Pokemon names. You know them, you can rap them, and most of you reading probably knows how to spell them. Still, despite the nostalgia factor, some of these names are just plain awful (we're looking at you, Seel). That's why I went searching through the vast (VAST) resources of Bulbapedia to find some awesome Pokemon names from across the globe.
- They had to be fun to say out loud.
- They had to be better than their English counterpart.
- I have to justify why they're "better".
- Sticking to Gen 1 for now.
- Screw Japan.
A combination of the German words "peculiar" and "tadpole", this sounds like something a foreign exchange student would shout before doing 5 shots of vodka. Much better than "Poliwhirl" which is based on the word "pollywog" a name for tadpoles that nobody uses, and furthermore "Poliwhirl" is clearly a matured frog already.
Ok, why isn't there ALREADY a Pokemon named "Nebulak" in the English version? Say it out loud right now. I don't care if you're in class, or at work. Make sure to use a goofy voice. Although it sounds more appropriate for a space alien than a ghost, "Nebulak" is combination of the word for "fog" and the exclamation "ach!" meaning "oh" or "gasp". This means that in Germany, Gastly's name is just the last words you say before it kills you.
I actually like Drowzee. It's a great name for one of the more deceptively sinister of the original 151. But sweet lord, "Traumato"!? Oh god! That's terrifying. Fun fact: the German word for dream is "traum" which neatly fits into their word for "traumatic", which even more neatly describes this soul-devouring Tapir that sneaks into your room at night and sucks your hopes into its terrible, terrible, snout.
This one gets on the list because it was my name on AOL Instant Messenger.
The humble Zubat gets the recognition it desrves in the land of pastries and cigarettes. Now this is a name worthy of a creature that waits in the darkness to consume the blood of children in an unrelenting horde. Beware the Nosferapti, which is a portmanteau of "vampire" and "petite". Huh, now it doesn't sound as intimidating.
While researchng this article, I finally learned that the name Pidgeot is a combination of "Pigeon" and "Jet". I always pronounced it "pijit", and as a kid it struck me how even though it was fully evolved, the thing had a simple, unintimidating name. Now here comes the French with this nomenclature masterpiece. Drop those breadcrumbs and pay homage to this beast formed from the words "roucoule" (their equivalent of "coo") and "CARNAGE" (as in "the thing my giant bird is about to cause across the entire tri-county area").
Simple. To the point. No fussing about with electricity puns because the Koreans understand Electrode only does two things: look like a ball and explode. Efficient. Elegant. Boomball.
Golem always seemed like Geodude's second-cousin. Like, there's clearly some relation, but it isn't a direct line. In addition to that I always thought of golems as having magical/human based origins... the point is I never liked that name and this one sounds cooler. Like this Pokemon had a hit country song named after it in the 70's.
Do you remember all those dick jokes people made about Onix? Well they just decided to cut out the middle-man and make the name a dick joke, officially.
THIS ONE'S A TIE:
If I was a linguistic scholar, I could go on for hours on why this perfectly encapsulates the core differences between French, German, and their respective influences on the English language. All you you need to know is that "Excelangue" is a mashup of "excellent" and "tounge" while "Schlurp" is the German word for "Schlurp".