If you live under a rock, or in a dark cave away from civilization, you probably haven't noticed the hordes of Pokemon Go players who've flooded the streets in the past week. This virtual reality game has gotten virtually everyone playing - 47 million, last I heard - and it's hard not to get into it once you start playing. I myself am a level 15 on Team Mystic, and I'm not sure where I found the time.
There are a few hundred Pokemon types currently, with names ranging from Squirtle to Charmander to Bulbasaur. It got me thinking - are there any kids with Pokemon names?
Based on the original 150 pokemon - I found the list here - I'm going through to see which Pokemon names have been deemed worthy enough to bestow on children. Of course, not all of these names were chosen for their connection to the franchise!
Disclaimer: I never played Pokemon as a kid, so bear with me on the descriptions.
Though Ash was used a handful of times for girls during the height of Ashley, the name didn't come into use for boys until 1996 - the year Pokemon premiered in the United States. Since then, the name has been used for boys every year, growing steadily along with long-form Asher. With new starbaby Ashe Olson Meyers (son of Seth) in the spotlight, Ash may soon enter the top 1000!
This name peaked during the late 1970's, far before Pokemon came into the cultural consciousness. Along with Heather and Dawn, Misty was part of a trend towards natural names. Though data doesn't show any effect of Pokemon on the name, Misty could have a resurgence as kids who grew up with Pokemon - the Millennials - become old enough to have children of their own.
A relatively popular name in the 1990's - at least in the top 350 or so - Brock also didn't get much of a boost from Pokemon. Brock means "badger" in Old English, and currently ranks in the top 1000 at #449. It's been on the decline, but with Jack and Luke moving upwards, Brock could fit right in.
#46 - Paras
This Pokemon is a Bug/Grass type, with a couple of healing mushrooms growing on its back. While the name Paras comes from its identity as a "parasite", the name used for humans is much older. The current crown prince of Nepal is named Paras, from the Hindu term for the "philosopher's stone" of mythology. The name can also be a creative spelling of Paris.
#63 - Abra
This Pokemon is a Psychic type, sleeping a lot to counteract its intense psychokinetic powers. Abra evolves into Kadabra, then Alakazam - hence the magical title. The name Abra, however, is a feminine form of Abraham, meaning "father of multitudes". It can also be translated as a West African name for girls born on a Tuesday. Abra was also featured as a main character in the book and film version of East of Eden, by John Steinbeck.
#95 - Onix
This Pokemon is a Rock/Ground type... and it pretty much just looks like a string of rocks. Onix is a creative spelling of Onyx, a mineral that has become an increasingly popular name. Thirty-seven girls and 118 boys were named Onyx in 2015 - it's got the X-factor, and unusual first initial, and a strong but natural meaning. Onyx (and its variant, Onix) will rise to the top 1000 in no time.
#114 - Tangela
This Pokemon is a Grass type, and resembles a knotted-up ball of yarn - though it can tangle just about anything it touches. The name Tangela arose around the time Angela and Tamara were most popular, and it reached #756 in 1971. I have to say, I am a little stumped by its popularity. If you've got a case to make for Tangela, please persuade me in the comments!
#133 - Eevee
This Pokemon is a Normal type, and looks not unlike an adorable baby fox - which probably has something to do with its popularity. Its name comes from the first two letters in the word "evolution". The human name Eevee is a creative spelling of popular Evie, #513 in the United States and #14 in the United Kingdom. While I would recommend the original spelling, the sound of this name is classic and lovely.
Which Pokemon could make it onto birth certificates next?