Pokémon Black/White English Starter Names Revealed

By Ishaan . November 23, 2010 . 8:30am

Pokémon Black/White mark the first time the name of the region you traverse during your quest has been changed during localization from the original Japanese. In English, Nintendo are referring to Isshu as the “Unova” region.


The reveal comes by way of Nintendo of America’s Pokémon Black/White website. In case you weren’t aware, the inspiration behind the Unova region’s design was New York. Unova consists almost entirely of new Pokémon.


The three new starter Pokémon have been given their localized names, too. From left to right, they’re called Snivy, Tepig and Oshawott.


Meanwhile, legendary mascots Reshiram and Zekrom remain unchanged. Reshiram is classified as a Dragon-Fire Vast White monster, while Zekrom is a Deep Black Dragon-Electric.


Pokémon Black/White are scheduled for a release in the first quarter of 2011 in North America.

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  • Code

    rarrr, Smugleaf >w<~!

    • I know, right? #Smugleaf is more pimpnin’ than #Snivy.

      • Code

        rarr, 200% agreed — honestly I’ll never remember a lame snivelish name like that. rarr, Smugleaf ALL-THE-WAY >m<~!!

    • Joanna

      Someone at NoA need to hire you ASAP! Smugleaf is a really great name~

      These names are pretty lame. Oshawott is ok, I guess…mainly cause it reminds me of knighthood with the wott sounding like lot from Camelot. xD

      ….yes, I have odd trains of thought.

      • Zeik56

        I would have been very disappointed if they had just gone ahead and named him Smugleaf. It’s an entertaining fan name, but just flat out copying it would have been a terribly lame move on their part.

        They clearly kept the name Smugleaf in mind when they named him, while still remaining original in it’s own right.

        • Joanna

          I don’t know, someone in the comments mentioned Snivy is the literal translation* of the Japanese name, which was a compound of Snake and Ivy.I personally think Snivy is a rather bad choice since it sounds/looks too much like snivel, which is the opposite of what the grass starter is. I’m sure they could have come up with a better name, be it Smugleaf or something else (Snidivy would even have been much better and wouldn’t cause the association with snivel).*literal in the sense that they take the two compounds out of the Japanese name, translate them and use those two words to form a new compound.

          edit: As for Tepig…my problem with it is mainly that it sounds like Teh Pig. And truth be told, I had assumed it was a compound of these two words before reading the comments.

          It’s pretty disappointing because all the prior names have been really good from Charmander-to-Chikorita-to-Mudkip-to-Chimchar. Whoever they fired or moved, they were really good at what they did. That or the localization time frame is tight and it’s showing.

          • Zeik56

            If it sounds like “snivel” you’re pronouncing it wrong. It’s obviously supposed to be pronounced “SnIvy”, which makes it sound like the word “Snide”, making it the perfect name for him.

          • Joanna

            Maybe you’re right, pokemon has always had a few odd pronouncements, at least in my books. Like Bidoof being pronounced Byedoof in the anime, whereas I would say, Beedoof. Or maybe I’m the one with weird pronouncements, who knows. When I saw Snivy, in my mind I read the i as a short i, not a long i sound, which result in my association with snivel.

  • Apache_Chief

    Teh Pig?

    • joesz

      Should have been called “Pigbull”:)

    • mach

      It’s supposed to be a pun on “tepid” I’m guessing.

      • That’s my guess. Which would mean “Pignite” is still available for one of the evolutions. (My vote for the final form is “Pigsplosion.”)

        • wouldnt that e extremely close to typhlosion?

          • I suppose so… Baconferno, then?

          • Zeik56


          • Clearly, the lesson to be learned here is that the English language needs to invent some new words for fire.

          • Joanna

            How about Pigcano or Swinecano? Or Oxipig? xD

            Granted, the names suck…but Tepig? Not much better!

    • PersonaBull

      “Teh Pig” is going to be its nickname in my copy for sure. I thought the same exact thing when I first saw the english name.

    • Gah, you beat me to it T~T

  • Oh-a-wott??

  • I have a serious Isshu with Unova!

    Snivy is the one I will choose (and hopefully it will have be able to learn Earthquake, the most integral move in the Pokemon serious, even Red couldnt even stand to it).

    I hope Trainer N’s name doesnt get change!!! Im so used to it and all his fan arts with Black.

    • luckgandor

      I have an Isshu with the Unova States of America as well.

      I prefer Pignition and Wotter over Tepig and Oshawott, but Snivy is alright.

    • Devonian

      Ironically, Jaroda cannot learn Earthquake, making it one of two fully-evolved starters that can’t (Daikenki is the other).

      They were really stingy with Earthquake this gen…

      • Screw that, if it cant learn Earthquake then I will quickly get rid of the starter as usual, lol. I think Torterra has been the only one Ive ever had on my team extensively in both Platinum and in HeartGold.

  • Vast White *snickers*

  • Gambling Gambit ♢

    Unova huh?

  • Yukito

    Oshawott sounds…..hmmm….


    Anyone else think the same? *Yes, it was a quick paint job, and yes, it sucks, but it fulfills the vision.*

    • Hehe… Revolver Oshawott.

      • SneakyHawk

        Now we need Solid Snivy.

        • Would that make Tepig… Tepig Boss?

          • Yukito

            Well, if these replies aren’t win, I don’t know what is.

          • jakxzero

            HAHAHAHA those names make me laugh , by the way WTF with the english names it doesnt sound like pokemons

        • SneakyHawk

          Saw this on GameFaqs: http://i54.tinypic.com/2uik86e.jpg

          • Yukito

            Awesome, now, Tepig Boss…. where be he? Haha.

    • gatotsu911



  • MrRobbyM

    Name them whatever they please. I’m naming my piggy FLAMINGBACON

  • Snivy…….even that name still makes it a troll. lol

    • I like to think of it as a combination of “Snide” and “Ivy,” even though the intention for the first half was probably more like “Snake.”

  • “Wott” a tweest!

  • We all know the pig’s name should be “Bacon McCrisp”.

  • I am not happy with he starters names.

  • alundra311

    Oh, shi, a what?

  • vadde939

    Well all the name changes sound pretty lame (no Smugleaf? T_T) but this is still a Day 1 buy for me. I can’t even remember the last time I was this excited for a Pokemon game. A little bit of change in the series works wonders.

  • Devonian

    I will point out that “Snivy” is basically a translation of the Japanese name (which also goes the “snake” and “ivy” route).

    • Joanna

      but localization > translation, especially with names that involve puns. Snivy isn’t bad…it’s just…flat. I much prefer gen4’s names.

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