Pokémon GO Punny Cantonese Nicknames Explained!

Like it or not, Pokémon Go has taken the world by storm. At least where it’s available anyway. Even though in Hong Kong we’re still impatiently waiting for it to arrive, this album has gone viral among my friend circles. What it is is an ever-growing list of Cantonese-based puns on Pokémon, created by an Asian-American. Some of them are so culture-specific that learners or lovers of Cantonese might not get them! Since Pokémon and Cantonese are two of my biggest passions, I thought why not take the good stuff that’s there, and share the fun with more of you guys? You never know, you might learn some cultural fun facts 🙂

Disclaimer: these pics are used with permission from the owner Annie @pokemonyc. The game itself belongs to Nintento/Niantic.

As usual, I try to translate the terms character by character into English, before the more idiomatic translation, to give you better insight into its structure. If you see a symbol or notation you don’t understand, check out my own system. Now let’s give them a run-down!

[table id=1 /]

As you can see, while some of these are just simple vocabulary, others embed unique cultural information, especially from my parents’ generation. This might come in handy when you encounter them in the ‘golden age’ movies – or just want some laughs!

P.S. These are only the first 20, and as I mentioned, the creator keeps putting out new puns. Tell me if you want more of them explained!

P.S.2 Correct me if I’m wrong! I’m always open to suggestions and corrections.