386 pokemon. I mean, seriously, can you even imagine coming up with that many different names? Geez, the producers must have had a nightmare even with the first 150, but the other 236? Their heads must have been sore in post production. When coming up with names, they first had to come up with the artwork (386 different kinds!), and choose a name that suits it. That's pretty much the basic concept. A lot of these names have obvious evidence of this, and I am here to just point them out.

Note: some of the following content are basic assumptions, not facts.

Bug pokemon are probably the most annoying pokemon ever, but their names sort of make up for that. Caterpie, for example, resembles caterpillar, and Butterfree resembles butterfly. Nothing much to say about these names, but they are a lot more original than most names. I was almost going to title this spot "Various Bug Pokemon", but the only others would be Wurmple, Weedle, Kakuna, Metapod, Castcoon, Silcoon, Beautifly, Dustox, and Beedrill, and none of those names are as good as Caterpie and Butterfree (Beautifly comes close, though).

Anyone who is observant enough will notice that Ekans is just snake spelled backwards, and Arbok is Cobra with one replaced letter. Unfortunately, some people don't realize this, and just go through the game wondering why that pokemon has that particular name. I'm just surprised that the designers didn't come up with Nogard for Salamance's name in Ruby/Sapphire. Oh well.

For these names, you sort of see a chain in them. I am NOT a geologist, but even I know that these names originated from rocks. Geodude came from the rock geode, and Graveler came from the rock gravel. I don't know why Graveler is the evolve form of Geodude, because gravel is a lot smaller and loose, while geode is a lot bigger and has crystals inside it. Well, can't blame the producers since the game was published around 15 years ago.

Another chain that you can see here. The producers must have been unable to come up with a good name for a psychic pokemon, so they tried to think of psychic and magical sayings. Two of the most famous are abra-kadabra and alakazam. Not being able to change the names that much, they split one saying into two to compensate for two pokemon and left the names like that. A little lazy, but still pretty good.

Yet another chain, but this time the roots change in intensity. Hop, skip, and a jump. They tried to come up with a name for a grass/flying type pokemon. Well, for one that is both grass and flying but doesn't have wings, the pokemon would have to jump in order to be flying. Bingo! Hop, skip, and a jump. This chain is one of my favorites, and one of the more creative names.

Third chain in a row, and second chain to increase in intensity. This time, it's a ground/water type pokemon. Well, what do you get when you mix ground (dirt) with water? You get mud! What are some of the most muddiest places in the world? Marshes? Swamps? That's about it. Like the Hoppip/Skiploom/Jumpluff chain, they use those words as roots and build a name upon that root. Presto! MUDkip, MARSHtomp, and SWAMPart.

Last chain here, and third one to increase in intensity, but a little different. The roots are a little changed, like Combusken's root is combust, but it's easier to say Combusken that Combustion. Torchic's root was probably scorch, but Scorchic? They probably changed scorch to torch in order to prevent a hard-to-pronounce name. Blaziken is the only pokemon in this chain to have an unchanged root, which you probably guessed to be blaze.

If you know anything about electricity (which I'm assuming you do), you'll know that the plus and minus do not relate to math. Since Plusle and Minun are electricity types, the plus and minus mean positive and negative. I mean, what does electricity have to do with math besides calculators? My little brother didn't know this, and he thought that Plusle and Minun would evolve into an "Equals" ish pokemon. But hey, pretty original names, especially for electric type pokemon.

Probably some of the only names to use words in a different language. Let's see, a name for a mouse-like pokemon that has electrical abilities. Rodent or mouse really don't make suitable root words for a name, so the designers had to try a different language. Chu, in some language, means mouse. In Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, you come across an item called a Bombchu, or a mouse-like bomb. Don't ask me where pika or rai come from, I just know that Chu means mouse.

I have to tell you, the first place spot was a hard decision between #1 and #2, but ultimately it came down to this. Like Ekans and Arbok, most people wouldn't notice the obvious tie-in, but this one is even less obvious. Well, try to come up with a name for a fighting pokemon. What is the first thing that comes to your mind? Boxers? Wrestlers? Anything to do with martial arts? Well, two of the most famous martial arts experts come in to play here: Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan. Plug in those names with Hitman or something, and you get Hitmanlee and Hitmanchan. However, Hitmanchan was probably a little tough to pronounce, so they changed it to Hitmonlee and Hitmonchan. It took me a while to notice this tie-in, and I was even the one who noticed this. It was my older brother who pointed it out. I bet some of you are still hitting yourself for not noticing that before. It's alright, I did when I found out.

These are only examples, and I am sure that there are a lot more names like this in all the other games. Let's face it, coming up with original pokemon names are at least 10x harder than coming up with nicknames, so give the designers a round of applause. Even though some of these names aren't really creative, they are still really good names, and the designers went through a lot of work to come up with them, especially the names in a different language. The harder part is coming up with even more names in the future (where handheld consoles are mind-controlled and there are over 700 pokemon), so it's crucial to use these same basic steps.

List by ZeldaFreak29 (04/22/2010)

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