The Origin Of Dragon Ball Character’s Names Will Blow Your Mind!

kira Toriyama created Dragon Ball in 1984. Akira named most of the characters after puns on regular words, often involving food. Here are some of the most memorable.

Kakarot = carrot.

 Kakarot (Kakarotto) – Goku’s birth name, an interesting mutation of “carrot”.

  • Son Goku – Japanese on’yomi name reading for Sun Wukong from Journey to the West, whom Goku is based on via Chinese and Japanese character parallels; in the Korean dub, Goku is renamed “Son Ogong”, the Korean name reading for Sun Wukong. “Wukong,” “Goku,” and “Ogong” all mean “Awakening to Emptiness” in Chinese, Japanese, and Korean, respectively, and the Chinese dub also refers to Goku as “Wukong” by that proxy. “Goku” also refers to the amount of rice needed to feed a person for a year, tying in with his grandfather’s name “Gohan” meaning “awakening to rice” as a pun.

Goku = sky.

Goku is Kakarot’s new name given by Grandpa Gohan.


  • 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 (Namekku-seijin) – In Japanese, namek is a shortening of the Japanese word namekujiwhich means “slug”.
  • Majin – Can be translated as “demon”. Ma (魔) means evil or demon. Jin (人) means human or person. It is also sometimes translated as “genie” (i.e. Viz’s translation of the manga uses “djinn”)

Chi-Chi = breast.

Chi-Chi (チチ, Chichi) is the princess of Fire Mountain and the daughter of the Ox-King who later marries Goku and becomes the loving mother of Gohan and Goten. She was first introduced as a shy and fearful girl, but later, as she gets older, develops a very tomboyish, tough and fierce personality, which sometimes causes her to have angry outbursts seen several times throughout the series. Despite this, she has shown her love for Goku and their sons many times throughout the series.

Gohan = rice.

Goten = air or heaven.

Goten – A play on Goku’s name, replacing the “ku” (空) character, meaning “sky”, with “ten” (天) meaning heaven. The characters in Goku’s name can be read as “understanding the sky”, so Goten’s name is read as “understanding the heavens”, the point being that Goten’s name is on a bigger scale than Goku’s

Vegeta = vegetables.


All full-blooded Saiyans’ birth 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 “Burdock”.
  • Borgos (Totepo) – A pun on “potato”.
  • Broly (Burorī) – A pun on “broccoli”.
  • Cabba (Kyabe) – A pun on “cabbage”.
  • Caulifla – Comes from the vegetable, cauliflower.
  • Fasha (Seripa) – In Japanese, formed by rearranging the letters in “parsley”.
  • Gine – Derives from negi (葱), the Spring Onion in Japanese.
  • Kale (Kēru, ケール) – Named after a type of green of the same name.
  • Kakarot (Kakarotto) – Goku’s birth name, an interesting mutation of “carrot”.
  • Nappa – A Japanese term for greens in general, especially grape leaves.[1] Also a form of cabbage, keeping with other Saiyans using English words as the source of their names.
  • Onio (From Neko Majin) – A pun on “onion”.
  • 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-‘).
  • Raditz (Radditsu) – Derives from “radish”.
  • Scarface (Panbukin) – In Japanese, panbukin is a pun on “pumpkin”.
  • Shorty (Brocco) – A pun on “broccoli”.
  • Shugesh (Panbukin) – In Japanese, panbukin is a pun on “pumpkin”.
  • Tora (Toma) – A shortening of “tomato”.
  • Turles (Tāresu) – In Japanese, formed by rearranging the syllables in “lettuce”.

Bulma = panties.

Bulma (ブルマ Buruma) is a brilliant scientist and the second daughter of Capsule Corporation’s founder Dr. Brief and his wife Panchy, the younger sister of Tights, and is Goku’s first friend. She used to be the girlfriend of Yamcha, but moved on and, eventually, became the wife of Vegeta, as well as the mother of Trunks and Bulla. While she is unable to physically fight most of the villains in the series, her gadgetry plays a key role in winning several battles as well as the search for the Dragon Balls.

Trunks = men’s underwear.

Human-Saiyan Hybrids

  • Gohan/Future Gohan – Japanese for “rice” or dishes; foods in general.
  • Goten – A play on Goku’s name, replacing the “ku” (空) character, meaning “sky”, with “ten” (天) meaning heaven. The characters in Goku’s name can be read as “understanding the sky”, so Goten’s name is read as “understanding the heavens”, the point being that Goten’s name is on a bigger scale than Goku’s.[2]
  • Trunks/Future Trunks (Torankusu) – Boy’s underwear, gym shorts, also known as boxers. This fits with the theme naming of Bulma’s family, who are all named for types of underwear.
  • Bulla (Bura) – A shortening of “brassiere” or “wonderbra“. Like Trunks, this fits with the theme naming of Bulma’s family. It American version (due to censorship) her name seems to be a pun on “Bull”
    • Vegeta initially wanted to give Bulla the Saiyan name Eschalot (Eshalotto), which is derived from “shallot”, a type of onion.
      • Bulla’s name could also be derived from “cebula”, the Polish term for onion.
  • Pan – Pan means “bread” in Japanese, continuing the food theme of Gohan’s family.
    • Additionally, Pan is the Greek mythological god of nature; this may fit into the religion theme of Videl’s family.
      • While being in Videl’s belly, Chi-Chi wanted to name her Gomen, “men” being a pun on noodles

Master Roshi = turtle.

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”. Also, Ro means “old” or “elderly”, a reference to his age, and Shi means “purple”, a reference to Roshi’s purple Turtle Shell.

Puar & Oolong = varieties of tea.

Krillin = chestnut.

Krillin (クリリン Kuririn) is a supporting protagonist in the Dragon Ball manga, and the anime series Dragon BallDragon Ball ZDragon Ball GT and Dragon Ball Super.

Krillin had a brief rivalry with Goku when they first met and trained under Master Roshi, but they quickly became lifelong best friends. One of the most powerful and talented Humanmartial artists on Earth, Krillin is courageous, a faithful ally and good-natured. He is a prominent Z Fighter, despite usually being overpowered by the major enemies.

Tien Shinhan = fried rice.

Chiaotzu = dumpling.

Chiaotzu (Chaozu) – Japanese translation of gyoza or jiaozi in Chinese, it means “dumpling”. Chiaotzu (ちゃお Chaozu) is a white-skinned, red-cheeked little Earthling. He is the constant companion and best friend of Tien Shinhan and one of Master Shen’s students.

Yamcha = dim sum

Piccolo = small flute.


King Piccolo and his creations are all named after musical instruments, while native Namekians are all named after multiple different Japanese words for “snail”.

  • 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 the Namekian language, piccolo means “another world”.

Raditz = radish.

Raditz (ラディッツ, Radittsu) is the biological brother of Gokuand the eldest son of Bardock and Gine. He was one of the four known remaining Saiyans left alive after his home world was destroyed. He seeks out Goku in order to recruit him to conquer more planets.

Nappa = cabbage.

Nappa (ナッパ Nappa) was an elite Saiyan warrior from Planet Vegeta, and Vegeta’s partner in combat. Prior to the destruction of Planet Vegeta, Nappa was the general of the Saiyan Army and aid/partner to the young prince, Vegeta. After his race’s demise, he, along with Vegeta and Raditz, worked as soldiers directly under Frieza, which led him to Earth.

Broly = broccoli.

Broly (ブロリー Burorī) is the main antagonist in Dragon Ball Z: Broly – The Legendary Super Saiyan and Dragon Ball Z: Broly – Second Coming. He appears to be the latest of the Legendary Super Saiyans who appear every thousand years. His father was Paragus.
Mr. Satan and Videl both refer to the devil.

Satan Family

Members of Mr. Satan’s family hold names that are puns on religious figures

  • Mr. Satan (Hercule) – Mr. Satan, the character’s name in the Japanese and English dub films and uncut English dub, refers to the Devil, Satan. His first name, Mark (マーク, Maaku) is a romanization of a rearrangement of akuma, Japanese for “devil.”
  • Miguel – means “Archangel”.
  • Videl (Bīderu) – Formed by rearranging the letters in the word “devil”.

Cinderella’s “Bibbidi Bobbidi Boo” song inspired the Majins.


Bibidi (ビビディ, Bibidi) was an evil alien wizard. A short and stubby villain, he was responsible for awakening the purely-evil Majin Buu millions of years prior to the beginning of Dragon Ball.


Babidi (バビディ, Babidi) was an evil alien wizard and one of Bibidi’s doppelgangers.

Babidi is the main antagonist of the Babidi Saga and the secondary antagonist of the Majin Buu Saga.

Majin Buu

Babidi and henchmen

Babidi and characters related to him are all named after magical incantations.

  • Bibidi – Is a part of the phrase “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!” from the 1950 animated film Cinderella.
  • Babidi – Is a part of the phrase “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!” from the 1950 animated film Cinderella.
  • Majin Buu – Is a part of the phrase “Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo!” from the 1950 animated film Cinderella.

The Ginyu Force is named after dairy products.

Guldo = Yogurt, Recoome = Cream, Ginyu = Milk, Burter = Butter, Jeice = Cheese.

Frieza = freezer.

Frieza’s clan

Members of Frieza’s family are named after words that have something to do with cold temperatures.

  • Chilled (Chirudo) – A pun on “chill”.
  • King Cold (Korudo Daiō) – Also refers to low temperatures.
  • Cooler, Coola (Kūra) – Comes from the phrase “meshi demo kūra” (which is roughly the equivalent of “let’s chow down” in English). His name breaks the tradition of Frieza’s family being named after cold related things. However his name is often mistaken to be a pun on “cooler”.
  • Frost – Comes from the word “frost”, usually used to refer to a deposit of small ice crystals.
  • Frieza, Freeza (Furīza) – A pun on “freezer”.
  • Kuriza – Frieza’s son. Like Krillin, the pun on his name is derived from kuri, or chestnut. This breaks the tradition of Frieza’s family members’ names being taken from terms for “cold”, although an element of the play on the word “Freezer” is still in the name, as “Furiza” is another way Frieza’s name is spelled.

Mr. Popo = ?

"I named him just because it sounds comfortable" - Akira Toriyama.

“I named him just because it sounds comfortable” – Akira Toriyama.


The Origin Of Dragon Ball Character’s Names Will Blow Your Mind!!

The Origin Of Dragon Ball Character’s Names Will Blow Your Mind