PokeBase Battle Subway Meta-PokeBase Q&A
9 votes

Here: http://pokemondb.net/etymology
I think we got it 99% correct, so thanks to everyone that helped, I really appreciate it!

The point of this post is just in case there may be a few mistakes. If you happen to notice anything you think is wrong, post an answer here and I will look into it. Answers will be hidden once corrections have been made (or rejected). Thanks to everyone who's contributed so far!

Update 31/10/16: You can also post etymology for the new Sun/Moon names if you like.

asked by
edited by
umm, the electrode 1 is spelled exactly the same as 1 of the name origins.
That's because the Pokemon Electrode and the electrical conductor electrode are spelled the same way.
re: etymologies:

Golduck is Gol + Duck. Like Golbat.  Not "Gold"
Who told you that "Golbat" came from "gol"? "Gol" isn't a real word.
The Nidoran family's etymology does not include a reference to Cnidarians (pronounced ni-dare-ians), which are a group of animals classified by their poison stinging cells, called cnidocytes.

46 Answers

8 votes

I'm sorry if some of these have already been mentioned, but they aren't on this page at the moment.
You have it as a combination of Typhoon and Explosion.
Since a Typhoon is a watery thing, wouldn't it make more sense for that part of its name to come from one of the following Greek words:

  • Typhus which means 'hazy' - kind of like the shimmer you can see around something that is extremely hot - just read its pokemon Ruby dex entry for why I think this is the most likely one
    >TYPHLOSION obscures itself behind a shimmering heat haze that it creates using its intensely hot flames. This POKéMON creates blazing explosive blasts that burn everything to cinders.

  • Tefra means ash, or volcanic meterial. Typhlosion is the Volcano pokemon after all.

  • Thumos means smoke. That is pretty self explanatory.

Ok, the ancient Greek lesson is over. Its just always annoyed me that Typhlosion apparently got its name from Typhoon so I did some digging. Personally, I think the top one is the most likely, but you might completely disagree with all of this anyway, but I just thought I'd mention it.

It seems to me that sylph is a likely root word for its name. A sylph is an air elemental, or a fairy, and Sylveon was the first Fairy type revealed (even if we didn't know it at the time).

Well, the Ink part is fairy obvious, but I have 2 suggestions for the -ay ending.

  • Spray - as in to spray ink

  • Okay or M'kay - for this one you kind of need to go to its Japanese name. Bulbapedia suggests its japanese name involves a pun that translates to something like "oh well" or "well, whatever" (Bulbapedia page here) Its name does sound very similar to "M'kay", though. This is purely speculation of course, but it is an idea.

Pikapika is actually japanese onamatapeia (or however you spell it) for 'sparkle', much like chuchu is japanese onamatapeia for 'squeak'. I think this is more likely than coming from the Pika, because Pikachu doesn't look anything like a pika.

I will start this one by saying I agree with both Odd and Radish as root (no pun intended) words. However, I also feel that there is a pun in Oddish's name as well. The -ish suffix is often used to mean "somewhat" or "sort of" so 'Oddish' = 'Sort of Odd' which makes sense considering it's basically a flower pot with legs.

I think this one is just a spelling mistake. It says it comes from artic. Shouldn't it say arctic instead?

It says its name comes from "cross", meaning angry. This is certainly possible, given that its eyes have an angry look to them. However, cross could also refer to the shape it is. With its 4 wings it makes an 'X' or cross shape.

You do say -osis is a common biological suffix. However, it come from either meiosis or mitosis, which are different kinds of cell division, so you could probably specify that.

I read the above suggestion on Pidgeotto/Pidgeot and like the idea, but here is another possible name origin for them. -otto could come from Otto Lilienthal. He was the first person to "make well-documented, repeated, successful, gliding flights" (that's from Wikipedia).

Maybe it comes from jet, which would refer to its very fast speed (Mach 2, according to its pokedex entries).

The Nido's
I mean all of them - Nidoking, Nidorina, etc. The thing about pokemon names is that they are often quite clever, so while Nido may well refer to the pair (as you have on their pages) another possibility is it comes from Cnidocyte (pronounced nee-doh-site). Cnidocytes are a kind of cell found in many poisonous animals, like Jellyfish, Sea Anemones, etc. They are the stinging cells
that are covered in many poison-covered spikes that jab into their target. It seems likely to me that this is another possible origin for Nidoking's (etc.) names.

OK, that's all I can think of for now.

answered by
edited by
Just saying.... For your pikachu error, the fact that a pika looks nothing like pikachu doesn't really mean anything. A pika is still a small rodent, like pikachu(tiny mouse pokemon). Lucaio doesn't really resemble a hunk of magic metal, bellosom doesn't look muck like a bell, and (in my opinion) beldum doesn't  make such a good dumbell. So..... Yeah. I don't think there's anything wrong with  PIKAchu. (Though pikapika could be a 3rd part to it as well)
On Typhlosion, it's drawn directly from his Japanese, Bakuphun, which definitely is drawn from Explode+Typhoon given the two Japanese roots. With his English name, it's more debatable, but I always considered Typhoon (which, while it is known for rain, is still a destructive wind storm that triggers rain, but is not itself rain)  to be the closer one just from his original root.
The "pikapika" for Pikachu is actually correct. First of all, "pika" is pronounced differently (with a long i instead of short). Second of all, pikas are not called pikas in Japanese (might I add that Pikachu is his original Japanese name). Most importantly, Tajiri himself actually said that that's where the name came from (the Japanese onomatopoeia for sparkling).
7 votes

The name origin of Trevenant probably also connects it to the Mythical Treant. And I mean this one:

enter image description here

They have a strong resemblance in both figure and name so there'sa possibility Trevenant's name is connected to it.
Hope I helped!

answered by
Could also come from ent, a living tree.
Ent's closely resemble trees, but are living beings and Trevenant is more like the ghost of a tree. Then again, I don't name them, you could very well be right.
5 votes

It says Crobat is a combination of "cross" and "bat", however I think it's origin should be changed to "acrobat", seeing as that is pretty much it's name minus the A, and Crobat it known for it's high agility, like an acrobat.

answered by
Nice one!
5 votes

Me and Astronautical did a load of etymological interpretations on one of the questions and no one has posted them yet so I thought I may as well. Some have already been posted and I can't be bothered sorting through them so enjoy.

Yungoos = Young + Mongoose.
Rockruff = Rock + Ruff (the noise that dogs make)
Lycanroc = Lycanthrope (werewolf) + Rock
Komala = Coma + Koala
Drampa = Dragon + Grampa
Cutiefly = Cutie + Fly (woah)
Salandit = Salamander + Bandit
Stufful = Stuff (as in stuffed animal) + full?
Mimikyu = Mimic You
Wimpod = Wimp + Pod
Comfey = Comfy + Lei (Hawaiian flower necklace)
Mudbray = Mud + Bray (sound a horse/donkey makes)
Mudsdale = Mud + Clydesdale (big ol' horse)
Minior = Mini + Meteor?
Lurantis = Lure + Mantis
Sandygast = Sandy + Gast (ghost)
Pallosand = Pile of Sand or Palace + Sand
Wishiwashi = "wishy washy" means feeble or weak
Pyukumuku = Puke + I'm not sure what else
Turtonator = Tutle + Detonator/Terminator
Passimian = Pass (the ball) + Simian
Oranguru = Orangutan + Guru
Solgaleo = Sol (sun) + Leo (lion) + maybe Galileo
Lunala = Luna (moon) + I'm not sure what else

Rowlet: + owlet
Dartrix: dart + tricks (it is the Blade Quill Pokemon fyi)
Litten: lit + kitten
Torracat: とら + cat (Japanese means 'tiger')
Brionne: brine +

Pikipek: pecking onomatopoeia
Gumshoos: gum shoes, as in gum boots etc. Or gum tree + shoes I don't know
Grubbin: grub +
Charjabug: charge + bug (it's an electric type)
+ volt (electric type)
Bruxish: brux + fish (bruxing is to grind one's teeth)
Togedemaru: とげ + まる (translation: thorn + round)
Bewear: bear + beware (it's name is literally a pun I'm so proud)
Bounsweet: bountiful + sweet (bountiful means generous, etc.)
Oricorio: ドリ + choreography? (the Japanese comes from the Pokemon's Japanese name, I can't translate it.)
Morelull: spore + lull (although more might be a common term in mycology i dunno)
Crabrawler: crab + brawler
Jangmo-o: this probably comes from some dinosaur idk
Type: Null: type: null
Tapu Koko: according to reddit, tapu means forbidden (origination of taboo) and koko can mean blood. That doesn't sound like a very nice name though whoops.

Hope (we) helped. :)

answered by
edited by
This is great, thanks! Here are a few more things I've found since this:

- Dartrix: may also come from "Strix," a genus of owls
- Decidueye: deciduous + eye
- Incineroar: incinerate + roar
- Primarina: prima + ballerina + marine, perhaps?
- Tsareena: Tsarina (female equivalent of a czar) + queen + mangosteen
- Fomantis: faux + mantis
- Silvally: silver (used in alchemy) + ally?
- Tapu Bulu: Tapu (sacred) + Bulu (Hawaiian for bull)
- Tapu Lele: Tapu (sacred) + pulelehua (Hawaiian for butterfly)
- Tapu Fini: Tapu (sacred) + fin

Also, according to Wikipedia the word "tapu" is Polynesian for either sacred/holy or implied prohibition (taboo). Given the nature of the Tapus as the guardians of Alola, I would be more inclined to believe that Tapu Koko/Lele/Bulu/Fini are more sacred than taboo.

There are also a few more mentioned in Flamey's answer that I didn't include.
Oriciorio's japanese name is Odoridori (I think?..)
I think Litten is light (makes sense because fire makes light) + kitten.
I went through the Pokedex today and did more of these 'cos I was bored. Didn't finish them but I want to eventually.
 - Rowlet = round (that makes sense) + owlet
 - Dartrix = dart + tricks + strix (genus of owl, thanks Astro)
 - Decidueye = deciduous + eye
 - Litten = lit + kitten
 - Torracat = とら (*tora*, meaning tiger) + cat
 - Incineroar = incinerate + roar
 - Popplio = I originally thought popo (Hawaiian for ball) + leo (reference to its sea lion resemblance). Bulbapedia also mentions the [Hawaiian monk seal][1] whose Hawaiian name begins with *'ilio*. Brionne is also classified as the 'Pop Star Pokemon', so pop might be intended too. I just love the name 'Popplio'.
 - Brionne = brine + -onne is a common suffix in feminine French names. You might think that's odd because Brionne is often male, but Brionne's Japanese name is オシャマリ*Oshamari*, which likely contains オシャレ *oshare* (fashionable), or おしゃま *oshama* (precocious young girl). That's peculiar.
 - Primarina = primadonna (leading female singer in a company) + marine + ballerina (thanks Astro)
 - Pikipek = onomatopoeia for pecking
 - Trumbeak = trump (imo, to trump as in to something better. And probably a reference to Donald Trump to cos Yungoos) + beak
 - Toucannon = toucan + cannon
 - Yungoos = young + mongoose. Bulbapedia also mentions ヤンキー yanki (a certain style of juvenile delinquent).
 - Gumshoos = gumshoe (apparently a term for a detective) + mongoose
 - Grubbin = grub + vermin (I guess)
 - Charjabug = charge + bug
 - Vikavolt = wicga (Old English for bug. Seems odd.) + volt
 - Crabrawler = crab + brawler
 - Crabominable = crab + abominable [snowman]
 - Oricorio = oriole (an "Old World bird") + choreography. Bulbapedia also mentions oratorio, which could probably work well but Google says its a musical work performed without costumes and action so ya'll can decide.
 - Cutiefly = cutie + fly
 - Ribombee = ribbon (don't get it but it's incorporated into the Japanese name as well so) + bee. Also bombyliidae, a genus of bug.
 - Rockruff = rock + rough + ruff (dog noise)
 - Lycanroc = lycanthrope + rock
 - Wishiwashi = Astro mentioned 'wishy-washy' as being anxious about something, which is probably correct, but we can also interpret it as a washing onomatopoeia to complement the Pokemon's Water-type.
 - Mareanie = marine + meanie
 - Toxapex = toxic + apex (don't know what that could imply)
 - Mudbray = mud + bray (a sound that a horse makes. Thaaanks Astrooo)
 - Mudsdale = mud + Clydesdale ('big ol' horse'. Thaaanks Astrooo)
 - Dewpider = dew + spider
 - Araquanid = arachnid + aqua. Clever!
 - Fomantis = faux + mantis
 - Lurantis = lure + mantis
 - Morelull = morel (mycological term) + lull [to sleep]
 - Shiinotic = shiitake (East Asian mushroom) + hypnotic
 - Salandit = salamander + bandit
 - Salazzle = salamander + sizzle (or the ol' razzle dazzle)
 - Stufful = stuff[ed bear]. Bulbapedia also mentions 'scuffle'.
 - Bewear = beware + bear. I love this name so much.
 - Bounsweet = bounce + bountiful + sweet
 - Steenee = mangosteen (thaaanks Astrooo) + teen (or teeny)
 - Tsareena = tsarina (female czar/tsar, thaaanks Astrooo) + mangosteen
 - Comfey = comfy + lei
 - Oranguru = orangutan + guru
 - Passimian = pass [the ball] + simian (thaaanks Astrooo)
 - Wimpod = wimp + isopod (like Metapod!)
 - Golisopod = Goliath + isopod
Lunala is La Luna, spanish for "the moon"
4 votes

The name Chestnaught could be a pun of both chestnut and naughty, not only chestnut. Don't you think so ?

Look close to that monster: It seems naughty. And it happens that a Naughty nature for this bad guy is one of his best, if Lax is not the ultimately best.

The name Druddigon could be based on Dragon and Ruddy, and maybe on Dread ? Dread means terror, and Druddigon's look is terrible.

Archeops's Etymology is Archaeopteryx and Cheops, but I'm sure that Cheops is written Kheops.

Krokorok's Etymology is Crocodile and Rock, Rock could mean cool and swag, because Krokorok looks cool, wears Black sunglasses etc.

enter image description here

Munna and Musharna are also based on Moon, in addition to Muso and Lunar. I insist on Moon and Lunar, explaining why Munna evolves with a Moon Stone.

Drapion has strictly nothing to do with Dragons. Its name may come from Scorpion and Dark. It cannot learn any Dragon move.

Kyogre can be a mix between Kai, Orca and Ogre. seeing Kyogre's imposant dimensions and power.

Hope this help !

answered by
edited by
Also, I'm not sue about Flabébé's source for Flabra. Bébé is OK, but I checked Translate for Flabra in French, it is still Flabra in English, and I tried to check from the Galilean but it is still stuck on Flabra, which mean  Flabra cannot be translated. It may be wrong, I ain't sure.
I think the naught in chestnaught comes from the word dreadnaught (or dreadnought) which is "a heavily armed battleship whose main guns are all of the same caliber".
3 votes

The "lga" in Dialga is it really from Dragon? I don't think it makes much sence.
Also answering instead of commenting so you have a chance to see this.

answered by
Dia is the stem for across, and the "lga" according to that means dragon. So Dialga being the time dragon who can travel "through / across" time. Kind of makes sense, but I may be stretching it a tad.
Yeah I'm not sure about this one. Dialga/Palkia have their name same as the Japanese (like most legendaries), so the origin is rooted in the Japanese somewhere.
"Dial" in Dialga could mean like Sand Dial, as in time keeping (It's a stretch)?
3 votes

In Charmander's etymology you mentioned that Salamander is a lizard like amphibian. However, Salamander is also "a mythical being, especially a lizard or other reptile, thought to be able to live in fire."

My source: http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/salamander?s=t

answered by
Good idea. Fire Salamanders are also real creatures that live throughout Europe as well. Here is the wikipedia page for the mythical version, however, which has more info than your source has: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salamander_(legendary_creature)
3 votes

Lombre's name origin says it comes from Lotus and Sombrero. I was thinking it could also come from the Spanish word for "man" which is Hombre (pronounced sort of like ohm'-breh) which rhymes with how I say Lombre at least. And Lombre does look kinda like a stereotypical Mexican dude with the sombrero and all. (I've been taking Spanish class recently which is why I thought of it.)
Also with Servine, it says the origin is serpent and vine. But I had another thought. The next evolution after Servine is Serperior, the regal pokemon. Servine is a lot like the word Servile which relates to slavery, or servitude, and I think that could be a part of the name origin. I feel it would be a logical evolution; the humble servant, to the regal ruler, or leader.

answered by
edited by
3 votes

I don't think this has been mentioned, but it's given me the chills every night to the point where I need to point this out.

Crobat's name is a transliteration of it's Japanese name 'kurobatto':
I've always wanted to say that 'kuro' means 'black', and Crobat seems to be a dark-looking thing. xD

Hope I helped. :)

EDIT: I also believe that Mew's Japanese name is 'Myuu', which is directly Japanese for 'bright'. Ironic, since I mentioned a dark Pokemon just before.

answered by
edited by
Black =/= Dark. Sorry.
3 votes

Well, I think I actually noticed 2 mistakes that no one else could find. Not even Nintendo, I think.

Xerneas: [Zurr-NICE]

Yveltal: [EVIL-Tawl]

Here you go! I hope you're happy, and every other gamer should be happy and proud too!

answered by
edited by
You're right about Yveltal, but Xerneas is pronounced Zurr-nee-us.  Source:  http://www.officialnintendomagazine.co.uk/45452/pokemon-x-and-y-legendary-pokemon-names-yveltal-xerneas/
if you ask me, Xerneas is much more evil than Yveltal.
true. its not even pronounced eviltawl. its pronounced yuh-veltal
also 2nd of all,were talking about name origin errors not pronounciations
3 votes

Another possible origin for Genesect is Genesis, which means 'beginning' and Genesect, according to the BW2 Pokedex, "existed 300 million years ago."

EDIT: I believe Pyroar's name comes also from 'Pyro', "A person who has a compulsion to set fires; a pyromaniac."

Dragonite may also come from Dynamite, which kinda makes sense (though it's a bit of a stretch), as Dragonite is very powerful and can be very destructive.

Also, "Flabra" comes up as "blast" on Google Translate. While that could refer to a blast of wind, a blast is spontaneous and rough, ending a quickly as it began, and a breeze is soft and gentle, often continuing for a long time. And so, I do not believe that is the "Fla" in "Flabebe." Perhaps "Flower" is the "Fl" at least, and this would make sense, as Flabebe are found holding flowers.

answered by
edited by
One of the few that I honestly agree with xD
Era can't agree wit dnight because he is friendly as it says in the dex that they guide ships to shore
True, but he doesn't learn Outrage for nothing.
Also, dynamite comes from the Greek word that means 'power.'
The Flabébé idea, now that I've read it, makes a lot of sense.
3 votes

A Bold word means I think I'm right; an italicized word means it's just a theory of mine. From most confident to least confident:

Politoed: you should probably include poly, meaning many, and toed (many-toed), or having many toes. This is because the transformation from a pollywog into a toad involves it growing toes, just like is does in the evolution.

Carracosta: tirtouga is based on the Spanish word tortuga, yet for carracosta it says it comes from Latin. The word costa means the same thing in both languages, so it is more likely that they were based off of the same Spanish language.

Whimsicott: It says whimsy, but it should be whimsical in my opinion. They mean the exact same thing, but whimsical fits the name better.

Litleo: The lit- part of the name could be based upon having a lit fire.

Deerling: It could be based off of darling as well as the other two deer and -ling.

Vivillon: It's probably vivify, but I think it comes from vivid since it has vivid colors. It could be one or the other, really.

Lampent: For some reason, whenever I think of this, I think of lament. I don't even think it's right, but that's what I have. Cheers!

answered by
3 votes

Wigglytuff's origin is not Tough, it's Tuft. Seriously, it does have a tuft sitting atop her head.

The Golems could be named after Reggie, who created them.
The "eus" in Arceus could be Zeus, who is the king of all Greek gods and goddesses. Arceus is -- surprise surprise -- a god.

Chesnaught could be Juggernaught, which can either mean
A) Extreme power
B) A really strong dude.
Sure, use has really taken a blow ever since the start of the twentieth century and is at an all-time low ever since 2010, but just because not many people use the word means it couldn't be possible.

answered by
edited by
I think 'espeon' is potentially more a pun on "ESP" (extra-sensory perception).

From Wikipedia: "ESP or extrasensory perception is perception occurring independently of sight, hearing, or other sensory processes. People who have extrasensory perception are said to be psychic."
3 votes

Gengar's current entry is just doppelgänger, which is usually a shadow or ghost that resembles a person. While this fits with Gengar's Pokédex entries, Gengar's name is likely also derived from gjenganger, a type of ghost from Scandinavian mythology.

answered by
3 votes

(I'm too lazy to read every single other answer, so sorry if this was already posted)

Bayleef's name also originates from a spice called 'Bay Leaf'. Not just bay trees and leaves.

answered by
3 votes

I've just had an epiphany.

Xurkitree = circuitry

answered by
Someone already pointed that out, but oh well.
anyone ever notice when xurkitree uses discharge/ most other electric moves, he LOOKS LIKE A CHRISTMAS TREE!
To me he looks like a mix of a tree, Guzma, and my 2DS charger.
2 votes

I think fearow's meaning is feather + sparrow instead of fear + sparrow.

answered by
Probably a combo of all 3
I believe in fear + sparrow, as it would link with spear + sparrow from it's prevolution. :3
2 votes

Ledian and Ledyba

For ledian and ledyba, it says "ladybird : a species of insect". i'm pretty sure it should be ladyBUG. sorry if this has allready been pointed out. :)

answered by
Across the pond, in that land called the British Isles that many members of this site, including our leader and generator of most content Pokemaster, call home, ladybugs, as they are typically called in North America, are more commonly called Ladybirds, for whatever reason. It does sound prettier I guess. At any rate, welcome to the site Riolurocks, and the use of ladybird is, in all likelihood, not an error.
Too right xD I'm from the UK
Cool! Learn something new everyday. Sorry about that, Lombro and HaunterTheGhost.
While ladybird does sound better, I do believe in ladybug as the name origin. If you say ladybug, but leave off the 'g,' it sounds exactly like Ledyba.
2 votes

I'm almost sure that Malamar's amar comes from the spanish word calamar (squid) as opposed to calamari.

answered by
Calamari also squid, anyway.
2 votes


It says its made up of Feeble and Bass, but isn't it also made up of Seabass, a type of fish?

answered by
that what the bass is referring too, the seabass
You play Seabass at the sea?
I play Dub at the Step, nub
I chase mouse with  some House ö3ö
OK I didn't realize that.