Meta-PokéBase Q&A
12 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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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!
I wanted to address a huge flaw in the origins of ponyta that no site seems to have gotten.
I'm fairly certain while ponytail does seem fitting that it's name is actually derived from the animal pony and then a corruption of the word niter(nyta) which is a flammable material used in gunpowder for instance
Is it just me, or should the origin of Marshadow be "Marsh" and "shadow"?
I checked bulbapedia, and apparently the Japanese is martial arts.
even though faced with glaring facts, I feel like 'martial arts' is a bit of a stretch, especially since it's literally the "Gloomdweller" pokemon. What's more Gloomy than a swamp?

sure, he's a fighting type... i just think "marsh" makes more sense. Is anybody with me?
he hides in pokemon and people's shadows and use them to learn and get better at fighting than they are, generally coping martial arts :P

28 Answers

1 vote

Awesome list, I learned a lot of cool trivia (and vocabulary lol). Just a few things I noticed to consider:
1. As someone mentioned below, genesect probably comes from genesis considering it was sprung to life from a fossil. I think that's at least worth adding alongside genetics.
2. I think Vivilion comes from vivid, referring to the wide range of colors and patterns it can have
3. The word "marine" is also in Primarina.
4. Xurkitree, and I could be wrong about this, is supposed to look like a christmas tree, or at least the lights put on one. It also roots itself in the ground, so I believe "tree" is worth adding there.
5. Kommo-o is almost definitely a pun on Komodo, of course in reference to komodo dragons.

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I mentioned 1 and 4 in my answer. Glad someone agrees with me. :P

Marina and marine are based off of the same root word. Vivid and vivify come from the same root word.

5 is cool. I think it is worth mentioning. :P
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After years with no activity on my suggestion, I was surprised to get an update from here, but I digress.

Anyways, I suggested that "acrobat" be Crobat's name origin, but it was dismissed because all other names in other languages reference its cross shape. While that is a fair point, I still believe it's highly likely they used that opportunity to make a clever pun out of Crobat's name, with it being "acrobat" minus the "a", with Crobat being known for it's agility, like an acrobat, while it may also be combining "cross" and "bat" to reference the shape.

Coincidence while making a boorish word combination? Or clever intentional pun? I'd like to think the Pokemon name creators did the latter, and that the acrobat explanation is worth adding on to the etymology post.
Thank you.

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0 votes

In Nihilego, the "nihil" more likely refers to nothing rather than nihilism. This would make sense, as "ego" is self, and the combination of nihil and ego would reflect the fact that Nihilego and its victims have no consciousness or self-awareness.

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I didn't know this thread existed i would have definitely posted it here
I checked everything on Nihilism and jellyfish, and found nothing. What I did find, however, is that there is a song/band/album/something like that called Nihilist Jellyfish :P
https://i.ytimg.com/vi/RvPkiHPAvMs/hqdefault.jpg

Also, I looked up several definitions of Nihilism and got this:

the rejection of all religious and moral principles, often in the belief that life is meaningless.
or
extreme skepticism maintaining that nothing in the world has a real existence.

Nihilism: That nothing matters, which may make sense because Nihilego has no real sense of value in anything; nothing really seems to matter for it...

That is pretty much it though. It could also mean both: the Japanese is a combination of void, ego, and being similar; All of the other names use ego and void, hollow, etc, which is like nihilism i. e. not caring/mattering.

TL;DR: It probably is Ego and Nihilist because other languages use ego and void/other words considered synonymous with Nihilism.
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Should probably post in the answers section instead of making a comment.

I wanted to address a huge flaw in the origins of ponyta that no site seems to have gotten.
I'm fairly certain while ponytail does seem fitting that it's name is actually derived from the animal pony and then a corruption of the word niter(nyta) which is a flammable material used in gunpowder for instance

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0 votes

This may be just something I thought of as a kid, but I really think Fearow sounds like Pharaoh. Fearow also has kind of a crown. Can anyone confirm this.

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Safe to dismiss as coincidence I’d say.
I'm pretty sure the pronunciation was Fear-oh. I mean, when I was younger, I used to pronounce 60% of the names wrong.
Yeah this doesn't really make much sense to me. Any similarity with a pharaoh is really stretching.
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On the page of Zeraora you wrote that tora is Japanese for tiger.
Since torracat evolves in a tiger, I'm pretty sure it's name etymoligy could easily be something with tiger.

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0 votes

Evil should be in Yveltal's roots i mean its the destruction pokemon. Also its name is pronounced Eval-tal.

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0 votes

It says Cloyster comes from a cloister, which is a religious cathedral, even though Cloyster is just a clam and an oyster. It probably was just a wrong definition though, as Cloyster is a a play on another type of cloister, which is to seclude or shell oneself.

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