Wednesday, October 11, 2023

Umchina, That Guy is Good

I have an Amazing Facts desk calendar, and I have to tell you, a lot of the times the facts are slightly less than “Amazing.”

For instance, today I learned how many times some actor named Max Schreck blinked in the nine minutes he was on screen in a 1922 movie. It was once.

Earlier this week I learned that badgers have helped make a number of important archeological discoveries, none of which I cared about.

I even learned how much genuine yak hair the Broadway run of Cats went through making wigs in the eighteen-year span of the musical. It was 3,247 pounds. Not only did I not care at all about that statistic, but I also reacted poorly to it on a personal level since my mom made me go see an off-off-off-Broadway (Sacramento, CA) production of Cats when I was young, and I still haven’t recovered from how much I disliked it.

I’m not going to lie to you. This calendar is not great. It’s not even very good. But I stick with it each day, just hoping for that odd gem that might make learning about yak wigs at the world’s worst musical all worth it. Well, on Wednesday, September 27th my perseverance paid off.

On that fateful day I was treated to one of the funniest things I’ve learned in a long time. And after I got done laughing, my heart immediately went out to all the young Korean men out there.

Here’s the “Amazing Fact:”


Umchina, a Korean term meaning “mom’s friend’s son,” is used to describe a person who’s better at everything than you are.


How prevalent moms shaming their kids for lack of achievement must be in Korean society to have a one-word term for it. Wow! Nice job, Korean moms. Maybe take it down a few notches, huh?

I’d be willing to bet that even if the term wasn’t invented to be spitefully humorous, that’s at least how it’s used by today’s Korean youth. At least I hope so.

“I’ve got no chance on this test. Mr. Umchina in the front row is going to blow the curve for all of us.”

“How’d the game go, honey?”

“Not great. Their starting lineup was Umchina city.”

When I told one of my buddies about this fabulous new word I discovered, he asked what the Korean term for “wife’s friend’s husband” was. Now that’s one we need to know!

I hear about him all the time. That guy is good!

See you soon,



Copyright © 2023 Marc Schmatjen


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