Famous Friday: Meowth

by Paws on Your Heart on September 27, 2013

Meowth is a cat-like Pokemon character in the TV series Pokemon. In the series and the related video games, Pokemon are animal-like creatures that can be pets, wild animals, or trained for battling. Meowth is a companion of the villains Team Rocket and usually plays an important part in their blundering schemes. Despite being a villain, Meowth is very popular among the series’ viewers because of his comical nature and, of course, because he’s a cute cat.

‘Meowth’ is both the name of the character and the name of his species of Pokemon. The character Meowth is unique among his species. Though other Meowths are more cat-like and prowl on four legs, this Meowth walks on two legs (he apparently taught himself how to do this to impress a female Meowth). Even more unique about Meowth is that he’s one of the few Pokemon who can speak human language and fully communicate with his human companions.

Pokemon games and TV episodes are originally created in Japanese, so Pokemon names are translated from their original Japanese names. Most are given new names, but Meowth’s name is actually a direct translation of his Japanese name ‘Nyarth’. While the sound a cat makes is written as “meow” in English, it’s “nyaa” or “nyan” in Japanese. As you can see, Meowth comes from “meow” while Nyarth comes from “nyaa”.

You may have seen figurines of the ‘Maneki-Neko‘ (also known as “lucky cat” and “beckoning cat”) in stores, restaurants, and other businesses. The maneki-neko is a good luck charm that beckons in customers and brings money to its owners. It’s also the inspiration for Meowth’s design. His colours come from the traditional look of themaneki-neko, and he has a gold coin decal on his forehead like the maneki-neko holds. In the Pokemon world, Meowths are also good at collecting coins and can use the move “Pay Day” to bring money to their owners.

Is there a famous feline you’d like to see featured in one of our Famous Friday posts?
Let us know in the comments section below.

 

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