NEOPIA CENTRAL - "The eagle and the stork, on cliffs and cedar tops their
eyries build." My eyes literally popped off the page as I read that line
of the poem "Paradise Lost" by the famous poet John Milton.
Now wait a second… Eyries? Eyries? EYRIES? Isn't that a NeoPet? What
is Milton doing writing about NeoPets? Didn't he DIE 200 years before NeoPets
With conspiracies about Milton's real death floating about in my head, I decided
upon a less eye-popping approach to the word "eyrie" and looked up the word
in the dictionary. Much to my surprise, "eyrie" is not only the name of that
funny-looking NeoPet with the weird lion-like muff and the birdlike beak (no
offence to Eyries), but also a word that means "The nest of a bird, such as
an eagle, built on a cliff or other high place". Then, much to my farther eye-popping
amazement, I found out many other NeoPet specie names are real words, or came
from real words.
Flotsam and Jetsam
The first word that came to my attention was "flotsam". "Flotsam", besides
being that adorable NeoPet with the big eyes, is actually a real English word
that describes cargo that is still floating after a boat sinks. Flotsam the
NeoPet is an aquatic NeoPet, so the NeoPet name fits the actual meaning of the
word quite well. Jetsams and Flotsams have a predator-prey relationship on Neopets,
and since "flotsam" is actually a real word, could it be that "jetsam" is too?
After checking the dictionary, "jetsam" is a real word that is used to describe
the cargo that is discarded off a ship once when it is in distress. But now,
now, be nice - Don't go calling your jetsam friends a "discard" or a "reject"!
"Flotsam" and "Jetsam" are also the names of two towers that are in a very famous
trilogy of books.
It is obvious that "koi", the name for Japanese Fancy Carp (Nishikigoi), inspired
the name of the fish NeoPet "Koi". The original Koi even bore a strong resemblance
to the carp. However, the NeoPet Koi is one thousand times cuter than the Japanese
Carp "koi"! Koi is also an acronym for "Koderovka Obmyena Informatsee", a Russian
acronym for "Coded Information Exchange." As well, "koi" is also often (incorrectly)
used as a short form of the word Japanese word "koibito" in North American anime
fandoms. In that sense, "koi" means "beloved" or "loved one". Kois must be very
lucky to have such a sweet name!
Lupe and Elephante
A similar case is had in the NeoPet species Lupe and Elephante. The French word
"loup", meaning wolf, most likely inspired the name of the wolf NeoPet. The
spelling differs, but the phonics is quite alike. "Elephante" is also the French
word for (duh) elephant. Hopefully, all Canadian fans picked those up, considering
the large, tortuous amount of mandatory French education we are subjected too…
On the other hand, it is highly unlikely that the Malay word "usul" gave the
inspiration of naming the squirrel-like NeoPet 'Usul". The word means in Malay
"motion or proposal put forward for discussion". But one can never be sure.
Maybe the NeoPet Staff had a very long discussion on what to name the squirrel
Neopet, then suddenly someone put forward a "usul" and someone thought 'Hey,
that's a perfect name for this squirrel Neopet that we are trying to name!"
Buzz and Grarrl
The NeoPet names Buzz and Grarrl are onomatopoeias. "Buzz, buzz" is obviously
the sound a Buzz would make, while the dinosaur-like Grarrl is very likely to
roar "grarrl!" at you if you dared to steal his precious Purple Scooter from
ACARA is an acronym for "Availability, Cost, and Resource Allocation". That
is just a far cry from the NeoPet Acara.
Aisha, besides being that four-eared NeoPet, is the name of a female historical
figure in the Middle East. As well, Aisha is also the name of a famous TV personality
and the name of a character on an anime show.
There are also some NeoPet specie names that are proper nouns. Such as:
- "Skeith" and "Quiggle" are last names
- "Kiko" is a type of mountain goat
- "Bruce" and "Lenny" are common first names
- "Gelert" is part of the name of a Welsh town called "Beddgelert"
- and "Wocky" from "Jabberwocky"
There are also a lot of NeoPet specie names that are actual plays upon real
words in English. For example: Kau (cow), Kougra (cougar), Poogle
(poodle), Pteri (pterodactyl), Korbat (bat), Cybunny (bunny),
Meerca (meerkat), Blumaroo (kangaroo), Peophin (dolphin),
Uni (unicorn), Moehog (mohawk and warthog) and Mynci (monkey).
Guess the NeoPet staff didn't just stick random syllables together after all
to name NeoPets. Or maybe they did, but they were just lucky enough to hit upon
words that actually mean something. Either way, NeoPet players can increase
their vocabularies and possibly earn some words in other languages through NeoPet
names. There, that's another reason to use next time your parents yell at you
for playing NeoPets too much.