Thai Flower Plumeria Frangipani | Culture
Do you like flowers?
Today I will introduce you to the Thai flower, Plumeria or Frangipani and a little about the Thai Culture surrounding this flower.
Plumeria or Frangipani has the old name as ดอกลั่นทม /dɔ̀ɔk-lân-tom. In the past, Thai people thought that this kind of plant is an unlucky plant and must not plant it in the house area as it grows in the temple area or grave, also the name of the flower, ลั่นทม /lân-tom, has a similar sound to the word ระทม /rá-tom in Thai language which it means “gloomy, sad, and depressed”
In fact, according to the linguistic, ลั่น /lân/ means “finish, abandon”, and ทม /tom/is from ระทม /rá-tom/ means “gloomy, sad, and depressed”. So ลั่นทม /lân-tom/ means “to abandon the sadness”.
Also, there is another history for the plant. The Frangipani originated from Cambodia. Siam having beat the Cambodian army in Nakhornthom (นครธม), the capital of Cambodia at that time, brought this plant to Siam and name it as “ลั่นธม /lân-thom/” “ลั่น /lân” means “beat” and “ธม /thom/” refers to ” Nakhornthom (นครธม)”. Eventually, the spelling was changed to “ลั่นทม”
Nowadays, there is a new name for Plumeria or Frangipani which is ลีลาวดี /lii-laa-wá-dii/.
Thai Language Teacher