August 16, 2007

A clever movie title

After my earlier post, in which I briefly discussed translating titles, I had to report this oh-so clever use of the Thai language that I saw on a movie standee at MBK earlier this week.

The Luke Wilson/Kate Beckinsale horror vehicle Vacancy opens here soon, and the title in Thai is ห้องว่างให้เชือด. (เชือด means to slit, as in, e.g., the throat.) The clever twist is that not only is this a verbal play on the phrase ห้องว่างให้เช่า "vacancy," but it's a visual play on the orthography of the words เช่า and เชือด. Run with me for a second here.

On the standee at the mall, the title of the film was designed to look like the type of neon sign you'd see at any motel. It appeared, at first, to read ห้องว่างให้เช่า, but after a few seconds, a portion of the neon sign that was out would flick back on (in red to highlight the difference), revealing the true title of the film. Here's a picture to highlight what I mean:

See how you can simply add a few strokes to เช่า to turn it into เชือด? When I saw the blinking lights on the standee, it blew my mind for a few seconds. I was tickled by the sheer ingenuity of it. And so I share it with you. The movie looks like a stinker, though. :P


  1. That is very clever, Rikker. Thanks for sharing. One could make a game of that....

  2. That would be an interesting game. Sounds like a good game for a road trip (based on words in signs).

    I can think of some pretty simple ones like เรอ/เรือ (belch/boat) or หา/เหา (look for/lice). Clever ones are a bit harder to come up with!