by S. Parker (sparx_2@yahoo.com) and G. Hutton (gahutton@tasc.com)

First of all:  Many thanks to the many, many folks who wrote to suggest corrections and improvements to our earlier versions.  Because of your input, this dictionary is much improved.

Abra: ABRA is a familiar magic word, most popular in the phrase “Abra Kadabra” (see Kadabra and Alakazam).

Aerodactyl: from AERO- meaning “flying” and DACTYL meaning “finger.”

Flying finger?? Yes, because Aerodactyl’s large wings (like a

pterodactyl’s) are attached to one very long finger bone on each arm. In the word PTERODACTYL, PTERO- means “wing,” so PTERODACTYL means “wing finger.”

Aipom - APE and PALM, meaning the part of the hand. An ape with a palm (on the end of its tail).

Alakazam: ALAKAZAM is another familiar magic word (see Abra and Kadabra).

Ampharos - From AMPERE, a measure of electric current, and PHARAOH, an ancient Egyptian king.  Ampharos is an electric Pokemon who is styled like an ancient Egyptian king.  AMPHAROS may also be related to AMPHORA, a kind of bottom-heavy jug similar in shape to Ampharos.

Arbok: from COBRA. It’s KOBRA spelled backwards. See Ekans.

Arcanine: combination of ARCANE, meaning “obscure” and CANINE meaning “doglike.” Thus, a rare, doglike Pokemon.

Ariados - ARIADOS is named after ARIADNE of Greek mythology, from the story of Theseus and the Minotaur (half-man, half-bull).  She gave a ball of thread to Theseus to trail behind himself so he would not get lost in the labyrinth when hunting the Minotaur. Thus Ariadne, like the Ariados spider family, is famous for thread. DOS, spanish for two, indicates that Ariados is the second spider, an evolved form of Spinarak.

Articuno: from ARCTIC (notice difference in spelling!) and UNO, Spanish for “one.” Articuno lives in the cold arctic-like climate, and is the number-one legendary bird.

Azumarill - From AZURE, a blue color, and MARILL, see Marill.

Bayleef - Respelling of BAY LEAF, an herb with very sharp leaves.

Beedrill: combination of BEE and DRILL. Thus, a bee-like Pokemon who can drill (as a form of attack).

Bellossom - a BLOSSOM shaped like a BELL.

Bellsprout: a SPROUT (plant) shaped like a BELL.

Blastoise: combination of BLAST and TORTOISE. Note on pronunciation:  In pronouncing TORTOISE, some people say tor-tiss and some say tor-toys, but in pronouncing BLASTOISE everyone says blas-toys.

Blissey - BLISS, meaning joy or happiness. (Side note: Japanese name is Happinassu, “Happyness”)

Bulbasaur: combination of BULB (plant root tuber), and -SAUR meaning “lizard” (as in dino-saur, “powerful lizard”). Bulbasaur looks like a lizard with a bulb on its back.

Butterfree: combination of BUTTERFLY and FREE. Thus, a butterfly that flies freely, as all butterflies should.

Caterpie:  shortening of CATERPILLAR, which Caterpie resembles.

Celebi - Origin unknown.  Similar to the Japanese name.

Chansey: Of obscure origin. CHANCEY means “risky,” and this may be the source of the name, because Chancey is hard to find, and the odds are not in your favor when you go to catch one.

Charizard: combination of CHAR (burn) and LIZARD. Thus, a lizard who burns things.

Charmander: combination of CHAR (burn) and SALAMANDER. Thus, a salamander who burns things.

Charmeleon: combination of CHAR (burn) and CHAMELEON. Thus, a chameleon

who burns things.

Chikorita - From CHICORY, a type of spice.

Chinchou - Origin unknown.  Similar to the Japanese name.

Clefable: combination of CLEF (musical symbol) and FABLE, a folk tale, typically with a moral, often involving fanciful events, especially talking animals. FABLE refers to Clefable’s particularly magical abilities. CLEF refers to Clefable’s musicality. See Clefairy.

Cleffa - CLEF, musical notation, FA shortening of FAIRY to denote it is a pre-evolved form of CLEFAIRY.

Clefairy: combination of CLEF (musical symbol) and FAIRY, a magical mythical creature. FAIRY refers to Clefairy’s particularly magical abilities. CLEF refers to Clefairy’s musicality. See Clefable.

Crobat - Combination of CROWBAR and BAT.  Thus, a bat as strong as a crowbar.

Cloyster: combination of CLAM (or CLAMP) and OYSTER. “Cloyster” is pronounced the same as “cloister” (notice difference in spelling!). A cloister is a church building where religious people live a life of isolation. In his shell, Cloyster lives a life of isolation too.

Corsola - from CORAL, which Cosola resembles.  The origin of the -SOLA ending is unclear.

Croconaw - CROCODILE plus GNAW, a crocodile that gnaws on foes.

Cubone: variation on BONE. Cubone likes to collect, wear, and throw bones. The origin the CU- prefix is obscure.  It may refer to CUEBALL, since Cubone wearing a skull on his head is as bald as a cueball.

Cyndaquil - From CINDER and QUILL.


Dewgong: variation of DUGONG, a real animal similar to Dewgong.

Diglett: from DIG and -LET (small thing). Thus, a small Pokemon who digs.

Ditto: DITTO means “to repeat” or “to duplicate.” Ditto is good at re-forming its body to duplicate other things. DITTO is the name of an ink-transfer process, popular before the emergence of copier machines, for making many copies of a document from a single inked master.

Dodrio: combination of DODO, an extinct bird, and TRIO meaning “a group of three.” Thus: a bird with three heads. See Doduo.

Doduo: combination of DODO, an extinct bird, and DUO meaning “a group of two.” Thus: a bird with two heads.

Doduo, a long-necked, long-legged bird, does not much resemble the dodo, a squat, awkward bird too slow to evade capture by hungry humans - thus its extinction. See Dodrio.

Donphan - combination of MASTODON (a prehistoric elephant) and ELEPHANT.

Dragonair: from DRAGON. -AIRE can mean “someone closely associated.” Thus, a Pokemon closely associated with being a dragon. AIR may also refer to Dragonair’s ability to fly.

Dragonite: from DRAGON and -ITE meaning “someone closely associated.”

Thus, a Pokemon closely associated with being a dragon.

Dratini: combination of DRAGON and TEENY. Thus, a teeny dragon.

Drowzee: variation of DROWSY, meaning “sleepy.”

Dugtrio: combination of DUG and TRIO (group of three). Dugtrio is a digging Pokemon with three heads.

Dunsparce - DUN, a beige color, and SPARSE, rare.

Eevee: of obscure origin. May be the pronunciation of “E.V.,” an abbreviation for “evolution.” Eevee is a master of evolution.

Ekans: SNAKE spelled backwards. See Arbok.

Electabuzz: combination of ELECTRIC and BUZZ.

Electrode: an ELECTRODE is a conductor in an electric circuit used to make contact with a non-metallic circuit element.   (The positive and negative contact points of a batter are called electrodes, because they make contact with non-metallic elements inside the battery.)  The name ELECTRODE may also be a combination of ELECTRIC and EXPLODE, since Electrode tends to explode.


Entei - Origin unknown.  Similar to  Japanese name.

Espeon - Phonetic pronounciation of ESP (Extra Sensory Perception).  EON is a suffix common to all Eevee-lutions.

Exeggcute: combination of EGG and EXECUTE. EXECUTE means “carry out a task,” referring presumably to Exeggcute’s efficiency in carrying out its attacks. EXECUTE also has a special meaning-to put to death a condemned prisoner, but this is not likely the intended meaning in regard to Exeggcute (see Exeggutor). EXEGGCUTE may also be a combined form of CUTE, since Exeggcute is so cute, but scholars disagree on this point.

Exeggutor: combination of EGG and EXECUTOR. An EXECUTOR is someone who

carries out a task. Since

Exeggutor is the evolved form of Exeggcute, the name reinforces the notion that Exeggcute’s name does not refer to putting prisoners to death. A person who puts prisoners to death is called an “executioner,” not an “executor.” (See Exeggcute.)

Farfetch’d: a variant of FAR-FETCHED, meaning “on the border of


Fearow: combination of FEAR (because Fearow is to be feared) and SPEAROW, from whom Fearow evolves. (See Spearow.)

Feraligatr - FERAL, to be wild and uncontrollable, and ALLIGATOR.

Flaaffy - From FLUFFY, plus BAA, the sound a sheep makes.

Flareon: from FLARE and -EON meaning “object.” Thus, an object (Pokemon) who flares.

Forretress - from FORTRESS and TURRET, meaning a turning gun battery, as

on a battleship

Furret - Derivation of FURRY and FERRET, a long, slender rodent.

Gastly: combination of GAS (since Gastly is a “gas Pokemon”) and GHASTLY (note difference in spelling!) meaning “horrifying.”

Gengar: of obscure origin. May be related to GENGHIS KHAN. See

Kangaskhan.  May be related to GENGHOOLIE, meaning “scary.”  GANGRENE (a

degenerative disease of the flesh) and ANGER are other possibilities.

Geodude: combination of GEODE and DUDE meaning “fellow.” A GEODE is a round rock with crystal formations inside. Geodude’s body looks like a geode, at least on the outside.

Girafarig - GIRAFFE, made into a palindrome.  A palindrome is a word or phrase spelled the same backward or forward, like “deed” or “stack cats.”

Gligar - From GLIDE or GLIDER.  May be related to GENGAR.

Gloom: GLOOM means “spookiness.” It can also mean “sadness.” The Pokemon called Gloom may embody a little of both.

Golbat: from BAT (flying mammal). GOL- may come from GOLD, meaning that Golbat is a very valuable bat.   GOL- may also come from GHOUL.

Goldeen: from GOLD and -INE (a feminine ending). Thus, a Pokemon that looks like a feminine goldfish.

Golduck: from GOLD and DUCK. Thus, a very valuable Pokemon who looks like a duck.

Golem: GOLEM is the name of a mythological creature, essentially an artificial human.

Granbull - A GRAND BULLdog.

Graveler: from GRAVEL, small stones. Graveler looks like a piece of gravel, but he is much larger.

Grimer: from GRIME. Grimer lives in the sewer, where there’s lots of grime.

Growlithe: from GROWL. Growlithe is a dog-like Pokemon, so presumably Growlithe growls like a dog. The -LITHE ending is of disputed origin.  Perhaps it is from the Greek LITHOS, meaning “stone” and referring to Growlithe’s strength. Perhaps it is from the English LITHE, meaning “lean and muscular.”  Or from LITHIUM, an elemental metal used in very-long-lived batteries.  Or perhaps it has no meaning at all.

Gyarados: of obscure origin. May be related to the verb “gyre,” meaning to turn in a thrashing manner, as a sea serpent. The word “gyre” was invented by Lewis Carroll (author of Alice in Wonderland) for the poem “Jabberwocky,” in which it was the “slithy toves” that did “gyre.”

Haunter: a HAUNTER is someone who haunts.

Heracross - CROSS for the cross-shaped horn. HERA from HERACLES, a Greek

mythic hero (also known as Hercules).

Hitmonchan: A combination of HIT, MONSTER, and CHAN, referring to Jackie Chan, the famous martial arts master.

Hitmonlee: A combination of HIT, MONSTER, and LEE, referring to Bruce Lee, considered by many to be the greatest martial arts master of all time.

Hitmontop - HIT, MONSTER, and TOP. Hitmontop spins like a top.

Ho-oh - a mythical Japanese phoenix-bird.  The phoenix was a bird that would die in a burst of flame only to be reborn from the ashes.

Hoothoot - Named for the hooting of an owl.

Hoppip - HOP and PIP meaning “seed.”   The evolution family HOPPIP, SKIPLOOM, and JUMPLUFF have names that convey a double meaning. The first syllables HOP, SKIP, JUMP, suggest the saying “hop, skip, and a jump” meaning “short distance,” as in “Dallas is just a hop, skip, and a jump from Fort Worth.”   (Also, the Hop, Skip, and Jump is an athletic track event, more modernly known as the Triple Jump.)    The second syllables of the Pokemon names—PIP, BLOOM, and FLUFF—describe the life cycle of a plant:   seed, flower, and fluffy seed head after the flower has wilted.  HOPPIP may also be related to HIPPETY-HOP, the description of the jumping of a rabbit, or to HIP-HOP, a style of popular music.  Perhaps HOPPIP likes to listen to HIP-HOP.

Horsea: from SEAHORSE. Horsea looks like a seahorse.

Houndoom - a HOUND that brings DOOM.

Houndour - HOUND, a dog, and DOUR, meaning somber or grouchy looking.

Hypno: HYPNO means “related to sleep,” or is short for HYPNOTIZE.

Ivysaur: combination of IVY, and -SAUR meaning “lizard.” Ivysaur looks like a lizard with ivy growing on its back. See Bulbasaur.

Jigglypuff: A PUFF that is JIGGLY. A good description of this roly-poly fellow.

Igglybuff - from JIGGLYPUFF.  Loss of letter J indicating prevolution, BUFF meaning “strong”.

Jolteon: combination of JOLT and -EON (object). Thus, a Pokemon who will give you a jolt.

Jumpluff - JUMP and FLUFF.  See HOPPIP.

Jynx: a JYNX is a bad luck charm.

Kabuto:  Japanese for “helmet.”   The Japanese KABUTOOMOOSHIE, literally “helmet-insect,” means “beetle.”

Kabutops: from KABUTO and TOPS meaning “best.”  Kabutops is the highest, or “top” evolved form of Kabuto.

Kadabra: KADABRA is a familiar magic word, most popular in the phrase “Abra Kadabra.” See Abra.

Kakuna: variation of COCOON, which Kakuna resembles. The evolution of Weedle to Kakuna to Beedrill mirrors the metamorphosis in nature of many crawling bugs through a dormant stage into flying bugs.

Kangaskhan: combination of KANGAROO and GENGHIS KHAN, a Mongol conqueror who died in 1227.

Kingdra - a KING DRAGON.  -DRA may be related to HYDRA.  See Seadra.

Kingler: from KING CRAB, a large species of crab. Kingler looks like a large crab.

Koffing: variation of COUGHING.

Krabby: from CRAB. Krabby looks like a crab. Krabby may also be CRABBY, meaning ill-tempered.

Lanturn - Respelling of LANTERN, for the light on its head.

Lapras: of obscure origin.  May come from LAP-RACE, referring to the impressive speed of Lapras.

Larvitar - a TAR LARVA.  A larva is a young undeveloped form of an insect.

Ledian - Respelling of LEDYBA, to denote an evolution.

Ledyba - From LADYBUG, an insect resembling this Pokemon.

Likitung: combination of LICK and TONGUE.

Lugia - Origin unknown.  Similar to the Japanese name.

Machamp: combination of MACHOKE (from whom Machamp evolves) and CHAMP, short for “champion.”

Machoke: combination of MACHOP (from whom Machoke evolves) and CHOKE.  Presumably Machoke could choke you, though this is not one of his attacks in the card game.

Machop: combination of MACHO, meaning “manly” and CHOP, as in “karate chop.”  May also be related to MASTER.

Magby - a  MAGMA BABY.

Magcargo - Derived from MAGma and ESCARGOT.  Escargot (pronounced ess-car-go) is French for “snail,” particularly snails prepared and served as food.  Yum!

Magikarp: combination of MAGIC and CARP, a fish. Goldfish are small carp, as are their bigger cousins in Japanese decorative ponds.

Magmar: from MAGMA, the molten rock under the earth’s crust.

Magnemite: combination of MAGNET and MITE (small thing). Thus, a small magnetic Pokemon.

Magneton: from MAGNET and -TON (object): Thus a magnetic Pokemon.

Mankey: combination of MAN and MONKEY. Thus, a Pokemon that looks sort of like a man and sort of like a monkey.  In some regions, MANKEY means “filthy,” and indeed Mankey looks like he may need a bath.

Mantine - From MANTA, a ray this Pokemon resembles.

Mareep - From SHEEP, a wooly animal this Pokemon resembles, and MARY who “had a little lamb.”

Marowak: from MARROW, the filling inside a bone, and WHACK. Marowak likes to whack his opponents by throwing bones at them.   MAROWAK is similar to AROWAK, the name of a Caribbean Indian tribe, but any connection between the tribe and Marowak is uncertain.

Marill - From MARINE, meaning underwater, and RILL, a small ripple on the water.

Meganium - Rhymes with GERANIUM, a type of flower.

Meowth: variation of MEOW, the sound of a cat. Meowth is a cat-like Pokemon.  Also related to MOUTH, as Meowth is known to talk too much.

Metapod: from METAMORPHOSIS and POD. Metapod resembles the pod, chrysalis, or cocoon, within which many insects in nature undergo metamorphosis from crawling bugs into flying bugs. The evolution of Caterpie to Metapod to Butterfree closely mirrors the metamorphosis in nature of caterpillar to chrysalis to butterfly.

Mew:  variation of MUTANT, meaning “genetically modified life form.” Also, Mew looks sort-of like a cat, and “mew” is the sound of a cat, so there may be some connection there.

Mewtwo: variation of MUTANT, meaning “genetically modified life form” and TWO, indicating that Mewtwo is a second (genetically modified) version of Mew. See Mew.

Mr. Mime: just a man’s name - MISTER MIME. A MIME is an actor who performs without speaking and without props or sets. One famous mime act involves pretending to be trapped inside an invisible box, thus Mr.  Mime’s “Invisible Wall” Pokemon Power. This, and most mime acts, are very difficult to perform convincingly, and mimes who can do them well are hard to find.  Marcel Marceau is probably the world’s most famous mime.   In the GameBoy game, many Mr. Mime are nicknamed Marcel.

Miltank - This Pokemon is a MILK TANK.

Misdreavus - A variation of MISCHIEVOUS - full of mischief.

Moltres: from MOLTEN meaning “melted,” like the molten rock beneath the earth’s crust, and TRES, Spanish for “three.” Moltres is the number-three legendary bird.

Muk: variation of MUCK meaning “mud” or “manure.”

Natu - Origin unknown.  May be related to NATUS, Latin for “born,” since it is the pre-evolved “new-born” version of Xatu.

Murkrow - MURK, a state of darkness, and CROW. Literally, “Crow of Darkness”.

Nidoking: combination of NIDORINO (from whom Nidoking evolves) and KING.

Nidoqueen: combination of NIDORINA (from whom Nidoqueen evolves) and QUEEN.

Nidoran: from NIDORINO, into which male Nidoran evolve.

Nidorina: from NIDORINO with the -A feminine ending. A Nidorina is a female Nidorino.

Nidorino: RHINO means “nose,” as in rhino-ceros meaning “nose horn.” Nidorino has a horn between the eyes, sort of like a rhinoceros. NIDO-is Latin for “nest,’ so maybe the Nido family live in nests.

Ninetales: compounding of NINE and TAILS. Ninetales indeed has nine tails. The “cat of nine tails” is a whip that splits from a single handle into nine (or at least many) ends. However, Ninetales is a fox, not a cat nor a whip.

Noctowl - a NOCTurnal (active at night) OWL.  In nature, owls are indeed nocturnal birds.

Octillery - OCTOPUS and ARTILLERY, fitting, considering the variety of weapons it has.

Oddish: combination of ODD and RADISH.

Omanite: variation of Ammonite, a fossil animal similar to Omanite.

Omastar: combination of OMANITE (from which Omastar evolves) and STAR meaning “hero.”

Onix: from ONYX (note difference in spelling!), a semi-precious stone.

Paras: from PARASECT, into which Paras evolves

Parasect: combination of PARASITE and INSECT. Parasect is a mushroom-like Pokemon. Many varieties of mushrooms are parasites, meaning that they live attached to other living things.  Mushrooms often attach to trees. Unlike a mushroom, Parasect has many legs, like an insect. However, it looks a lot like a crab, which is not an insect.

Persian: PERSIAN is a breed of long-haired cat. PERSIAN actually means “from Persia,” a country which today is called Iran. Presumably, Persian cats originated in ancient Persia. The Pokemon called Persian is a cat-like Pokemon.

Phanpy - PHAN, like in ELEPHANT.

Pichu - from PIKACHU, into which it evolves.  Loss of the “ka” syllable denotes prevolved state.

Pidgeot: a variation of PIDGEOTTO, from whom Pidgeot evolves.

Pidgeotto: a variation of PIDGEY, from whom Pidgeotto evolves. The -OTTO ending is similar to Italian forms, but it is unclear what, if anything, Pidgeotto has especially to do with Italy. Maybe he was born there.  PIDGEOTTO may be related to PIGEON-TOED, meaning “with toes pointing outward like a pigeon.”  Pidgeotto, similar to a pigeon, is probably pigeon-toed.

Pidgey: a variation of PIGEON, a bird that Pidgey resembles.

Pikachu: from PIKA, a mouse-like animal, and CHU, Japanese for “sound a mouse makes.”  Similarity to the English phrase “peek at you” has aroused the curiosity of scholars, but no direct linkage to that phrase has been established.

Pineco - From PINECONE, which Pineco looks like.

Piloswine - Literally, a PILE O’ SWINE.  May also be related to PILLOW (since Piloswine is round and plump) or to PILO-, Latin for “hairy.”

Pinsir: from PINCER, a pointed appendage used for spearing and grabbing.

Pinsir has two pincers on his head, and several on his feet.

Politoed - POLIWOG (meaning “tadpole”) and TOAD.  It also gains TOES, therefore it is “toed.”  POLY- means “many,” so Politoed is poly-toed.

Poliwag: combination of POLIWOG meaning “tadpole” and WAG. Thus, a Pokemon that looks like a tadpole with a long tail to wag.

Poliwhirl: combination of POLIWAG (from which Poliwhirl evolves) and WHIRL, referring to the spiral marking on Poliwhirl’s chest.

Poliwrath: combination of POLIWHIRL (from which Poliwrath evolves) and WRATH meaning “anger.” Thus, an angry version of Poliwhirl.

Ponyta: from PONY and PONYTAIL. Ponyta looks like a pony, has a tail, and also has a ponytail (at the end of its mane).

Porygon: variation of POLYGON, meaning “many-sided plane figure.” Triangles, rectangles, and pentagons are examples of polygons. Porygon is made by computer graphics, and polygons are some of the basic computer graphic building blocks.

Porygon2 - Simply the second Porygon.  Porygon2 looks much smoother than Porygon, because it is made with much more advanced computer graphics, with lots of very tiny polygons, nearly invisible to the eye.

Primeape: combination of PRIMATE and APE. The primates are an order of mammals that includes apes, chimpanzees, and man.

Psyduck: Combination of PSYCHIC and DUCK. Thus, a Pokemon with psychic powers that looks like a duck.

Quagsire - From QUAGMIRE, a sucking marsh, and SIRE, the term of address for a king.  Thus, the king of the swamp.

Pupitar - a TAR PUPA.  A pupa is an intermediate stage for insects, more advanced than a larva.  See Larvitar.

Qwilfish - A FISH with QUILLs.

Raichu:  combination of RAI, Japanese for “thunder,” and PIKACHU, from which Raichu evolves.

Raikou - Japanese for “lightning.”

Rapidash: from RAPID (swift) and DASH (run). Thus, a Pokemon who can run swiftly.

Raticate: combination of RAT and ERADICATE meaning “thoroughly destroy.”

Thus, a Pokemon who looks like a rat and is very effective in battle.

Rattata: combination of RAT and RAT-A-TAT-TAT, the sound of a machine gun. Thus, a Pokemon who looks like a rat and is very effective in battle. However, Rattata does not actually use a machine gun in battle.

Remoraid - From REMORA, a fish that coexists with larger lifeforms by attaching itself to them.  Remoras commonly attach themselves to sharks.

Rhydon: combination of RHYHORN (from which Rhydon evolves) and -DON meaning “object.” Thus, a Rhyhorn-like Pokemon. Similarity to PTERANODON is curious.  In PTERANODON, the -ODON ending means “tooth,” Thus, RHY-DON would mean “nose tooth.”  Rhydon has an spiral horn on his nose that may be a tooth.  It looks like the horn of the narwahl (a kind of whale), which on the narwahl is actually a tooth.

Rhyhorn: from RHY- meaning “nose” and HORN. Thus, a Pokemon with a horn on its nose. The meaning is the same as the word RHINO-CEROS. RHINO- is Greek for nose, and CEROS is Greek for horn. Rhyhorn looks a lot like a rhinoceros.

Sandshrew: combination of SAND and SHREW, a small rodent. Thus, a Pokemon who looks like a shrew and lives in the sand.

Sandslash: combination of SAND and SLASH. Thus, a Pokemon that lives in the sand, and slashes as an attack.

Scizor - From SCISSOR, a cutting tool.

Scyther: SCYTHER is a very uncommon English word meaning “someone who uses a scythe.” A SCYTHE is a long (and long-handled) blade used mostly by farmers to cut high grass and hay by hand. Father Time, who in the end reaps all, is usually shown carrying a scythe, and is thus the most formidable of all scythers.   Scyther’s front legs resemble scythes.

Seadra: from SEA. The -DRA ending is of disputed origin. May be from DRAGON, or from HYDRA, a sea monster of Greek mythology.

Seaking: the KING of the SEA. Seaking is a powerful fish-like Pokemon.

Seel: variation of SEAL (note difference in spelling!), a mammal that does a lot of swimming. Seel looks a lot like a seal.

Sentret - From SENTRY, a guard or scout.

Shellder: combination of SHELL and SHELTER.

Shuckle - from SHUCK, meaning “oyster (or clam) shell.”  Shuckle’s shell resembles an oyster shell.

Skarmory - SKY + ARMORY.

Skiploom - SKIP and BLOOM.  See HOPPIP.

Slowbro: combination of SLOW (or SLOWPOKE, from which Slowbro evolves) and BRO, a slang short form of “brother.”

Slowking - The KING of the SLOW set (Slowpoke and Slowbro).

Slowpoke: a SLOWPOKE is someone who is habitually slow.

Slugma - SLUG, a gastropod animal, and MAGMA, molten rock.

Sneasel - SNEAKY and WEASEL, an apt description.

Smeargle - SMEAR, to spread (as in paint), and BEAGLE.

Smoochum - SMOOCH, a kiss, and ‘EM, short for THEM.

Snorlax: combination of SNORE and LAX meaning “lazy.” A perfect name for this sleepy Pokemon.

Snubbull - combination of BULLDOG and SNUB, a description of Snubbull’s bulldog-like nose.

Spearow: combination of SPARROW, a bird, and SPEAR, a sharp-tipped weapon similar to Spearow’s sharp bill. “Spiro,” pronounced like “Spearow,” is a man’s name. Spiro T. Agnew was vice-president of the United States from 1969 to 1973.

Spinarak - From SPIN (or SPINNERET, the organ spiders use to make thread) and ARACHNID meaning spider or spider-like.  Spinarak is a spider Pokemon that spins webs.

Squirtle: combination of SQUIRT and TURTLE. Squirtle is a turtle-like Pokemon who squirts water.

Stantler - From ANTLER, the protrusions on a deer’s head.  The ST-prefix may come from STOMP, one of Stantler’s attacks.

Starmie: combination of STAR and ME. Starmie resembles a starfish.   The suffixes  -ME and -YOU on Starmie and Staryu might indicate that in battle Staryu is more offensive (attacks YOU) and Starmie is more defensive (defends ME).  See Staryu.

Staryu: combination of STAR and YOU. Staryu resembles a starfish. The connection to YOU is uncertain. See Starmie.

Steelix - STEEL, Steelix’s type. IX comes from the ONIX prevolution.

Sudowoodo - Respelling of PSEUDO, meaning false and WOOD, literally

“False Wood”

Suikune - Origin unknown.  Similar to the Japanese name.

Sunkern - SUN and KERNEL, a seed that needs sun.

Sunflora - SUN and FLORA, meaning flowers or plants.  Sunflora resembles a  SUNFLOWER.

Swinub - SWINE, meaning pig, and NUB, a small protrusion.

Tangela: variation of TANGLE. Tangela’s tendrils are always in a tangle.  The name is very similar to TANGELO, but Tangela is not much like a tangelo.

Tauros: variation of the Latin TAURUS meaning “bull.” Tauros looks like a bull. TAURUS is a constellation in the Zodiac, and the model name for a popular automobile.

Teddiursa - TEDDYBEAR and URSA, the Latin for bear.

Tentacool: combination of TENTACLE and COOL. COOL has several meanings, including “low temperature” and “impressive.” Both of these meanings apply to Tentacool, who lives deep in the ocean where temperatures are low, and who is quite an impressive specimen, even if not the most powerful attacker.

Tentacruel: combination of TENTACLE and CRUEL. CRUEL refers to Tentacruel’s punishing attacking power.

Togepi - Origin unknown.  Similar to the Japanese name.

Togetic - variation of TOGEPI, from which it evolves.

Totodile - -Dile from CROCODILE.  TOTO might be a reference to the Wizard of Oz dog, or it may come from TOTAL.

Typhlosion - combination of TYPHOON (tropical hurricane) and EXPLOSION

Tyranitar - a TAR TYRANT.  A tyrant is an oppressive king or leader.

Tyrogue - combination of TYRO meaning beginner, and ROGUE meaning masterless and destructive.

Unown - Soundalike of UNKNOWN, meaning “not known.”

Ursaring - combination of URSA, Latin for “bear,” and RING, for the RING-shaped mark on its body.  Ursa Major (“Great Bear”) and Ursa Minor (“Small Bear”) are two well-known constellations in the night sky, more commonly known as the Big Dipper and Little Dipper.

Vaporeon: from VAPOR and -EON meaning “object.” Thus, a Pokemon that is like a vapor. Presumably, this refers to its vapor-like fluidity of movement through the water.

Venomoth: combination of VENOM meaning “poison” and MOTH. Thus, a poisonous Pokemon that looks like a moth.

Venonat: combination of VENOM meaning “poison” and GNAT (pronounced “nat” - silent g), a tiny flying insect. Thus, a poisonous Pokemon that looks like a gnat.

Venusaur: combination of VENUS, and -SAUR meaning “lizard” Venusaur looks like a lizard with a Venus fly trap on its back. See Bulbasaur.

Victreebel: combination of VICTORY and BELL (see Bellsprout and Weepinbell). Thus, a bell-shaped Pokemon that will bring you victory.

Vileplume: combination of VILE and PLUME meaning “cloud.” Thus, a Pokemon that emits a vile cloud. Presumably, this would be a cloud of pollen, since Vileplume is a flower-like Pokemon.

Voltorb: combination of VOLT (measure of electric potential) and ORB (round object). Thus, a round electric Pokemon.

Vulpix: variation of the Latin VULPES meaning “fox.” Vulpix is a fox-like Pokemon. The English word VULPINE means “fox-like.”  The -IX ending may come from SIX, since Vulpix has six tails.

Wartortle: combination of WAR and TURTLE. Wartortle is a warlike turtle.

Note the spelling - with an O - is also related to TORTOISE.

Weedle: of obscure origin. Theories abound, but none has been accepted by a majority of scholars. It could be related to BEETLE, but Weedle does not much resemble a beetle. It could be related to WEED, because Weedle perhaps feeds on weeds.  Or WEE, since Weedle is small.  Or NEEDLE, from the pointy horn on his head.  The English word WHEEDLE sounds similar. It means “to persuade through flattery,” but this seems to have nothing to do with Weedle.

Weepinbell: combination of WEEPING and BELL (see Bellsprout and Victreebel). Plants whose stems normally hang down are said to be “weeping.” The most famous example of this is the “weeping willow” tree.  Weepinbell looks like a bell-shaped plant whose stem hangs straight down.

Weezing: variation of WHEEZING meaning “a rushing sound during breathing caused by obstruction of the breathing passages.”

Wigglytuff: combination of WIGGLY and TOUGH. Presumably, Wigglytuff wiggles a lot and is tough in battle.   TUFF may come from TUFT, meaning “small patch of hair,” like the tuft on Wigglytuff’s forehead.

Wobbuffet - WOBBLE plus BUFFET, to strike, as with repeated blows.  BUFFET meaning “strike” is pronounced buff-it, not like BUFFET meaning “table for presenting food,” which is pronounced buf-fay.

Wooper - Origin unknown.  Perhaps named for its sound.

Xatu - Origin unknown.  Related to NATU.

Yanma - Origin unknown.  Similar to Japanese name.

Zapdos: combination of ZAP and DOS, Spanish for “two.” Zapdos is the number-two legendary bird, and he can zap you.

Zubat: from BAT (flying mammal). The ZU- prefix is of disputed origin.  It may refer to ZOO, perhaps where Zubat belongs. Or it may refer to ZULU, a proud African people known for advanced culture and brave warriors.