My mom always had a Korean-English dictionary nearby so she could look up words when she was reading, talking, or signing something in English. Thinking back on those days, it felt like she had one in every room. Well back in high school…when someone would be unreasonably upset we would say things like, “Who pissed in your cheerios?” or “Dude, why are you having a hemorrhoid?” One day my mom gets really mad at me and I felt she was being unreasonable so…
I yell, “Why are you having such a hemorrhoid!!!!”
She responds, “What did you say? Say that again? How do you pronounce that? What is the spelling?”
I say, “What? No! Huh?”
She said, “You better say it again and give me the spelling or I’m gonna tell your father what you said.”
I immediately replied, “H-E-M-M-O-R-R-O-I-D…hemorrhoid.” (I was really scared of my dad)
So she looks up the word in the dictionary. She gasps. She contorts her face. She then lifts her head up and glares at me with a look that can only be followed by a slap to the face. She then smacked me asking how I could ever use that word to my mother. For a minute I tried to explain my use of an American idiom but realized very quickly there was no use. I apologized and chose my words more carefully from then on. Immigration…gotta love it.