Monk in Thailand Blog

Phuket Pronunciation | How do you pronounce Phuket?

Endless schoolboyish giggles surround the pronunciation of Phuket, and indeed Phi Phi, while everyone is mystified by the new Bangkok Airport - Suvarnabhumi.

Phuket is my home, so I get a bit annoyed sometimes by people saying Fookit or FooKet or anything else with an F sound. There is no F in Phuket, but the transliteration of Thai words is sometimes nearly impossible. You can see signs in Phuket to the same places with slightly different spellings. So how do you actually pronounce "Phuket"? The "Ph" in Phuket is a hard P sound, but not as hard as a normal "P", slightly softer with undertones of "B"... The island was once called Bukit, which is the Malay word for "hill".

No F'ing please! The correct pronunciation of Phuket is "Poo-ket", though as I say, the P is softened slightly, the K can sound more like a G and indeed the final T is not a hard T either. Easy, right?

Oh, and Phi Phi is "Pee Pee", which could be funny if you are 6 years old, like Phuket there is no F in Phi Phi. Oh, and Phi does not mean ghost.

What of the new Bangkok airport - Suvarnabhumi is how it's written, but Suwanapoom is how you pronounce it. The V is a W, the R is silent and the BH is a P. With 4 M's and a silent Q.

Best Wishes from Fookit.

Jamie


Jamie recommends Agoda.com for Hotels in Phuket


Phuket Pronunciation | How do you pronounce Phuket?  |  A Monk in Thailand

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Blogger Mindy didst say...

Lol thanks for the insiders way of saying this. I was playing a game that had this as a city, and I was like...WHAT? I have to find out how to say this before I go and have it permanantly stuck in my head as FUKET! lol
Thanks, I sounded out every letter the way you had it and I think I have it down. : )

December 24, 2008 at 11:42 PM
Blogger Angela didst say...

Thank you so much! I had no idea! I am really glad you put this out there.

Angela

March 17, 2009 at 11:36 AM
Blogger Evroptmstc didst say...

We have an excellent Thai restaurant in Rapid City, SD, that features many dishes (ostensibly) from Phuket. I have been embarrassed to ask how to pronounce the word in person and but am ordering take-out and really need to know (can't imagine dancing around it on the phone).

Appreciate very much your manner of addressing this (and I did have a schoolboyish giggle -- "It can't be pronounced THAT way, can it?" -- LOL)

May 11, 2009 at 1:46 AM
Anonymous Anonymous didst say...

Nice description, but you left out one phoint ;-) Is it POO-ket or poo-KET?

October 18, 2009 at 4:31 AM
Blogger Hiba didst say...

...Hehe, Pee Pee. Thank you, very helpful! And guiding :)

October 18, 2009 at 7:45 AM
Anonymous Amber didst say...

Thank you for explaining! I was afraid of the name being fook-it/fuck-it. At first I'm here like "what's with Thailand and all these names?!" haha

February 8, 2010 at 12:59 AM
Blogger Anthony didst say...

Hi Jamie,
many years ago there was a story from Aerothai that they had two aircraft reporting overhead Phuket airport.

The first QANTAS reported they were over FUKIT, the second from British Airways reported they were overhead P who kay!
Best wishes from Tim's Dad

July 15, 2010 at 7:56 AM
Blogger BlossomFlowerGirl didst say...

Hi Jamie, good post, the first time I saw the word "Phuket" was in a magazine - win a trip for 2 to Phuket. We were like, imagine telling people you're going to Phuket. (We thought it rhymed with bucket). And Phi Phi - didn't know the pronunciation before today. With the airport, is the "poom" like the double o in book or boot?
Cheers.

July 28, 2010 at 1:54 PM
Blogger Jamie Monk in Phuket didst say...

Hi BFG,

Oh, the airport, not a short oo like book or a long one, more of a boom with a silent p .. the vowel a bit like the "cuum" in vacuum.

:)

July 28, 2010 at 3:23 PM
Blogger Carl Belken didst say...

Thank you. Just like your first commenter Mindy I was about to have the word Fuket permanently stuck in my head.

June 9, 2013 at 10:32 AM
Blogger Carl Belken didst say...

Thank You! I was like your first commenter Mindy. I almost had the word Fuket permanently stuck in my mind. I'm glad you cleared that up.

June 9, 2013 at 10:34 AM