Amanda Ssi Ssi

“You could become a diplomat,” Good Man said, “and you already have a Korean name, just like 심은경.”

“장미란, but I need my own last name. What’s the least common last name in Korean?”

“씨.”

“How do you know that?” I asked him.

“I read it in a book several years ago.”

“Amanda Seed? Seed Beautiful Orchid? Awesome. I could be Amanda Ssi-ssi,” I said, referring to the Korean -씨 honorific. (No, it’s not usually used with full names, but rather with first names. I was just joking around.)

I thought for a moment. “What about 권?” 권 is the counter word used for counting books. “I can be Amanda Book Counter!”

“That’s not what that means,” Good Man said.

“‘Don’t you get it?'” I said, using Good Man’s pet phrase. “I counted all my characters this year. I counted books. I am a book counter! 권!”

Good Man shook his head, “That sounds Chinese. You are not Chinese.”

“I’m not Korean either,” I said.

“You are more Korean than me.”

One thought on “Amanda Ssi Ssi

  1. Comment from: Paul B. [Visitor] · http://samedi.livejournal.com
    Your exchange with Good Man about least common surnames in Korea is awesome. 권 would be a great choice for you; very fitting.

    There have been a few times now where my academy director has said that I should petition the government to start my own clan (the ‘의정부 배/裵’ clan) as a reward of sorts for my interest in Korean culture and history. Not sure if that’s ever going to happen though. heh.

    Of course, your entry also made me curious about 씨 and other uncommon family names. Wikipedia has a list based on the 2000 Census:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Korean_family_names

    http://ko.wikipedia.org/wiki/%EB%8C%80%ED%95%9C%EB%AF%BC%EA%B5%AD%EC%9D%98_%EC%9D%B8%EA%B5%AC%EC%88%9C_%EC%84%B1%EC%94%A8_%EB%AA%A9%EB%A1%9D

    Those claim that the three least common surnames are 즙, 증, and 망절. I kind of figured a few of the double-consonant surnames would show up near the bottom. However, I didn’t spot 씨 on the Wikipedia list, and it doesn’t show up on the Naver list here, either:

    http://100.naver.com/list_dir.nhn?dir_id=030508&page=15

    Which could indicate that it’s rare. I don’t know … I did turn up information for 시 as a surname, which makes me wonder if 씨 is a variation of some kind.

    http://ko.wikipedia.org/wiki/%EC%8B%9C_%28%EC%84%B1%EC%94%A8%29

    http://100.naver.com/100.nhn?dir_id=030508&docid=100146

    http://ko.wikipedia.org/wiki/%ED%95%9C%EA%B5%AD%EC%9D%98_%EC%84%B1%EC%94%A8_%EB%AA%A9%EB%A1%9D

    Oh well. I’m obviously not an expert on the subject. :)

    I think I’ll be spending the next few hours checking out Korean surnames though. Too many interesting links to follow …
    12/29/10 @ 09:14

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    The funny part is, I looked for the surname too and couldn’t find it either. And then Good Man said, “No, no, it exists.”

    This morning, JUST when I got your comment, Good Man found this site: http://www.surname.kr/si/si1.html

    (Seriously, there’s a Korean surname site–love it.)

    So he is now saying he is screwed up the name and it was 시. Which is too bad because it makes the whole 씨씨 thing impossible.

    But looks! http://www.surname.info/ingu.htm

    A whole list of surnames. 증 is interesting because there’s 6 people total, but two clans with that name.

    If you scroll clear to the bottom you start seeing names that weren’t there in 2000. If you click 예씨, it appears there’s one person with that name, they live in Seoul, and they weren’t counted in the 2000 census. It makes you wonder–are they an immigrant? From where?

    I like that 권 is 15th most common on that list but it makes up less than 1.5% of the population.
    12/29/10 @ 09:30

    Comment from: david [Visitor]
    Kwon is a very famous last name. Despite the name difference, andong kwon is the same clan as the andong kim and andong jang. Kwon clan belongs to the yangban class. I only this because my wife is a kwon.
    12/29/10 @ 10:40

    Comment from: HL [Visitor]
    I vote for 즙, if only for the fact that I downed lots of 모과즙 when I lost my voice my first fall in Korea.
    12/29/10 @ 22:43

    Comment from: admin [Member] Email
    Ha ha!
    12/29/10 @ 23:07

Comments are closed.