As I often do while I wait for programs to compile, I was browsing Wikipedia one day when I came across the page for Venerable Thích Nhất Hạnh. I was surprised to see my query for “Thich Nhat Hanh” redirected to “Nhat Hanh,” and when I read further, I was disappointed by the explanation given:
Almost right, but not quite. The Wikipedia article unfaithfully refences the Order of Interbeing, which actually informs us that Thích is a name, not a title:
Thích (釋) is Vietnamese for Sakya, which is the Buddha’s family name. Every monastic member in the Vietnamese Buddhist tradition has a name which begins with Thích.