298 Ruriri (Azurill)

 RuririRURIRI

ルリリ

Pokemon name meaning:

マリル Mariru – Marill

Liliput (English word)

Notes:

Since this Pokemon was added a generation after Mariru (Marill) and Marilli (Azumarill), the name refers directly to Mariru, by then an already-existing word.

Liliput is an English word coined by Jonathan Swift in Gulliver’s Travels, where it is the name of a country of people much smaller than humans. The term liliputian is currently used in English to describe something diminutive.

Lilliput was reputedly named after the real area of Lilliput on the shores of Lough Ennell in Dysart, Mullingar, County Westmeath in Ireland.

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512 Yanakkie (Simisage)

yanakkieYANAKKIE

ヤナッキー

Pokemon name meaning:

野菜 yasai – vegetable

柳 yanagi – willow tree

Monkey – English word

Notes:

“Yanakkey” might have been a clearer Rõmaji transliteration, however Yanakkie is Nintendo’s trademarked Rõmaji name, so we are using that.

511 Yanappu (Pansage)

yanappuYANAPPU

ヤナップ

Pokemon name meaning:

野菜 yasai – vegetable

yanagi – willow tree

Ape – English word

Note:

“Ape” transliterated into katakana of course ends in “pu”. The small ッ(which becomes the English double p) is a slight mystery, possibly added for reasons of euphony. ヤナッキー (Yanakkie) also has a small ッ before the last syllable.

This is less problematic in Japanese, since in English a doubled p automatically gives the preceding vowel a short pronunciation (app rather than ape). This is not the case in Japanese. In katakana “ape” would transliterate to エープ ēpu, so it is really only the プ pu that belongs to “ape”. However ップ does not imply a short preceding vowel-sound to the Japanese ear the way ppu does to an English ear.

400 Beadaru (Bibarel)

beadaruBEADARU

ビーダル

Pokemon name meaning:

ビーバー bĩbã – beaver

ダル daru – dull (Japanese word from English)

Note:

The sense of ダル (dull) in this case seems to be slow-witted. This would go with the Pokemon’s ability, which can be either Simple or Unaware. Despite the rather unflattering name, Beadaru is good natured and an excellent dam-builder!

399 Bippa (Bidoof)

bippaBIPPA

ビッパ

Pokemon name meaning:

ビーバー bĩbã – beaver

出っ浦 deppa – protruding tooth, overbite, bucktooth

Note:

Regular Pokemon species-mixing as this Pokemon is officially called a “plump mouse Pokemon” while its name refers to beaver. Cf Horubee (both rabbit and wallaby), Gekogashira (both frog and gekko) etc. Of course these creatures are Pokemon, not mice, frogs or rabbits – the earth-like names are only reference-points for you earthlings.

658 Gekkouga (Greninja)

gekkougaGEKKOUGA

ゲッコウガ

Pokemon name meaning:

ゲコゲコ gekogeko – alternative frog sound

月光 gekkou – moonlight

甲賀流 kouga-ryuu – The school of Kouga: an ancient school of ninjutsu.

Notes 

The relevance of moonlight here is the ninja’s tendency to operate at night and the fact that the Pokemon has now added the dark type to its water type.

Members of the Kouga school of shinobi (ninjutsu) were trained in disguise, escape, concealment, explosives, medicines and poison. They were experts in techniques of unarmed combat (taijutsu) and in the use of various weapons.

The last officially known Soke of Kouga-ryuu was 14th headmaster Fujita Seiko (1898-1966). He taught prior to World War II, and earned such a reputation that he was inducted into teaching for the government during the war. He continued to teach privately after the war, and had many students who are still alive today.

Gekogeko is less familiar than the well-known kerokero as a frog-sound. Could there also be a side-reference to the similarly splay-fingered, huge-eyed gecko?

657 Gekogashira (Frogadier)

GekogashiraGEKOGASHIRA

ゲコガシラ

Pokemon name meaning:

ゲコゲコ gekogeko – alternative frog sound

小頭 kogashira – section head

Notes 

Gekogeko is less familiar than the well-known kerokero as a frog-sound. Could there also be a side-reference to the similarly splay-fingered, huge-eyed gecko?

The kanji of 小頭 kogashira literally means “small head” – that is to say, a subordinate leader. This refers to Gekoshira’s status as a middle-evolution Pokemon. While final-evolution Pokemon names often include leader-terms like “king” and “don” middle-evolutions may be seen as intermediate chiefs.