Thailand - Glossary Index
Sources: The Library of Congress Country Studies; CIA World Factbook
Glossary -- Thailand
- baht (B)
- Basic currency unit, divided into 100 satang. In 1984 the value of the baht was tied to a basket of foreign currencies, including the United States dollar, that were significant to the Thai economy. The exchange rate per US$1 was B25.74 in September 1987.
- Traditional title given to the highest ranking official in the civil government.
- fiscal year (FY)
- October 1 to September 30.
- General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT)
- A multilateral trade agreement signed at the Geneva Conference in 1947, which both sets out rules of conduct for international trade relations and provides a forum for multilateral negotiations on trade problems and the gradual elimination of tariffs and other trade barriers.
- gross domestic product (GDP)
- The total value of goods and services produced within a country's borders during a fixed period, usually one year. Obtained by adding the value contributed by each sector of the economy in the form of compensation of employees, profits, and depreciation (consumption of capital). Subsistence production is included and consists of the imputed value of production by the farm family for its own use and the imputed rental value of owner-occupied dwellings.
- gross national product (GNP)
- Gross domestic product (q.v.) plus the income from overseas investments and wages, minus the earnings of foreign investors and workers in the home economy.
- Khmer Rouge
- The name given to Khmer communists by Prince Sihanouk in the 1960s. Later (although a misnomer) it was applied to the Cambodian insurgents of varying ideological backgrounds who opposed the Khmer Republic of Lon Nol. Between 1975 and 1978 it also became an informal designation for the regime of Democratic Kampuchea, whose leaders were the radical Pol Pot faction of the Kampuchean (or Khmer) Communist Party. After the Vietnamese invasion of Cambodia in December l978, the Khmer Rouge became one of the three components of the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea that contested the Vietnamese presence and the Hanoi- installed regime of the People's Republic of Kampuchea.
- Body-spirit or life-soul, generally thought to reside in the head; illness and death follow loss of the khwan.
- Title of distinction designating that its bearer is in royal service.
- Literally, master. Lowest rank in the traditional nobility, the term is also used as a mark of respect for employers or any person of superior status. Under the sakdi na (q.v.) system, it identified its bearer as a landholder to whom labor service was due. Variant form is naaj.
- General term for a variety of spirits believed to have power over human beings. Specific kinds of spirits may have particular names.
- Traditional princely title prefix designating that its bearer is a relative of the king; functional title given to holders of ranks in the civil administration below that of phraya (q.v.); honorific for monks or persons and objects having religious associations.
- Generic term for commoners, variously translated as servant, serf, or, incorrectly, as slave. The phrai was bound to the land in the service of a nai (q.v.) under the sakdi na (q.v.) system.
- Traditional princely title conferred on holder of second highest rank in the civil government and on viceroys of tributary states. Sometimes seen as phrajaa or phya.
- sakdi na
- Literally, sak (power in the sense of resources); na (paddy land). A system of social ranking originally based on the king's allocation of specific quantities of rice land to persons according to their rank, each such rank being defined in terms of so-called quality points (or dignity marks). The size of the allotment was closely associated with the number of persons owing labor service to an individual of a given rank; by the beginning of the Chakkri Dynasty in 1782, an individual's rank in the system was thought of primarily in relation to the number of persons owing him service, regardless of the amount of land he controlled. shifting cultivation--A traditional method of agriculture characterized by the rotation of fields rather than crops, the use of short cropping periods and long fallow periods, and the maintenance of fertility by allowing natural vegetation to regenerate on fallow land. Clearing of new or previously cropped land is often accomplished by cutting and burning vegetation. Also known as slash-and-burn or swidden agriculture. Thai term is tam rai.
- shifting culitvation
- A traditional method of agriculture characterized by the rotation of fields rather than crops, the use of short cropping periods and long fallow periods, and the maintenance of fertility by allowing natural vegetation to regenerate on fallow land. Clearing of new or previously cropped land is often accomplished by cutting and burning vegation. Also known as slash-and-burn or swidden agriculture. Thai term is tam rai.
- Official name of the Thai kingdom from 1855 to 1939 and again from 1946 to 1949. Used conventionally in European sources from the late sixteenth century for the kingdom of Ayutthaya and later the kingdom of Bangkok, hence the term Siamese (q.v.) to describe their inhabitants.
- Inhabitants of Siam (q.v.). Historically used by Mon and Khmer to distinguish Tai (q.v.)-speaking settlers in the Chao Phraya Valley from those in other regions. The term was extended in conventional usage to inhabitants of Siam. Between 1939 and 1946 and since 1949, Thai (q.v.) and not Siamese has been employed to describe the dominant ethnic group of Thailand and Central Thai to denote the Thai of the Chao Phraya Valley.
- Term used by observers of Thailand for persons of Chinese and Thai ancestry. It does not apply to a clearly delineated, cohesive group; some such persons have been essentially assimilated into Thai society; others (usually with a recent Chinese forebear) have not.
- A family of languages spoken in Southeast Asia and southern China including Thai (q.v.); by extension the peoples speaking languages of that family.
- A national of Thailand; one or more persons of the (region- ally varied) ethnic group dominant in Thailand; the (dialecti- cally varied) language of the Thai people, one of several grouped in Tai (q.v.) family of languages; also used adjectivally.
- World Bank
- Informal name used to designate a group of three affiliated international institutions: the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development Association (IDA), and the International Finance Corporation (IFC). The IBRD, established in 1945, has the primary purpose of providing loans to developing countries for productive projects. The IDA, a legally separate loan fund but administered by the staff of the IBRD, was set up in 1960 to furnish credits to the poorest developing countries on much easier terms than those of conventional IBRD loans. The IFC, founded in 1956, supplements the activities of the IBRD through loans and assistance specifically designed to encourage the growth of productive private enterprises in the less developed countries. The president and certain senior officers of the IBRD hold the same positions in the IFC. The three institutions are owned by the governments of the countries that subscribe their capital.
NOTE: The information regarding Thailand on this page is re-published from The Library of Congress Country Studies and the CIA World Factbook. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Thailand Glossary information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Thailand Glossary should be addressed to the Library of Congress and the CIA.