The Thaksin Dictionary

Thaksin Dictionary
Also: The Thai Media Project

Thaksin Shinawatra has been very successful in using creative and attention-grabbing vocabulary to focus public opinion. Thai humor most often consists of word play or double meaning of words and Thaksin has uses words to simplify issues and get his point across in a humorous way.
Left: Cover of a dayweekly's Thaksin Dictionary (a mini-book included with the magazine)

Asiper has summarized the following from "Thaksin Dictionary: Thaksin Shinawatra version" (a dayweekly, No. 23, October 22-28, 2004): All these words come from the Thaksin government, so if people understand the words, they will see through the society. However, note that these words are humorous or focus on emotion--they do not focus on academic or serious meaning. One example of this is jone krajok.
Here are some more examples from each year:
1. Year 2001 - double standard, 30 baht can cure all diseases
2. Year 2002 - Kwai Center (Buffalo Center), OTOP, Aua Arthon
3. Year 2003 - UN mai chai por (UN is not my father), Thaksinomics, entertainment complex
4. Year 2004 - Kha prajum, Khajorn (regular, non regular), NGO = stupid, kin khai per chat (Bird flu event), jone krajok, kwai (buffalo)

Vocabulary in the Thaksin government era year 2001

30 baht can cure all diseases
Populist policy of the government that wants people who have low income to access a public health service equal to high-income people.
Source: This is a TRT policy in the election campaign before 2001. This become the popular phrase.

New Thinking, New Doing

TRT presents itself to be a new alternative by offering to play a creative role in politics. After that this phrase is distorted in ridicule to be "Old Thinking, Old Doing, Easy Thinking, Easy Doing." This was because TRT used the formula to mix the add to the party by drawing old MPs from old parties and making good image and show in the new way.
Source: This is a slogan of TRT that was coined when the part was founded.

The academic at the back of library

This means the academic who is busy with textbook so he sometimes does not know the fact that happen in real life are different from his expertise.
Source: This phrase is a retort from PM Thaksin after Thirayuth Boonmi, Professor of Thammasat University, demanded Thaksin to stop using psychological pressure on the constitutional court. Thirayuth said "Increase knowledge power to buffalos more than a knight." This makes Thaksin irritated and he came up with the "academic at the back of library" phrase.
More Thaksin vocabulary coming soon.

Vocabulary in the Thaksin government era year 2002

Eua Arthon

"Eua Arthon" means concern, worry, kindness, and good intentions that a ruler gives to whom they govern (rule). This is the suffix word used in the special issue such as Ban (House) Eua Arthon, Taxi Eua Arthon , Air Eua Arthon, etc.
Source: It started with the Ban (House) Eua Arthon project which was the PM's idea at the end of year 2002 that wants low income people to have their own houses.

Village Fund

This is one of the populists policy that gives 1 million baht loan to villages to combat social and economic problems in each village. The village fund policy is a strategy to develop the grassroots level by focusing on investment so the government strongly presses each village to accept these loans without interest.
Source: This is Mr. Somkid Jatusripitak's proposal to the Thaksin government in 2002 which has approved and implemented.


This is one who has absolute power has a passion for power, fits of anger, and display virtue and power by setting the standards of economics and politics while thinking he is the only one who is right and all those who disagree with him will be countered.
After this word has been used continuously, reporters used it in another way to mean privileged people that have lots of money, power, or fame who do not care the way they obtain positions such as high level government officials, movie stars, singers, etc.
Source: The name that the parliament journalists gave to the PM [a rich many who used his wealth to obtain power].

Spaghetti subdue person

This mean Pol. Capt. Purachai Piemsomboon who conduct his duty to check the young ID card who likes to wear spaghetti strap tops and travels at night.
Source: A name that journalists gave to Pol. Capt. Purachai when he was the Interior Minister in 2002.

Vocabulary in the Thaksin government era year 2003

"The UN is not my father"
The statement of the year for 2003 was made by PM Thaksin Shinawatra who shocked people all around the country by using this statement to answer reporters who asked about the Human Rights Office of the UN. The office was going to send officers to observe the implementation of the Thai Anti-drug scheme. This happened because Dr. Pradit Jaroenthaitawee, National Human Rights Committee, took the human rights violation problem caused by the war on drug to discuss at a UN conference.
Source: Thaksin said this when he was upset with reporters who thronged to interview him about the killing the 'mass of drug dealers.' (in Thai the special phrase for this is ka tad ton meaning to kill someone before they reveal your secrets or to silence them. Mostly, it happens to gunmen or drug agents to prevent them from telling policemen from whom they get their orders from). This was a hot issue in March 2003.


The theory of Thailand administration lead by PM Thaksin Shinawatra focuses on developing and growing capitalism. At the same time it emphasize the grassroots to access capital. It claims to develop capital without socialism, saying real capital cannot exist if income cannot be distributed to all. So the government tried to make capital available for people to access--not only for a few people as it was in the past. Government administrative by distributing money directly to the masses.
Source: Academics used this term to define the way Thaksin administers the country.
Entertainment complex
Thaksin explained is that 'entertainment' is at the center of recreational activities consisting of large hotels, theaters, shops that sell OTOP... and legal casinos.
The polite word for “casino” means a place for gambling and Thaksin is confident that casinos would boost tax collection and income for Thailand. In addition, people would not go abroad to gamble. This is one idea of Thaksin that has not been brought to reality because people and academics resist it.
Source: Thaksin sounded out people on opening free casinos in the name of “Entertainment Complex” on November 28, 2003 on his radio program “PM Thaksin talks to the people” by citing the core objectives of opening free casinos as recreation.

Vocabulary in the Thaksin government era year 2004

These are 'regular critics' such as MPs, academics, and NGOs who often and continuously object to the government.
Source: This word was first used around New Year of 2004 when the PM was seriously criticized by many parties.

These are 'occasional critics' such as MPs, academics, and NGOs who only occasionally criticize the government (opposite of khaprajum).
Source: This word is risen almost the same time of kraprajum.

Jone krajok
Jone is the thief or robber. Krajok means not important, little, humble so jone krajok means a thief (bad guy) who steals or robs small things.
Jone krajok was used by Thaksin to describe the people behind the unrest in the South. It was to say they were merely thieves involved with drug or smuggling and who were not connected with religions motives.
Source: It is general use to explain the groups or person who do the unrest in three southern provinces such as Pattani, Yala and Narathiwat.

Eat chicken for the nation
This was the designated name of the festival “The Fair for Eating Thai Chicken which is 100% safe” at Sanam Luang in February 2004. The fair was held after the government declared that it was able to stop the bird flu epidemic. To convince to people, the PM showed how to cook Kai Pad Prik Krapro by himself and gave to people to eat.
Source: This word appeared in the mass media since the mobile cabinet meeting at Kanjanaburi where all menus had chicken included and ministers started saying “Eat chicken for the nation.”

Nok kamin bird tour
This is the traveling program to visit, survey, and check public favor by having the PM stay overnight at various places such as temples, people’s houses or with the military, etc. Money is distributed also.
Source: This word is occurred when the PM traveled to visit people in the area from April 18-28 by car.
Nok kamin in Thai is the name of a bird that sleeps in various places instead of having a nest. For example if it flies to Yala and arrives there at night so it will sleep there and if tomorrow it flies to Pattani, it will sleep in Pattani. This is the same as Thaksin going to visit villages--if he is there in the evening, he will sleep there and not come back to sleep in the hotel.

See through
This word describes seeing thorough the hidden ideas of the country's leaders including the cabinet, politicians and government officials.
Source: This word has been around a long time, but midway thought of 2004 when kraprajum and khajorn people came out to expose Thaksin’s ideas, a book was published called “Seeing through Thaksin.” This idea was carried over to the “Seeing through Thaksin group" made up of Thai Rak Thai critics.
This entry was posted in The Thaksin Years. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.