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Ladyboys in Thai Culture | The Heart of Thailand

The word jai in Thai means “heart,” and it is such an important concept to the Thais that the word can be compounded with more than 100 other words. A few examples:

Here are some of the jai lakkam (heart words) examples:

  • ใจดี jai-dii (heart good) kind , good hearted, generous
    ดีใจ dii-jai (heart good) glad, delighted
    ใจร้าย jai-raaiy’ (heart mean) mean, cruel hearted
    ใจอ่อน jai-on` (soft heart) easy to be persuaded
    ใจแข็ง jai-kaeng~ (hard heart) hard to change once one has made his/her decision
    สบายใจ sabaai-jai (comfortable, ease of  heart) to feel good, in a good mood, happy
    ทุกข์ใจ tuk’-jai (sad, worried)
    น้ำใจ nam’-jai (water from the heart) compassion, mercy
    เกรงใจ greng-jai (afraid heart) consideration, avoidance of conflict, politeness and sensitivity to feelings
    ใจเย็นๆ jai yen-yen (heart cool cool) to calm down
    เข้าใจ kao^ jai (enter heart) understand, “do you understand?”
    รู้ใจ ruu’ jai (know heart) to know someone’s liking, to be able to read someone’s mind
    เอาใจ (ao jai) (take/want heart) to please/pamper someone
    เห็นใจ hen~ jai (see into the heart) to emphathise with someone’s feelings
    สนใจ son~jai (interested heart) interested
    จริงใจ jing-jai (real heart) sincere. “I tell you the truth, jing-jing!”
    ทำใจ tam-jai (do heart) to prepare to accept it or ” get over it, let it go”
    ซื้อใจ suuer  jai (buy heart) to win someones’ heart
    ไว้ใจ wai’-jai (keep/Leave/place heart) to begin to trust another
    เชื่อใจ chuea^-jai (believe heart) trust in someone’s heart
    พอใจ paw-jai (sufficient/enough heart) to be satisfied
    ใจกว้าง jai gwaang^ (heart wide) wide minded, open minded
    ใจแคบ jai kaeb^ (heart narrow) narrow minded
    เต็มใจ dtem-jai (full heart) to be willing, to do something fullheartedly
    ฝืนใจ fuuen~ jai (resist heart) to do something against one’s heart
    ตั้งใจ dtang^ jai (set up heart) determined
    ใส่ใจ sai` jai (put in heart) to pay attention, caring, sai=inside/put in
    แปลกใจ bplaek` jai (strange heart) to be surprised
    ตกใจ dtok` jai (fall heart) to be startled
    ถูกใจ tuuk` jai (correct heart) like, to feel satisfied to find/get what you like
    ผิดใจ pid` jai (wrong heart) to be in conflict with someone
    หลายใจ laai~ jai (several heart) to simaltaneously like many people
    ใจง่าย jai ngaai^ (easy heart) easy to like someone
    มั่นใจ man^ jai (firm heart) confident
    ใจดำ jai dam (heart black) heartless
    ใจร้อน jai rawn’ (heart hot) hot tempered
    น้อยใจ nawi’ jai (little heart) (v.) to feel hurt by sensitive reasons
    ใจน้อย jai nawi’ (heart little) (adj) sensitive

The term nam jai (water + heart) means “water from the heart” and is used to describe genuine acts of kindness. It implies that these acts of kindness are done without any expectations — with no strings attached.

When someone brings food to the office to share with everyone else, or when a stranger stops to help when your car stalls — that’s nam jai. When your neighbor helps you fix a leaky faucet, or when a local takes you to your destination rather than just giving you directions, that’s nam jai.

I was once taken about 500 metres to a road I had asked the whereabouts of by a Thai waitress in a little food shop. She walked the entire way, smiled and walked back. I was also led by a Thai man on a bicycle following him on my motorcycle for about 15 minutes to find a repair shop. I tried to give him money but he refused.

Nam jai is grace. It’s unmerited favor. It’s a gift that doesn’t have to be, and cannot be repaid. It’s what all Christians are called to show to those around them but often do not. We should be looking for opportunities to practice nam jai everywhere we go and with everyone we meet.

The most common phrases you will hear in Thailand are often connected to the heart.

Jai Dii is a phrase you will hear if you tip or overpay but can be a little derisive if used by foreigners to each other suggesting you may be a bit of a soft touch!

Hen Jai means that you have looked into someone’s heart and understand what they need and closely follow this miraculous observation with nam jai and give them money to help their mother, father, uncle, buffalo etc . .but what if you look into her heart and see little but thievery and lies?

Then you would be, Jai-damn, a black-hearted but financially better off devil from the west. A  “lie man” or even worse a”fucking man”!


Fucking Maan!

This rumpled gentleman was clearly not

“Jai-Dii” as he has been given a well deserved “duffing”, selfish old bastard!!





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  1. Hi David & Annie

    Your articles and personal observations have been really valuable to me in my relationship with my trans girlfriend in the Philippines. She is a real sweetheart like Annie. I am thrilled that she will be coming to stay with me here in the U.S. soon for an extended period.

    I just wanted to let you know that it has been your observations that help me to realize that I am “normal” for loving a trans-gendered individual.

    1. Tom,
      That’s heartening to hear and thank you for taking the trouble to tell me. I wish you happiness in the USA with your girlfriend!

  2. Hi. Stumbled into your Youtube channel, and then looked further on to your website.
    Fascinating, interesting and serious! Thank you for your enlightening beyond the shallow and somewhat flimsy picture of a culture and way of living.
    You and Annie seem so genuine, true and relaxed. All best to you both.
    And yes, Annie is gorgeous!