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meadish_sweetball
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I think it is much more akin to 'burning the midnight oil' - i.e. they compose headlines late at night, by candlelight (implying insufficient lighting, a metaphor for unclarity) - implying mistakes easily slip in.

Sayings and idioms often deviate from formal grammar - much like the shorthand of newspaper headlines. Hence the lack of preposition between ???? and ?????. Note also the proximity rhyme between ????? and ????? - very commonly used in traditional Thai poetry and song lyrics.

Well, Khun Meadish, that is not correct.

????????? means to sit staring at a the candle-fire. It's used when someone who claim that they can see the future or whatever which had happened in the past or future by watching through the water in the alms-bowl of a monk which has candles lighten and put them around the alms-bowl. When it's used with journalists, ?????????????????? means that journalist had made up a story by without knowing the true story.

Wow, thanks Khun Yoot.

So important to have someone who can fill in the context when needed.

Actually, I had thought that Meadish's supposition was pretty good, in that sense of the image of journos working on a late deadline but lacking the real facts, and then just making it up, rather than holding the story until they could find out what the real facts are.

But now that you've explained the meaning of the compound word, it makes even more sense.

I'm indebted to you both for steering me away from the tendency to look for a direct word-by-word translation - which is nearly always foolhardy.

In any event, I can add one bit of context to all of this from my own area of expertise in the profession: when bad journalists invent stories (whether it be from the deadline pressure, as suggested by Meadish; or simply divining it, as Yoot says; or just being lazy and incompetent), we say "he never lets the facts get in the way of a good story."

Cheers.

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I think it is much more akin to 'burning the midnight oil' - i.e. they compose headlines late at night, by candlelight (implying insufficient lighting, a metaphor for unclarity) - implying mistakes easily slip in.

Sayings and idioms often deviate from formal grammar - much like the shorthand of newspaper headlines. Hence the lack of preposition between นั่ง and เทียน. Note also the proximity rhyme between เทียน and เขียน - very commonly used in traditional Thai poetry and song lyrics.

Well, Khun Meadish, that is not correct.

นั่งเทียน means to sit staring at a the candle-fire. It's used when someone who claim that they can see the future or whatever which had happened in the past or future by watching through the water in the alms-bowl of a monk which has candles lighten and put them around the alms-bowl. When it's used with journalists, นั่งเทียนเขียนข่าว means that journalist had made up a story by without knowing the true story.

I see - that makes sense now that you explain it. You learn something new every day. Thank you for the correction. :o

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It's good to see that Yoot is keeping a friendly and informative eye on the forum.

Here's one I saw yesterday in the paper, it's not a headline and I guess the origin is Chinese. Does it mean something like familiar with so don't want to punish?

ฃูเอี๋ย the sentence was มีพฤติการรณ์ประนีประนอม ฃูเอียต่ออำนาจเก่า

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It's good to see that Yoot is keeping a friendly and informative eye on the forum.

Here's one I saw yesterday in the paper, it's not a headline and I guess the origin is Chinese. Does it mean something like familiar with so don't want to punish?

ฃูเอี๋ย the sentence was มีพฤติการรณ์ประนีประนอม ฃูเอียต่ออำนาจเก่า

ซูเอี๋ย is from Teochew dialect , it's used as a loan word which means the same as สมยอม in Thai. To translate the meaning to English, it should be to connive or to agree with one another.

For the sentence on the news, it means to have a compromise behavior and agree with the old power( Thaksin's government). Well, it might not completely correct since I don't know the whole context. But hope this helps. :o

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  • 2 months later...
It's good to see that Yoot is keeping a friendly and informative eye on the forum.

Here's one I saw yesterday in the paper, it's not a headline and I guess the origin is Chinese. Does it mean something like familiar with so don't want to punish?

ฃูเอี๋ย the sentence was มีพฤติการรณ์ประนีประนอม ฃูเอียต่ออำนาจเก่า

ซูเอี๋ย is from Teochew dialect , it's used as a loan word which means the same as สมยอม in Thai. To translate the meaning to English, it should be to connive or to agree with one another.

For the sentence on the news, it means to have a compromise behavior and agree with the old power( Thaksin's government). Well, it might not completely correct since I don't know the whole context. But hope this helps. :o

_____________________________________

The following is from this weekend's Matichon Weekend:

"ในทางกลับกัน แม้จะเล่น "บทบู๊" แต่ดูเหมือนสถานการณ์ร้อนทางการเมืองจะลดอุณหภูมิลงอย่างน่าอัศจรรย์ ทั้งที่หลายคนคาดการณ์กันไว้ถึงขนาดต้องมีเลือดตกยางออกกันบ้าง"

Can anyone tell me what the meaning of 'เล่น "บทบู๊" ' is? Lexitron has บู๊ as:

บู๊ as "to fight"

Def. ชอบต่อสู้โดยใช้กำลัง.

Sample:เธอบู๊ได้กับทุกคนไม่เคยเกรงกลัวหน้าไหนอยู่แล้ว

A second definition is:

บู๊ [N] military

Syn. ฝ่ายบู๊

Def. ขุนนางฝ่ายทหารของจีน.

Sample:เขาเป็นฝ่ายบู๊มือสำคัญของฮ่องเต้องค์นี้

Thanks.

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Can anyone tell me what the meaning of 'เล่น "บทบู๊" ' is?

It means " playing the role of using force or fighting "

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  • 2 months later...

ยอมรับ " ไมได้ เป็น ผบ.ทบ. " " มนตรี " เปิดใจ ! แฉข่าวแค่โยนหินถามทาง

is the full headline... and like you David, I don't have a clue. แฉ ข่าว means 'to reveal', but as for โยน หิน ถาม ทาง I don't know.

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i think it means , "testing the waters" , "seeing how the land lies".

throwing stones to see if the road is solid enough to walk down , if the puddles are deep , clearing the way of snakes etc.

montri is releasing a teaser, and will decide on future actions depending on the response.

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Excellent, thank you. Seems to me that "โยนหินถามทาง", [lit.] "throwing a rock to inquire about the path" is more appropriate in Meatish's world where you might find yourself walking across a frozen pond wondering if the ice ahead is strong enough to hold you up. I wonder where the phrase came from in the Thai world: quicksand and swamps, pitfalls and animal traps, bamboo and rope bridges across gorges?

Thanks for the help.

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ยอมรับ " ไมได้ เป็น ผบ.ทบ. " " มนตรี " เปิดใจ ! แฉข่าวแค่โยนหินถามทาง

is the full headline... and like you David, I don't have a clue. แฉ ข่าว means 'to reveal', but as for โยน หิน ถาม ทาง I don't know.

I don't know it either. But it seemed interesting so I put โยนหินถามทาง into google and it returned thousands of hits. From looking through them my feeling is that it is something like "testing out the waters" and letting chance lead the way. I guess it would mean something like "tossing stones to find the way." It seemed to be used in politics more than any other area both in terms of "should I run or shouldn't I" so that do something to get a feel for the climate or it seemed to me like sometimes a poster on a forum would title his post with that as if to say that he is soliciting responses to find an answer/direction. Something like, tossing an idea out to see what others think.

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ยอมรับ " ไมได้ เป็น ผบ.ทบ. " " มนตรี " เปิดใจ ! แฉข่าวแค่โยนหินถามทาง

is the full headline... and like you David, I don't have a clue. แฉ ข่าว means 'to reveal', but as for โยน หิน ถาม ทาง I don't know.

I don't know it either. But it seemed interesting so I put โยนหินถามทาง into google and it returned thousands of hits. From looking through them my feeling is that it is something like "testing out the waters" and letting chance lead the way. I guess it would mean something like "tossing stones to find the way." It seemed to be used in politics more than any other area both in terms of "should I run or shouldn't I" so that do something to get a feel for the climate or it seemed to me like sometimes a poster on a forum would title his post with that as if to say that he is soliciting responses to find an answer/direction. Something like, tossing an idea out to see what others think.

seems I was beaten to the punch. I'll defer to taxexile.

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Excellent, thank you. Seems to me that "โยนหินถามทาง", [lit.] "throwing a rock to inquire about the path" is more appropriate in Meatish's world where you might find yourself walking across a frozen pond wondering if the ice ahead is strong enough to hold you up. I wonder where the phrase came from in the Thai world: quicksand and swamps, pitfalls and animal traps, bamboo and rope bridges across gorges?

Thanks for the help.

Someone I just spoke with inferred that it has an element of chance involved in terms of choosing the direction. I wonder if the stone tossing idea comes from tossing stones to see which way they point rather than tossing stones to test the safety of the path? Kind of like heads I go this way, tails that way. I feel like this may fit better too as I get the feel that it is tossing stones to select between paths rather than determining whether the path in front is safe.

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Excellent, thank you all.

Seems to me that "โยนหินถามทาง": [lit.] "throwing a rock to inquire about the path" is more appropriate in Meatish's world where you might find yourself walking across a frozen pond wondering if the ice ahead is strong enough to hold you up. I wonder where the phrase came from in the Thai world: quicksand and swamps, pitfalls and animal traps, bamboo and rope bridges across gorges?

Thanks for the help.

Edited by DavidHouston
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One more question from today's Matichon, please if I may:

This article discusses the potential for abuse from political self dealing for members of the interim government. Toward the end of the article the author says,

"คำอธิบายของผู้ที่เกี่ยวข้องใน ส.ส.ร.ล้วนแต่อ้ำอึ้งไม่ชัดเจนจนสีข้างถลอกเป็นทิวแถว"

"The explanation from those involved within the Constitutional Drafting Committee is a resounding crash of silence. This is so unclear that . . . . . . " And, it is this last part that I need assistance.

The words are:

สีข้าง [N] flank; side; rib

ถลอก [ADJ] scratched; bruised

ทิวแถว [N] row; line; range

but the aggregate must mean something more.

I have seen "ท้องคัดท้องแข็ง" "[ADV] rock with laughter; one's side splitting with laughter", which I believe has been discussed in this forum but I have not seen the quoted section. Your explanation would be very helpful. Thanks.

Edited by DavidHouston
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One more question from today's Matichon, please if I may:

This article discusses the potential for abuse from political self dealing for members of the interim government. Toward the end of the article the author says,

"คำอธิบายของผู้ที่เกี่ยวข้องใน ส.ส.ร.ล้วนแต่อ้ำอึ้งไม่ชัดเจนจนสีข้างถลอกเป็นทิวแถว"

"The explanation from those involved within the Constitutional Drafting Committee is a resounding crash of silence. This is so unclear that . . . . . . " And, it is this last part that I need assistance.

The words are:

สีข้าง [N] flank; side; rib

ถลอก [ADJ] scratched; bruised

ทิวแถว [N] row; line; range

but the aggregate must mean something more.

I have seen "ท้องคัดท้องแข็ง" "[ADV] rock with laughter; one's side splitting with laughter", which I believe has been discussed in this forum but I have not seen the quoted section. Your explanation would be very helpful. Thanks.

I don't find any google hits for the full phrase but when breaking the phrase up into สีข้างถลอก and เป็นทิวแถว I find plenty of google hits. The latter half seems to me to be used in this case as simply denoting many/a lot of/one after another. The first part however, despite having plenty of sentences to use, I haven't been able to figure out but the best I can make out is that it is used to talk of things that are hard for others to hear or doing things that are painful. One site was talking about freedom of speech and how some people use it without regard to others/(how it hurts others?). Below is the line from that site.

เห็นด้วยค่ะว่าเสรีภาพทางคำพูด ถ้าใช้ไม่ถูกทางก็กลายเป็นคำบริภาษไร้รสนิยมได้จริงๆ แล้วคนที่ใช้ก็ชอบเอาเหตุผลเรื่องเสรีภาพมาแถซะด้วย สีข้างถลอกก็ไม่สน

I still don't think I could finish the translation though. Maybe something like, "This is so unclear that it pains (those involved) one after another." or "this is so unclear that it is a pain to everyone involved.

I'm really reaching here though. I'll be interested in the final consensus for this.

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Excellent, thank you. Seems to me that "โยนหินถามทาง", [lit.] "throwing a rock to inquire about the path" is more appropriate in Meatish's world where you might find yourself walking across a frozen pond wondering if the ice ahead is strong enough to hold you up. I wonder where the phrase came from in the Thai world: quicksand and swamps, pitfalls and animal traps, bamboo and rope bridges across gorges?

Thanks for the help.

Someone I just spoke with inferred that it has an element of chance involved in terms of choosing the direction. I wonder if the stone tossing idea comes from tossing stones to see which way they point rather than tossing stones to test the safety of the path? Kind of like heads I go this way, tails that way. I feel like this may fit better too as I get the feel that it is tossing stones to select between paths rather than determining whether the path in front is safe.

Great idea. I have been unable to locate a discussion of this phrase in the source books that I have but while the meaning seems clear, the cultural meaning is not. I put up a question on dictionary.meelink.com/webboard, a Thai webboard devoted to word meanings and translations to English. This is the right place; however, it seems to be sparsely supported. I look forward to a reply from them or from anyone on this forum. These questions regarding "บ่อเกิต" of words are fascinating and help increase our cultural depth, to my mind.

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This is an interim report from the campaign to understand the origin of the phrase โยนหินถามทาง. Today I spoke to several members of the education community. They responded immediately: Why, that comes from the story of the two children who went into the woods. (Here come Hansel and Gretel.) The boy dropped small pebbles behind him to help them find the path out of the woods. Great story, I thought, wrong metaphor. Can anyone think about how that might be related to the notion of "trial baloon" or "testing the waters"? We continue our quest . . . .

So far, no luck yet on "สีข้างถลอกเป็นทิวแถว" but, I am still trying.

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The latest: I just received an email from a friend and member of the education establishment who, after consulting with two of her colleagues, explained that in ancient times travelers in the deep jungle threw stones ahead to chase away wild animals, snakes, and other reptiles which might be lurking on the road.

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I have received a response in English and Thai from one of our best respondents. Here is what he said with my attempt at translation in parentheses; additions and explanations are in brackets:

_________________________________

As for "สีข้างถลอกเป็นทิวแถว", I'm not in the mood to think of English explanation of this saying. If you don't mind I will explain to you in Thai and let's see how well you understand, ok? Perhaps you may explain it to others better than me.

This saying is from the action of "แถ".

"แถ" ก. อาการที่นกเป็นต้นเอียงปีกร่อนลง, อาการที่ของแบน ๆ เช่นกระเบื้องหรือรูป แฉลบหรือร่อนไปเฉียง ๆ, โดยปริยายเรียกอาการที่คล้ายคลึงเช่นนั้น เช่น วัน ๆ ไม่เห็นทำการทำงานได้แต่แถไปโน่นไปนี่.

("Thaae[R]", a verb, which describes the action of a bird, for example, tilts its wings down and hovers; the action of something very thin, for example a piece of tile or a picture, swerves and slides around or flits around from side to side. By implication this word is used metaphorically in similar conditions. For example, sometimes we see someone who does no productive work but flits around fitfully from place to place [with great purpose and determination]. [This definition matches that from the RID.])

ในสำนวนนี้ เขาจะว่าคนที่ชอบแถ เวลาแถมาก ๆ แล้วด้านข้างก็จะไปชนกับสิ่งนั้นสิ่งนี้จนสีข้างถลอก(the sides of the thorax get wounded)

(By use of this idiom [the newspaper] is being critical of officials who are accustomed to flit around fitfully. When they flit around like this, the sides of their bodies crash into things around them until "the sides of their thorax get wounded". [An English equivalent may be to a boxer who gets runs around the ring, barely touched by his opponent, but gets bruised by the ropes and canvass without landing any punches at all.])

การแถของคนเหล่านี้คือ การพูด เวลาคนที่ไม่ยอมรับความจริง จะพูดเรื่องอะไร ก็จะพยายามยกเหตุผลนั้น เหตุผลนี้มาสนับสนุนความเห็นของตน แต่เหตุผลที่ยกมานั้นใช้ไม่ได้เลย คือไม่ถูกกับหลักความเป็นจริง

(The "flitting" actions of these people consist of talking. When these people are not willing to accept the truth, they just talk and talk. They try to raise various reasons to support their own thinking and positions. But the reasons that they cite and the positions they take have nothing to do with the truth.)

ถ้าจะให้ยกตัวอย่าง คุณเดวิดดูในหัวข้อที่คุยกันเรื่อง เก็บตังค์ จะมีสมาชิกอยู่คนที่บอกว่า ที่ถูกต้องพูดว่า "kip dang" แล้วสมาชิกคนอื่น ๆ ก็แย้งว่าไม่ถูกต้อง แต่สมาชิกคนนั้นก็พยายามพูดว่าสิ่งที่เขาพูดนั้นถูกต้องแล้ว คนอื่นนั่นแหละ โง่แล้วอวดฉลาด ถ้าเป็นคนไทย ก็ต้องโดนว่า ว่าคนนั้นนั่นแหละ จอมแถ แถจนสีข้างถลอกแล้วยังไม่ยอมรับอีกว่าตัวเองผิด

(If you want to look at another example, consider the current discussion involving the words "kep tang". There are some members [of this forum] who say, "the correct method of pronouncing this word is "kip dang" while other members argue that this [pronunciation] is incorrect. The first member vociferously argues back that his pronunciation is correct. That other member continues to insist that his position is correct. [Translation edited for propriety.] If these were Thai people having this discussion, they would be rebuked as follows, "you are criticizing that person too much; you are getting bruised and beaten and still will not admit that you yourself are wrong.")

quote:

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

"คำอธิบายของผู้ที่เกี่ยวข้องใน ส.ส.ร.ล้วนแต่อ้ำอึ้งไม่ชัดเจนจนสีข้างถลอกเป็นทิวแถว"

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

จากเนื้อหาในข่าวนี้ จะเห็นได้ว่า ส.ส.ร. รู้ว่าสิ่งที่ตัวเองพยายามอธิบายนั้น ในความเป็นจริงแล้วมันไม่ถูกต้อง แต่ไม่สามารถพูดได้ ได้แต่อ้ำอึ้ง แล้วก็แถไปเรื่อย ๆ (เวลาแถมาก ๆ สีข้างก็ขูดกับพื้นบ้าง กำแพงบ้าง ก็เลยถลอก, กันเป็นแถว หมายถึง พวก ส.ส.ร. ทั้งหลายนั่นแหละ สีข้างถลอกกันหมดแล้ว)

(From the context of this news item you can see that members of the Constitution Drafting Committee understand that what are trying to explain is not the truth but they are not able to say that. They are only able to remain "speechless" or flit around needlessly (when [a bird] flits around like this the area around [its] thorax will rub against the ground or against surrounding walls and [this area of its body] all along its ribs will get bruised. This means that members of the Constitution Drafting Committee will be all bruised and beaten in the process.)

__________________________

My thought is that that the sentence from the article could be translated loosely as,

"The attempt at explanation provided by those involved with the Constitution Drafting Committee rendered them either speechless or reduced to a mindless and bruising babbling."

Any thoughts or alternative translations? Thanks.

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Here is another take on the word "แถ", a word that I never heard before. This comes from the magazine Sakul Thai, a Thai society magazine. Sakul Thai contains two Thai language columns at http://www.sakulthai.com/.

"แถ หมายความว่า อาการที่นกกางปีกร่อนลงเอียง ๆ เช่น พอเห็นอาหารที่เด็กน้อยใส่กระทงมาวางที่แป้นริมรั้ว เจ้านกน้อยก็แถลงเกาะที่ขอบรั้วทันที แถ แปลว่า เอียงตัวเข้าไปหา กระแซะเข้าไปหาก็ได้ เช่น พอเห็นสาว ๆ พ่อจอมเจ้าชู้ของเราก็แถเข้าไปใกล้ทีเดียว"

" 'Thaae' means an action of a bird when it spreads its wings and sort of swoops down or sidles over. For example, when it sees a child put a basket of food on a platform at the edge of a wall, the bird immediately swoops down and perches on the edge of the wall. 'Thaae' also means "to lean one's body over to talk to" someone or it could also mean "to snuggle up to" someone. An example of this would be 'when my father who has an exceedingly roving eye sees a young pretty girl he will just sidle up really close to her.'"

Have any of you seen other uses of this word?

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Stumped and unable to offer a clear and lucid explanation, the Constitutional Committee merely tied themselves in knots\ did themselves a disservice with their desperate and fitful attempts at interpretation.

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Going back to the previous question,a Thai told me a similar expression is เอาสีข้างเข้าถู which literally is the sides of the participants rubbing and grazing against each other, metaphorically they have no reasons to back up their arguments head on so they resort to twists in logic, hence the side on approach!

Edited by bannork
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Going back to the previous question,a Thai told me a similar expression is เอาสีข้างเข้าถู which literally is the sides of the participants rubbing and grazing against each other, metaphorically they have no reasons to back up their arguments head on so they resort to twists in logic, hence the side on approach!

That's a good one. I found this at http://www.thaiidiom.com/bowl.htm

เอาข้างเข้าถู , เอาสีข้างเข้าถู = ไม่ใช้เหตุผล , ดื้อดันจะเอาชนะให้ได้

defined as "not using reason; acting stubbornly in a manner only to win the argument." I can't wait to use this in real life! (Afraid to say this to my wife, however.)

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Another metaphor from Matichon:

"คุณสมัครย่อมอาจจะต้องตกอยู่ระหว่างทางสองแพร่งที่ต้องเลือกพิทักษ์รักษาผลประโยชน์ของคุณทักษิณกับผลประโยชน์ของประชาชน"

"Khun Samak seems to be _____________ . He must choose between taking care of Thaksin's interests and the interest of the people."

How can we best translate, " . . . ตกอยู่ระหว่างทางสองแพร่ง . . . "? " . . caught on the horns of a dilemma . . ."? " . . . forced to decide between two paths . . . "?

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