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9 votes
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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 10/10/2017: I finally got around to updating the origins for Gen 7 Pokemon on the site. Huge thanks to everyone who contributed!

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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.
Yay! The Sun and Moon names are out!

18 Answers

8 votes

I'm sorry if some of these have already been mentioned, but they aren't on this page at the moment.
Typhlosion
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.

Sylveon
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).

Inkay
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.

Pikachu
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.

Oddish
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.

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

Solosis
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.

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.

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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.
Treant is not a mythical creature as such. It's a fictional thing made up for dungeons and dragons.
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 !

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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

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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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
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.

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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.

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2 votes

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

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Calamari also squid, anyway.
calamary=squid. But I removed the "deep-fried" bit, it's unnecessary. Also the Spanish word most likely comes from the Greek.
2 votes

Feebas

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

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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.
2 votes

Zygarde I think you are missing one part of "Zygarde". It should be zygote, (a diploid cell resulting from the fusion of two haploid gametes; a fertilized ovum.) Z, and garde.

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1 vote

for furfrou you have fur and frou-frou, when i think it should be fur and bichon frise which is a dog with poofy hair and may have a better connection.

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1 vote

I think Arceus can get his name from the root word Archea- which means ancient, i pronounce his name as arc-A-us which sounds like archea

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1 vote

As a native Japanese speaker (who played the first two games in Japanese), I feel compelled to point out the following:

Pikachu
"Pika" is from pikapika, the Japanese onomatopoeia for sparkling (like electric sparks). This one was actually confirmed by Tajiri himself. The "chu" part is correct (although specifically, it's the sound a mouse makes).

Nidos
It is often thought that the "nido" comes from Cnidocyte (which anybody who's taken Bio 2 should know). "Ran" in Japanese can mean "orchard." I also feel the "rhino" thing is a little dubious, as in Japan the word for rhinoceros is sai. But then again, I don't have a better alternative so who knows.

Golduck
I just want to point out that the "gold" thing may be because psychic stuff in Pokemon is often symbolized with gold, like the Gold Badge (Japanese Marsh Badge).

Gyarados
Almost definitely not "gyre" (Gyarados is his original Japanese name). May be from gyakusatsu (mass slaughter), and dosu (onomatopoeia for puncturing, probably flesh in this case).

Lapras
While he is based off the Loch Ness monster, the name is probably from either lapis lazuli or Laplace.

Mew/Mewtwo
Doubtful it's from the cat noise, as "mew" is not an onomatopoeia for cats in Japan. Possibly from mutant.

That's all I got for now.

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Referring to the Golduck one, Gummis for Psychic types (PMD) are Gold Gummis
1 vote

Rampardos
another entry that would fit this pokemon's name origin would be Ram, as in the siege engine that is used for breaking down walls, in reference to the ram-like cap on Rampardos's head

answered by
I think "rampage" fits this more.
1 vote

Regarding Cranidos and Rampardos
I don't think very many dinosaurs' scientific names end with "-dos". It's probably just a random, unexplained syllable, or it could be from "dosu" which apparently is the onomatopoeia for puncturing flesh in Japanese. The puncturing in Japanese explanation works nicely for Ariados.

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0 votes

Geodude
Probably from 'geode', which is a much closer-looking word, and Geodude looks slightly like a geode (a cluster of minerals).

Jynx
Also from 'Lynx' (a snow animal), hence the ice type

I think your Cloyster reasoning is a little off: 'cloister' is not just a noun but a verb meaning to seal oneself away, which seems more relevant than a religious building. (Note the verb is derived from the noun anyway)

Exeggcutor
Also a little off. An executor is not an exterminator! It is a person who carries out a will, or more generally brings something about. You are thinking of the word 'executioner'.
Exeggcutor might be 'executor' because it has legs now, so can go do things, or because it's a psychic type, so has a role in future events... a bit of a stretch, but so is the word 'executioner'

Slowbro is also related to the word 'ouroboros'. Oura = tail, Boros = eating. Pretty relevant!

Some less likely ones:

  • Cubone's head is white and round like a cue ball
  • Marowak is Cubone's mother and starts with 'ma' (or 'ma-ternal')
  • Tangela is a plant, a tangelo is a type of fruit
  • Magmar has the word 'mar', to cause damage or ruin
  • Pinsir has the word 'sir', title of a knight, and Pinsir is armoured
  • Golbat might also be 'gulp bat' because of its huge mouth
  • Diglett looks a tiny bit like a piglet
  • Snorlax almost has the word 'relax' in it, but 'relax' has the same root as 'lax' which you already mention
  • Graveler has legs now that it's evolved. Traveler?
  • Moltres has 'molt', which birds do
answered by
- geode comes from 'geo' so it's the same.
- lynx are not specifically snow animals, some live in snowy areas by others don't.
- an executor is also 'a person who executes'

I've updated Magmar, but I don't really agree with any of the others, sorry. They're all just coincidences.