Just now, I got etymologically curious about that royal decoration whose short name is ทุติยวิเศษ – pronounced thutiyawiseit. It happens to be the title of Bunluea’s excellent political novel I translated not so long ago – a translation for which I am waiting for permission to publish (more on that later).
So I looked it up in a number of online Thai-English dictionaries.
Two pleaded ‘no such word’, which doesn’t say much for their vocabulary spread.
One puzzling answer I got was from thai2english:
ทุ bad; evil; wicked
ติ [to] blame; criticize
ย yor yak (the thirty fourth letter of the Thai alphabet)
วิเศษ superb; excellent; splendid
Another answer I got, for ทุติย only, was from thai-language:
ทุติย noun, Pali: son; friend; successor; companion; fellow
ทุติย noun, Pali: second class; second person
ทุติย adjective, Pali: for the second time; doubled
So I figured: all compound words of ทุติย have a ‘second’ meaning implication, never mind the ทุ and the ติ and the yor yak; so, superb second-class distinction.
It is the royal decoration given a Tharnphooying, that is, a Lady, a title above that of Khunying (Dame, usually grandly mistranslated as Lady).