Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
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Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/18/2011 09:27 PM EST
For example:



Milotic happens to be one of my favorite pokemon for many reasons, one of them being the etymology of its name, which I find to be brilliant.

Milotic derives from Venus de Milo, a highly famous and iconic statue of Aphrodite, goddess of beauty. Aptly, Milotic is known as the world's most beautiful pokemon.

I find it a huge hobby of mine decoding the etymology of pokemon names, and while some of them are blindingly obvious (i.e. Bulbasaur and Braviary), others are just downright odd (i.e. Pachurisu and Alomoloma Alomomola).

I created this thread in the hopes of finding others who are just as interested in Pokemon name etymology as I am. Feel free to discuss the topic, and if you happen to decode a pokemon's name, let us all know. grin

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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/19/2011 08:06 PM EST
I've always enjoyed this very much as well. I started getting really into it once I read about the origins of Articuno, Moltres and Zapdos' names.

Unfortunately I'm too curious for my own good so i always end up looking the names up on bulbapedia instead of trying to figure them out on my own.
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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/19/2011 09:55 PM EST
Riyakou Wrote:
Alomoloma

It's spelled Alomomola, and, like Girafarig, it's a palindrome (it says the same word when mirrored). That's about all I know.


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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/19/2011 10:16 PM EST
Hmmm well I'll start with obvious ones.

Arbok and Ekans backwards is Kobra and Snake.

Abra, Kadabra, Alakazam are from the incantation of the magic word "Abracadabra Alakazam" used by magicians.


I never really understood why Farfetch'd is named so.
Someone wanna help me out with that? The phrase Far fetched means unlikely, but I don't see how that ties in with the Pokemon.

Hitmonlee(My personal favorite) and Hitmonchan are named so by martial arts legends Bruce LEE and Jackie CHAN.
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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/19/2011 10:17 PM EST
I always end up looking at Bulbapedia too.
Some of my favorite names are:

Luxio
Floatzel
Glameow
Munchlax
Carracosta
Fraxure
Hydreigon




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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/20/2011 12:34 AM EST
Interesting note, Koffing and Weezing's respective original japanse names are NY and LA, like New York and Los Angeles, because of their smog and pollution.
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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/20/2011 01:11 AM EST
I never noticed that Articuno, Zapdos, and Moltres had to do with numbers until about a year or two ago.. I only noticed the blatant elemental quality.
Felt kind of dumb.
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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/21/2011 04:12 PM EST
Jironobou Wrote:
Riyakou Wrote:
Alomoloma

It's spelled Alomomola, and, like Girafarig, it's a palindrome (it says the same word when mirrored). That's about all I know.


I know it's a palindrome, it just took me forever to figure out its etymology.

In fact, the palindrome is actual a play on words for the fish Mola Mola, the animal Alomomola is based on.

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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/22/2011 11:40 AM EST
Geodude's rather easy to figure out.

Speaking of which, I have a shiny gold Geodude on Pokémon Black. Anyone want to trade?
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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/22/2011 04:55 PM EST
Zentile Wrote:
Geodude's rather easy to figure out.

Speaking of which, I have a shiny gold Geodude on Pokémon Black. Anyone want to trade?


Please refrain from making trade requests in this thread.

I don't want the thread to go off topic. Thank you.

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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/24/2011 07:38 AM EST
Etymologies are interesting if there is a little thought put in them (unlike Fantastic Four: The Thing, Torch, etc). Back when I was a kid and I didn't know English as well as today the names were cooler when you didn't know that your favorite pokemon's name actually constisted of two English words.

I haven't played pokemon games ever since the GS era so I might not be up to date with these things but I think the original 150 pokemons had the most thought put in their names. Some of them were fun to reveal (Ekans/Snake, Arbok/Kobra, MewTWO...) though some of them were plain obvious (Ditto, Dragonair, Primeape and so on).

One of the funniest pokemon names here was probably Paras which means 'the best' in Finnish. Often we liked to say that "You might be Paras (the best) but I am Parasect (the bestest??)." Mortal Kombat is another series that has some quite interesting etymologies, one of my favorites being Havik ('havoc' referring to his irrationality and 'havik' meaning a hawk in Dutch for his renegade persona).
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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/24/2011 12:42 PM EST
Sorry about that Riyakou, I didn't realize how off topic it was until I read it when you quoted me. My apologies, I certainly don't want this thread to go off topic.

Zmoke Wrote:
Havik ('havoc' referring to his irrationality and 'havik' meaning a hawk in Dutch for his renegade persona).


I don't really think the MK team was thinking of the dutch word for Hawk when they created Havik... That's a bit of a stretch isn't it? But again I digress.



Zmoke Wrote:

I haven't played pokemon games ever since the GS era so I might not be up to date with these things but I think the original 150 pokemons had the most thought put in their names.


there are now over 600 pokémon. Some names are pretty awesome and definitely had more thought put into them than most of the original 151.

Like Luxio, which is pretty cool.
(from bulbapedia)
The name "Luxio" comes from the Latin lux, which means light, and a corruption of leo, which means lion. Also, the Karnak temple complex in Luxor, Egypt has a famous avenue of sphinxes. If Luxio's name is derived from the origin of its pre-evolution Shinx, then both its name and Luxray's name may take root in this temple.

I doubt you could just guess Luxio's name origin by yourself.
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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/24/2011 01:32 PM EST
Zentile Wrote:


Like Luxio, which is pretty cool.
(from bulbapedia)
The name "Luxio" comes from the Latin lux, which means light, and a corruption of leo, which means lion. Also, the Karnak temple complex in Luxor, Egypt has a famous avenue of sphinxes. If Luxio's name is derived from the origin of its pre-evolution Shinx, then both its name and Luxray's name may take root in this temple.

I doubt you could just guess Luxio's name origin by yourself.


I never knew about the Latin lux.

I always thought the "lux" in Luxio and Luxray was a variation from the Spanish word luz, meaning light.

A favorite of mine is Lapras, which is supposedly an inaccurate translation from Japanese to English of Loch Ness, the being Lapras is based on.

It really does explain Lapras' appearance.

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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/25/2011 04:30 PM EST
Zentile Wrote:
Sorry about that Riyakou, I didn't realize how off topic it was until I read it when you quoted me. My apologies, I certainly don't want this thread to go off topic.

Zmoke Wrote:
Havik ('havoc' referring to his irrationality and 'havik' meaning a hawk in Dutch for his renegade persona).


I don't really think the MK team was thinking of the dutch word for Hawk when they created Havik... That's a bit of a stretch isn't it? But again I digress.



Zmoke Wrote:


I haven't played pokemon games ever since the GS era so I might not be up to date with these things but I think the original 150 pokemons had the most thought put in their names.


there are now over 600 pokémon. Some names are pretty awesome and definitely had more thought put into them than most of the original 151.

Like Luxio, which is pretty cool.
(from bulbapedia)
The name "Luxio" comes from the Latin lux, which means light, and a corruption of leo, which means lion. Also, the Karnak temple complex in Luxor, Egypt has a famous avenue of sphinxes. If Luxio's name is derived from the origin of its pre-evolution Shinx, then both its name and Luxray's name may take root in this temple.

I doubt you could just guess Luxio's name origin by yourself.

If you look at the Mortal Kombat etymology, you'll find out that there are various names based on an animal even if the character hardly resembles one. Examples: Scorpion (the spear), Kobra, Hotaru (firefly in Japanese), to name a few. It's not that far-fetched to me.

I must deny that. If I knew Luxio, an electric pokemon it appears, I would have easily connected it to the word `lux ́ when lux happens to also be a luminous intensity unit of measure. Also, looking at its predecessor Shinx and its etymology (derives from `sphinx ́ and `to shine ́) you can connect the successor to the Egyptian culture as well (i.e. the famous tourist resort Luxor).
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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/25/2011 09:37 PM EST
Zmoke Wrote:
Also, looking at its predecessor Shinx and its etymology (derives from `sphinx ́ and `to shine ́) you can connect the successor to the Egyptian culture as well (i.e. the famous tourist resort Luxor).


When it came to Shinx, I always thought the name derived from shine and lynx, the animal Shinx is most likely based on.

I never really saw any relation to the Spinx within Shinx and its successors, except for the cat-like image.

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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/25/2011 09:54 PM EST
Pawniard is the best of all Pokemon names

Pawn, because of how little it is, and Poignard (an old fashioned dagger) because it's body is made of blades.
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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/25/2011 10:03 PM EST
TheBigCityToilet Wrote:
Pawniard is the best of all Pokemon names

Pawn, because of how little it is, and Poignard (an old fashioned dagger) because it's body is made of blades.


Pawn because of the chess piece. He evolves into Bisharp which has the name of another chess piece bishop and he has sharp blades
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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/26/2011 10:11 AM EST
I got one!

Yamask


Of course, we all know it deals with the word mask, but I've discovered it also derives from Yama, the Hindu god of death.

It does make some sense, seeing as Yama is highly depicted with gold skin/attire, and Yamask's facemask is gold.

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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/26/2011 03:12 PM EST
Riyakou Wrote:
I got one!

Yamask


Of course, we all know it deals with the word mask, but I've discovered it also derives from Yama, the Hindu god of death.

It does make some sense, seeing as Yama is highly depicted with gold skin/attire, and Yamask's facemask is gold.

AND according to the pokedex, Yamasks are undead humans...


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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/26/2011 03:32 PM EST
Riyakou Wrote:
Zmoke Wrote:
Also, looking at its predecessor Shinx and its etymology (derives from `sphinx ́ and `to shine ́) you can connect the successor to the Egyptian culture as well (i.e. the famous tourist resort Luxor).


When it came to Shinx, I always thought the name derived from shine and lynx, the animal Shinx is most likely based on.

I never really saw any relation to the Spinx within Shinx and its successors, except for the cat-like image.

You always thought it derived from `lynx ́ - but do you now? There is no doubt that Shinx's name is based `Sphinx ́; the cat image alone gives a formidable connection but even if the etymology were questionable with it, you could connect Shinx's etymology to the Egyptian culture after noticing that its successor Luxio's etymology is connected to the Egyptian culture as well. And you, at least, should know that pokemons of the same kin have often had mutual etymologies. Do I need to list? Charmander, Charmeleon, Charizard - Abra, Kadabra, Alakazam... No offense intended.
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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/26/2011 04:22 PM EST
Zmoke Wrote:
Riyakou Wrote:
Zmoke Wrote:
Also, looking at its predecessor Shinx and its etymology (derives from `sphinx ́ and `to shine ́) you can connect the successor to the Egyptian culture as well (i.e. the famous tourist resort Luxor).


When it came to Shinx, I always thought the name derived from shine and lynx, the animal Shinx is most likely based on.

I never really saw any relation to the Spinx within Shinx and its successors, except for the cat-like image.

You always thought it derived from `lynx ́ - but do you now? There is no doubt that Shinx's name is based `Sphinx ́; the cat image alone gives a formidable connection but even if the etymology were questionable with it, you could connect Shinx's etymology to the Egyptian culture after noticing that its successor Luxio's etymology is connected to the Egyptian culture as well. And you, at least, should know that pokemons of the same kin have often had mutual etymologies. Do I need to list? Charmander, Charmeleon, Charizard - Abra, Kadabra, Alakazam... No offense intended.


None taken.

I see what you're saying, and yes, it does seem very logical that Shinx would derive from Sphinx. Given the use of the letter "i" instead of "y" in Shinx's name, you could very well be right.

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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/30/2011 10:39 AM EST
A couple years ago I had a project with a few fellow MK fans for decoding the Mortal Kombat etymology. It was left incomplete (95%) but as new names have been revealed in MK2011 (Ruutuu, Bi-Han, Tomas Vrbada, etc.) we have more job to do. Are you interested in partaking the project whenever I'll open it again?
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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
06/30/2011 04:21 PM EST
Zmoke Wrote:
A couple years ago I had a project with a few fellow MK fans for decoding the Mortal Kombat etymology. It was left incomplete (95%) but as new names have been revealed in MK2011 (Ruutuu, Bi-Han, Tomas Vrbada, etc.) we have more job to do. Are you interested in partaking the project whenever I'll open it again?


Unfortunately, I don't find MK etymology as interesting.

I just never felt there was a great enough connection between the characters and their names, for the names to have any significance.

Sorry, man. I'm gonna have to say no on this one. sad

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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
07/02/2011 01:44 PM EST
I don't know much about pokemon. But here's what I observed years ago looking at my siblings play.



A tangela. Aww cute pun on tangle. But to my mind I saw something wrong. Looking further right now (checking evolutions) it confirmed what I thought.



Tangrowth. You might be thinking "Oh, that's just tangle+growth". And you may be right. Here is what the pokedex says it does;
It ensnares prey by extending arms made of vines. Losing arms to predators does not trouble it.
Its arms are made of plants that bind themselves to things. They grow back right away if cut.
When it remains still, it appears to be a large shrub. Unsuspecting prey that wander near get ensnared by its vines.



But that's not what I see:


Meet Shub-Niggurath. A rather not-nice Lovecraft creature. And it goes beyond looks.

In the pantheon of Lovecraft, Shub-Niggurath is an ancient fertility Mother Goddess who comes in the form of a massive dark cloud writhing with black tentacles, moving upon goat's legs. Shub-Niggurath spews forth creatures from the mouth of hell that are re-devoured into its void, while some of her children escape from her mouth to be free.

She physically resembles a massive demonic tree.

Most likely it was meant to be one of Shub-Niggurath's Dark Young, as they are usually described as looking like walking leafless trees, only the "branches" are actually tentacles.


Just quoting from various websites. Take it as you will. And sleep tight.

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RE: Pokemon - Decoding the Etymology
07/03/2011 06:26 PM EST
What the fuck is wrong with Lovecraft