South Korea's 'Poop School' to change name

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Print this page Email A Friend!


SEOUL, South Korea (AFP) — A South Korean elementary school whose name translates to the offensive word used to describe faeces, has decided to adopt a more fragrant moniker, school officials said Friday.

Many Korean names and words are based on Chinese characters, so when rendered in the Hangul alphabet they can have the same spelling, but multiple meanings.

The unfortunate consequence for the Daebyun Elementary School in Busan is that human faeces are the first thing that come to mind when Koreans hear its name.

“Are you from Poop School?” is a typical taunt students and former pupils have endured for 55 years, reports said.

They have mounted a campaign to change the name, gathering more than 4,000 signatures since April a school official, who declined to give her name, told AFP.

“We want to have a pretty school name,” read a banner put up on the school wall by the students and their parents.

A school committee will choose among three options this week and submit a request to local authorities to change the name, she said, with permission expected to be granted from the spring term next year.

One of them, Haeparang or sea waves, would flush away the stench of the past, while the other two are geographically based.

Founded in 1963, the school, which has 77 students, was named after a village called Daebyun-ri, a shortening of the nearby Daedonggobyunpo port, or Daedong Warehouse Coast.

The Kyunghyang Sinmun daily said other schools also have embarrassing homographs, including Jungja (sperm), Junggwan (seminal duct), Yadong (pornography) and Mulgun (prick).

None of the four said they were considering changing their names, they told AFP.

“Absolutely not,” said an employee of the Mulgun school, in the southeastern county of Namhae. “That would be absurd.”

Last year, Japan's Kinki University bowed to years of foreign sniggering by changing its nomenclature to the less saucy-sounding “Kindai”.

ADVERTISEMENT




POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper � email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT