PokéBase - Pokémon Q&A
28 votes

By "Clever," I mean you'd have to research in order to figure out that it makes sense.I have found two notable ones, and I'm surprised at how clever the names truly are!

DEOXYS: Deoxys is known as the "DNA Pokemon," and its name is derived from the long name of DNA: DEOXYribonucleic Acid. It also says in its Pokedex that it underwent a transformation due to a virus. This is a mutation, and is very common in developing DNA. Mutating DNA is the reason why some babies are born with problems and deficiencies.

PORYGON: Porygon is the "Virtual Pokemon," and its name is a play-on-words of the Stereotypical way that Japanese citiczens pronouce their L's as an R instead. This results in the intended name of "Polygon," which is a digital term used to described a shape with several sides, but no defined shape type; basically a random shape that you wouldn't call a triangle, square, diamond, pentagon, etc.

Have any of you noticed other funny names like this?

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Can they be for french pkmn names
Ninetales is inspired from the Korean, Chinese, and Japenese legend the nine tailed fox. Apparently the legend and the pokemon are nearly the same if you touch the tails you get cursed.

Fun fact Its called Ghoomio in Korea
I think you'll find that polygons are figures with at least 3 straight lines and 3 angles - although typically 5 of, or more, of each - so triangles, squares, diamonds and pentagons are all polygons.

17 Answers

23 votes

Gengar-japanese for "shadow"
Gardevoir - Guarde (French for "Guard") + Devoire (French for "required")
lateo (Latin for hidden) + -as (implying female)
lateo (Latin for hidden) + -os (implying male)
Marill comes from the latin word "Maris" meaning sea (like the word marine)
here are a few if you want to get into etymologies. You can check any pokemon's profile on Bulbapedia to see how their names came to be.

My personal favorite:

Typhlosion- His japanese name is bakphoon. Baku is japanese for "explosion" and phoon is from Typhoon (or hurricane) so combine TYPHoon with expLOSION and you get Typhlosion.

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Sorry, I got nothing! I don't know much about japanese pokemon and the japanese language itself:)
Devoir means Homework in French. So Gardevoir's name in translated english would be Guardhomework....?!?!
Guess if you have a Gardevoir you can't say "My dog ate my homework", eh?
;D lolz
I thought Shadow was Kage? then again the japanese language has many word that mean the same thing in a more general/Specific way
Kage = shadow in japanese, Kage also= the danish word for cake too
Kazekage = Gaara FTW
Hokage = fire shadow
Raikage = lightning shadow
Kazekage = Wind shadow
Kamehameha = Gok......... wait whaaa?
23 votes

Well nearly every pokemon name is a mix of other names of animals and so on. So in that sense, all of them are clever. I never made the Japanese connection with Porygon before, that's pretty funny :D Anyway here are some I thought were cool...

Ekans/Arbok being Snake/Kobra, like BomberGun mentioned.

One of the more obvious ones: the family of Abra, Kadabra, Alakazam!

Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan were based on Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan.

The "Lux" in Luxray is a unit of brightness.

Dusknoir comes from dusk and the French for black/dark which is "noir".

Vespiquen comes from "vespine" (referring to wasps) and the "quen" bit is like "queen", referring to that fact it's female-only.

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I never noticed that before...

I've been looking at every Pokemon name, and right from Bulbasaur ("Bulb", as in a young flower, and "saur," as in a dinosaur) to Arceus ("Arc", defining the highest, or its name deriving from "Archaic," meaning ancient or sacred), I can see some kind of link to them.

That's pretty incredible!
or maybe Dusknoir is a dusk goer who enjoys doing crimes accompanied by foreboding music :D(English Definition of Noir Joke.)
'the ''queen'' bit' doesn't refer to the fact that it is female-only but rather to the queen-bee of individual hives. The evolution from Combee to Vespiquen suggests a rise up the hierarchy of a wasp/bee colony.
None of these are "clever" in the way that you need to look them up in order to understand them.
13 votes

"ekans" is tho opposite of snake
"arbok" is the opposite of kobra

and the opposite of muk is..

I have a feeling there is a lot of innuendo in that conversation.What is "Opposite of Muk"?
There is the central city in Iraq called Qom,Qum, and Kum....but really why would it be funny if shiny MUk was white?
why...? xDD
You'll get it when you're older Ike.. On the other hand I vouch for white shiny Muk! xD
Me too lol! XD Ike,you can google it...but I wouldnt if I were you XD
whats the opposite of muk though?
11 votes

• For the legendary bird trio:

Notice that their names contain the numbers one, two, and three in Spanish

• Ruby, Sapphire and Emerald have the same first letters as Raikou, Suicune and Entei.

• Another for Deoxys:
- D: Defense form
- N: Normal form
- A: Attack form

• Rotom is motor backwards!

• Dewgong is based off an animal in real life named Dugong, and actually look similar.

• Girafarig spelled backwards is Girafarig!

• Golduck isn't even gold, but Psyduck is (yellow).

• Mareep's name: Mary and Sheep or, Mary and her little lambs!

That's all I can remember for now! ~

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This isn't related to Pokemon names, but every town in the Kanto region is named after colors, while Pallet Town is the pallet (artist tool for holding paint) for all the colors, and also where you begin your journey.
OMG that makes me think: If Missingno. is suposed to be the 4th Legendary bird(water type) its name would be "Aquatro"
9 votes

Very long, not all from one source, yes a lot of it is copy pasted, but about one eighth isnt.

Bulbasaur bulb(ous) + dinosaur
Ivysaur ivy + dinosaur
Venusaur venus (fly trap) + dinosaur
Charmander char(to burn) + salamander
Charmeleon char + chameleon
Charizard char + lizard
Squirtle squirt + turtle
Wartortle war + tortoise + turtle
Blastoise blast + tortoise
Caterpie caterpillar + pie (as in 'cutie-pie')
Pikachu pika (Japanese onomotopoeia for "Light Sparks.") + chu (Sound a mouse makes.)
Raichu rai (meaning thunder) + chu
Nidorina needle + a (to distinguish femininity)
Nidoqueen needle + queen
Nidorino needle + o (to distinguish being male)
Nidoking needle + king
Clefairy clef (as in music) + fairy
Clefable clef + fable
Vulpix vulpine (fox) + six (tails)
Wigglytuff - wiggly + tough/tuff as in tuffet/tuft
Poliwag comes from the word "pollywog" (another name for a tadpole; not certain about spelling)
Magnemite magnetic + mite (suffix for some metallic materials)
Magneton magnet + proton/electron/neutron?
Farfetch'd far-fetched meaning impossible/unusual
Grimer grime + slimmer (kind of mold)
Gengar in Japanese has to do with something you say after you play a prank on someone or Dopplegengar, a ghost that lurks in the shadows and copies people
Onix onyx, a type of mineral
Rhydon rhinoceros + don (which means tooth in Latin, used kinda like the way they name dinosaurs)
Kangaskhan Genghis Khan (Mongolian leader who took over the largest amount of land ever) + kangaroo
Lapras derived from its Japanese name "Laplace" named after a scientist who studied the waves.
Ditto derived from ditto which basically is a copy of the aforementioned phrase
Kabuto a kabuto (a Japanese helmet)
Kabutops kabuto + tops
Aerodactyl aero (prefix for air) + dactyl (suffix for wing)
Dragonite dragon + knight (it represents the dragons that fought knights in the middle ages)
Chikorita Chicory + ita (a Spanish suffix showing a small, feminine, cute, or beloved description of the word added to)
Meganium mega + geranium (a kind of flower)
Cyndaquil cinder + quil
Quilava quill + lava
Totodile toddler (tot) + o + crocodile
Croconaw crocodile + gnaw
Feraligatr feral (meaning viscous) + alligator
Spinarak spinneret + arachnid
Ariados arachnid + dose (a steroid taking spider! XD)
Chinchou - (might have to do something with the Chinese lanterns they send down rivers at certain ceremonies)
Pichu chu + pi (cute or little)
Natu - names sound Native American or which makes sense due to the pattern on Natu's stomach; can be part of Aztec language
Xatu - names sound Native American which makes sense due to the pattern on Xatu's stomach; can be part of Aztec language
Ampharos amp + pharos (the legendary lighthouse of Alexandria, explains why it is used in the Olivine lighthouse)
Marill rill + mar (Spanish for "sea")
Azumarill azure + rill + mar (spanish for "sea")
Sudowoodo pseudo (prefix meaning "kinda, but not quite" or "false") + wood= false tree
Jumpluff jump + fluff/luff (the act of facing the wind)
Forretress forret (French word for forest) + fortress
Magcargo magma + escargot ([fried] snail)
Raikou romanized versions of their japanese names
Entei romanized versions of their japanese names
Suicune romanized versions of their japanese names
Tyranitar tyrant(a ruler) + tar
Lugia - directly romanized versions of japanese names
Ho-oh - comes from Houou, a type of phoenix
Celebi celestial + being
Treecko tree + gecko
Grovyle grove + reptile
Sceptile sceptor or forceps + reptile
Mudkip mud + skip (or mudskipper, a kind of fish)
Marshtomp march or marsh + stomp
Swampert swamp + rampart
Lombre the Spanish word "hombre" actually means "man", which makes sense because the Pokedex says that it looks like a human child...
Ludicolo a play on "Rudicolo" the spanish word for rediculous
Wailmer wale + wail + mermaid(lol)
Wailord wale + wail + lord
Kecleon romanization of its japanese name, Kakureon; that name comes from kakureru (to conceal oneself) + chameleon
Torkoal torch or tortoise + coal
Feebas feeble + bass (a weak fish)
Makuhita - a rank you can achive through Sumo Wrestling
Hariyama - a rank you can achive through Sumo Wrestling
Wynaut derived from the phrase children commonly use "why not?"
Roselia rose + camelia (kind of flower)
Tropius tropical + brontosaurus (a dinosaur)
Absol Ab(against) + sol(sun)
Relicanth relic + coelacanth (an ancient fish)
Ralts - anagram of "relates" (it relates to its trainer's feelings)
Kirlia derived from Kirlian photography, developed by Seymon Kirlian, to photograph the magnetic force each of us gives off (1939)
Kyogre Kai (meaning God) + Orca (whale)
Rayquaza directly romanized versions of its Japanese names
Jirachi - Russian word for "wish."
Deoxys deoxyribonucleic(prefix of a compound) + s
Hydreigon Hydra, in Greek mythology, was a monstrous fire-breathing dragon that when you cut of a head, two more grew in its place. Hydreigon may have had two heads and then one was cut off, and that explains his Head-Hands. Hydra-Dragon!

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Just to add to a few:

Magneton-His is based on the "Bohr Magneton," which in physics is the unit of Magnetic moment.

Gengar-I believe this is the based on the word "doppelganger," since he's based heavily on illusions.

Ho-oh-He's based on the chinese Fenghuang bird, one of which is called Hōō.

Marill -This is derived from the latin word "Maris." (also meaning sea) Since spanish is a romantic language, that one isn't that big a deal.
Hehe Squirtle. So much pun.
It also has the German "drei" in the name, which means "three." The pre-evolved forms, Deino and Zweilous, have "ein" (one) and "zwei" (two), respectively, in their names.
8 votes


tor for tortoise and terra the latin name for earth

as a matter of fact bubapedia has all the reasons for why they were

named that way

Can you type the link please
i really would like see that page!
BomberGun, just look at each of the pokedex pages, it says it there. I've been meaning to make a page that has all the name origins together, another thing I haven't had time to do yet...
Terra is Greek Super god of earth
Roman. Greek is Gaea.
7 votes

How about dodrio?It sounds like a dodo bird and trio.A dodo can't fly and trio is 3,so it makes dodrio. Or Milotic Marvolous and Lotis just a guess though

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3 votes

Now we have the pokemon name origins and everyone can find every pokemon with clever name .

heh heh, that was smart
2 votes

Infernape:inferno is fire:Ape monkey

An ape isn't a monkey. Like fruits and vegetables. All monkeys are apes but not all apes are monkeys.
Its true
2 votes

In french-
Gallame(gallade) gall- beginning of French gallaire or catastrophe lame is blade in French
Milobellus(milotic) mil beginning of 1000 bellus really beautiful
Barbichat(wiacash) barb is beard chat is cat( relating to catfish)
Torterra(oblivious) tort beginning tortue(turtle) terra (earth female because in French, turtle is a female word)
Last one( I know many more)
Herbizzard(ivysaur) herb(grass) bizzard(weird/awkward)

Ho-oh is spelled Ho-oh backwards

All eeveelutionz end in eon

Eevee is spelled eevee backwards

Budew is a mix of bud & dew

Metagross meta is metal & gross is big = big metal

For legendary birds-
Articuno- arctic-uno(one)
Zapdos- zap-dos(2)
Moltres- molt(molten)- tres(3)

Magmotar- magmo(magma)- tar

Magicarp magic carp

Feebass- feeble bass

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Actually,Magmortar is a combination of Magma and Mortar,which is a cannon-like weapon.
2 votes

Ho-Oh Is Ho The Japanese word for Fire, and im pretty sure oh is a special phoenix in japanese mythology,
Pidgeotto is probably about a pidgeon,
Sand shrew is a pangolin its name being Sand and shrew,
Nidoran probably refers to needle,
Vile plume consists of the words Vile and plume probably reffering to its poison,
Geo dude Geo= Greek or latin for rock or earth(If it means earth its greek),
Nincada is a "Ninja Cicada",
Bannete(From whgat i can concur) probably is based o Bane(Death,lethal weakness) and a marionette(Puppet),
Wynaut probably refers to the childish annoying phrase "Why not?",
Regigigas is from Regi(Not sure what that is) and Gigas, which is a titanic beast,
Bisharp= Bi-Two and Sharp, Too sharp XD,
Genesect probably refers to Genesis(I believe that means first) and insect,or Genocidal Insect(That is my conclusion).

Also,Eevee and Eeveelution sounds like evolve and evolution,and Eevee has the most evolutions of any pokemon, all eveelutions names end in eon,so perhaps it is reffering to the theory of evolution,which supposedly took "eons" to do(evolve).

Hydrogen refers to the element which is one of the three major elements needed for life to be possible, and is a hydra, and a Dragon,gen being Dragen which i think is Dragon in another language not sure.

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regi= ancient
Ahhh.Thank you Ninja-san (or would you prefer to becalled -ku or -chan :P)
Another relation w/ bisharp and pawniard is that pawniards are "pawns" and bisharp are the "bishops" leading them.
Yeah, it's kind of like in chess.
This pokemon should have had an alternate 3rd evolution, one thing if it's female, and another if it's male.
Yep. King- for male, and Queen- for female.
Horrible.Grammar.Want.To.Destroy This.Forever.
2 votes

The three regis all have a mineral at the end of thier names.
The legendary bird trio's names end with 1-3 in Spanish.
Kangaskan is based on Ghengis Khan. His name means universal.
Hitmonchan/lee are based on Jackie Chan and Bruce Lee.
Sudowood is pseudo and wood. I think when he was first introduced into the game peiple thought he was grass or something. Pseudo = fake. Wood = wood.

2 votes

has anyone done Arceus yet? It's got the Latin "arc" (meaning "high") and the eus from "deus" (meaning "god"). So, Arceus is literally "high god."

And adding onto the ferroseed/thorn thing someone mentioned, the "ferro" might be closer to being related to "ferrum," the Latin word for iron.

But again, I believe this very site includes the name origins of the Pokemon names. Cleverness is to be determiend by peers.

1 vote

Im surprised no one has added these 2 yet.

wooper- wooper looper. Japanese for pet salamander
quagsire- quagmire(swamp/quicksand) + sire(master/lord)

quagmire(swamp/quicksand) + sire(master/lord)of family guy sexest
1 vote

This has a full list of the Pokemon name origins, known as etymology.
If I list them here, I'll get busted by the character limit, so yeah :P

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1 vote

Emonga - based on the Japanese scientific name for flying squirrel, モモンガ (Momonga)

Keromatsu (Froakie) - ケロ (kero) is the noise a frog makes in Japanese, and 沫 (matsu) meaning foam/ bubble.

Harimaron (Chespin) - 蝟 (harinezumi) meaning hedgehog, 針 (hari) meaning needle (like the little tufts on Harimaron's head), and marron, which is French for chestnut, hence the English name Chespin (Chestnut/pin).

Fokko (Fennekin) - 狐 (ko) meaning fox, fuoco (Italian; fire) and 子 (ko) meaning child. Fennekin is obviously based on the fennec fox.

Kojondo (Mienshao) - "shao" as in Shaolin, and Kojondo being a mix between Taekwondo and Kokondo.

Zorua - Zorro is Spanish for fox, and rua is Irish for red.

Mijumaru (Oshawott) - 未熟 (mijuku) meaning inexperienced/ not yet matured, and 丸 (maru), which is common ending/ character in names.

Futachimaru (Dewott) - 二つ (futatsu) meaning two, 太刀 (tachi) meaning long sword and 丸 (maru), a leftover from Mijumaru

Daikenki (Samurott) - 大剣鬼 (Daikenki), lit. large sword demon. Daikenki is the Chinese reading for these three characters. Samurott is obvious. (Samurai + Otter?)

Thought I'd post some that weren't up.

To be honest, most Pokemon names pertain to something that defines their characteristics/ design, you just need to look closely.

0 votes

One I've noticed is Ferroseed/thorn: farro is a grain that is made up of certain species of wheat in it's whole form. the only reason I know farro exists is because my family is crazy and vegan!