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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.

Races

  • 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.

Saiyans

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".

Namekians

  • 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').

Majins

  • 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".

Humans

  • 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". 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's clan

  • Frieza (Furīza) - A pun on "freezer".
  • Cooler (Kūra) - A pun on "cooler".
  • King Cold (Korudo Daiō) - Also refers to low temperatures.

Frieza's henchmen

  • 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)

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

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!!)

  • Ginger - Named after the spice.
  • Sansho - Japanese word for "Sichuan pepper".

Garlic Jr. Saga

  • Mustard - Named after the condiment.
  • Salt - Named after the spice.
  • Spice - Named after the spice.
  • Vinegar - Named after the condiment.

Turles' henchmen

  • Amond - A pun of "almonds".
  • Cacao - A pun of "cocoa".
  • Daiz - Japanese for "soya bean".
  • Rasin - A pun of "raisins".

Kai understudies

  • 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".

Animals

  • 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".

Miscellaneous

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