Thailand Personal Names

Thailand Wiki Topics
Flag of Thailand.png
Beginning Research
Record Types
Thailand Background
Local Research Resources

Online Tools

Given Names

  • While given names are used for official purposes and record-keeping, most Thais are also given a nickname at birth which they use in their daily life, including at school and in the workplace. In many social situations, the nickname takes precedence over the real name.
  • Thai given names generally convey positive attributes, and a number of Thai people change their given names frequently (and their family names less frequently, as it requires permission from the head of a family or, in the case of children, father and mother). This practice is virtually unknown in most countries outside of marriage. Besides standard reasons of separation and divorce, many name changes are done to get rid of bad luck (which, if caused by a ghost or spirit, would confuse the malignant entity, allowing the victim to get free from them).[1]

Surnames

  • Surnames or family names are a relatively new innovation for the Thai people. For centuries, Thai people referred to the given names of their parents, or their place of residence along with their given name in order to identify themselves.
  • Some surnames were granted to a person if they were in charge of a government agency. Some of these individuals after working for the government received a new caste name. Other family members would then request a change in their surname to match the new caste name of their relative.
  • In 1913, the Surname Act was instituted legally requiring surnames in conjunction with the birth, marriage, and death registration that was instituted in 1912. Thai names now follow a more “western” pattern of surnames/family names, etc.[2]

Thai Surnames (Early Genus)

This chart links to Wiki pages listing surnames in alphabetical order that start with that Thai letter and the corresponding English spelling of the surname. [3]

References