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The use of ไอ้

Vowel & consonant graphemes (letters), syllables, and orthography

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The use of ไอ้

Postby Naga » Fri Feb 21, 2020 8:15 am

A certain government official recently referred to Europeans on TV using the word ไอ้.

The exclamation recorded on public news services was ไอ้พวกฝรั่งนักท่องเที่ยว.

Exactly how derogatory was that statement?
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Re: The use of ไอ้

Postby Tgeezer » Fri Feb 21, 2020 10:06 am

Male visitors is the meaning but it could be unisex, and I think it shows negativity toward the subjects.
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Re: The use of ไอ้

Postby theoldman » Fri Feb 21, 2020 12:43 pm

Hi Naga,

ไอ้ is a word (generally) used for men, showing contempt (while อี used for women). For example, "You stupid!" (ไอ้โง่!)
It can be used on many contexts. Mostly it means the speaker (one who uses this word has a superior status than the listener). Hence, a boss to his/her servant (though it's still not polite anyway) etc. Or it can be used to show intimacy (among close friends) or parents to their kids or the elders to the youngers (in this case, it doesn't to show contempt but loving). For example, an old man asked a boy, "สบายดีไหม? ไอ้หนู" (How are you, kid?)

As for your question, ไอ้พวกฝรั่งนักท่องเที่ยว, yes, it means looking down on ฝรั่ง, more or less. Though most cases, it shows contempt, it still depends on its context. If it’s used in private or only among friends, it might not really mean contempt but just casual talking. So, it depends on its context AND its tone or shades of meaning.
If the old man I mentioned above asked that boy, "(How are you, boy?) (สบายดีไหม? เจ้าหนู), it will not convey the shade of contempt but just loving/kindness. In this case, I could change from “kid” to “boy” in English and ไอ้ to เจ้า in Thai. But in other cases, it might not be able to use the very same shade of meaning like this.

As for , "You stupid!" (ไอ้โง่!), if it is used among friends, it might not mean contempt but just a tease. "You stupid!" might only mean "โง่จัง!" (จัง generally means "very" for example, "very good"-ดีจัง; ร้อนจัง-very hot). But in this case, it gives a funny sense/kidding. Anyway, I don't know what other shade of meaning of "You stupid!" is. "You silly!", maybe?
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Re: The use of ไอ้

Postby Pirin » Mon Feb 24, 2020 9:34 am

Naga wrote:A certain government official recently referred to Europeans on TV using the word ไอ้.

The exclamation recorded on public news services was ไอ้พวกฝรั่งนักท่องเที่ยว.

Exactly how derogatory was that statement?


I would say that someone’s bark is worse than their bite. I don't think we can describe the speaker's attitudes unless we know his or her personality.
เสนาะโสตเสียงสุนทรีย์มีสรรค์สร้าง ลิขิตทางวางบรรจบสบสองเรา
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Re: The use of ไอ้

Postby Tgeezer » Tue Feb 25, 2020 1:48 am

Pirin wrote:
Naga wrote:A certain government official recently referred to Europeans on TV using the word ไอ้.

The exclamation recorded on public news services was ไอ้พวกฝรั่งนักท่องเที่ยว.

Exactly how derogatory was that statement?


I would say that someone’s bark is worse than their bite. I don't think we can describe the speaker's attitudes unless we know his or her personality.


He didn't refer to all tourists, only Western tourists. พวกฝรั่งนักท่องเที่ยว ไอ้ is a way of showing that they are male and that he disapproves of them, it is that simple. The topic he is addressing is important and that could be any number of things which distinguish Western Male tourists from Middle Eastern, Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian male tourists etc. Can anybody think of anything?
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Re: The use of ไอ้

Postby Pirin » Tue Feb 25, 2020 5:14 am

Naga wrote:A certain government official recently referred to Europeans on TV using the word ไอ้.

The exclamation recorded on public news services was ไอ้พวกฝรั่งนักท่องเที่ยว.

Exactly how derogatory was that statement?



Tgeezer wrote:
Pirin wrote:
Naga wrote:A certain government official recently referred to Europeans on TV using the word ไอ้.

The exclamation recorded on public news services was ไอ้พวกฝรั่งนักท่องเที่ยว.

Exactly how derogatory was that statement?


I would say that someone’s bark is worse than their bite. I don't think we can describe the speaker's attitudes unless we know his or her personality.


He didn't refer to all tourists, only Western tourists. พวกฝรั่งนักท่องเที่ยว ไอ้ is a way of showing that they are male and that he disapproves of them, it is that simple. The topic he is addressing is important and that could be any number of things which distinguish Western Male tourists from Middle Eastern, Chinese, Japanese, Malaysian male tourists etc. Can anybody think of anything?


The point I discuss is what we can do in the situation when someone says, "ไอ้พวกฝรั่งนักท่องเที่ยว". In such case, please try not to figure out whether that person shows a lack of respect for you.

Actually, that person might say it because he or she personally has no idea about doing things in an appropriate way. In another case, that person might just say that because he or she says things in that way in the daily life.

Whatever result you get does hurt you.

We had better not allow an unknown person to hurt us because of nothing.
เสนาะโสตเสียงสุนทรีย์มีสรรค์สร้าง ลิขิตทางวางบรรจบสบสองเรา
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Re: The use of ไอ้

Postby David and Bui » Tue Feb 25, 2020 8:20 pm

Excellent advice, Khun Pirin!
David in Houston
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Re: The use of ไอ้

Postby Tgeezer » Wed Feb 26, 2020 7:24 am

David and Bui wrote:Excellent advice, Khun Pirin!

Good advice, but beside the point. It is important to point out that ไอ้ is still thought bad mannered by many people. The advice I would give is do not refer to Thai people as ไอ้พวกคนไทย because not all Thai people possess the generosity of spirit of Khun Pirin.
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