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Farang Ki Nok


stonybonytony
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Is the expression farang ki nok (cheapskate foreigner)

ขิ้นก or ขิ้นอก ? I've heard it translated as the first, but then started wondering if farangs are also ขิ้นอก, "people with the characteristics of foreigners" and maybe it's a misunderstanding. Though the second interpretation sounds more polite than the way this phrase is normally used.

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Often, I've talked to Thais who use the expression to connote that farangs, like birds, fly in - eat up a rice field, and all they leave are droppings. The phrase often depicts the flighty nature of the farang.

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Is the expression farang ki nok (cheapskate foreigner)

ขิ้นก or ขิ้นอก ? I've heard it translated as the first, but then started wondering if farangs are also ขิ้นอก, "people with the characteristics of foreigners" and maybe it's a misunderstanding. Though the second interpretation sounds more polite than the way this phrase is normally used.

It is definitely ฝรั่งขี้นก and not นอก. I can confirm what Briggsy says about the meaning.

As for the interpretation with eating rice fields and leaving only droppings, it's a new one to me.

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Is the expression farang ki nok (cheapskate foreigner)

ขิ้นก or ขิ้นอก ? I've heard it translated as the first, but then started wondering if farangs are also ขิ้นอก, "people with the characteristics of foreigners" and maybe it's a misunderstanding. Though the second interpretation sounds more polite than the way this phrase is normally used.

It is definitely ฝรั่งขี้นก and not นอก. I can confirm what Briggsy says about the meaning.

As for the interpretation with eating rice fields and leaving only droppings, it's a new one to me.

i remember reading that ขี้นก can refer to various fruits and veges, and this descriptor implies small size (and, by extension, inferior quality). either cheapskate farangs or thai wannabe farangs can come in for this insult. here's a forum-style post in thai covering these points in a little more detail: http://www.pantown.com/board.php?id=9364&a...amp;action=view

all the best.

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ฝรั่งขี้นก is a type of guava and an insult applied to Westerners often relating to perceived stinginess.

ki nok is also bird sh1t im told.. i had some on the car and this is what my daughter said it was ! im definatly changing her school ! :o
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ขี้งก (khii ngok) is an impolite, and therefore unlikely to be found in a dictionary, version of ขี้เหนียว (khii niaow) which means "stingy" and therefore ฝรั่งขี้งก (khii nok) means "stingy farang" and can be heard quite reguarly in any of the tourist zones when a farang refuses to pay over the odds for something or part with their money.

I think ขี้งก (khii ngok) is often confused for ขี้นก (khii nok) which literally means bird excerement, but also means fake, low-class or worthless. I was unaware that ขี้นก (khii nok) was also used to mean "stingy".

ฝรั่งขี้นก (farang khii nok) originally was used as an insult to describe "a thai that acted like a farang", e.g. they had bad manners etc, and comes from ต้นฝรั่งขี้นก (dton farang khii nok) a species of guava (farang) with red flesh inside, instead of the usual white flesh from which the popular name for Caucasians originates.

ฝรั่งขี้นก (farang khii nok) in recent times is now commonly used to refer to low-class or worthless farang.

Edited by jay33
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Thanks for your post, Jay.

This confusion of ขี้นก (bird excrement, in the phrase ฝรั่งขี้นก, from the name of the red-fleshed guava) with ขี้งก (a tendency to be งก, stingy or greedy) is one that has been covered numerous times, it seems.

Any confusion that ขี้นก refers to stinginess is a misunderstanding on the part of the non-native learner. Either confusion of the sounds น /n/ and ง /ng/, or confusion of context, since ฝรั่งขี้นก is sometimes used to unkindly refer to the unbathed, hostel-staying backpacker farang type, who are often on tight budgets, but are so-called because of their appearance, not their monetary condition. If they're being called stingy, it's ขี้งก.

These are two completely different senses of the word ขี้, by the way, excrement vs. prone to a certain trait. You can say งก without the ขี้ to make it non-habitual.

One last thing: this has also been covered elsewhere, but the guava gets its name from the foreigners who brought it to Thailand, not the other way around. Variations on the word "farang" are found all over the world, and the term is most reliably hypothesized to originate from the Arabic word for "Frank" (as in Charlemagne's empire), and then spread across Europe and Asia by Persian traders.

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hi rikker,

i agree with you that ฝรั่งขี้นก is not saying the farang is stingy, or making any such morally loaded judgement, so 'cheapskate' is not the right translation in all cases.

however, i do think that there is an economic implication in calling someone (a farang) a ฝรั่งขี้นก. although the phrase may have arisen from outward appearance, it does end up implying monetary restraint because of the large overlap between shabby-looking farangs and those who are living frugally or travelling on a shoestring. i've heard (thai) people say things like 'it's a waste of time trying to sell (some luxury product or service) to them, because they are ฝรั่งขี้นก'.

all the best.

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hi rikker,

i agree with you that ฝรั่งขี้นก is not saying the farang is stingy, or making any such morally loaded judgement, so 'cheapskate' is not the right translation in all cases.

however, i do think that there is an economic implication in calling someone (a farang) a ฝรั่งขี้นก. although the phrase may have arisen from outward appearance, it does end up implying monetary restraint because of the large overlap between shabby-looking farangs and those who are living frugally or travelling on a shoestring. i've heard (thai) people say things like 'it's a waste of time trying to sell (some luxury product or service) to them, because they are ฝรั่งขี้นก'.

all the best.

I think the link you provided earlier provides a good explanation for this. For those that didn't or couldn't read it it basically says that the term ขี้นก exists for a number of fruits which have a variety of it that is smaller and consequently considered not as good as their larger counterparts. The writer then says that you can basically substitute the word ขี้นก with the word เทียม meaning artificial/fake.

Therefore the phrase ฝรั่งขี้นก "fake westerner" can be used to refer to either a Thai trying to act like a foreigner or a foreigner who appears low class (and possibly as a consequence stingy). The reason being for the latter is that Thai people have a misconception of westerners benig wealthy and classy therefore anyone who doesn't fit this image can also be considered a "fake westerner".

Let's not forget though that those likely to be shouting this phrase about are not necessarily going to be as linguistically aware as those on this forum and could just be using it as an accepted derogatory term for foreigners. It reminds me in many ways of the Australian term pommy/pommie used as a derogatory term for British. If you look it up you'll find that there are several unconfirmed etymologies of the word of which the only one I've heard directly from an Australian is known to be incorrect. However it is very commonly used when being derogatory about the British and indeed now as a general term for anything British.

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FWIW a Thai friend tells me ki nok means "bird poop" and as used above means a Farang who doesn't have much money. This seems to agree with what some have said above.

Is it possible that they are simply making a play on the name of the fruit? It seems to be just splitting the noun into noun and adjective. As to what it means, well it is slang, he believes this.

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Another common meaning: "Bird-shit-for-brains foreigner." Not exactly complimentary either.

This is a common foreigner's reinterpretation of the insult, but I've never gotten the impression that Thais literally interpret the phrase this way. Anyone else, maybe?

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Another common meaning: "Bird-shit-for-brains foreigner." Not exactly complimentary either.

This is a common foreigner's reinterpretation of the insult, but I've never gotten the impression that Thais literally interpret the phrase this way. Anyone else, maybe?

It is just a slang term and surely it means whatever the person wants it to mean including, farangs using it. For instance a friend who is forty said it meant backpackers on Kow San Road, he was at Thammasaat close by when there were backpackers there. Maybe someone else from a different part of Thailand on hearing it might work out some other meaning. Very moot I would say. but if it were not there would n't be much to talk about apparently.

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How is the examination of meanings of words moot?

Having rushed to the dictionary I find that Moot means debateable undecided, I can't remember if I talked of examination of words but I am sure I meant what I said, how is it not?

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Another common meaning: "Bird-shit-for-brains foreigner." Not exactly complimentary either.

This is a common foreigner's reinterpretation of the insult, but I've never gotten the impression that Thais literally interpret the phrase this way. Anyone else, maybe?

It is just a slang term and surely it means whatever the person wants it to mean including, farangs using it. For instance a friend who is forty said it meant backpackers on Kow San Road, he was at Thammasaat close by when there were backpackers there. Maybe someone else from a different part of Thailand on hearing it might work out some other meaning. Very moot I would say. but if it were not there would n't be much to talk about apparently.

i have heard the term farang khow san used, and it wast being used as a compliment.

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Here are the senses which I believe I've seen or heard ฝรั่งขี้นก in:

1) A Thai who tries to act like Westerners, particularly who adopts the negative traits of Westerners

2) An unbathed backpacking Westerner, akin to the insult 'Eurotrash'

3) A dissolute sex-tourist Westerner, i.e. the type who เที่ยวผู้หญิง, or possibly other varieties of undesirable foreigners

Can anyone confirm these? I feel like this phrase is understood so variously that we need to at least define who it's used as an insult against. You know, for science.

Edited by Rikker
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How is the examination of meanings of words moot?

What I meant was that, since there can never be a definition given to a slang term until it appears in a learned tome written by an august body appointed by a government or department of government delegated to the task of deciding what is a word and what is not, said slang term is moot.

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One last thing: this has also been covered elsewhere, but the guava gets its name from the foreigners who brought it to Thailand, not the other way around. Variations on the word "farang" are found all over the world, and the term is most reliably hypothesized to originate from the Arabic word for "Frank" (as in Charlemagne's empire), and then spread across Europe and Asia by Persian traders.

I think you're essentially right. There's a bit on the net about this. I'd always thought that the word was from the Arabic "ifranj", meaning "Frank" and originated in the crusades, but apparently the Persians had a prior term "ferengi" meaning "foreigner". It seems to be widespread, the Pakistani-Afghan version being "faranghi" and in Penang there's the beach area called Batu Ferringhi, which I'd always assumed had some reference to foreigners.

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Well in general in Lao it's used as a derogatory term usual regarding falangs who have have taken to the 'hippy' image of long hair, beards and seem to think deoderant and showers are not required on a daily or even weekly basis!

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Well in general in Lao it's used as a derogatory term usual regarding falangs who have have taken to the 'hippy' image of long hair, beards and seem to think deoderant and showers are not required on a daily or even weekly basis!

"Falang dang mo, khee lot moto...." :o Do kids still chant that?

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What I meant was that, since there can never be a definition given to a slang term until it appears in a learned tome written by an august body appointed by a government or department of government delegated to the task of deciding what is a word and what is not, said slang term is moot.

You're being sarcastic, I take it?

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