Eyes bigger than stomach / ตาโตกว่าท้อง

Tuesday, January 1, 2008 at 10:50 pm 1 comment

A few days back, I had the pleasure of having lunch at the Queen Sirikit Convention center. It was a spectacular buffet. Among the huge selection were all the ingredients needed to make some very inspiring turkey sandwiches. It was bliss. I ate probably my biggest meal of the year.

On my final round to the buffet tables, I saw plenty of things that I had not sampled, so I brought them all back to my table. Unfortunately, I was unable to rise to the occasion; I had to admit defeat. I had served myself more food than I was capable of putting down without being obscene.

Happily, I learned another expression that both Thais and Anglophones use to describe when a person orders more food than he can actually eat: ตาโตกว่าท้อง. This is just like the English, “Your eyes are bigger than your stomach.” Budding Thai speakers, take note that Thais use โต here instead of ใหญ่. To my understanding, both words can translate to the English “big,” although โต is connected with the concept of growth, and is often considered a verb. So I think the image Thais have with this expression is that of overgrown eyes, when compared to the stomach.

Entry filed under: Pseudo-cognates. Tags: .

I wouldn’t go that far / ผมไม่ไปไกลถึงขนาดนั้น Profanity and Hilarity: Crossing the Line

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Bancha Suvannanonda  |  Saturday, September 17, 2016 at 4:28 am

    A similar expression in French with the same meaning:
    avoir les yeux plus grands (gros) que le ventre
    = ne pas être capable de manger tout ce qu’on a demandé à se faire servir ; avoir plus d’appétit apparent que réel ; plus généralement, voir trop grand, exagérer ses capacités.


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