How to Call Your Sweetheart in Thai

Jun 28, 2011
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A few are rather honey-dripping sweet but more are fun and quintessentially and charmingly Thai – here’s our list of Thai terms of endearment.

If you have a penchant for Thai classical literature or poems, you might have seen these terms popping up here and there. Why both “warm-skinned” and “cold-skinned”, you may wonder. Think how wonderful it is to have a lovely, temperature-controlled human for a lover, who turns warm when it’s cold, and cool when it’s hot. Of course, this term, like all the other terms with แม่/mÊE/ in them, is only used with female lovers. (In the old days, แม่/mÊE/, which means only “mother” now, referred to females of all ages, matrons, maidens or little girls.) I have not come across the male version of the cool- or warm-skinned lover. Perhaps most poets rambling on about their lovers were men.

Come to think of it, I myself must have been inspired by these expressions. I sometimes call my hubby “my human furnace”. (But to tell you the truth, having a human furnace for a husband isn’t really so romantically conducive in Thailand’s climate.) That said, my beloved human furnace, if you are reading this, I love you regardless, and know that even in Thailand’s heat, I’ll never wish that you turn “cool-skinned”. How frightening that’ll be! Oh Lordy, Hubby, forgive me for even thinking that!!

There are more Thai expressions of endearment in romantic and family contexts, but let’s save them for another day.


This post was originally published in Thai Woman Talks in February 2011.