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View Diary: Origins of English: Hindi Words (122 comments)

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  •  The Thai word for (western) (2+ / 0-)
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    Ojibwa, Ahianne

    foreigner is ฝรั่ง "Farang";  It is believed to be derived from the Arabic.  Although it looks similar to "french", it actually comes from the word "Frank", the early European traders who trades with Arabs.

     ฝรั่ง also means "Guava"; the fruit came from mesoamerica, and is now cultivated in subtropical and tropical regions around the world.  In Thailand, children and drunk truck drivers will yell out 'farang' to any westerners they see.

    When I was in Peace Corps, I lived in the northeastern part of the country, and many people speak Lao, Thai, and a local dialect.  

    A two year old once was yelling out 'farang' when he saw me walking down the road.  He was with his grandmother and pointing me out and yelling 'farang'.  I replied back, pointing to myself, 'baksida', which is the Lao word for 'guava' (but doesn't mean 'westerner').

    The grandmother heard what I said, saw the confused look on the boy's face, and started laughing.  It was the one of the few times that I was

    It's about time I changed my signature.

    by Khun David on Sat Dec 01, 2012 at 06:44:41 PM PST

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