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Names in the World of Avatar

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In the World of Avatar, names are drawn from a wide variety of languages and sources. Although many names are transliterated into Chinese characters, the form of writing used in Avatar, most names are in fact not Chinese, and are either derived from other languages or completely fictional.

People

The format of this list of name translations is: Name - Traditional Hanzi (simplified Hanzi if different) - Mandarin Pronunciation in Hanyu Pinyin/Pronunciation in other languages - English translation. Because many characters' names are never seen written on screen, and it is impossible to guess the correct characters to write a name without knowing its meaning, Chinese characters may not be given for all names.

  • A note on East Asian names: Personal names in China and Korea are usually one or two characters chosen to have an auspicious meaning, while given names in Japanese can sometimes be three. Surnames always come before the given name; in China and Korea, they are almost always one character, but may be two in Japan.
  • Readers should also note that the simplified characters in the translations on this page (the characters in brackets) are not used in the show. They are merely used as a reference for those unable to read traditional Chinese characters.

Avatar: The Last Airbender

Main characters

  • Aang: 安昂[1] – Peaceful soaring.
  • Katara: 卡塔拉[1] – Probably phonetic. Characters mean "block", "pagoda" and "pull".
  • Sokka: 索卡[1] – Probably phonetic. Characters mean "inquire" and "block".
  • Toph Beifong: 北方拓芙 [2] - Surname means "North region" and given name means "expanding hibiscus". In "Tales of Ba Sing Se", her name is written on the title card as 托夫, meaning "entrusted man", likely due to an error.[1]
  • Zuko: 蘇科 (苏科)[1] – Resurrected rule. On his wanted poster, his name was written with the characters 祖寇, meaning "ancestor robber". This was likely intended to insult him.[3] In Ursa's letter to Ikem, Zuko's name was written with the characters 豎髙 meaning "vertical high" with the second character being a variant of "".[4]
  • Iroh: 艾洛[3] – Probably phonetic. The first character means "Chinese mugwort" (a flower used in a form of traditional Chinese medicine called moxibustion, which is not usually used to name males), and the second character is the name of a river in China.
  • Appa: 阿柏[5] – Characters mean "Cypress".
  • Momo: 模模[1] - Transliteration of Japanese word "momo", meaning "peach"; used as a common pet name in Japan. Characters mean "imitate".

Air Nomads

  • Gyatso: (Tibetan) – Tibetan name meaning "ocean of Wisdom".
  • Pasang: (Tibetan) – Tibetan name meaning "born on Friday".
  • Tashi: (Tibetan) – Tibetan name meaning "good fortune/auspiciousness".

Water Tribe

Earth Kingdom

  • Bumi: 布米[7] – 'Bumi' means "earth" in Sanskrit, most Indian languages derived from Sanskrit, as well as in Indonesian and Malay. The Chinese characters used for transliteration mean "to spread rice".
  • Chin: [8] – Qin was the surname of controversial emperor Qin Shi Huang, who unified China. It referred to the state he ruled prior to conquering the rest of China.
  • Hong Lee (Zuko): 洪禮 (洪礼)[9] – Hong is a traditional Chinese surname meaning "vast" or "deluge"; Lee references the Confucian virtue li, meaning "propriety" or "ritual". He may be named for Li Hong, one of the series' early concept artists.
  • Hong Mushi (Iroh): 洪慕士[9] – Hong is a traditional Chinese surname meaning "vast" or "deluge"; Mushi means "to want to become a scholar".
  • Kyoshi: 虛子[8] – Japanese, meaning "empty child"; this was the pen name of the famous Japanese poet Takahama Kiyoshi.
  • Long Feng: 龍鳳 (龙凤) – Dragon Pheonix. In Chinese tradition, the dragon and phoenix represented the royal throne.
  • Macmu-Ling – Named after Avatar writer Lauren MacMullan.[10]
  • Miyuki: 美雪 – A Japanese name, the characters mean "beautiful snow", a common Japanese girl's name. Named after storyboard artist Miyuki Hoshikawa.[9]
  • Oh: 吳 - Korean: O - Oh (Wu in Chinese) is a common surname in Korea, referring to the ancient Kingdom of Wu in China. Named after animator Seung-Hyun Oh.[9]
  • Oma: 奧瑪 (奥玛)[11] – Korean word oma, meaning "mysterious carnelian". In Chinese, the first character means 'obscure'.
  • Oyaji: (Japanese) - Informal term for "dad". The first character is Chinese for "parent", with the second being a formal term of respect for an elderly man.
  • Pao: [12] – Bao is a traditional Chinese surname meaning "To cover". It is a pun of the character (pāo), meaning to boil tea.
  • Pong: – An abortive pun on the word ping-pong; originally, Aang was going to have another neighbor named Ping, who was cut from the script. The Chinese Characters for ping-pong are simply an onomatopoeia for the sound the ball makes.[13]
  • Pu-on Tim: 浦安添[14] - Cantonese: pu on tim - Pu is a traditional Chinese surname meaning "beach"; On-Tim means "Increasing Peace". Named after Avatar writer Tim Hedrick.[15]
  • Sha-Mo: 沙漠 – Desert.
  • Shu: [11] – Shu is a traditional Chinese surname meaning "relax".
  • Song - Song is a common Chinese and Korean surname.
  • The Boulder: 大塊石 (大块石)[16] - Big rock.
  • Xin Fu: 辛富[16] – Xin is a traditional Chinese surname meaning "bitter"; Fu means "wealth".
  • Aunt Wu: - Wu is a Chinese surname meaning "sorceress" or "shaman".
  • Yi Ming: 貽明 - Probably phoenetic. Characters mean "bequeath" and "next".
  • Yu: [16] - Yu is a common Chinese surname meaning "surplus".
  • Yulduz: (Uzbek) - Yulduz is a feminine Uzbek name meaning "star".

Fire Nation

  • Chan (Fire Nation admiral): (Cantonese) – Chen/Chan is a very common Chinese surname referring to the ancient State of Chen in central China. Named after writer May Chan.[17]
  • Chan (Fire Nation blacksmith): [18] (Cantonese) – See above.
  • Chan (teenager): (Cantonese) – See above. Also named after May Chan.[19]
  • Chey 濟 (济)[20] (Korean: che) – To ferry; to help. Likely a reference to revolutionary Che Guevara.
  • Chit Sang: 捷生 (Cantonese: jit saang) – Named after writer May Chan's father. His name seems to be composed of the characters , meaning "victory" or "quick", and , meaning "gentleman".[21]
  • Ding: – Ding is a common Chinese surname meaning "robust" or "masculine".
  • Ikem: 毅勤[4] - Resolute and hard-working.
  • Jeong Jeong: 琤琤[20] – The sound of tinkling gems.
  • Liang: - Liang is a common Chinese surname meaning "bridge" or "beam".
  • Lu Ten: 路騰 (路腾)[1] – Gallop over a road.
  • Mak: - Cantonese: mak - Mak (Mai in Mandarin) is a common Chinese surname meaning "wheat" or "barley".
  • Mongke: 蒙哥 – Mongolian: möngke - Mongolian name meaning eternal: Name of the fourth Great Khan of the Mongol Empire who conquered Iraq, Syria and Vietnam.
  • Morishita: 森下 (Japanese) – Japanese surname meaning "below the forest", originally in reference to where the family lived.
  • Ogodei: 窝阔台 (Mongolian: ögedei) – Name of Genghis Khan's third son and second Great Khan of the Mongol Empire.
  • Ozai: 敖載 (敖载)[22] – Carry proudly.
  • Ran and Shaw: and – Ran means "burn" or "ignite" in Chinese. Shaw, more correctly "Shao", means "burn" or "braze". The characters can also be used together to mean "combustion", "flaming", or "kindle".[23]
  • Sozin: 蘇進 (苏进)[24] – Revival and progress.
  • Tom-Tom: 湯湯 (汤汤)[7] – Phonetic: characters mean "soup" or "hot water".
  • Ursa: 爾姝[4] – Phonetic: first character can mean "so" or "that", second character means "a beauty".
  • Yeh-Lu: 耶律 (Khitan: yelü) – The family name of Yelü Chucai, an adviser of Ogedei Khan.

Neutral

  • Pathik: (Hindi: पथिक) – Name meaning "traveler".

Spirits

  • Hei Bai: 黑白[25] – Black and white.
  • La: [6] – Pull.
  • Tui: [6] – Push.
  • Wan Shi Tong: 萬知堂 (万知堂)[26] – Hall of immeasurable (lit: ten thousand) knowledge; poetically, "he who knows ten thousand things".

The Legend of Korra

Main characters

  • Amon: 阿蒙[27] – Multiple meanings: most appropriate "to cover", "to deceive". Refers to the Egyptian god, Amon.
  • Asami Sato: (Japanese) – Asami is a female Japanese name usually meaning either "morning beauty", "hemp beauty", or "morning sea". Sato (佐藤, Satō) is the most common Japanese surname.
  • Bolin 愽林[28] – Characters mean "abundant" and "forest".
  • Lin Beifong: Surname (北方[2]) means "north region". While it is unusual for her to have taken her mother's surname, it is not unprecedented; in Japan, for example, if a family had no male heir to carry on its name, it would sometimes adopt the daughter's son-in-law in order to ensure the survival of their name.
  • Korra: 柯拉[29] – From the name Cora, Celtic and Greek for "maiden". She is named after the dog of the owner of a hotel in Alberta, Canada.[30]
  • Mako: 馬高 (马高) - Abbreviated version of the Japanese name Makoto, meaning "faithfulness" or "trust". He is named as a tribute to Mako Iwamatsu, Iroh's voice actor in the original series. The Chinese characters used to transliterate it mean "horse" and "high".
  • Noatak: (Inuit: nautaag) – Inland river. Name of village in Alaska.
  • Tenzin: – (Tibetan) – Meaning "upholder of the Dharma" or "defender of the faith".
  • Rohan: (Sanskrit) – Meaning "to ascend; to rise; to attain great heights". Named after Bryan Konietzko's Indian nephew.

Republic City

  • Hiroshi Sato: (Japanese) – Hiroshi is a common male Japanese name with many meanings depending on the characters used. Sato (佐藤, Satō) is the most common Japanese surname.
  • Kwong: 鄺 (邝)[31] – Kwong is a Chinese surname.
  • Lau Gan-Lan: 老甘藍 – The characters of his name translate to "old" and "wild cabbage" (Chinese broccoli); his name could therefore be translated as "Old Cabbage". Lau, written with different characters, is also a common Chinese surname.
  • Saikhan: (Mongolian) – Saikhan is a Mongolian word meaning "beautiful".
  • Shiro Shinobi: (Japanese) – Shiro is a Japanese name that usually means "fourth child", though it can be written with a number of kanji. Shinobi (忍び) is a Japanese word that means "sneak", "thief", or "ninja".

Neutral

  • Pema: (Tibetan) – Tibetan name meaning "lotus flower".

Bending arts

The format of this list of bending art translations is: Bending Art: Traditional Hanzi (Simplified Hanzi if different) - Mandarin Pronunciation (in Hanyu Pinyin) - English translation.

Location and organization names

The format of this list of location translations is: Location: Traditional Hanzi (simplified Hanzi if different) - Mandarin Pronunciation (in Hanyu Pinyin) - English translation.

Water Tribe

Earth Kingdom

Fire Nation

United Republic

Main article: United Republic

Businesses and organizations

  • Ba Sing Se University: 永固城大學 (永固城大学)[12] – Literal
  • Ba Sing Se Zoo: 快樂動物園 (快乐动物园)[1] – Happy Zoo.
  • Dai Li: 戴笠 - The Dai Li's name has two meanings in Chinese, the first being literal. Dai () means "to wear". Li () is the cone shaped rain hat that farmers and fishermen wear in China, which look similar to the hats worn by Dai Li in the show. However, the same characters are also the name of a person, and it was from him the Dai Li were named. Lieutenant General Dai Li was a top Chinese government official during the first half of 20th century and one of the most feared men in China. He was, infamously, the leader of Chiang Kai-Shek's secret police and the paramilitary fascist Blue Shirt Society. The number of agents in his organization is said to have been over 50,000 at one point, and their assignments included surveillance, kidnapping, apprehension, and assassination. It was because of his "legacy" of oppression that the creators chose to name Ba Sing Se's secret police after him.[39]
  • Earthen Fire Refinery: 泥土火公司 – Literally "earth-fire company".[40]
  • Ember Island Theater: 餘烬島劇院 (余烬岛剧院)[35] – Literal
  • Fancy Lady Day Spa: 貴婦美容院 (贵妇美容院)[1] – Literal
  • Green Blaze Inn: 綠焰客棧 (绿焰客栈)[18] – Literal
  • Green Flame Inn: 綠炎旅館 (绿炎旅馆)[18] – Literal
  • Happy Traveler's Opera Troupe: 快樂浪人歌劇團 (快乐浪人歌剧团)[41] – Literal
  • Jasmine Dragon: 茉莉龍 (茉莉龙)[42] – Literal
  • Kwong's Cuisine: 鄺氏美食 (邝氏美食)[31] – Literally "Mr. Kwong's Fine Food".
  • Master Yu's Earthbending Academy: 余師傅著名運土術武館 (余师傅著名运土术武馆)[16] – Master Yu's Renown Earthbending Academy
  • Metalbending Police Force: 共和城警隊[43] – Republic City Police Force.
  • Old Chen's Blacksmith Shop: 老陳鐵匠鋪 (老陈铁匠铺)[18] – Literal
  • Order of the White Lotus: 白蓮教 – White Lotus.
  • Pao Family Tea House: 包氏茶館 (包氏茶馆)[12] – Literal
  • Sweet Aroma Tea House: 芬芳茶館 (芬芳茶馆)[18] – Literal
  • Tasty Hotpot Restaurant: 美味火鍋食堂 (美味火锅食堂)[18] – Literal
  • Yu Dao Grocery Store: 玉島雜貨店 (玉岛杂货店)[18] – Literal

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Estoesta, Joann, Wahlander, Lisa, Huebner, Andrew, Scheppke, Gary, MacMullan, Lauren, Mattila, Katie, Ridge, Justin, Volpe, Giancarlo (writers) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (September 29, 2006). "Tales of Ba Sing Se". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 15. Nickelodeon.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Hamilton, Joshua (writers) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (September 15, 2006). "The Serpent's Pass". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 12. Nickelodeon.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ehasz, Aaron, Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch, Hedrick, Tim, O'Bryan, John (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (March 17, 2006). "The Avatar State". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 1. Nickelodeon.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (w), Sasaki of Gurihiru (p, i), Kawano of Gurihiru (col), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (let). The Search Part 1 (March 20, 2013), Dark Horse Comics.
  5. Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (October 13, 2006). "Appa's Lost Days". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Filoni, Dave (director). (December 2, 2005). "The Siege of the North, Part 2". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 20. Nickelodeon.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (April 7, 2006). "Return to Omashu". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 O'Bryan, John (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (April 28, 2006). "Avatar Day". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 5. Nickelodeon.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 9.3 Avatar: The Last Airbender—The Art of the Animated Series, Spotlight: The Calligraphy of S. L. Lee.
  10. Avatar Extras for "Tales of Ba Sing Se" on Nicktoons Network.
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (March 24, 2006). "The Cave of Two Lovers". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 2. Nickelodeon.
  12. 12.0 12.1 12.2 Hedrick, Tim (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (September 22, 2006). "City of Walls and Secrets". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 14. Nickelodeon.
  13. Avatar Extras for "City of Walls and Secrets" on Nicktoons Network.
  14. Hedrick, Tim, Hamilton, Josh, O'Bryan, John (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (July 18, 2008). "The Ember Island Players". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 17. Nickelodeon.
  15. Avatar Extras for "The Ember Island Players" on Nicktoons Network.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 DiMartino, Michael Dante (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (May 5, 2006). "The Blind Bandit". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 6. Nickelodeon.
  17. Avatar Extras for "The Awakening" on Nicktoons Network.
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 18.3 18.4 18.5 18.6 18.7 DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (w), Sasaki of Gurihiru (p, i), Kawano of Gurihiru (col), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (let). The Promise Part 1 (January 25, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  19. Avatar Extras for "The Beach" on Nicktoons Network.
  20. 20.0 20.1 20.2 20.3 Hedrick, Tim (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (October 21, 2005). "The Deserter". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 16. Nickelodeon.
  21. Avatar Extras for "The Boiling Rock, Part 1" on Nicktoons Network.
  22. 22.0 22.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Filoni, Dave (director). (June 17, 2005). "The Blue Spirit". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  23. Avatar Extras for "The Firebending Masters" on Nicktoons Network.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Ehasz, Elizabeth Welch (writer) & Spaulding, Ethan (director). (October 26, 2007). "The Avatar and the Fire Lord". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 6. Nickelodeon.
  25. Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & MacMullan, Lauren (director). (April 8, 2005). "Winter Solstice, Part 1: The Spirit World". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
  26. 26.0 26.1 O'Bryan, John (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (July 14, 2006). "The Library". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 10. Nickelodeon.
  27. 27.0 27.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (April 21, 2012). "The Revelation". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  28. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Graham, Ian. (June 27, 2014). "The Earth Queen". The Legend of Korra. Season 2. Episode 3. Nickelodeon.
  29. Legend of Korra: Korra Watercolor Face Tee. Nick.com (September 21, 2013). Retrieved on September 21, 2013.
  30. Jethro Nededog (April 13, 2012). "Legend of Korra" Creators: Five Things You Didn't Know About the New Avatar. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on April 13, 2012.
  31. 31.0 31.1 DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (April 28, 2012). "The Voice in the Night". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  32. O'Bryan, John (writer) & Lioi, Anthony (director). (April 29, 2005). "The Waterbending Scroll". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 1. Episode 9. Nickelodeon.
  33. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (September 15, 2006). "The Drill". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 13. Nickelodeon.
  34. 34.0 34.1 Ehasz, Aaron (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director). (November 30, 2007). "The Day of Black Sun, Part 2: The Eclipse". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 11. Nickelodeon.
  35. 35.0 35.1 Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (November 2, 2007). "The Runaway". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 3. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.
  36. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (w), Sasaki of Gurihiru (p, i), Kawano of Gurihiru (col), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (let). The Promise Part 2 (May 30, 2012), Dark Horse Comics.
  37. Avatar Extras for "The Painted Lady" on Nicktoons Network.
  38. Hamilton, Joshua (writer) & Heck, Colin (director). (November 1, 2013). "The Guide". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 21. Nickelodeon.
  39. Audio commentary on "Lake Laogai"
  40. DiMartino, Michael Dante; Konietzko, Bryan; Yang, Gene (w), Sasaki of Gurihiru (p, i), Kawano of Gurihiru (col), Heisler, Michael; Comicraft (let). The Rift Part 1 (March 5, 2014), Dark Horse Comics.
  41. Hedrick, Tim (writer) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (April 14, 2006). "The Swamp". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 4. Nickelodeon.
  42. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Volpe, Giancarlo (director). (December 1, 2006). "The Guru". Avatar: The Last Airbender. Season 2. Episode 19. Nickelodeon.
  43. DiMartino, Michael Dante, Konietzko, Bryan (writers) & Dos Santos, Joaquim, Ryu, Ki Hyun (directors). (May 19, 2012). "The Aftermath". The Legend of Korra. Season 1. Episode 7. Nickelodeon.

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