parts of the body as well, especially on the torso (fig.), e.g. followers of Shiva mark their forehead or chest with a tri-pundra, three horizontal lines (fig.), followers of Vishnu mark their foreheads with a urdhva-pundra, a simple U-shape (fig.), etc.  When applied on the forehead the original design of the pundra is often accompanied of a red dot too. There are also honorary tilaka, usually applied as a single vertical red line and used to anoint prominent personalities, royalty (raja, i.e. rajatilaka which is used for kings on their accession to the throne) or heroes (vira - वीर). This reminds of the Romans who used to paint the faces of their triumphant generals vermilion with cinnabar pigment in imitation of the brilliant red face of the Capitolinus Temple image of the god Jupiter. However, the origins of the tilaka are not completely known, but it is believed to have derived from ancient traditional tribal practices, such as the application of colours on the forehead on special occasions or during important events, e.g. at weddings or before a hunt or battle. A spot may also be applied on the face of small children to make them less perfect and thus less likely to attract evil eye or adrishti (fig.). Some forms of tilaka are reminiscent of the divine third eye and the Burmese tradition of applying thanaka (fig.) suggests an affiliation with the name tilaka as well as with the custom. In Thailand, Buddhist monks sometimes apply three white dots of a paste-like mixture, made of water and talcum powder, on the forehead of laity, representing a symbol of the Trairat. See also urna and buddha eye.

tin

See dihbook.

Tinglish

See Thinglish.

Tinna Siha (ติณสีหะ)

Thai-Pali. ‘Grass Lion. Name of a mythological creature from Himaphan forest, with the body of a lion and belonging to the pure lions. It is herbivorous in nature and described as having a red body with horse-like hooves. It is similar to the Geson Singh (fig.).

Tipitaka

Pali for Tripitaka.

tiranga (तिरंगा)

Hindi for ‘tricolour’, a term in India used almost exclusively to refer to the Indian national flag, which consists of a horizontal tricolour in saffron, which represents renunciation; white, which stands for peace and truth; and green, which symbolizes the green soil and thus nature; while in the centre of the white band there is the depiction of a navy blue Ashoka Chakra, a 24-spoked dharmachakra.

Tirthanka (तीर्थन्क)

Sanskrit. ‘Ford maker’. See Tirthankara.

Tirthankara (तीर्थन्कर)

Sanskrit. ‘Ford makers’. The twenty-four omniscient great teachers of whom the last one founded Jainism.

tit lom bon (ติดลมบน)

Thai. ‘To float on the upper wind’. A term used in kite flying, especially in kite flying fights, and which refers to ones astuteness in the competition. Outside the sport, the term means ‘to be stable’, especially of a (or ones) position. See also PROVERBS & IDIOMS.

Ti Tsang (地藏)

Chinese. ‘Earth Storehouse’, though often translated as ‘Earth Treasury’ (fig.). Ti Tsang is the Chinese bodhisattva of hell beings (fig.), hence he is the Chinese equivalent of Ksitigarbha, and his role is similar to that of Phra Malai. He is usually depicted wearing a typical Chinese monk's hat (fig.) and holding a khakkhara (fig.), a Buddhist beggar's staff, as well as a chintamani (fig.), a wishing jewel. In Thai, his name is transcribed Tih Jang (ตี่จั่ง), but is usually pronounced Tih Tang, and in Vietnamese he is known by the name Dia Tang (Địa Tạng - fig.).

tobacco

See yah soob.

tobacco curing barn

See rohng bom yah soob.

tobacco cutter

A boat-shaped, bench-like tool, with at the far end a near-vertical board with a round hole in it. It is used to press tobacco leaves together and pushing them through the hole, enabling a worker to cut off the leaves. In Thai it is called mah han bai yah soob.

Toddy Cat

Another name for the Common Palm Civet.

toey hom (เตยหอม)

Thai for pandanus.

toei-toei (ตุ๋ยตุ่ย)

Thai. A ‘singing’ waw or kite, with a ‘sounder’ shaped like a bow. See also kite flying fights.

tofu (豆腐)

Japanese. A curd made of mashed soybeans (fig.). It usually comes cut into square blocks and is often used in vegetarian dishes to replace animal protein. Tofu can be eaten fresh (creamy white and soft) or fried (golden-brownish and hard on the outside). On markets, especially Chinese ones, it is also sold in small pieces, in a dry hardened form which is made into a knot (fig.) and used to put in soups. Small cubes of fried tofu are an ingredient in phad thai (fig.). In Chinese, it is called dou fu (豆腐), which is usually translated as bean curd, but literally means ‘decayed peas’ or ‘rotten beans’. In Thai, it is called tao hoo, and the dried form with a knot as tao hoo roop bow (เต้าหู้รูปโบว์), i.e. ‘bow-shaped tofu’. See also blood tofu.

toh (ต่อ)

Thai for ‘wasp’ and ‘hornet’. There are many different species. Some bite, others sting from the bottom of their abdomen. Wasps differ from bees (fig.) by the fact that they have no hair, unlike bees which are called pheung in Thai, though in Chinese both are referred to as feng. In temperate and tropical Eastern Asia, the sting of the Asian Giant Hornet, the world's largest hornet, regularly causes fatalities, whilst in India it is the Yellow Paper Wasp that is responsible for a number of deaths per year. Also called taen.

Toh (โต, တိုး)

Thai-Burmese. Mythological lion with two deer-like horns or antlers on its head. It is a legendary animal believed to have originated in myths from Laos and also from Myanmar. In art, it often appears in pairs. See also simha, singh, singha and singtoh, and compare with Kraison Mangkon, as well as with the Chinese kilen (fig.) and Bi Xie (Bi Ya - fig.), and Pensajuba (fig.).

tohk (โตก)

See toke.

tok (ตอก)

Thai. A thin strip of bamboo used for tying or weaving (fig.). Hill tribe people typically use them to plait (fig.) baskets, such as krapha baskets (fig.), and talaew (fig.), as well as to thatch roofs of bamboo huts, village gates and forest dwellings (fig.).

Tokay Gecko

Common name for the Gekko gecko, which in Thai is known as tukkae.

toke (โตก)

Thai. A tray on a pedestal, or a small floor table. See also khan and phaan. Also transcribed tohk.

tom (ถม)

Thai term for niello.

tom kha kai (ต้มขาไก่)

Thai. ‘Boiled chicken with galangal’. Name of a spicy chicken soup, with coconut milk, Thai ginger and hed pluak or hed faang, i.e. termite mushrooms or paddy straw mushrooms, respectively. In addition other ingredients, such as bashed lemon grass, kaffir lime leaves, coriander root, coriander leaves, soup powder, whole dried chilies, lime juice, salt and fish sauce, are usually added.

tom yam (ต้มยำ)

Thai. ‘Cooked salad’ or ‘boiled salad’. Name of a spicy, hot and sour soup, made of fish or meat boiled (tom) in either water or coconut milk (ka-thi). Other ingredients include lemon grass (takrai), kaffir lime leaves (bai makrud - fig.), galangal (kha), lime juice (nahm manao), fish sauce (nahm pla), tamarind (makhaam), shallots and some chili sauce, chili paste or fried chili paste (nahm phrik or nahm phrik phao). It is typically served boiling hot in an earthen or aluminium pot with a chimney in the middle, called moh fai (fig.). Their are different varieties which be defined by adding the name of its main ingredients at the end, e.g. tom yam kung (ต้มยำกุ้ง) for tom yam with ‘prawns’; tom yam pla (ต้มยำปลา) for this dish with ‘fish’, etc. The term tom yam kung also became a slang expression meaning ‘serious economical problems that cannot yet be solved’, a reference to the Asian Financial Crisis which started in Thailand on 2 July 1997 with the financial collapse of the Thai baht after the government decided to float the local currency, detaching it from the US dollar. Sometimes transcribed tomyam, tom yum or similar.

tom yum (ต้มยำ)

See tom yam.

ton (ตน)

Thai. ‘Body, substance and self’, as in ‘ton eng’, oneself. Term and classifier to indicate beings regarded as lower than humans, as in ‘yak song (2) ton’, two giants, and ‘pie saam (3) ton’, three ghosts. The numeric noun for humans is ‘kon’, and that for sacred things or supernatural beings is ‘ong’.

ton (ต้น-)

Thai. ‘Tree’ or ‘plant’. Almost always used as a prefix with the names of trees and plants. If used on its own or as an apendix, it can mean ‘first’ or ‘beginning’, as in Chang Ton.

ton faai (ต้นฝ้าย)

Thai. General name for the cotton plant or cotton tree of the genus Gossypium, usually a shrub, native to the tropical and subtropical regions. It seeds are stored in seed capsules called bolls (fig.) and are surrounded by soft, fluffy fibres which can be used to make yarn for textiles. In Thailand several species occur, e.g. faai (ฝ้าย - gossypium herbaceum linn.), faai daeng or ‘red cotton’ (ฝ้ายแดง - gossypium arboreum linn.), faai thet (ฝ้ายเทศ - gossypium barbadense linn.), faai samlih (ฝ้ายสำลี - gossypium barbadense linn. var. acuminatum mast.), faai tun (ฝ้ายตุ่น - gossypium nanking mey. var. siamensis watt).

tong (ตอง)

Thai. A large leaf, such as that of the banana plant, used as a wrapper, or to thatch roofs of bamboo huts and dwellings, as is still common practice in places such as Mae Hong Son, where it is then referred to as bai tong (ใบตอง) or bai tong teung (ใบตองตึง). See also ton phluang and Phi Tong Leuang.

ton gluay (ต้นกล้วย)

Thai name for banana plant. Also spelt ton kluay.

ton gohng gahng (ต้นโกงกาง)

Thai name for mangrove. Also spelt ton kohng kahng.

tong xing (同性)

See long yang.

tong xing ai (同性爱)

See long yang.

ton jan (ต้นจันทน์)

Thai name for a tree of which there are many different species, such as the genus Pterocarpus (ton jan daeng) which is known in English as sandalwood (fig.), the genus Myristica (ton jan thet) in English known as nutmeg (fig.), etc.

ton kanun (ต้นขนุน)

Thai name for artocarpus heterophyllus.

ton khlum (ต้นคลุ้ม)

Thai. Name of a small, up to 3 meter high, dark green, bamboo-like plant, that bears white flowers. It is a kind of water plant with tough and strong fibre which stalks are used for weaving household items, such as fish traps. This type of craftwork is widely promoted by the Chanthaburi Provincial Skill Development Centre. The Iban people of Borneo use it to sew overlapping leaflets together in the roofing of houses and temporary sheds. Its scientific, Latin name is Donax grandis and it belongs to the family Marantaceae. In Malaysia it is known by the name bembam.

ton klah (ต้นกล้า)

Thai name for a paddy sprout or rice sprout ready for transplanting, a process known as yaay ton klah (fig.). It literally means strong plant or courageous plant’, perhaps referring to the fact that it has survived the first period of about 45 days, before being transplanted.

ton kohkoh (ต้นโกโก้)

Thai name for the cacao tree, genus Theobroma, an evergreen tree with the botanical name Theobroma cacao and belonging to the family Malvaceae, or alternatively the family Sterculiaceae. This small tree which pods contain the almond-shaped seeds or beans that are used to make cocoa and chocolate, grows about eight meters tall. It is native to the deep tropical region of the Americas and probably originated in the Amazon. In Thailand the tree is not very popular and only grown by a few smallholder farmers in the southern provinces of Prachuap Khirikhan, Chumphon and Surat Thani, producing but a small annual yield. Malaysia however, yearly produces over thirty thousand tons of cocoa beans, thus ranking eleventh on the list of the world's most significant cocoa producers. Each tree produces about 20 pods and each pod contains between 20 and 60 seeds, and to produce one kilogram of cocoa paste about 10 pods are required. It is sometimes called cocoa tree and the Greek scientific name Theobroma (θεόβρωμα) means ‘food of the gods’.

ton lanthom (ต้นลั่นทม)

Thai name for the Plumeria acutifolia or frangipani tree.

ton mahk (ต้นหมาก)

Thai name for betel palm or areca palm.

ton mai kin malaeng (ต้นไม้กินแมลง)

Thai. ‘Insect-eating plant’. Term used for any kind of carnivorous plant. Species found in the wild Thailand include the tropical sundew, and various pitcher plants (fig.). Besides this, many garden centres and flower shops offer foreign introduced species of carnivorous plants, such as the popular Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), which in Thai is known as kaab hoi khraeng (กาบหอยแครง). Sometimes plants of the genus Rafflesia are also listed with or mistaken for carnivorous plants (fig.), though they are in fact parasitic. The reason for this might be that the rafflesia is sometimes called carrion flower, due to its foul odour similar to decaying meat, which is used to attract flies in order to pollinate the plant.

ton mai ngeun ton mai thong (ต้นไม้เงินต้นไม้ทอง)

Thai. ‘Silver tree, gold tree’. Name for a pair of artificial miniature trees, one made of silver the other made of gold (fig.). They are used as an offering and can be found all over Thailand, most commonly with shrines, especially those devoted to the king or any other royal family member. They often have bodhi tree leaves (fig.) and are offered to demonstrate loyalty. The offering of silver and gold trees dates from the Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin Periods, when vassal states offered silver and golden miniature trees to the Siamese (or, before, to the Burmese) kings to prove their loyalty. Chiang Mai vassal rulers under Burmese control were also required to travel to Burma at least once a year to pay their respects to the Burmese king and their subordinates had to pay special taxes as stipulated by Burma. Besides this also manpower and requisites had to be made available in times of war, and relatives of vassal rulers, often their direct offspring, were sometimes sent to Burma as a guarantee. Besides silver and gold trees with bodhi leaves as described above, one sometimes finds depictions of silver and golden bodhi trees in Buddhist temples or art (fig.), which may represent an expression of loyalty towards the Buddha and Buddhism. Nowadays the silver and golden trees are often replaced by other silver and golden objects, such as flowers, phum dokmai, chat, etc. The silver and golden colour also refers to money and wealth in general, as the Thai word ngeun means both ‘silver’ and ‘money’, whereas thong means ‘gold’. Also transcribed ton mai ngern ton mai thong or ton mai ngun ton mai thong.

ton mai sak (ต้นไม้สัก)

Thai name for teak tree. See teak.

ton maprao (ต้นมะพร้าว)

Thai name for coconut palm.

ton ngiw (ต้นงิ้ว)

Thai. Name for a deciduous tropical tree of the genus Bombax ceiba, which is commonly known as Cotton Tree, due to the white, cotton-like fibres it produces during certain periods. It has a straight tall trunk that grows up to a height of around 20 meters and bears large, cone-shaped spikes (fig.). It blooms from January to February and has dark orange to red flowers (fig.) with five petals (fig.), that appear before the new foliage, and which in Thai are known as dok ngiw or dok ngiaw. Both the petals and the filaments of its flower's stamen, without the anther (fig.), are used in Thai cooking, as well as in the cuisine of other Southeast Asian nations. The petals are eaten as a snack or meal, the filaments are used as an ingredient to flavour food. However, both are confusingly called the same, i.e. dok ngiw or dok ngiaw. In religious folklore the tree has a place in narok, the Buddhist hell, where it is used as part of a punishment for the wicked in the underworld, forcing them to climb up its thorny trunk, naked (fig.).

ton ohy (ต้นอ&