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47 Popular Thai Last Names With Meanings And Origins

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Up until 1913, most people from Thailand didn’t have last names. Prior to that, those who lived in Siam (the former name of Thailand, and yes, birthplace of famous conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker) just went by their first names and the place they lived. But this changed in 1913, when King Rama VI, who was educated in Europe, decided that the Thai people needed last names, like those in the West. But, unlike the West, Thai last names can only be shared by people who are directly related to each other. This amazing array of names also stems from that same 1913 law.

Many Thai names are derived from a mixture of Chinese and Arab cultures. In other words, there aren’t traditionally common last names like “Smith” or “Jones,” but rather long, compound last names made up of a string of words. However, there are some shorter Thai last names, like the ones below, which typically belong to those whose family has been in Thailand for generations.

Apart from being beautiful, Thailand is also extremely diverse. There are around 75 ethnic groups within the country alone. The Thai group makes up about 30 percent of the population while the Thai-Lao is about 32 percent. Chinese is around 12 percent of the population and Malay-speaking Muslims and Khmer are about five percent. There are also pockets of Korean and Urdu speaking individuals. And although Thailand has its urban life, they also have hill tribes in the northern mountains. Thai culture may be infused with other groups, but it still has very unique customs that are just as beautiful as their names.

Education, jobs, family, respect, and patriotism are revered. Citizens constantly show love and appreciation for their country through flags, songs, and even cinema. Buddhism is also an integral part of their everyday life. Its values include wisdom, kindness, patience, generosity, and compassion, which are a big part of the country’s disposition. A few common practices in Thailand include not touching another person’s head. It is also looked down upon to point your feet at anyone or especially an image of the buddha. Shoes are not worn in homes, and it is deemed improper for monks to interact with women or for people to show loud displays of emotion in public.

So without further ado, here are 34 Thai surnames, along with their meanings and origins.

  1. Adulyadej

Meaning: Incomparable power Origin: Thai

  1. Amarin

Meaning: Undying, immortal; right hand of the angel Origin: Thai

  1. Ambhom

Meaning: Sky Origin: Thai

  1. Ananada

Meaning: Prosperous one Origin: Thai

  1. Anchali

Meaning: Greeting Origin: Thai, Cambodia

  1. Anong

Meaning: Gorgeous woman Origin: Thai

  1. Anuman

Meaning: Small patience Origin: Thai

  1. Anurak

Meaning: An angel in Thai mythology Origin: Thai

  1. Aromdee

Meaning: Rare Origin: Thai Arthit Meaning: Man of the sun or sun Origin: Thai and comes from the Hindu god Aditya

  1. A-wut

Meaning: Weapon Origin: Thai

  1. Ayutthaya

Meaning: Unconquerable or invincible Origin: Thai

  1. Bannarasee

Meaning: Lotus flower Origin: Thai

  1. Bui

Meaning: Farmer, peasant Origin: Chinese

  1. Chakrii

Meaning: King Origin: Thai

  1. Charoensuk

Meaning: To prosper, to develop, to increase (with) delight Origin: Thai

  1. Chen

Meaning: Great, tremendous; dawn, morning Origin: Chinese

  1. Du

Meaning: Someone from the Shaanxi province in China Origin: Chinese

  1. Kasem

Meaning: Pure happiness Origin: Thai

  1. Makok

Meaning: Someone from Makok, a town in Thailand Origin: Thai

  1. Malee

Meaning: Flower Origin: Thai

  1. Na Chiangmai

Meaning: Descendants of the rulers of Chiang Mai Origin: Thai

  1. Niran

Meaning: Never ending; everlasting Origin: Thai

  1. Noi

Meaning: Bird Origin: Thai

  1. Ngam

Meaning: Beautiful Origin: Thai

  1. Paśú

Meaning: Beast Origin: Sanskrit

  1. Pravat

Meaning: Historic person Origin: Thai

  1. Ratanaporn

Meaning: Crystal blessing Origin: Thai

  1. Rattanakosin

Meaning: Reference to the royal family of the Chakri Dynasty Origin: Thai

  1. Ritthirong

Meaning: Good at fighting Origin: Thai

  1. Rochana

Meaning: Good with words Origin: Thai

  1. Rueng

Meaning: Glory Origin: Thai

  1. Saelau

Meaning: Liu Origin: Thai-Chinese

  1. Saengkaew

Meaning: Crystal light Origin: Thai

  1. Shinawatra

Meaning: Someone who does good routinely Origin: Thai

  1. Soikham

Meaning: Necklace with gold Origin: Thai

  1. Somsri

Meaning: Suitable, honorable Origin: Thai

  1. Suwannarat

Meaning: Jewel; gem Origin: Thai

  1. Suwan

Meaning: Gold Origin: Thai

  1. Sakdan

Meaning: Powerful person Origin: Thai

  1. Sanouk

Meaning: Named after an enjoyable festival of the same name Origin: Thai

  1. Siriporn

Meaning: Gloriously blessed person Origin: Thai

  1. Tham-Boon

Meaning: Merit making Origin: Thai

  1. Thong Di

Meaning: Good gold Origin: Thai

  1. Trubbaya

Meaning: Treasure Origin: Thai

  1. Wong

Meaning: Family Origin: Thai-Chinese

  1. Saetang

Meaning: Chief; educated. Origin: Thai

  1. Saelim

Meaning: Intelligent, strong. Origin: Thai.

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