Matchbox

Each letter of the Thai alphabet has an associated word containing it, mainly to distinguish letters with the same sound. The "M" sound is usually associated with "Maa" – "horse" so the letter is called "Mor Maa". However, it was not always so. This reproduction of a pre-war matchbox shows that "Mor Maew" (cat) was in some kind of use (with the couplet, mor maew jap nuu - "c for cat catches mice"), but didn’t become the standard word for Mor.

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All text and photos © Martin Clutterbuck 2012-3, unless otherwise indicated.

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