Oh Man Sik


My Korean name is Oh Man Sik. During my time in Korea, when I was with translators I would ask what my name meant. The best interpreter, Hyung-Joon, had the most entertaining explanation. Apparently, my first name, Man, means 10,000 plants. The following is a transcript of the conversation:

Derek: Hmmm, like a forest?

Translator: No, not exactly.

Derek: Ok, like a field of crops? Like rice?

Translator: No, not exactly.

Derek: Is it like a greenhouse nursery growing organic hydroponic gluten free hybrid bumble bee friendly free range sustainable zero carbon footprint produce?

Translator: WHAT?!?!

Derek: Oh, that's right, I was born in 1974, they didn't know about the shortage of bumble bees back then, that wouldn't make sense.

Translator: Ummm...I have an another appointment to be at....

Derek: So my name just literally means 10,000 plants?

Translator: Yeah.

Derek: How oddly specific. Is there a name that means 9,996 plants?

Translator: Don't be a dick, dude.

At this point, when I asked what Sik meant he explained that Sik was a generational marker, so that all the first-born children of that particular family generation would be named Sik. After the debacle of the first explanation, I'm pretty sure he just made that up to avoid another. I explained that my name Derek means “Leader of the People" and is WAY more bad ass than 10,000 plants of the first-born child of this generation. And that Koreans are stupid. It was shortly after this that he started considering charging for his services. Coincidence?

Regards,

Tons of Plants Boy

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