L22 - Compliments

If you want to make a good impression on people there is no better way than to give them a few compliments. Maybe you are trying to charm someone you fancy or maybe you just want to schmooze the boss. Here are a few compliment words and phrases.


beautiful suay
beautiful suay ngahm
beautiful person kon suay
graceful, sweet la-mai
lovely nah ruk
handsome lor
strong kaeng raeng
athletic / muscular lam
intelligent / clever cha-laht
intelligent / clever kom (to be sharp)
good (at something) geng
good dee
sexy sek-see
sexy wahp wahm
sweet wahn
sweet heart jai wahn
sweet eyes dtah wahn
sweet mouth pahk wahn (to be charming)


It is important to say this with a rising tone.

koon bpen kon suay - you are a beautiful person.

If you say suay wth a level tone, you are saying they are an unlucky person.

The longer version suay ngahm is a little more formal. It can be used about people but is more commonly used to describe a place or object as beautiful.

nah ruk

ruk is the Thai word for love. nah ruk can roughly be translated as 'worth loving' or 'loveable'. It is used in much the same way we use 'lovely'. It is very affectionate and can be used to males or females and is also often used for children.


This common compliment is used to say someone is good at doing something.

koon steve chai ngern geng mahk - Mr Steve is very good at using money

That one is a bit of a back-handed compliment.

pahk wahn

This is another one that depending on how it is used, can be a back-handed compliment. Women may say it playfully in a 'you have a sweet mouth but I am not falling for your charms' kind of way.


darling tee ruk
dear jah
girlfriend / boyfriend fairn
more than a friend gik
friend peu-an
love ruk
I love you pom ruk koon (man to a woman)
I love you di-chan ruk koon (woman to a man)
I love you chan ruk terr (informal)
go with me ? bpai gup chan mai
marry me ? dtaeng ngan gup chan mai

tee ruk

Roughly equivalent to 'darling'. Literally it means 'to love' or could be translated as 'my love'.


This is a nice general word for boyfriend or girlfriend. The English language really could do with an equivalent. The various terms we have such as partner, other half, significant other, etc, just do not carry the same feeling of warmth and affection as fairn.

bpen fairn korng pom dai mai - can you be my girlfriend


This is a new word that has entered the Thai language and become very popular. It is difficult to explain exactly what it means. The closest explanation would be a friend of the opposite sex who is more than a friend but not a boyfriend/girlfriend. It may refer to a casual sex partner but it does not always imply a sexual relationship. It may just be someone with whom they flirt or have a special bond.




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