Thai Language Blog

The Hand Posted by on May 13, 2013 in Beginner, Culture, Thailand Politics

There are three distinct levels of vocabulary all language learners must pass to become truly natively fluent. A beginner learns basic vocabulary, like ‘snake, cow, horse, pig, fish, and bird’. Branching out, an intermediate learner learns more specific vocabulary, such as ‘rattle snake, side winder, cobra, python, and serpent’. An expert learner would get even more detailed, learning the individual species names of each rattle snake: ‘diamondback rattlesnake, dusky rattlesnake, South American rattlesnake, Timber rattlesnake’, etc. Native speakers rarely learn this last level as its very specialist knowledge.

In the last post we learned the basic body parts. Now that you’ve learned a general list of body parts, let’s go to the intermediate level and get more specific with one of them: the hand (meuu1 มือ).

This article will teach you the parts of a hand, and other related vocabulary.

Let’s start with the finger names:




นิ้ว New4 Finger
นิ้วโป้ง New4 bong3 Thumb
นิ้วชี้ New4 chee4 Index
นิ้วกลาง New4 glaang1 Middle finger
นิ้วนาง New4 naang1 Ring finger
นิ้วก้อย New4 gawy3 Pinky
นิ้วเท้า New4 tow4 Toe
รอยนิ้วมือ Roy1 new4meuu1 Fingerprint

With reference to the above list, chee4 ชี้ means ‘to point’, glaang1 กลาง means ‘middle’, and tow4 เท้า means ‘foot’.


Sometimes, instead of holding hands, a Thai couple would hold pinky fingers. This is called:



to hold pinkies together



Kaw3 meuu1



The Thai word for ‘grab’ or ‘to hold’ is jab2 จับ. To hold hands is:


Jab2 meuu1

Hold hands


The word for ‘raise’ is yok4 ยก. To raise your hand, to ask a question or whatever, is:


Yok4 meuu1

Raise [your] hand


Practice raising your hand:



In English, an expert can be referred to as an ‘old hand’. You can also say this in Thai, where gow2 เก่า means ‘old’:


Meuu1 gow2

experienced person, ‘old hand’


But that above expression is uncommon, so it’s better to say:


Meuu1 aa1cheep3

experienced person


A beginner is called a ‘new hand’, where mai2 ใหม่ means ‘new’:


Meuu1 mai2

novice, beginner


Your right hand is:


Meuu1 kwaa5


And your left is:


Meuu1 saai4


A cellphone, referred to as ‘a hand carry’ in Thai, is:


Meuu1 teuu5


A gunman has a gun in his hand, so he is a:


Meuu1 beuun1



Someone who is empty handed, or unarmed, or whatever, is:


Meuu1 blaow2

empty handed


A second hand item, something already used, is just like in English:


Meuu1 saawng5

second hand


A ‘couple’ is called คู่. A ‘manual’, or instruction booklet, is the ‘couple’ for your hand.


Kuu3 meuu1



This following political term below has two definitions:

1) a euphemism for the monarchy and those in the inner royal circles

2) outside unknown individuals, not directly connected to any known political groups, but intent on causing political violence for specific political purposes


Meuu1 tee3 saam5

the Third Hand

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