ENOTS YVAN and Retired Pastor Church

Within a short space of time, I spotted two puzzling names, a coffee shop called ENOTS YVAN  and a church called ‘[this city] Retired Pastor Church’. Some research later, and I’m not much clearer. References to both names exist online, but they’re all in Korean.

The derivation of ENOTS YVAN seems to be a reversal of either STONE NAVY or NAVY STONE, but those don’t make sense by themselves, let alone as the name of a coffee shop. The name appears three times, twice in English and once in Korean (에노츠 이반, e-no-cheu e-ban). An online search returns references to this cafe, but it appears not to be part of a chain.

The name of the church in Korean is 은목교회 (eun-mok gyo-hoe). 교회 is definitely ‘church’. My mobile phone translation app and several online translation sites offer ‘the neck’ for 은목. 목 is ‘throat, neck’ (I am astonished that the language doesn’t distinguish between those two), but 은 does not mean ‘the’ (in fact, Korean has no direct equivalent of ‘the’). The app offers ‘silver, grace, siller, argent’ for 은, but ‘silver throat/neck’ and ‘grace throat/neck’ don’t make any more sense. (‘Siller’ is a dialectal  variation of ‘silver’ and ‘argent’ is poetic or heraldic.) The standard Korean word for ‘grace’ is 은혜 (eun-hye), and there are any number of 은혜교회s (my wife’s brother and sister-in-law attend one in Seoul). (은혜 is also a common female name (?among Christians)).

How any of this translates to ‘retired pastor’ is beyond my knowledge. I know that ‘pastor’ is 목사. Intriguingly, according to the app, ‘retired’ is 은퇴 한, so 은목 consists of one syllable of ‘retired’ and one syllable of ‘pastor’. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that 은목 means ‘retired pastor’, and even if it does, it’s a very strange thing to call a church. An online search returns another church in Seoul.

I sent a message to the former and current minister of the church I attend here. One replied ‘Maybe it means gracious ministry’, and the other agreed. If so, it is very strange to call a church a name which a regular church-goer (my wife) has never heard, and two experienced ministers can only guess at. And it doesn’t explain how any person or translation tool rendered it as ‘retired pastor’.

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