I get this question a lot. Even though I wrote a blog addressing this issue, in which I relate naming my blog “fushilou” to getting a tattoo at 18 years old and realizing OH DEAR LORD, THIS IS PERMANENT, I thought I should make the answer more easily accessible. So here it is.
The short story: Fushilou is a made up word, and its origins are really embarrassing.
When my friends and I were in middle school, instead of cursing, we said things like “Golly bum!” and “Gosh dangit!” (phrases that I –sadly– still use today) because it was VERY unsettling to use actual bad words. But, being the deviant middle schoolers that we were, we decided to make up our own bad word, which we could say around adults and not get in trouble (!). To do this, we combined two common curse words to create the word “fushi”*.
*I will let you smarties figure out which two words we used
As it turns out, there isn’t much satisfaction from stubbing one’s toe and crying FUSHI! It’s just too happy-sounding. So, shortly after the genesis of “fushi,” it became my nickname, and “Lou” was added to the end of it. (I called my friend “Lauren Sue” and she called me “Fushi Lou” –a regular tweedle dee and tweedle dum).
To be clear: this isn’t a nickname I carried over into adulthood. (Read: I do not introduce myself as “Something that rhymes with ‘sushi’ but with an ‘f’!) I chose Fushilou as my blog URL because 1) it wasn’t already taken and 2) I knew I’d remember it. It never occurred to me that one day I would be directing people to my website and have to spell it out or explain what it mean. But the time has come for me to embrace the fact that Fushilou is what I am…
And that is why they call me Fushilou.