Diamond Cuts Diamond (Thai Folktale)

diamond cuts diamond (thai)In this Thai , a poor traveler smells some delicious curry being cooked for a rich man’s lunch. He stops to eat his own lunch of plain rice, and enjoys it more than ever because he imagines eating it with the curry. The rich man tries to make him pay for the smell of his curry, but things don’t go as he planned.

Elementary Vocabulary Help / Exercises

The words and expressions in our Elementary level Simplified English story which are not in our 800 word list are: , , , , , , , , and .

Pre-Intermediate Vocabulary Help / Exercises

The words and expressions in our Pre-Intermediate level Simplified English story which are not in our 1200 word list are: , chief, , curry, delicious, , imagine, , , and respect.

General Comments on the Story

This is one of two folktales we have published with this name. The two stories come from different countries and have very different s which have nothing to do with s. However, , which is an English , is an appropriate title in both cases. The first written record of the proverb was in the 1604 John Marston play The Malcontent:

At first sight the title appears to have little to do with the story as the word “diamond” does not appear anywhere. is an English . Its first written use was in 1604 in the John Marston play The Malcontent:

Take Maquerelle with ; for ’tis found none cuts a diamond but a diamond.

In 1693 it also appeared in the William Congreve play The Double Dealer:

And must be ed by wit; cut a diamond with a diamond.

In this story, the rich man is unfairly trying to take the poor traveler’s only coin for smelling his curry. The traveler is not in a position of power and is at the of the village chief. Fortunately, the village chief is not only fair but also a match for the rich man. He cleverly comes up with a way for the poor man to pay for the smell without losing the coin.

To read our other story with this title (from India), click here.

There are thousands of folktales around the world that have similar plots to those of other cultures. In many cases there are enough differences to show that this has probably happened by chance. However, sometimes parts of stories are so similar as to make it appear as if either one is taken from the other, or they both developed from a common earlier story. We have included above a very short folktale from Japan called Smells and s which may well be a source for Diamond Cuts Diamond. In this story a greedy saves money every day by eating his boiled rice while enjoying the smell of ed s coming from a neighbor’s shop. Ancient Siam had strong trade links with Japan, and during the 16th and 17th centuries there was a Japanese community of several thousand living in its capital of Ayutthaya.


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(n: folktale pl folktales) A story that is part of the traditions of a group of people and was handed down in spoken form before books and printing. (นิทานชาวบ้าน) 9000
(adj: folk) Of or relating to the traditions of the common people of a country or region. (เกี่ยวกับขนบประเพณีของชาวบ้าน) 2000
(n: tale pl tales) A story about real or imaginary events; an exciting or dramatic story that may not be completely true. (นิทาน) 3000

chief(n: chief pl chiefs) The person who is the leader of a group of people, an organization, etc. A police chief, a fire chief, an Indian chief, a village chief, etc. 2000

coin(n: coin pl coins) A small, flat, and usually round piece of metal issued by a government as money. 3000

curry(n: curry pl curries) An originally Indian dish of meat, vegetables etc cooked with a mixture of spices. We had chicken curry for dinner. 5000

delicious(adj: delicious) Having a very nice taste or smell. 6000

enjoy(v: enjoy, enjoys, enjoyed, enjoying) To find pleasure in something. I enjoyed that movie.
(n: enjoyment) A feeling of pleasure caused by doing or experiencing something you like. Playing music was a source of great enjoyment.
(adj: enjoyable) Something that provides enjoyment. We had an enjoyable time together. 1000

greedy(adj: greedy, greedier, greediest) Having or showing a selfish desire to have more of something (such as money or food) than is right. (โลภมาก)
(adv: greedily) In a greedy manner. (อย่าง ตะกละตะกลาม) 3000

imagine(v: imagine, imagines, imagined, imagining) To form a picture of something in your mind that is not there or not real. (จินตนาการ)
(n: imagination pl imaginations) 1. The ability to form a picture in your mind of something that you have not seen or experienced; the ability to think of new things. You can find a solution if you use a little imagination. 2. Something that only exists or happens in your mind. Is it just my imagination, or is it getting warm in here? 1000

prepare(v: prepare, prepares, prepared, preparing) To make or get ready for something. My mother prepares dinner before she goes to work. (เตรียมตัว)
(adj: prepared) Willing or ready to do something. I am not prepared to lie for him. (เต็มใจ) 1000

respect(n: respect, noncount) Admiration or high opinion of someone or something that is good, valuable, important, etc. (ความนับถือ)
(adj: respectful) Treating someone or something that is important, serious, etc., in an appropriate way. (น่าเคารพ)
(v: respect, respects, respected, respecting) To show or feel respect. (นับถือ) 1000

belong to(phrasal verb: belong to) 1. To be the property of someone; to be owned by someone. That watch belongs to me. 2. To be a native, member or part of something. The family belongs to a country club. What family does that bird belong to?

complain(v: complain, complains, complained, complaining) To say or write that you that you are unhappy or not satisfied with something or are sick, uncomfortable, etc. 2000
(n: complaint pl complaints) A statement that you are unhappy or not satisfied with something. 2000

exchange(v: exchange, exchanges, exchanged, exchanging) To give something and receive something in return; to trade. Can you exchange a dollar note for two 50-cent pieces? 2000

pale(adj: pale, paler, palest) Having a skin color that is closer to white than is usual or normal, either because it is your natural color or you are sick or scared at the time. (ซีด) 3000

relatives(n: relative pl relatives) 1. A member of your family; a relation. He inherited some money from a distant relative. 2. Something that belongs to the same group as something else because of shared characteristics, qualities, etc. The donkey is a relative of the horse. (เครือญาติ ญาติพี่น้อง) 2000

(n: plot pl plots) The series of events that form the story in a movie, novel, play, etc. (โครงเรื่อง) 3000

diamond(n: diamond pl diamonds) A very hard, usually colorless, precious stone; used especially in expensive jewelry. 4000

(proverb: Diamond cuts Diamond) Diamond is the hardest substance known, and can only be cut by another diamond. The phrase is used to describe a situation where two opponents who are an equal match in wit, cunning, or strong-mindedness meet. It has been used several times in literature to suggest that, in the same way that a diamond can only be cut by another diamond, the only match for a clever or cunning person is someone who is equally clever or cunning.

(n: proverb pl proverbs) An old but well-known saying that either gives advice about how people should live, or expresses an idea that is generally thought to be true. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. A rolling stone gathers no moss. (สุภาษิต) 6000

(proverb: Diamond cuts Diamond) Diamond is the hardest substance known, and can only be cut by another diamond. The phrase is used to describe a situation where two opponents who are an equal match in wit, cunning, or strong-mindedness meet. It has been used several times in literature to suggest that, in the same way that a diamond can only be cut by another diamond, the only match for a clever or cunning person is someone who is equally clever or cunning.

(n: proverb pl proverbs) An old but well-known saying that either gives advice about how people should live, or expresses an idea that is generally thought to be true. An apple a day keeps the doctor away. A rolling stone gathers no moss. (สุภาษิต) 6000

(pronoun: thee) An old word for 'you', used only when addressing one person as the object of a verb or preposition. I wed thee with this ring. Take some money with thee. (คุณ, เธอ [คำโบราณ])

witty(n: wits pl wits) 1. The ability to think or reason and make good decisions. (ความมีไหวพริบ) 2. The ability to say or write things that are clever and usually funny (แสดงความตลกขบขัน) or a person who is known for doing this. He's a great wit. (ผู้มีเชาว์ปัญญา)
(adj: witty, wittier, wittiest) Clever and amusing. (ซึ่งใช้คำพูดอย่างมีไหวพริบ) 4000

foil(n: foil, noncount) A very thin, light sheet of metal. She covered the dish with aluminum foil. (กระดาษหุ้มโลหะบางใช้ห่ออาหาร)
(v: foil, foils, foiled, foiling) To prevent (someone) from doing or achieving something; defeat. Police foiled the bank robbery. (ขัดขวาง) 7000

mercy(n: mercy pl mercies) 1. Kindness or help given to people who are in a very bad or desperate situation. 2. Kind or forgiving treatment towards a person who is in one's power and should be treated severely. (ความเมตตา) 5000

jingle(v: jingle, jingles, jingled, jingling) To make or cause something to make a light ringing sound such as that is made when coins or other metal objects hit each other. Bells jingled in the distance. (เสียงกระทบกันของโลหะ) 7000

merchant(n: merchant pl merchants) A trader, especially one who buys goods from producers in large amounts and sells them to other sellers in smaller amounts. (พ่อค้า) 3000

broil(v: broil, broils, broiled, broiling) To cook (food) directly over or under very high heat. 4000
Grilling is often used as a synonym for broiling. Strictly speaking, in grilling the food is cooked over the heat, whereas in broiling it can be either over or under.

eel(n: eel pl eels) A long fish that looks like a snake and has smooth slippery skin. 8000

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