Do you know all definitions of บาง /bāang/?

Do you know all definitions of บาง /bāang/?

If you speak Thai, I’m pretty certain that you know this word บาง /bāang/ at least you might know it as a part of a word “Bangkok” in English or บางกอก in Thai, บางครั้ง /bāang-kráng/, meaning ‘sometimes’, or บางคน /bāang-kōn/, meaning ‘some people’.

Actually, this word has many meanings but we can talk about the most common one first.

บาง /bāang/ (Det.) some

We don’t use บาง /bāang/ alone for this meaning. The structure of this word is

Noun + บาง /bāang/ + Classifier

We can omit noun before บาง /bāang/ if that noun and its classifier are exactly the same or if we do know which noun we are talking about. However, it’s impossible to use this word without a classifier.

For example: คน /kōn/ can be a noun meaning a person or people. It’s also a classifier for any nouns referring to human beings in general. In this case, we don’t have to say it twice as คนบางคน /kōn- bāang-kōn/. That’s why you might hear people say บางคน /bāang-kōn/.

  • บางคน ไม่ กิน เผ็ด
  • /bāang-kōn mâi gīn pèd/
  • Some people don’t eat spicy (food).

Anyway, if you would like to say “Some Thai people don’t eat spicy (food)”, you can’t omit noun anymore.

  • คนไทย บางคน ไม่ กิน เผ็ด
  • /kōn Thai bāang-kōn mâi gīn pèd/

บาง /bāang/ (Adj.) thin

We can also use this word to modify nouns. In this sense, its opposite word is ‘หนา’ /năa/, meaning ‘thick’.

  • สมุด เล่ม นี้ บาง มาก
  • /sà-mùd lêm née bāang mâag/
  • This notebook is very thin.

บาง /bāang/ (N.) a small stream

Have you ever wonder why there are so many areas in Thailand which started their names with a word ‘บาง’ /bāang/? Even the name บางกอก /bāang-gòrg/, AKA Bangkok. If this word means only ‘some’ or ‘thin’, it sounds strange, right?

Actually, in the past, we called a small stream ‘บาง’ /bāang/. People couldn’t live without water. In the time when there was no water pipe, it made more sense to live close to a river or a stream. That’s how people named the areas.

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