One of my first days of school, I was being introduced to a couple boys who were friendly with the girls I hung out with.
One of them had lived in America (and was pretty cute), but was too much of a “oh, I’m a Japanese boy so I have to pretend to be shy” kinda high-school boy, so he never really talked to me. But I do remember this horrifying conversation which sprung a nickname that ended up solidifying my disdain for my name.
The quiet boy asked one of my friends my name.
Boy: 名前は何？ (What’s her name?)
B: ええ？セイシって言ったの？(Did you say “seishi”?
G: 違うよ！ステイシーって。(No, it’s Stacy.)
B: 本当にセイシだと思ってたけど・・・(I really thought you said “seishi”…)
Seems innocent, right? He just misheard. But then I asked what “seishi” meant. No one would tell me. The girls acted surprised and murmured to themselves a bit. The boys close by laughed. The quiet boy and another boy thought it was funny, so they kept calling me “Seishi” but wouldn’t explain what it meant. I knew it couldn’t be good, so I looked through all of my dictionaries. Nothing.
A few weeks passed and I purchased an electronic dictionary. Shortly after I bought it, I heard them call me “seishi” again. I looked it up immediately. The first entry was 精子 and the meaning listed was “sperm”.
Yes. “Seishi” means sperm. Without even scrolling through the other options, I knew this was why I had this nickname.
My name in Japanese sounds like the word for sperm. Sperm. Now tell me that you would not instantly start making you hate your name.
If that wasn’t bad enough, they weren’t the only one who confused my name.
My first host father’s brother came to visit. When they were introducing me, he too thought that my name was a bodily fluid produced by males rather that a name derived from Anastasia. My host dad thought this was hilarious. I, however, did not. So embarrassing~~
And to wrap things up, here's an amusing picture explaining how birth control works... haha.