Thermal discomfort is one of the main triggers for occupants' interactions with components of the built environment such as adjustments of thermostats and/or opening windows and strongly related to the energy use in buildings. Understanding causes for thermal (dis-)comfort is crucial for design and operation of any type of building. The assessment of human thermal perception through rating scales, for example in post-occupancy studies, has been applied for several decades; however, long-existing assumptions related to these rating scales had been questioned by several researchers. The aim of this study was to gain deeper knowledge on contextual influences on the interpretation of thermal perception scales and their verbal anchors by survey participants. A questionnaire was designed and consequently applied in 21 language versions. These surveys were conducted in 57 cities in 30 countries resulting in a dataset containing responses from 8225 participants. The database offers potential for further analysis in the areas of building design and operation, psycho-physical relationships between human perception and the built environment, and linguistic analyses.