Character Name Ideas

A while ago someone on the IdeaDex asked if I could compile a list of name ideas for type specialists (gym leaders, Elite Four members, etc.). I had a rudimentary list in my personal notes already, so I've cleaned it up a bit, added quick notes about where each name comes from (some of them are a bit... esoteric, or maybe just "reaching" if you're not feeling as generous) and tossed some more names into the pile for good measure. I've also included some names for professors and PC developers as a bonus.

Yes, some of these names are in use in my regions, but I don't mind listing them as well—I don't own the names themselves, after all, so if it works for you then use it!

While many of these names are bad puns/silly references of the usual sort, there are several that are "name that means '____'". Don't forget this option when searching for names, too: pull up a site like Behind the Name and do some searches for words that have to do with your desired type, then check the names in various languages that have that meaning.

It's also worth noting that, while most other languages go in for the puns, in Japanese the canon characters are usually named after plants (e.g., Sabrina=Natsume ("jujube"), Bugsy=Tsukushi ("horsetail"), Iris=Iris (..."iris")) rather than anything to do with their type. In recent generations the plant names seem to be carrying over into other languages, especially where they can be tweaked to include a type pun (e.g. Japanese Citron (French for "lemon") = English Clemont ("lemon", but also referring to lemon-powered batteries)). This is also an option if you want to try something a little different!

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Bug

  • Anthony (ant or antenna)
  • Arachne (woman who was turned into a spider in Greek mythology)
  • Buzz (the sound insects make)
  • Cat/Catherine/Kat (caterpillar)
  • Goliath (goliath beetle)
  • Hercules (hercules beetle)
  • Honey (honey bee)
  • Lacy (lacewing)
  • Larry (larva)
  • Maggie (maggot)
  • Mandy (mandible; mantis)
  • Millie (millipede)
  • Nat/Nathan/Natalie (gnat)
  • Queenie (bee/ant/termite/etc. queen)
  • Rhino (rhinoceros beetle)
  • Silkie (insect/arachnid silk)
  • Smith/Schmidt (the Schmidt Sting Pain Index)
  • Vanessa (a genus of butterflies)

Dark

  • Anton (Anton La Vey, founder of Satanism)
  • Cat/Catherine/Kat (as in black cat, bad luck)
  • Damon (demon)
  • Devlin (devil)
  • Edgar (Edgar Allan Poe)
  • Knight (night)
  • Luna (the moon)
  • Monica (demonic)
  • Murdock/Murdoch (murder, murky, dark)
  • Nicola/Nicole/Nicolai (Nicola Macchiavelli; "the ends justify the means")
  • Raven (the bird)
  • Shane (shade)

Dragon

  • Draco/Drago (dragon)
  • George/Georgia (Saint George)
  • Gorynich (Zmey Gorynich/Gorynych, a three-headed Russian dragon)
  • Knight (dragon-slaying knight)
  • Linda/Lindy (lindworm)
  • Lizzy/Lizzie (lizard)
  • Long (Chinese dragon)
  • Martha (Saint Martha, who tamed the tarasque)
  • Michael (Saint Michael, sometimes conflated with the Babylonian god Marduk who slew Tiamat and Apsu)
  • Nikita (Dobrynya Nikitich, Russian dragonslayer)
  • Sigfried/Siegfried (Norse dragonslayer)
  • Susan/Susanna (Susano'o, Japanese storm deity and dragonslayer)
  • Wiley/Wyley/Wyman (wyvern)

Electric

  • Amber (the Ancient Greeks discovered electricity through experimenting with amber; the Greek word for "lightning" is derived from the word for "amber")
  • Ben/Benjamin (Benjamin Franklin)
  • Denny/Duncan (sounds like denki, Japanese for "electricity")
  • Donna (Donar, an old Germanic name for Thor)
  • Edison (Thomas Edison)
  • Electra (electric)
  • Farah/Farrah (Michael Faraday)
  • Frank/Franklin (Benjamin Franklin)
  • Florence (fluorescent light)
  • Jacques (rhymes with "shock")
  • Jules/Julius/Julia (joule, a unit of measurement for electric current)
  • Nicola/Nicole/Nicolai (Nikola Tesla)
  • Perry (ampere)
  • Thomas (Thomas Edison)
  • Voltaire (volt)
  • Wyatt (watt)

Fairy

  • Alvin/Elvin (elvin)
  • Avery (means "elf counsel" in Old English)
  • Elsie (Elsie Wright, one of the girls who created the Cottingley Fairies hoax)
  • Fairlie (fairy)
  • Fay (fairy)
  • Frances (Frances Griffiths, one of the girls who created the Cottingley Fairies hoax)
  • Luna (the moon)
  • Merlin (the wizard)
  • Morgan (Morgan le Fay)
  • Oberon (king of the fairies in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream)
  • Robin (Robin Goodfellow/Puck from Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream)
  • Tam/Tamlin (The Ballad of Tam Lin)
  • Titania (queen of the fairies in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream)

Fighting

  • Ajax (Greek hero)
  • Allie (Muhammad or Laila Ali)
  • Bella (belligerent, bellicose; alternatively, belt, as in black belt)
  • George/Georgia (George Foreman)
  • Judy (judo)
  • Kara (karate)
  • Laila (Laila Ali)
  • Lucia (lucha/luchador)
  • Mac/Mack (Little Mac from Punch-Out!!)
  • Maggie (krav maga)
  • Sam (samurai)
  • Tai (taekwondo; tai chi)
  • Tyson (Mike Tyson) (thanks anonymous!)
  • Warren (warrior)

Fire

  • Aida/Aidan (means "fire" in Irish Gaelic)
  • Amber (sounds like "ember")
  • Asher/Ashley/Ashleigh (ash)
  • Bernie/Bernard (burn)
  • Blaise (blaze)
  • Bonnie (bonfire)
  • Brand (as in branding iron)
  • Brighid/Brigid (Celtic goddess of fire)
  • Cannon (cannon, cannonball)
  • Charles/Charlie/Charlotte/Charlene/Charmaine (char)
  • Cindy (cinder)
  • Iggy/Ignatius (igneous rock)
  • Jolokia (the bhut jolokia pepper or "ghost pepper", one of the hottest peppers in the world) (thanks anonymous!)
  • Kiana (Mauna Kea, Hawai'ian volcano)
  • Phoenix (phoenix)
  • Scoville (the Scoville scale for measuring how hot peppers are)
  • Smith (blacksmith)
  • Solomon (solar)

Flying

  • Abigail/Gail (gale) (thanks anonymous!)
  • Amelia (Amelia Earhart)
  • Beaker (beak)
  • Bessie (Bessie Coleman)
  • Brie (breeze)
  • Charles/Charlie (Charles Lindbergh)
  • Falco (falcon)
  • Fowler (fowl)
  • Hawk/Hawkins (the bird)
  • Heather (rhymes with "feather")
  • Kester (kestrel)
  • Lark (the bird)
  • Lindy/Linda (Charles Lindbergh)
  • Martin (the bird)
  • Orville/Orvia (Orville Wright)
  • Raven (the bird)
  • Robin (the bird)
  • Wilbur (Wilbur Wright)
  • Zephan (zephyr)

Ghost

  • Angel/Angelo (dead person, or angel of death)
  • Bela/Bella (Bela Lugosi, the actor who first played Dracula)
  • Beth (Elizabeth Bathory)
  • Cassandra (Cassandra Peterson, Elvira's real name)
  • Dante (Dante Alighieri, Dante's Inferno)
  • Edgar (Edgar Allan Poe)
  • Eustace (euthanasia)
  • Elvira (Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, famous horror movie hostess)
  • Frank (Dr. Frankenstein/Frankenstein's Monster)
  • Graeme (looks like "grave")
  • Hal (Halloween)
  • Kilgore (kill, gore)
  • Lizzy/Lizzie (Elizabeth Bathory or Lizzie Borden)
  • Mary/Maria (Bloody Mary)
  • Morgan (morgue) (thanks anonymous!)
  • Murdock/Murdoch (murder, murky, dark)
  • Posy (possession)
  • Scully (skull)
  • Shane (shade)
  • Spiro (spirit)
  • Terry (cemetery) (thanks anonymous!)
  • Victor (Dr. Victor Frankenstein)
  • Virgil (the Roman poet who guided Dante through Hell)
  • Vlad/Vladimir (Vlad the Impaler)

Grass

  • Acacia (acacia tree)
  • Algie/Algernon (algae)
  • Basil (the plant)
  • Bosco (bosque, Spanish for "forest")
  • Chloris (Greek nymph/goddess of spring and flowers; chlorophyll)
  • Denny (dendro-, prefix meaning "tree")
  • Fiorella (Italian for "little flower")
  • Flora (Roman goddess of spring and flowers)
  • Forrest (forest)
  • Glen (glen)
  • Grover (grove)
  • Holly (the plant)
  • Jack/Jill (lumberjack/lumberjill)
  • Lily/Lilly (lily)
  • Mosley (moss)
  • Phil/Phyllis (chlorophyll)
  • Pomona (Roman goddess of fruitful abundance)
  • Reid (reed)
  • Rhoda (rhododendron)
  • Rudy (root; rutabaga)
  • Savannah (savannah)
  • Sephie/Persephone (Greek goddess of spring)
  • Sylvester/Sylvia/Sylvain (sylvan, "forest")

Ground

  • Desiree (desert)
  • Dirk (dirt)
  • Eartha (earth)
  • Landon (land)
  • Leland (land)
  • Sandra/Sandy (sand)
  • Sanford (sand)
  • Sid (sediment) (thanks anonymous!)
  • Solomon (soil)
  • Teresa (terra)
  • Thierry (terra)
  • Warren (a series of tunnels, esp. for rabbits)

Ice

  • Angel/Angelo (snow angel)
  • Art/Arturo (arctic)
  • Aurora (Aurora Borealis/Australis)
  • Blake (rhymes with "flake", as in snowflake)
  • Boris (Boreas, the north wind)
  • Brigid/Brighid (rhymes with "frigid")
  • Crystal (ice crystal)
  • Flo (ice floe) (thanks anonymous!)
  • Frieda (freeze)
  • Hailey/Hayley (hail; note that there is a canon Hayley in My Pokémon Ranch)
  • Iggy (igloo)
  • Jack (Jack Frost; note that there is a canon Jack in the Pokémon Trading Card Game for Gameboy)
  • Lizzy/Lizzie (blizzard)
  • Lumi (means "snow" in Finnish)
  • Vernon (invierno, Spanish for "winter")
  • Winter (the season)

Normal

  • Austin (austere)
  • Avery (average)
  • Basil (basic)
  • Bob (a generic name)
  • Boris (boring)
  • Fairlie (fair, as in white)
  • Jen/Jenny/Jenna/Geneva (general)
  • Modesta (modest)
  • Reggie/Regina (regular)
  • Simeon (simple)
  • Stanley (standard) (thanks anonymous!)

Poison

  • Arsenio (arsenic)
  • Bella/Belladonna (belladonna, a.k.a. deadly nightshade)
  • Daphne (a poisonous plant)
  • Delancey (fer-de-lance, a venomous snake)
  • Germaine (germ)
  • Hyacinth (a poisonous plant)
  • Jeremy (sounds like "germy")
  • King (king cobra)
  • Leda (LD50, the median lethal dose of a poison)
  • Mia (miasma)
  • Ophelia (means "snake")
  • Todd (toad; toadstool)
  • Urushi (urushiol, the chemical that makes poison ivy itch)

Psychic

  • Alastor/Aleister/Allister (Aleister Crowley)
  • Brian (brain)
  • Casey (Edgar Cayce, famous mystic)
  • Cassandra (prophetess who predicted the fall of Troy)
  • Cleo/Cleopatra (Miss Cleo, (in)famous TV psychic)
  • Criss/Chris (Criss Angel)
  • Crowley (Aleister Crowley)
  • Edgar (Edgar Cayce, famous mystic)
  • Harry/Harris (Potter or Houdini or Blackstone)
  • Helen/Helena (Helen Blavatsky, famous mystic)
  • Michel/Michael (Michel Nostradamus)
  • Simon/Symon (psychic) (thanks anonymous!)
  • Thelma (Thelema, Aleister Crowley's school of mysticism)

Rock

  • Cliff/Clifford (cliff)
  • Cole (coal) (thanks anonymous!)
  • George/Georgia (gorge)
  • Iggy/Ignatius (igneous rock)
  • Lilith (litho-, prefix meaning "rock")
  • Mason (stonemason)
  • Monty/Montague (mountain)
  • Petra (petro-)
  • Rick (brick; note that there is a canon Rick in the Pokémon Trading Card Game for Gameboy)
  • Sierra (Spanish for "mountain range")

Steel

  • Allie (alloy; alternatively, aluminum)
  • Cannon (cannon, cannonball)
  • Connor/Conner (sounds like "copper")
  • Electra (electrum, an alloy of gold and silver)
  • Ford (sounds like "forge")
  • Goldie (gold)
  • Jude/Judas (Judas Priest, metal band)
  • Mia (cadmium)
  • Nick/Nicholas (nickel)
  • Shane (rhymes with "chain")
  • Smith (blacksmith)
  • Stahl (German for "steel")
  • Thalia (thallium)
  • Titania (titanium)
  • Tony (Tony Stark, a.k.a. Iron Man)

Water

  • Admiral/Captain __ (as in, uses the naval title in their name, a la Lt. Surge)
  • Beck (an archaic word for a stream)
  • Brian (brine) (thanks anonymous!)
  • Brooke (brook, a stream/small river)
  • Davey (Davy/Davey Jones)
  • Fontaine (fountain)
  • Ford (to ford (cross) a river)
  • Jones (Davy/Davey Jones)
  • Lorraine (rain)
  • Mako (mako shark)
  • Niles (Nile River)
  • Raine/Raina/Lorraine (rain)
  • River/Riviera (river)
  • Suna (tsunami)
  • Swain (boatswain)
  • Tiger (the Tigris River; alternatively, tiger shark)
  • Wade (wade)

Tree Professors

There are thousands upon thousands of trees you could use as a namesake for your resident starter distributor, especially if you aren't too picky. This specific selection was chosen because all of these trees are part of the orders Fagales and Rosales—all canon professors up to the Junipers* were named after trees in these groups. (I'm not sure whether this was intentional, but I've seen it pointed out before and figured it was a fair enough way to keep to a small subset of trees rather than listing Every Tree Ever.) If you want to follow this general trend but don't like any of these names, you can expand your search to include all of the rosid trees.

* Professor Sycamore may or may not count, as there are a lot of unrelated trees called "sycamores". Ficus sycomorus is in Rosales, and Acer pseudoplatanus is at least a rosid, but his Japanese name is "Platane" and seems to be referring to Platanus sycamores (likewise several of his other non-English names), which are not rosids at all.

  • Almond
  • Apple
  • Apricot
  • Banyan
  • Bayberry
  • Beech
  • Buckthorn
  • Cherry
  • Chestnut
  • Fig
  • Firethorn
  • Hawthorn/Hawthorne
  • Hazel
  • Hickory
  • Loquat
  • Mulberry
  • Oleaster
  • Osage (Osage orange)
  • Peach
  • Pear
  • Pecan
  • Photinia
  • Plum (...haha)
  • Quince/Quincy
  • Walnut
  • Zelkova

Storage Developers

For characters like Bill, Lanette and Cassius, the people whose names are on the Pokémon storage applications on PCs across the region. I haven't seen many fan regions that include developers, but if you do feel like adding one and don't know what to name them, here you go!

  • Alice (the Alice programming language)
  • Andy/Andrew (Android)
  • Armand/Armando (AMD)
  • Cecil (the C family of programming language)
  • Cobalt (the COBOL programming language)
  • Cody (code)
  • Debbie (the Debian Linux operating system)
  • Eunice (the UNIX operating system and its derivatives)
  • Grace/Gracie (Admiral Grace Hopper, inventor of the first computer)
  • Graham (program)
  • Haskell (the Haskell programming language)
  • Io (I/O, input/output; alternatively, iOS)
  • Jason (JSON, JavaScript Object Notation)
  • Javier (either the Java or JavaScript programming languages)
  • Linus (Linus Torvalds, creator of Linux)
  • Louie/Louis (the Lua programming language)
  • Mack/Max (Mac; alternatively, Emacs, a programming text editor)
  • Monty (the Python programming language, which was named after Monty Python's Flying Circus)
  • Oswald (OS, operating system)
  • Pascal (the Pascal programming language)
  • Pearl (the Perl programming language)
  • Percy (PC)
  • Reuben (the Ruby programming language)
  • Sheba (shebang, a set of characters (#!) that marks the beginning of a script)
  • Stephen/Stephanie (Steve Jobs)
  • Telly (Intel)
  • Tim/Timothy (Tim Berners-Lee, credited with inventing the Internet)
  • Vi/Violet (Vi, a command-line text editor)