Clearly, quite a few characters in the Pokemon universe(s) do name, or give nicknames to, their Pokemon. However, a wide majority do not. To me, it seems that keeping a Pokemon's name to be that of its call/species is akin to calling a dog "Woof" or "German Shepherd". Why don't more trainers name their Pokemon?

I'm hoping to find an in-universe (whichever one you can find one in) answer. But feel free to post fan theories or statements from Nintendo execs as well. I've tried searching for an answer and can find nothing anywhere.

  • 6
    Fun fact of the day: I almost named my dog "Dog". My mother talked me out of it on the grounds that it would confuse the dog in question.
    – Wad Cheber
    Aug 1, 2015 at 18:54
  • There are 219 separate examples of trainers giving their pokemon nicknames on the link you've provided. 219!
    – Valorum
    Aug 1, 2015 at 18:55

1 Answer 1


In-game? Probably for at least two reasons: 1. It's tough or tedious to come up with 10,000 (unique) nicknames for every Pokemon that's owned by a trainer. 2. They want the opposing Pokemon's name visible in case you want to encounter one later or look up information in the Dex about it. Imagine if it was your first playthrough, and you wanted to know how to beat "Michael", being able to describe him to your friends a green snake-like thing. Kinda tough, isn't it?

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    They have enough to deal with naming every trainer! Aug 2, 2015 at 0:38
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    And how do we know that they aren't nicknamed, and only have their species displayed to the other competitor? Pokemon GO gyms do this to avoid people being offended, and if you think about it, why would your opponent care that your Dugtrio is named DEEZNUTS? Sep 27, 2017 at 15:54

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