Friday, April 9, 2010

#57 Names

Korean Moms know the power of names.  She knows that your name uttered from her lips can emotionally cripple you.  If a KM deigned to say the name of Chuck Norris paired with stank eye, he would shed at least one tear.  A tear of fury, but still, a tear.

Korean Moms have a special place in their hearts for bible names.  Especially if you are her son.  They love their sons. Is your name Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John? No? Then you are probably an Amos, David, Samuel, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Andrew, or Moses.  Perhaps your KM attempted to harness all her Jesus power in one fell swoop and called you 'Christian'.  Are you now a pastor, Christian? At the very least you probably play the guitar or tambourine.  If you are a woman, chances are you got away with a semi-non-biblical name.  There was no way she was going to name you after a ho like Delilah or Jezebel.  Still, I bet your name is Grace, Christine, and maybe Caroline if your KM has a thing for Neil Diamond.

Either you were given a bible name, a bible name along with a Korean name, or just a Korean name. Sadly, a name that white people will butcher for the rest of your life.  Is your name Joon-suk?  Did you grow up with kids screaming "Joon sucks!" whenever you went out to trick or treat in your hanbok(traditional Korean clothing)? Do you still have that hanbok? I bet you do Joon Sucks.  Maybe non-Koreans have heard your Korean name and asked 'Hey, can you write my name in Korean too?'.  So then you have to spell out Peter like 'Pee-Tah' in Korean so Mr. SWM can go to the tattoo parlor and etch it forever onto his bicep.  If he's really feeling it, he might go all out and get a Chinese dragon curled around it breathing fire, because 'Pee-Tah' is so manly and Jersey Shore-ish.  Don't you agree?  But I digress.  Perhaps you have resorted to calling yourself by the first letter of your Korean name to save yourself explanation and humiliation.  Kyung Hee, do you go by Kay? Kyu Pyo do you go by 'Q' 'cause you're cool like that?  I bet you do.

Korean Moms love your Korean name.  This is the name they will use to hold you by the balls till the bitter end.  The way a Korean Mom uses your Korean name is akin to the way homeland security uses colors for their terrorist threat advisory scale.  It's all good if she calls you by your English name.  In other words, homeland security says 'Yellow', the threat is elevated.  What happened to 'Green' you ask? There is no 'Green'.  If your KM is looking at you, talking to you, is remotely aware of you within a 10 mile radius, or for that matter able to dial your number, one slow digit at a time, on her first generation Nokia cellphone with the large numbers for blind people and fat fingers, you are not safe. Ever. When she steps it up and calls you by your Korean name the threat advisory goes instantly to 'Orange'. You have done something that merits punishment or at the very least she will now commence to lay the smack down on you.  Maybe you are fat.  Maybe you told her you are now a vegetarian.  Maybe you are 40.  And single. Maybe you are short and you are also a man.  Either way, the threat is now high my friend.  Once she strings your last name and Korean name together, forget it.  You are now at 'Red'.  Run.  But be advised, she will find you LEE DONG OAK(insert stank eye).  Eventually you will get hungry.  Then, she will find you.

29 comments:

said...

Your sense of humour is bloody awesome.

AdamChang said...

ahahahahaha

lina said...

Too funny! I also went out trick or treating in my hanbuk, both my brothers have biblical names and I was given my name because it was 'easy to pronounce'.
You are hilarious!
P.S. I also have a cousin named "Q"

dreams2ashes said...

LOL

dreams2ashes said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

my brother has a bland biblical name.
meanwhile, i have a korean name when transliterated into English sounds like a name suited for a middle eastern boy. in fact, someone once told me it has a dirty meaning in arabic.

Anonymous said...

i know a boy whose korean name is "suk kee."
we had fun w/his name.

Q said...

I go by "Q" because my hippie muslim Aunt at the time told the folks that it would be "cool" to spell Kyu-Jin as Q. Gene.

...Do you know how much shit I go through on a daily basis because of that damn period in the middle of my name?

My full name is: Q. Gene Doany Darwin John Han. It's a trainwreck of a mess because the first 3 names are actually my FIRST NAMES.

dan said...

I'm a korean dad, in that my kids are korean even though I'm not. My wife is well-versed in stank-eye, though, through her Polish forebears - I can truly attest, it's like emotional wasabi if she really turns it on. The kids have biblical english names, then their Korean "given" names, hyphenated, then my wife's last name (which is sometimes a first name in english) as a second middle name, then my last name - which is an 11-letter-long ukranian-derived behemoth. Social Security couldn't fit it all on a card. They say they love me now but soon enough the resentment will set in. I will have to learn stank-eye too, I guess.

FWIW: I also save tupperware. Like, from my childhood. Good times, preserved forever....

Jen said...

I was JUST telling my coworker about Korean names last week! Amen to the Bible names thing.

How many Paul Kims do we all know? or Peter? or Samuel?

And for girls, Joyce and Esther. :D

Anonymous said...

Yay! I missed you! Have you seen that "Grace Lee" documentary about all the Korean Grace Lees? I know about 5 Grace Lees, one of whom is my cousin.

You're just plain screwed if you have the name "Dong" or "Suk" in your name. How about Dong Suk? Guess it's better than Suk Dong!

Please post more often, because your blog makes me happy!

ngf said...

i was named after a u.s. president...my first name is a president's last name...it's so obvious...

you could tell my parents were trying hard to get me accepted by american culture...

i would have preferred a biblical name...

KJS ;) said...

ahahahahaha there is no green!! :)
we missed u!!!!

Matthew said...

"Maybe you are fat. Maybe you told her you are now a vegetarian. Maybe you are 40. And single. Maybe you are short and you are also a man. Either way, the threat is now high my friend."

-Thank God for 한약

Edward said...

Hey! You forgot Esther or Hannah for girl names!

Wife and Mommy said...

You posted! You finally posted!!

Not only did you forget Esther or Hannah, but also Helen. Or Julie. I know lots of Julie Kims.

My folks went the opposite route and gave me a very not-Korean American name. It sounds kind of strange with my Korean last name.

jodie said...

Shout out to all those Jays out there too! Jaebum, Jaemin, Jaehan...You know who you are. :P

Anonymous said...

Hi, oh wow, your blog is SO funny!

I'm ethnically chinese & u know what, whatever a KM does goes for a CM too! Must be an asian thing, haha.

Both my children have biblical & chinese names & I too use the colour coded warning system with their names! But mine has the safe/green level tho, haha.

Please post again soon.

p/s I've stacks of hoarded plastic bags too....

seitzk said...

I went trick-or-treating in my hanbok TOOO!!!!!!

Caroline said...

Oh gosh. I almost sent my then 2 yr old trick or treating in her hanbok. But I supressed the urge when I remembered having to do so when I was little!!! I love your writing style and how I am so reminded of my mother.

Ann said...

I wasn't given a Korean name...mom just named me Ann. But she prefers to say it like "ANNIIIEEEEE!" o_o;

Anonymous said...

You are freaking hilarious. Really. I love reading your blog. Keep it up!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone else have a name their korean mom can't pronounce properly? My name is Patrick but my mom calls me Pah Too Ree.

Jullietta said...

My Korean name is Mina.
What's the alert status after red? Well that's what it is when my mum screams Mee-na-ya.

Virginia said...

My brothers were blessed with the bible names: Simon and Benjamin. Me? I got named after the state I was born in: Virginia. For years I got, "oh Virginia from Virginia..(point) haha." Of course my parents could never properly say my name... always almost saying "Bagina" in front of my school friends. Although she did give me a Korean name... A Korean name that had no Chinese character associations so that no one can do fortune telling on my name? Weird. Have you heard of that? My mom goes to fortune tellers all the time and swears by them (by picking and choosing what she wants to hear and believe in.)... meanwhile loving Jesus and praising God. LOVE my KM! :)

Anonymous said...

People who don't know me well calls me Angela. Close friends call me Ange. My KM calls me "NG" (Angie) on yellow light, and then my last name and Korean name together on red, which is when of course I start running. Can't agree more with your blog! Love my KM!

sandrea said...

Bwahahahah@ "Bagina", which i am sure was more like "bah-jin-yah". i was always jealous of my friends' korean names. i got sandrea. like sangria.
please start posting again, as i just found this blog and i love it so much. i lost my km almost 4 years ago and this gives me really warm and happy memories. (i also inherited the corningware that is used on the background, and i use it religiously)

LAX Car Service said...

I literally laughed out loud the more I read this post. So the question is, who would win in a fight? An angry Korean Mom or Chuck Norris?

Anonymous said...

Korean mom vs. Chuck Norris? It would be a battle so awesome that the world would be destroyed in the conflict!