If you want to impress your Thai lover by calling her or him ‘my love’ in Thai, or you’re just curious how to say it in Thai, this post will give you some ideas with different suggestions when and how to use it properly.
Most common words to call your lover
ที่รัก /tîi-rák/ = my dear, my love
I personally feel most comfortable with this word because it is commonly used and not too cheesy to hear.
As you know, รัก /rák/ means ‘love’ and ที่ ‘thîi’, in this case, is more like ‘one’. So together it gives the meaning of ‘love or loved one’. This word can be used to call both male and female lovers.
Another way to say is to put สุด /sùd/which means ‘extream or most’ in front of ที่รัก /tîi-rák/. สุดที่รัก /sùd-tîi-rák/means ‘my dearest or my most loved one’
Please note that this word is written with ร. To speak correctly, you should roll your tongue a bit. However, many Thai would pronounce this word with ล sound. It would sometime sound like ‘thîi-lák’.
คนดี /kon-dii/ = my good girl, my good little one, my baby girl
This word gives me a warm feeling and the speaker sounds like a warm-hearted person. คน /kon/ means ‘person’ and ดี /dii/ means ‘good’.
Please note that this word is commonly used to call ladies. So คนดี /kon-dii/ literally means ‘my good girl’. It is like you adore her so much like she is quite a treasure.
- ทำอะไรอยู่ครับคนดี /tham a-rai yùu kráb, kon-dii/ = What are you doing, my good girl?
- อย่าร้องให้นะคนดี /yàa róong-hâi na, kon-dii/ = Please don’t cry, my baby girl!
I know it might sound quite cheesy but many guys really call their loved ones that.
Call your loved one ‘babe’ in Thai
Honestly, there is no exact word to say ‘babe or baby’ in Thai language.
The most expression that I can think about is ‘ตัวเอง /dtua-eeng/’ as it is commonly used by young speakers. (Well, young in this case refers to Gen Y and Z.)
This word gave me the most headache as I tried to do research on why people call their loved ones ‘ตัวเอง’ because it is quite weird when it is translated. It literally means ‘myself’.
By the way, it gives a feeling of ‘being childish but cherish and sweet‘, in which some foreigners might not be able to totally empathize with this case. It just sounds ‘damn cute’.
Just a tip:
when you call your loved one ‘ตัวเอง dtua-eeng’, you tend to call yourself ‘เค้า kháo’ in which it is different from เขา khão which is a personal pronoun, means ”he or she.
- A: ตัวเองอยากทานอะไร /dtua-eeng yàak taan a-rai/ = Babe, what do you wanna eat?
- B: เค้าอยากทานส้มตำ /kháo yàak thaan Somtam/ = I wanna eat Somtam.
อ้วน /ûan/ = chubby, fatty
Another cute word young to middle-age Thai people like to use, is ‘อ้วน ûan’. In English, it means, fatty or chubby. Surprised? If you call your girlfriend ‘my fatty lady’, you might get a slap or she might not wanna date you anymore. However, some Thai people really call their loved ones, ‘fatty or chubby’ as it gives a cute/sweet/cuddly feeling. It sounds like you wanna cuddle her or him.
- อ้วนจ๋า คิดถึงอ้วนจัง /ûan jã, kid-tueng ûan jang/ = My fatty, I really miss you.
- อ้วนกินข้าวหรือยัง /ûan, gin-khâo rue-yang/ = My fatty, have you eaten yet?
Old fashioned ‘Sweetheart’ in Thai
As there are many words to say ‘sweetheart’, you should bear in mind that some words are quite out-to-dated. If you are not a babyboomer, please skip this part.
Kindly note that the following words are still practical but it might not sound right for Gen Y and Gen X, but who knows, your Thai lover might be impressed.
หวานใจ /wãan-jai/ = sweetheart
I believe my parents used to call each other with this word ‘หวานใจ’ when they were dating. (Sadly, they now think it is quite cheesy)
This word is quite direct and easy to understand as หวาน /wãan/ means ‘sweet’ and ใจ /jai/ means ‘heart’.
ยอดรัก /yôrd-rák/ = my most loved one.
It was definitely popular in the 18th century. If you don’t wanna sound like you came from the 18th-mid 19th century, please do not say this.
That’s it for all common words to call your loved one in Thai on this valentine’s day and other days. Let me know how do you call your Thai lover. Sweetheart หวานใจ, my dear ที่รัก or อ้วน ûan?
Photos by Kristina Litvjak, Scott Broome Everton Vila and Joey Huang on Unsplash