October 8, 2008

Back bumper wisdom

I saw this sticker a while back and promptly forgot about it, so when I spotted it again yesterday, I made a mental note to share it on the blog:

(Actually, this is a recreation. I couldn't find a decent image online, so I whipped this up in Photoshop. Feel free to do with it what you will.)

The sticker looks, of course, like traffic a sign. The joke is in the names: เมาคะนอง --> แจ้งมรณะ --> ยมโลก. "Wildly drunk" --> "death notice" --> "the underworld/hell". It's a cautionary tale of unfortunate probabilities.

Each name is a play on a well-known Bangkok location:
  • เมาคะนอง /mao khanɔɔŋ/ is a pun on ดาวคะนอง Dao Khanong;
  • แจ้งมรณะ /chɛ̂ɛŋ mɔranáʔ/ is a pun on แจ้งวัฒนะ Chaeng Watthana;
  • ยมโลก /yommalôok/ is a pun on ยมราช Yommarat.
Beats the heck out of the old standard (เมาไม่ขับ "don't drive drunk") in the creativity department!


  1. Nice! On a related note, so how would you translate/explain the place name "Dao Khanong"? I've been wondering about the meaning for some time.....

    http://dict.longdo.com says:
    คะนอง - [V] be impetuous, See also: be wild; be high-spirited; be dashing; be fiery, Syn. คึก, ลำพอง, Example: ตอนยังเป็นเด็กนักเรียนเขารู้กันดีว่า ผมนั้นห่ามคะนองขนาดไหน, Thai definition: แสดงอาการร่าเริง

  2. Here's a thread on Pantip.com about the origin of the name Dao Khanong ดาวคะนอง. There are multiple theories.

    The theory given in comment 15 seems the most plausible. It cites this history as its source.

    To summarize, the idea is that the Bangkok temple วัดดาวคะนอง was named after an old Ayutthaya temple of the same name, built in the mid-1700s before the sacking of Ayutthaya, formerly known as วัดปากคลอง. When the temple's อุโบสถ uposatha (assembly hall) was built, a miracle occurred during the พิธียกช่อฟ้า (the installation of the serpent-shaped apex points on the hall's roof) -- stars appeared in the daytime sky. So the temple came to be called วัดดาวคะนอง.

    The Ayutthaya kingdom fell only a few years later, so it seems likely to me that a temple in the newly founded Bangkok would be named in its honor. Roughly speaking, I'd translate it as "temple of the dancing stars".