Thai: Pak Wan

Discussion in 'Other Languages' started by Flaminius, May 21, 2006.

  1. Flaminius

    Flaminius coclea mod

    capita Iaponiae
    日本語 / japāniski / יפנית
    Could anybody tell what "pak wan" means in Thai? Judgeing from the context I got this message in, it must mean something like making people happy or smile but I am curious of its part of speech, gender and all the other grammatical tidbits.

    Thank you in advance,
  2. la grive solitaire

    la grive solitaire Senior Member

    United States, English
  3. Pivra Senior Member

    It's a slang for someone who can please others by saying good things about them, it literally means sweet mouth.

    The one that la grive solitaire suggested uses the soft P but I suppose the one you are asking for is the one with hard P.

    ปากหวาน= Sweet Mouth
    ผักหวาน= a type of vegetable

    It can be both adjective and noun.


    เธอเป็นคนปากหวาน= Adjective
    ปากเธอหวานจัง= Noun

    The word can be separated into two smaller words = ปาก and หวาน (Pak and Wan)

    ปาก - mouth
    หวาน- sweet
  4. MarcB Senior Member

    US English
    Hi Piva,
    What kind of veggie is it? In Tagalog it's watermelon. From the link I see it is not the same.
  5. Pivra Senior Member

    It's kind of like something Isanians (people from Northeastern Thailand) put in their spicy soup, its not a water melon.
  6. tori New Member

    exactly what Pivra said :)
  7. phil_34

    phil_34 Senior Member

    Muttenz, Switzerland
    Swiss German

    Hi Flam

    As far as I know 'pak wan' means 'you're sweet'. I've had a Thai girlfriend who told me this and explained the meaning to me.

    Indeed, it is something to make people happy or smile :).

  8. Chillsalot New Member

    Hi Philipp,
    Can wan also be a nickname? Because I hear my wife calling a friend (her ex boyfriend) " wan" I don't speak thai so I dont know what they are talking about. I got a presumption. But I dont think I have to talk about it here.


  9. katessss New Member


    Ok this is a bit late, but I can speak and read thai and they are both pronounced differently: ปากหวาน (sweet mouth) is pronounced Bpaag Waan (Bpaag = mouth, Waan = sweet).

    ผักหวาน = Pak Waan which is a leafy vegetable. It comes from a tree/ bush, and every year people cut the new leaves off and cook them up.

    Notice one starts with a "P", and the other more with a "B" sort of sound.
  10. mi_li_mi

    mi_li_mi New Member

    Literally, "pak wan" means "sweet mouth".
    "pak" = mouth.
    "wan" = sweet, sugary.

    The deep meaning is that someone speaks to flatter. Someone uses sweet talking to manipulate others.
    It is a pejorative phrase.

    If someone says : "koon pen kon wan" (word by word : you /be/ person/sweet),
    it means that you are a good(sweet) person. An equivallent is : "koon pen kon dee", "kon dee" = "good person".

    If someone says : "koon mee pak wan" (word by word : you/have/mouth/sweet),
    it means that you pretend to be good but in fact you are not very honest, you are a concealed person. It is not a compliment.
    This expression is used in situation of conflict or to mark a distance from what is said.

    I hope it will help you.
    Have a good day.
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2012
  11. Aohhh New Member

    Hi Chill,

    no it can't be a nickname. Wan could mean anything else besides sweet, depends on pronunciation.

  12. tippa New Member

    Hi Chill

    :D I know what you mean. Let me guess that your wife is from northern part of Thailand (Esaan or Isaan) .

    The name of your wife's friend "Wan" can be a nickname,probably meaning "sweet" if with a long sound "Waan =หวาน" or meaning "day" with a short sound "Wan=วัน"

    In contrary, The term "Pak" here should be pronounced with a longer sound : Paak = ปาก (mounth). But when your wife called her friend, I guess she pronounced the word "Bak= บั่ก" which means "brother" as you might know that Thai people usually show their respect vis-a-vis a person older than them by preceding the nickname by the term "Bak" for Isaanians and "Pee" in general.

    To conclude,
    My guess is that your wife's word is "Bak Wan" = brother Wan.
    In this forum, "Pak Wan" is an adjective expressing a character of a person who says something just to please, to blandish, to flatter or to cajole you.

    For instance, you are so "Paak Waan". Because that guy is so "Paak Waan", his wife loves him so much.

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