The last time we explored the wide world of Pokemon names, it was only the original 151. But after repeated abusive tumblr anons calling us "filthy genwunners" and "jew" we decided it was time to dust off our passport and look at the creatures from Pokemon Gold and Silver that were endowed by their localizers with awesome names that rival their English (ie "correct") ones.
Starting controversial right off the bat. I'm aware many people love "Mareep" for being a sly anagram of the electric unit of measurement "ampere". But did you know that "ouate" is French for "cotton ball"? Wattouat is a name that proudly proclaims "I'm electric, I'm fluffy, get used to it"!
Also, you can't say it out loud without adding "... in the butt" immediately afterwards. So, France wins this one. Wow, that feels weird just typing it. France wins.
"Great kid, don't get Coxy!" you whisper as this bug type enters the field. I will hand it to Game Freak that "Ledyba" is an elegant solution to the Ladybug vs. Ladybird debate that rages throughout the world as we speak. The French team wasn't satisfied so they saw that all of these spotted beetles belong in the Coccinella genus and skipped our petty regional squabbling altogether.
The name Miltank does not capture this pokemon's nipplingly unsettling nature. Yet the name "Écrémeuh" actually gets stuck in your mouth halfway through saying it. With such an unctious name, you have to be fully prepared to bring this creamy terror into battle. There are no half-and-half measures here. The name comes from the French words for "skim" (as in skim milk) and "moo".
This one is just too Asgardian to ignore. While "Qwilfish" sounds like it'll lightly jab your fingers, "Baldorfish" has it's own realm and a magical axe that it uses to smite Ice Wolves. Technically, "Baldorfish" is mashup of "balloon-spike-fish", but can't a man dream?
Crobat? That's short for "Cross Bat".
Iksbat? That's German for "X-Bat". Because that's what this thing actually is.
Honestly, I forgot Corsola was even a Pokemon. Gun to my head, ask me to name them all and I would never remember this lumpy sea princess. That was before "Corasonn" because not only does it cover the "sun+coral" bases like all the other languages, but it also is a play on "corazón", the Spanish word for heart... BECAUSE IT LOOKS LIKE A F*CKING SEVERED HUMAN HEART. Germany, don't you ever change.
I'm very much a hater when it comes to Ho-Oh. I think it's just a mythical phoenix without any particular twist, and when compared to it's giant-hand-winged sibling Lugia it comes up short in popularity contests. Yet there's one thing it does have, the rainbow. Ho-Oh makes rainbows, that's kind of its thing and in South Korea, that's what it's named after, the ROY G. BIV spectrum itself.
Very few Pokemon exhibit creativity. The ability to create art is fundamental to the enlightened being. Calling this truly unique pokemon "Smeargle" simply can't convey the spirit of artistic freedom it embodies. Like all great painters, Louvre Dog found the recognition it had always deserved outside of its home country. South Korea looked at this creature and said "that belongs in a museum".
Ha! "Happy Nurse"="Happiness"! I get it! That works on two levels! That's one more level than Blissey and therefore, better.
Ugh, Sudowoodo. What a thing you are. Tricking us with your nonsensical typing. Wasting precious Fire Blast PP.
Linguistically, it's a challenge to come up with localized names for Pokemon whose sole reason for being is "it's a Japanese pun". So it's amazing that all the teams managed to pull it off. France did it with Simulate + Arbor, Gemany did with Mogeln (to cheat) + Baum (as in 'O Tannenbaum'), and even in Korean they found a mashup of Falsehood + Tree. That's the kind of attention you want from a localization, and to make sure that rice balls are called "jelly donuts".
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