This is a list of origins of character names in the Dragon Ball franchise. Each character's name, particularly their original Japanese name, is a pun on regular words, often the names of various foods.
- Saiyan (Saiya-jin) - In Japanese, saiya is formed by rearranging the syllables of the Japanese word yasai which means "vegetable".
- Tuffle (Tsufuru-jin) - In Japanese, tsufuru is formed by rearranging the syllables of the Japanese word furutsu which means "fruit".
- Namekian (Nameksei-jin) - In Japanese, namek is a shortening of the Japanese word namekuji which means "slug".
- Majin - Can be translated as "demon", ma- being derived from the Japanese word mazoku, meaning demon.
All full-blooded Saiyans' names are puns on various vegetable names.
- Vegeta (Bejīta) - The first six letters of "vegetable".
- Tarble (Tāburu) - Believed to be taken in English as 'Table', making this name another a pun on "vegetable", particularly its last five letters. Curiously, this would mean both Tarble and his brother Vegeta's names pun "vegetable".
- Bardock (Bādakku) - A pun on a Japanese root vegetable, a "dock".
- Kakarot (Kakarotto) - Goku's birth name, an interesting mutation of "carrot".
- Nappa - A Chinese term for greens in general, particular "cabbage".
- Raditz (Radditsu) - Derives from "radish".
- Broly (Burorī) - A pun on "broccoli".
- Paragus (Paragas) - In Japanese, a loose translation of "asparagus" (in the English dub, the name uses the same spelling as the word, sans the 'as-').
- Shugesh (Panbukin) - In Japanese, panbukin is a pun on "pumpkin".
- Fasha (Seripa) - In Japanese, formed by rearranging the letters in "parsley".
- Toma (Tora) - A shortening of "tomato".
- Borgos (Totepo) - A pun on "potato".
- Turles (Tāresu) - In Japanese, formed by rearranging the syllables in "lettuce".
- Brocco - A pun on "broccoli", as with Broly's name.
- Pumpkin (Saegi) - A pun on "pumpkin", as with Shugesh's Japanese name.
- Zorn - A pun on "corn".
- King Piccolo (Pikkoro Daimao) - Named after a musical instrument, a piccolo, which is a small flute. Ironically, King Piccolo can't stand high-pitched or whistling sounds, like all other Namekians. In Namekkugo, the Namekian language, piccolo means "another world".
- Piccolo (Pikkoro Ja.) - Same as King Piccolo.
- Piano - Named after the musical instrument.
- Tambourine (Tanbarin) - Named after the musical instrument.
- Cymbal (Shinbaru) - Named after the musical instrument.
- Drum (Doramu) - Named after the musical instrument.
- Kami - Kami means "god" in Japanese.
- Lord Slug - Named after "slug".
- Dende - Derives from denden-mushi which is Japanese for "snail".
- Cargo - A pun on the French word escargot, which means "snail".
- Nail - Most likely a pun on "snail" (may also mean "nail", as in 'hammer and nails').
- Bibidi - Is a part of a Disney (Cinderella) reference, "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!".
- Babidi - Is a part of a Disney (Cinderella) reference, "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!".
- Majin Buu - Is a part of a Disney (Cinderella) reference, "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!".
- Dabura (Dābura) - Derives from the famous incantation, "Abracadabra".
- Goku (Gokū) - Kakarot's new name, given by Grandpa Gohan. It is a translation of the Chinese name Sun Wukong, the protagonist of Journey to the West, meaning "Monkey King". Kū is also Japanese for "sky".
- Gohan - Japanese for "rice" or dishes; foods in general.
- Goten - Ten is Chinese for "sky" but also means heaven/afterlife in Japanese.
- Chi-Chi - Japanese for "milk" and "father". Also a Japanese slang term for "breasts".
- Master Roshi/Turtle Hermit (Muten Rōshi/Kame-Sen'nin) - In Japanese, kame means "turtle", and sennin are ascetic Taoist hermits of legend who are said to have magical powers, animal familiars, and extraordinarily long life. Thus, Kame-Sen'nin literally means "Turtle Hermit". Rōshi is Japanese for the Chinese word laoshi which means "teacher".
- Jackie Chun - Master Roshi's alias, a pun on "Jackie Chan".
- Yamcha (Yamucha) - A pun on dim sum in Chinese, a kind of appetizer, dumpling.
- Krillin (Kuririn) - Kuri or kurumi is Japanese for "chestnut". This is Akira Toriyama's joke about Krillin's lack of hair. Rin (-lin) derives from the word "shaolin".
- Marron - French word for "chestnut".
- Maron - Likely meaning "chestnut", as with Marron.
- Tien Shinhan (Tenshinhan) - Derives from the Chinese term tien chun fan, meaning "fried rice" or some kind of rice meal.
- Chiaotzu (Chaozu) - Japanese translation of gyoza or jiaozi in Chinese, it means "sticker" or "dumpling".
- Bulma (Buruma) - Means "bloomers". Also Japanese for short gym shorts worn by girls.
- Dr. Briefs - Pun on "briefs", a type of men's underwear.
- Trunks (Torankusu) - Boy's underwear, gym shorts, also known as boxers.
- Bulla (Bura) - In Japanese, a women's bra.
- Pan - A double pun deriving from the Pan of Greek mythology, but also meaning "bread" in Japanese and Spanish. Her name continues both her father's food-based name and her mother's religion-based name.
- Hercule (Mr. Satan) - Mr. Satan, the character's name in the Japanese dub and English films, simply refers to the Satan, Devil.
- Videl (Bīderu) - Formed by rearranging the letters in the word "devil".
- Sharpener (Sharpner) - His name derives from a (pencil) "sharpener" accessory.
- Erasa - Her name derives from an "eraser" accessory.
- Launch (Ranchi) - In Japanese, named after the word "lunch".
- Lime - Named after the fruit "lime".
- Yajirobe (Yajirobē) - Named after a Japanese balancing toy, yajirobē.
- Sno - Named after the word "snow".
- Ranfan - The words ran and fuan are respectively Japanese for "lingerie" and "foundation garments".
- Frieza (Furīza) - A pun on "freezer".
- Cooler (Kūra) - A pun on "cooler".
- King Cold (Korudo Daiō) - Also refers to low temperatures.
- Appule (Apūru) - Named after the fruit "apple".
- Blueberry - Named after the fruit.
- Cui (Kiwi) - A pun on the fruit "kiwi".
- Dodoria - A pun on the fruit "durian".
- Goose - Possibly named after the word "goose".
- Namole - Possibly a pun on "guacamole", an avocado-based food dip.
- Pomegren - A pun on the fruit "pomegranate".
- Raspberry - Named after the fruit.
- Zarbon (Zābon) - A pun on the fruit "pomelo".
- Zeso - A pun on "espresso".
- Abo - A pun on "avocado".
- Kado - A pun on "avocado".
- Aka (Abo Kado) - The fusion of Abo and Kado, called by this name by Gotenks, his name is also a pun on "avocado".
Dodoria's Elite (Dodoria no Seiei)
- Commander Cado - A pun of "avocado".
- Boysenberry - Named after the fruit.
- Grepe - A pun on "grape".
- Tanger - A pun on the fruit "tangerine".
Ginyu Force (Ginyū Tokusentai)
All members of the Ginyu Force are named after dairy products in the Japanese dub.
- Captain Ginyu (Ginyū Taichō) - A pun on the Japanese word gyunyu which means "milk".
- Burter (Bāta) - A pun on "butter".
- Guldo (Gurudo) - A pun on the Japanese word yogurudo which means "yogurt".
- Jeice (Jīsu) - A pun on the word "cheese". In English dubs, his localized name may be a pun on "juice".
- Recoome (Rikūmu) - Formed by rearranging the letters in the Japanese word kurīmu, meaning "cream".
Cooler's henchmen are named after condiments and salad dressings.
- Captain Salza (Sauza Taichō) - A pun on the Spanish sauce "salsa".
- Dore (Dōre) - Derives from the "saradore" salad dressing.
- Neiz (Neizu) - A pun on "mayonnaisse".
Garlic Jr.'s henchmen
Garlic Jr.'s henchmen are named after condiments and spices.
- Garlic Jr. (Gaarikku Jyunia) - A pun on the spice "garlic".
Dead Zone (Ora no Gohan o Kaese!!)
- Mustard - Named after the condiment.
- Salt - Named after the spice.
- Spice - Named after the spice.
- Vinegar - Named after the condiment.
- Amond - A pun of "almonds".
- Cacao - A pun of "cocoa".
- Daiz - Japanese for "soya bean".
- Rasin - A pun of "raisins".
- Arqua - Named after aqua, "water".
- Caterpy - A pun on "caterpillar".
- Froug - Named after the word "frog".
- Olibu - A pun on "olive".
- Pikkon (Paikuhan) - Literally means "pork-rib rice".
- Papoi - Possibly a pun on the fruit "papaya".
- Puar (Pūaru) - A pun on the Chinese word puh er, a type of tea.
- Oolong (Ūron) - Derives from the Chinese word wulong, which is "amber tea".
- Bubbles - Possibly a reference to American entertainer Michael Jackson's own pet monkey of the same name.
- Korin (Karin) - Derives from karin, the Japanese name for the fruit "chinese quince". His tower, the "Korin Tower" (Karin-tō), is a play on a type of fried dough cake called "karinto" (karintō). Due to the English dubs, his name is also considered to be a pun on "corn".