“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.”
“Yeah, but I really want to name my Bidoof Steve.”
I spent all week attempting to find a good analogy for nicknaming Pokémon using Romeo and Juliet, but the best I could do was make another Bidoof joke, so there ya go.
Nicknaming has been around since Gen I, but I never really did it. I figured, there’s a reason these critters have their own names, so why would I want to change it? This held true until Gen III, when I got a copy of Sapphire. My buddies and I would stay up all night, trying to complete our Pokédex, hunting for shinies, and duking it out in some intense double battles. We were always trying to one-up each other with progressively funnier and funnier names. I don’t know why, but for some reason, we thought my friend’s Lotad had the best name: Latod (pronounced Luh-Toad). Don’t ask me why, but it was awesome.
Anyways, there are many reasons to nickname your Pokémon, but here are some of the best.
By naming something, you embed a piece of yourself into the object. Part of your personality, maybe even part of your soul, is transferred over, and it creates a special bond between you and the object.
Remember when you got that cute little puppy under the Christmas tree? The one with the sleepy eyes and cute little brown spots? Patches, that’s right. You named it Patches. Aren’t you glad you didn’t name it “Dog”?
So why would you name your Pikachu “Pikachu”? If you can’t think of anything clever, just call it Sparky and get it over with.
Speaking of being clever…
Thinking of a name is one of my favorite parts of the game. Some people name their team after their friends, some name them after the first thing that pops in their head, and some people take a moment to ponder something clever.
Personally, I usually go with whatever jumps in my head, but sometimes I really think about it. It took me no more than two seconds to name my Tepig “Porky”, but it took a couple minutes of thinking to name my Gliscor “Aero”.
Names can also be hilarious. On episode 58 of It’s Super Effective, the guys officially appointed Wumple as “Buttface”. Now, it’s not wholey original, but it is extremely funny because Wurmple’s face actually looks like, well, a butt. This is definitely something my friends and I would have done.
Then there’s the whole inappropriate naming thing. I won’t say any of the names here, but I’m sure if my mother saw some of the names I came up with, I’d be getting my mouth washed out with soap. (Don’t act like you’ve never done it!)
This is a functional reason. When I breed Pokémon for IVs, I wind up with dozens of the same Pokémon, and after a while, it’s hard to keep track of things. In the first breeding session, I name the critters A1, A2, A3, etc. Then, if I switch out one or two of the parents, I name the next batch B1, B2, B3, etc. This allows me to keep track of which offspring came from which group of parents. Keep using this method until you get the Pokémon you’re after.
And once you finally get that Adamant Growlithe with Intimidate, perfect Attack IVs, Close Combat, and Flare Blitz, you can go to the Name Rater and change its name from “E7” to “McBawse”. (True story)
I’ll end the article with a quick story about my favorite nicknaming experience. It happened quite recently, actually. I was hanging out with my son, playing videogames together. He was playing Little Big Planet 2, and I was playing Black 2. I was fishing, and managed to catch a Seaking, so I asked my 3 year old son what I should name it. He instantly replied “A Bunny”. So, now I have a level 44 Seaking named “A Bunny”. How cute is that!? It’s crazy to think that a special moment like this would have been missed if I didn’t nickname my Pokémon.
So, nickname your Pokémon. You never know what you could miss.
What are the best nicknames you’ve come up with? Have you ever had an experience like mine?
Written by Scott
Proofed by Greg