List of name origins

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The following is a list of name origins. Each character's name, particularly their original Japanese name, is a pun on regular words (often the names of various foods).

Races[edit]

  • Saiyan (Saiya-jin) - In Japanese, saiya is formed by rearranging the syllables of the Japanese word yasai which means "vegetable".
  • Tuffle (Tsufuru-jin) - In Japanese, tsufuru is formed by rearranging the syllables of the Japanese word furutsu which means "fruit".
  • Namekian (Namekku-seijin) - In Japanese, namek is a shortening of the Japanese word namekuji which means "slug".
  • Majin - Can be translated as "demon". Ma () means evil or demon. Jin () means human or person.

Saiyans[edit]

All full-blooded Saiyans' names are puns on various vegetable names.

  • Vegeta (Bejīta) - The first six letters of "vegetable".
  • Tarble (Tāburu) - Believed to be taken in English as 'Table', making this name another a pun on "vegetable", particularly its last five letters. Curiously, this would mean both Tarble and his brother Vegeta's names pun "vegetable".
  • Bardock (Bādakku) - A pun on a Japanese root vegetable, a "Burdock".
  • Kakarot (Kakarotto) - Goku's birth name, an interesting mutation of "carrot".
  • Nappa - A Japanese term for greens in general, especially rape leaves[1].
  • Raditz (Radditsu) - Derives from "radish".
  • Broly (Burorī) - A pun on "broccoli".
  • Paragus (Paragas) - In Japanese, a loose translation of "asparagus" (in the English dub, the name uses the same spelling as the word, sans the 'as-').
  • Shugesh (Panbukin) - In Japanese, panbukin is a pun on "pumpkin".
  • Fasha (Seripa) - In Japanese, formed by rearranging the letters in "parsley".
  • Tora (Toma) - A shortening of "tomato".
  • Borgos (Totepo) - A pun on "potato".
  • Turles (Tāresu) - In Japanese, formed by rearranging the syllables in "lettuce".
  • Scarface (Panbukin) - In Japanese, panbukin is a pun on "pumpkin".
  • Shorty (Brocco) - A pun on "broccoli".
  • Onio (From Neko Majin) - A pun on "onion".

Human-Saiyan hybrids[edit]

  • Gohan - Japanese for "rice" or dishes; foods in general.
  • Goten - Ten is Japanese for "sky" "heaven" and "afterlife".
  • Trunks (Torankusu) - Boy's underwear, gym shorts, also known as boxers.
  • Future Trunks (Torankusu) - Same as Trunks, a type of male swimsuit.
  • Bulla (Bura) - A shortening of "brassiere" or "wonderbra".
  • Pan - A triple pun deriving from the Pan of Greek mythology, but also meaning "bread" in Japanese and Spanish, as well as referencing the Pan Flute as a tribute to Piccolo's family music theme. Her name continues both her father's food-based name and her mother's religion-based name.

Humans[edit]

  • Chichi - Japanese for "milk" and "breasts" because her father is an Ox.[2]
  • Muten Roshi/Turtle Hermit (Muten Rōshi/Kame-Sen'nin) - In Japanese, kame means "turtle", and sennin are ascetic Taoist hermits of legend who are said to have magical powers, animal familiars, and extraordinarily long life. Thus, Kame-Sen'nin literally means "Turtle Hermit". Rōshi is Japanese for the Chinese word laoshi which means "teacher".
  • Jackie Chun - Master Roshi's alias, a pun on "Jackie Chan".
  • Yamucha (Yamucha) - A pun on dim sum in Chinese, a kind of appetizer, dumpling.
  • Kuririn (Kuririn) - Kuri is Japanese for "chestnut". This is Akira Toriyama's joke about Krillin's lack of hair. Rin (-lin) derives from the word "shaolin".
  • Mai - Part of 'shumai', a traditional Chinese dumpling served in dim sum.
  • Marron - French word for "chestnut".
  • Maron - Likely meaning "chestnut", as with Marron.
  • Tenshinhan (Tenshinhan) - Derives from the Chinese term tien chun fan, meaning "fried rice" or some kind of rice meal.
  • Chiaotzu (Chaozu) - Japanese translation of gyoza or jiaozi in Chinese, it means "sticker" or "dumpling".
  • Shapner (Sharpner) - His name derives from a (pencil) "sharpener" accessory.
  • Erasa - Her name derives from an "eraser" accessory.
  • Launch (Ranchi) - In Japanese, named after the word "lunch".
  • Lime - Named after the fruit "lime".
  • Yajirobe (Yajirobē) - Named after a Japanese balancing toy, yajirobē.
  • Suno - Named after the word "snow".
  • Ranfan - The words ran and fuan are respectively Japanese for "lingerie" and "foundation garments".
  • Mercenary Tao - Called "Tao Pai Pai" (桃白白) in Japanese. Tao is the Chinese pronunciation for the character (peach). The other character (Pai) means "white".
  • Kinoko Salad - Her original japanese name Kinoko Sarada literally translates into "Mushroom Salad"
  • Gala and Pagos - Both of their names together are a pun on the Galapagos islands.

Brief family[edit]

Members of Bulma's family have names that are puns on underclothing.

  • Bulma (Buruma) - Means "bloomers". Also Japanese for short gym shorts worn by girls.
  • Dr. Brief - Pun on "briefs", a type of men's underwear.

Satan family[edit]

Members of Hercule's family hold names that are puns on religious figures.

  • Hercule (Mr. Satan) - Mr. Satan, the character's name in the Japanese dub and English films and uncut English dub, simply refers to the Devil, Satan. His real name, Mark (Maaku) is made by rearranging the syllables in "akuma," Japanese for "devil."
  • Videl (Bīderu) - Formed by rearranging the letters in the word "devil".

Namekians[edit]

  • King Piccolo (Pikkoro Daimao) - Named after a musical instrument, a piccolo, which is a small flute. Ironically, King Piccolo can't stand high-pitched or whistling sounds, like all other Namekians. In the Namek language, piccolo means "another world".
  • Piccolo Jr. (Pikkoro Ja.) - Same as King Piccolo.
  • Piano - Named after the musical instrument.
  • Tambourine (Tanbarin) - Named after the musical instrument.
  • Cymbal (Shinbaru) - Named after the musical instrument.
  • Drum (Doramu) - Named after the musical instrument.
  • Kami - Kami means "god" in Japanese.
  • Lord Slug - Named after "slug".
  • Dende - Derives from denden-mushi which is Japanese for "snail".
  • Cargo - A pun on the French word escargot, which means "snail".
  • Nail - A pun on "snail".[3]

Majins[edit]

  • Bibidi - Is a part of a Disney (Cinderella) reference, "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!".
  • Babidi - Is a part of a Disney (Cinderella) reference, "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!".
  • Majin Buu - Is a part of a Disney (Cinderella) reference, "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!".
  • Dabura (Dābura) - Derived from the famous incantation, "Abracadabra".
  • Pui Pui - Derived from the famous Japanese incantation, "Chichin-Puipui". In the English version of the manga translated by Viz, he is called Pocus, which is derived from the famous incantation, "Hocus Pocus".

Freeza's clan[edit]

  • Freeza, Freeza (Furīza) - A pun on "freezer".
  • Cooler, Coola (Kūra) - A pun on "cooler".
  • King Cold (Korudo Daiō) - Also refers to low temperatures.
  • Kuriza (From Neko Majin) - Frieza's son. Like Krillin, the pun on his name is derived from kuri, or chestnut. This breaks the tradition of Frieza's family members' names being taken from terms for "cold", although an element of the play on the word "Freezer" is still in the name, as "Furiza" is another way Frieza's name is spelled.

Freeza's henchmen[edit]

  • Zarbon (Zābon) - A pun on the fruit "pomelo".
  • Dodoria - A pun on the fruit "durian".
  • Cui (Kiwi) - A pun on the fruit "kiwi".

Freeza's soldiers[edit]

  • Appule (Apūru) - Named after the fruit "apple".
  • Orin - A pun on the fruit "orange".
  • Blueberry - Named after the fruit.
  • Namole - Possibly a pun on "guacamole", an avocado-based food dip.
  • Raspberry - Named after the fruit.
  • Abo - A pun on "avocado".
  • Kado - A pun on "avocado".
  • Aka (Abo Kado) - The fusion of Abo and Kado, called by this name by Gotenks, his name is also a pun on "avocado".

Ginyu Force (Ginyū Tokusentai)[edit]

All members of the Ginyu Force are named after dairy products in the Japanese dub.

  • Captain Ginyu (Ginyū Taichō) - A pun on the Japanese word gyunyu which means "milk".
  • Burter, Baata (Bāta) - A pun on "butter".
  • Guldo, Gurd (Gurudo) - A pun on the Japanese word yogurudo which means "yogurt".
  • Jeice, Jheese (Jīsu) - A pun on the word "cheese". In English dubs, his localized name may be a pun on "juice".
  • Recoome, Reacoom (Rikūmu) - Formed by rearranging the letters in the Japanese word kurīmu, meaning "cream".

Cooler's henchmen[edit]

Cooler's henchmen are named after condiments and salad dressings.

  • Salza, Sauzer (Sauza Taichō) - Also "Thousar" in pronunciation, a pun on "Thousand Island" salad dressing. The English verbal translation may be a pun on the Spanish sauce "salsa".
  • Doore, Dore (Dōre) - Derives from the "saradore" salad dressing.
  • Neiz, Naize (Neizu) - A pun on "mayonnaisse".

Time Breakers (DBO)[edit]

  • Miira - A pun on the word "mirai" which means "future".
  • Towa - Named after the word "towa" which means "eternity". [4]

Garlic Jr.'s henchmen[edit]

Garlic Jr.'s henchmen are named after condiments and spices..

  • Garlic (Gaarikku) - A pun on the spice "garlic".
  • Garlic Jr. (Gaarikku Jyunia) - A pun on the spice "garlic".

Dead Zone (Ora no Gohan o Kaese!!)[edit]

  • Ginger - Named after the spice.
  • Sansho - Japanese word for "Sichuan pepper".
  • Nicky (Nikki) - Japanese word for "Cinnamon".

Garlic Jr. Saga[edit]

  • Mustard - Named after the condiment.
  • Salt - Named after the spice.
  • Spice - Named after the spice.
  • Vinegar - Named after the condiment.

Turles' henchmen[edit]

  • Amond - A pun of "almonds".
  • Cacao - A pun of "cocoa" and a latin word for chocolate.
  • Daiz - Japanese for "soya bean".
  • Rasin - A pun of "raisins".
  • Lakasei - A pun of rakasei (落花生), "peanut".

Bojack's henchmen[edit]

  • Bojack - Derived from the Japanese word bōjakubujin, which means "arrogance" or "audacity" or "outrageous behavior".
  • Bujin - Based off the socond part of boujakubujin, the same word used for Bojack's name.
  • Kogu (Gokua) - Based off the Japanese word gokuaku or from gokuakubidou, meaning "heinous" or "extreme evil" or "inhuman".
  • Bido - Based off the Japanese word hidō or gokuakubidou, the same word used for Kogu's name, meaning "inhuman" or "unjust".
  • Zangya - Based off the Japanese word zangyaku, which means "cruelty" or "brutality".

Kaio understudies[edit]

  • Arqua - Named after aqua, "water".
  • Caterpy - A pun on "caterpillar".
  • Froug - Named after the word "frog".
  • Olibu - A pun on "olive".
  • Pikkon (Paikuhan) - Literally means "pork-rib rice".
  • Papoi - Possibly a pun on the fruit "papaya".

Animals[edit]

  • Bubbles - Possibly a reference to the late American entertainer Michael Jackson's own pet monkey of the same name.
  • Korin (Karin) - His tower, the "Korin Tower" (Karin-tō), is a pun on "karinto" (karintō), a Japanese traditional snack food[8]. He was named Karin because he is the owner of the Karin Tower[5]. Due to the English dubs, his name is also considered to be a pun on "corn".
  • Oolong (Ūron) - Derives from the Chinese word wulong, which is "amber tea".
  • Puar (Pūaru) - A pun on the Chinese word puh er, a type of tea.
  • Shu - Part of 'shumai', a traditional Chinese dumpling served in dim sum. It becomes "shumai" when combined with his partner Mai.

Miscellaneous[edit]

  • Flying Nimbus (Kinto'un) - "Kinto" (筋斗) means "flip", "somersault" or "tumble" in Japanese[6]. "Un" () means "cloud". The idea and the name of the cloud comes from the cloud with the same name which Sun Wukong (Son Goku in Japanese) uses in the Journey to the West, which Dragon Ball is loosely base on. (see Sun Wokon on the Kinto'un in the Jorney to the West)
  • Emperor Pilaf (Pirafu) - His name is a type of rice dish - precisely, fried rice[7].
  • Tapion - A pun on "tapioca".
  • Minoshia - Formed by rearranging the syllables in "yashi no mi" (palm tree fruit) or "ashi no mi" (legs portion; the part of Hildegarn sealed inside him).
  • Hirudegarn - made-up word of "Seiichi Hiruta" (Co-Producer of the movie) and "gaan" (ガーン) (the sound effect for a jaw dropping, his reaction upon seeing the character new design).[8]
  • Baby (Bebi) - A pun on "baby".
  • Gure (Gure) - In Japanese, Gureepu (グレープ); Grape
  • Cell (Seru) - A pun on "a cell".
  • Mr. Popo (Misutā Popo) - "I named him just because it sounds comfortable" (by Akira Toriyama).[9]

References[edit]

  1. Japanese-English Dictionary
  2. 牛魔王の娘なので、牛に関係したもので女の子っぽい名前、というわけで「乳」から。(Akira Toriyama, Dragonball FOREVER, Tokyo, Shueisha, 2004, p.157)
  3. Akira Toriyama, Dragonball FOREVER, Tokyo, Shueisha, 2004, p.157
  4. 5th Time Machine Quest (English Ver.)
  5. カリン塔(お菓子のカリントウ)からとったのですが、その主なので、カリンです。(Akira Toriyama, Dragonball FOREVER, Tokyo, Shueisha, 2004, p.157)
  6. [1]
  7. Pilaf
  8. Daizenshuu #6
  9. Akira Toriyama, Dragonball FOREVER, Tokyo, Shueisha, 2004, p.157