Meta-PokéBase Q&A
12 votes

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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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
I think the 'tuff' in wiggly tuff could also be refering to a tuft, sort of like jigglypuff, as well as the given meaning of tough.
Stoutland, I think, is playing off of Shetland terrier/sheepdog, more than just land in general. Dragapult also must be playing off of dragon and poltergeist. I know the spelling is a bit different but it just makes too much sense.

29 Answers

4 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!

4 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.

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

(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.

3 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, considering the fact there's 2 Zygarde cores in XYZ, but that's far from canon and I may be using the wording wrong, I don't know. I just copied and pasted this.) Z, and garde.

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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.

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

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

"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).

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.

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).

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).

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

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.

Referring to the Golduck one, Gummis for Psychic types (PMD) are Gold Gummis
I believe that Mew has this name because of the Greek letter “Mu”, which is used in biology as a variable for the mutation rate in population genetics. I believe that this makes more sense that simply a cat sound, but I may be wrong...
2 votes

You haven't put any of USM Pokemon in, so wynaut?

Stakataka- The words Stack and Attack, whereas the Japanese is a repetition of the word Lay, like laying bricks.

Blacephalon- Blast and cephalo- meaning head. Its Japanese name (ズガドーン) Zugadōn means "head goes boom". Fitting :P


Poipole is a combination of poison and pole. It is also a play on purple. Bevenom is a combination of baby or bébé (French for baby) and venom



Naganadel is a combination of Nāga and Nadel (German for needle). Āgoyon may be a combination of 顎 ago (jaw), ago (Italian for needle), 四 yon (four), and dragon or 용 yong (Korean for dragon).



Zeraora may be a combination of زر zarra (Arabic for to beam/glitter/shine, to encroach upon one's enemy) and 虎 tora (Japanese for tiger) or tora (Faroese for thunder).


These are some I think are wrong (I am yet to check the full list, and will not post repeats from other answers)

Xurkitree- Needs Tree. If you look at it in the ultra plant, it looks like a tree. Also worth noting: its wires are kept together by bands that have leaves, and its Japanese name has (樹木 jumoku) tree in it.

Kartana- Need something paper related, it has that in every other language. Like charta (Latin for paper) could be it.

Solgaleo- May have Galileo in it

Vikavolt- Vice, maybe, but every language uses stag beetle and cannon. It is more likely (or both) wicga (Old English for insect).

Rowlet- more likely round rather than arrow; the Japanese is wood & owlett.

Diancie- May also have fancy/Pixi in the etymology

Goomy- (Sticky and goo) umm gooey?

Sliggoo- (Slime, Goo) maybe slug too?

Carbink- (carbon, clink) could also be carbuncle (gemstone), and carat (still carbon). This also makes more sense because other languages use carbon, small, stone, diamond, and carat in the name.

Spritzee- May have Fee- German for fairy

Fennekin- Kin may reference kindle and not kin

Chespin- you put porcupine, very wrong... every language uses hedgehog, chestnut, and needle. It could be pin(needle), urchin(old term for hedgehog), chinkapin (chestnut species), or spina - Latin for Thorn.

Genesect- Being the Paleozoic Pokemon and is Old and Ancient, Genetic could also be Genesis- This both looks more accurate and makes as much sense

Meloetta- Etta is a feminine Italian suffix meaning small, which could refer to it being small and have a female appearance.

Kyurem- may have either 無 (mu) meaning nothing, or 零 (rei) meaning zero. This makes sense because Reshiram and Zekrom are based of off ying and yang, while Kyurem represents wuji, the absence of ying and yang.

Axew- Askew makes little sense; it is more likely hew (to chop a material with a tool) or chew.

Eelektross- more likely boss instead of gross, especially when the Japanese has Don (latin for Lord) in it.

Swanna- May have Ballerina as well as swan.

Archen- Rather than chicken, it is more likely the Archean geological eon.

That is as far as I got; will check more soon :P

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2 votes

I don't know which ones are already answered here, but I didn't find any for Lucario, here are some more.

Lucario: Lu - "Lupine." Might also be related to "orakaru," which said syllabicly-backwards, is Japanese for "oracle." Also references Cairo, a city in Egypt (Lucario was based on an Egyptian god).
Bellossom: "Bellissima" (Latin for "most beautiful")
Politoed: Has fairly big toes. "Toed."
Karrablast: Carapace
Absol: "Ab" and "Sol": away from sun (hence the Dark-Type). Maybe related to "absent."
These are a bit of a stretch:
Celebi: might be related to "celebrate," as Celebi travels through time to only find the most pleasant places to dwell.
Dialga: "Dial" may refer to "Sundial," an ancient way to measure time.
Darkrai: "Cry" (nightmares make people cry)

Absol is really "evil type". It's called "dark type" in English only because it was translated kind of badly.
2 votes

I noticed in Mew’s etymology, it simply states “a cat sound”. However, I believe that Mew has this name because of the Greek letter “Mu”, which is used in biology as a variable for the mutation rate in population genetics. I believe that this makes more sense that simply a cat sound, but I may be wrong...

I think the same. Alterantively μ (mu == mew) might have been used as an alternative to ψ (psi == psy[chic]) as the latter would sound too much like psyduck.
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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1 vote

It is correct that Makushita is a division in sumo (the third highest), but Hariyama is not. Most likely, the "Hari-" part comes from "harite" which means a slap and is used in sumo. "Yama" is "mountain", frequent suffix in sumo shikona (ring names). Hence my own user name!

Also, Rhydon, I think also sounds like "right on", the way that it charges!

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.

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
1 vote

Is this thread still active? Firstly, I'd like to back up most that were said before, such as Xurkitree being from "tree" or Litleo being from a "lit" fire.

I'm sure there are a lot more things to be commented on, considering there are 890 different names, many of which are very obscure. That being said, I've compiled a short list for now:

  • Chatot may include "parrot"
  • Could Hydreigon somehow refer to "hydrogen," perhaps as in the destructive power of hydrogen bombs?
  • Since Salazzle is a Fire-type, "sizzle" may be part of the origin
  • Stakataka's entry doesn't mention the word "attack"
  • Cinderace may incorporate "race," since Raboot has a bit of a theme of running
  • Carkol is definitely "charcoal," not just "coal"
  • Hatenna might also have "antenna" in there, as its hat resembles one
  • This is a bit of a stretch, but the name Morgrem reminds me of the word "rogue," which fits thematically
  • Cufant could be derived from "cute" as well as the currently listed entries
  • Absol is more likely "absolute," referring to the power of the destructive event it forewarns, as well as "ab-" (prefix for not, as in abnormal) and "sol," together making "no sun," or an eclipse
1 vote

I didn’t read all of the answers, so sorry if this was already posted, but Nickit is likely named after kit, another name for a young fox.

I think it could also have inspirations from Kitsunes (you've likely heard of them) which are mythical, fox pranksters. Nickit's Pokedex entries mention it stealing things and generally behaving like a prankster
0 votes

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.

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.

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

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.
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.
0 votes

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

0 votes

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.