Siam Thai Etymology

Thailand was formally known as Siam Thai. This independent country is a part of Southeast Asia. In this article we will share precise information on Siam Thai etymology. Till June 23, 1939 the official name of the country was Siam Thai but it was changed to Thailand. It was then renamed Siam from 1945 to May 11, 1939. Later on the country was again renamed as Thailand. Siam which is also spelled Siem, Syam or Syama has been identified with the Sanskrit word Syama meaning ‘dark’ or ‘brown’. The names Shan and A-hom seem to be variants of the same word, and Śyâma is possibly not its origin but a learned and artificial distortion. Read on to know more about Thailand etymology.

It is a common believed that the word ‘Thai’ is taken from the word ‘Tai’ which means freedom in Thai language. And it is basically the name of ethnic group i.e. Thai people who resides in the central plains of the country. But according to a well known Thai scholar the word ‘Tai’ simply means "people" or "human being", after his investigation he found out that in some rural areas the word "Tai" was used instead of the usual Thai word "khon" for people. This precisely reveals the etymology of Siam Thai. The people of Thailand or Siam Thai use the phrase "land of the free" in order to express pride that Thailand is the one such country in Southeast Asia which has never been colonized by European power.

Going further with Siam Thai etymology, the people of Thailand also commonly denote their country by using word Prathet Thai. They also normally used the more informal word Mueang Thai or simply Thai. The word Mueang means nation in Thai language but it is generally or normally used to denote a city or town. However, Ratcha Anachak Thai means or refers to ‘Kingdom of Thailand or ‘Kingdom of Thai’. Considering its etymology Ratcha comes from a Sanskrit word ‘raja’ which means king or royal, realm while ‘ana’ comes from ‘pali ana’ meaning ‘authority, ‘command’, itself from Sanskrit ‘ajna’. Whereas the ‘chak’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘cakra or ‘cakram’ which means ‘wheel’ a symbol of power and rule. The National anthem of Thai refers to the Thai nation as: prathet-thai. However, the above article briefly reveals Siam Thai etymology.


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