What the name of each city means

Pokémon sword and shield continues the series tradition of giving all place names a uniform theme. The first generation cities are all known to be named after colors, with the starting location, Pallet Town, representing the metaphorical palette that allows access to all colors. The symbolism isn’t quite as strong in Pokémon Sword & Shield, but each city has a name that is representative of its respective place.

The Galar region where sword and shield Dynamaxing is exclusive to the game itself and is heavily influenced by the real United Kingdom, especially member nation England. The landmass itself is very similar to the island of Great Britain, if instead just the south end of the island would be north. The name Galar itself is reminiscent of the word “gallant”, which is strongly associated with knights active in medieval Europe, with “knight” still being an honorary title in the modern United Kingdom. Gallantry is also closely related to the Arthurian Knight Galahad, who also has a similar spelling to Galar.


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With the Sword & shieldThe region itself is so steeped in English etymology that it is no surprise that individual cities follow suit. However, this is about as wide as their connections to one another, and there is no one-size-fits-all theme as there was in Generation 1. Instead, each name appears to be specific to the city itself, often reflecting the nature of current commerce, or using a word closely related with the kind of Pokémon used in every gym. In addition, each name usually has a British suffix or name structure that is usually used for cities in real life.

Galarian city names: Postwick

What Postwick's name means

The player’s hometown, Postwick, is as quaint as any other starting town in Pokémon. Postwick is a farming town, and although it shares its name with a true English village, the “Post” half could allude to the town’s passion for ranching. Growing up to be one of Gen 8’s worst Pokémon team members, Wooloo can’t be caught in Postwick, but they can be seen everywhere, and wire-connected fence posts are a generally inexpensive means of curbing livestock.

Galarian city names: Wedgehurst

What Wedgehurst's name means

Westhurst is a small town north of Postwick, home to Galar’s Pokémon Research Lab, where the player meets Pokémon Professor Magnolia. The word “hurst” is an outdated term for a small hill and is a common part of village names in England. The Wedge in Wedgehurst may refer to a golf wedge, a type of iron club, since the modern sport was invented in Scotland in the 15th century.

Galarian city names: Motostoke

What Motostoke's name means

As the first industrial city in Sword & shield, the first half of Motostoke undoubtedly refers to the word “engine”. Combined with “stoke”, as if to stir up a flame, the place name is reminiscent of the internal combustion engine, a key invention of the industrial revolution that began in Great Britain before it spread to the rest of the western world. The tower in the picture above bears some resemblance to Big Ben, but according to the Galar Expedition Guide, Motostoke is based on Manchester and Big Ben’s actuality Pokémon is analogous in another sword and shield City based on London.

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Galarian city names: Turffield

What Turffield's name means

According to the Galar Expedition Guide, the massive, ancient stone work of art near Turffield that is on Sword & shield‘s Gigantamax mechanics are inspired by Stonehenge. “Turf,” a synonym for “soil,” makes the name of Turffield fairly simple, another common English village name ending with the suffix “-field”. Turffield is another farming community like Postwick, so its Gym Leader prefers grass-type Pokémon.

Galarian city names: Hulbury

What Hulbury's name means

As a city on the eastern Galar coast, Hulbury’s name refers to oceanic themes. “Hul-” is a reference to the hull of a ship or watercraft – the outermost, waterproof layer. The water theme is heightened by the city’s famous seafood restaurant, The Captain’s Table. The suffix “-bury” is also often used in English villages or towns, such as Canterbury, the town made famous worldwide by the Middle English author Geoffrey Chaucer.

Galarian city names: Hammerlocke

What Hammerlocke's name means

Hammerlocke takes its name almost entirely from the word “Hammerlock”, a type of wrestling move, but its medieval castle-like architecture suggests that the ending “-locke” is a simpler place name. Both meanings together illustrate a place of high security, aided by the presence of the Hammerlocke Vault, which houses antique tapestries depicting the story of the darkest day, and Pokémon sword and shield Galar region.

Galarian city names: Stow-on-Side

What the name of Stow-on-Side means

Stow-on-Side has perhaps the least referential name, more or less it’s just a game of British naming conventions. The hyphenated title seems to mimic the names of some villages. William Shakespeare, for example, came from Stratford-upon-Avon. The “stow” may be a nod to the hidden statues of the Zacian, Zamazenta, and the Galarian Twin Kings (pictured above) tucked against the side of a cliff.

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Galarian city names: Ballonlea

What Ballonlea's name means

The ending of Ballonlea’s name could possibly be the Old English word “lea”, which is related to an Old High German word for “grove”. “Balloon” is a French word meaning “balloon” and is more commonly used to refer to spherical objects. Its most popular use in English-speaking countries is likely the Ballon d’Or, the prestigious international football (or soccer) award. Ballonlea’s name combines these two parts to highlight both its location in the forest grove and the glowing mushroom caps that infest the area around the city, one of the most visually striking locations in the game that sets Galar apart from other regions.

Galarian city names: Circhester

What Circhester's name means

Circhester is known for its hot springs, which means it is likely based on the English city of Bath – named for the Roman bathhouses built there – but its name has to do with its infrastructure. More specifically, the “cir-” probably refers to the circular roundabout in the streets of the city. The second half of the name, “-chester”, is another British city suffix that usually indicates that it was once a Roman military post, which further supports the idea that Circhester is the Galarian version of Bath.

Galarian city names: Spikemuth

What Spikemuth's name means

Spikemuth is the hometown of Team Yell, whose punk rock aesthetic adds to its name, and one of the sword and shieldBest Gym Leaders. Accessories and clothing with spikes or studs are typical of the punk movement that emerged in Britain in the 1970s with bands like the Sex Pistols and The Clash. The place suffix “-muth” usually indicates that the settlement is at the mouth of a river – in the case of Spikemuth, this would be the icy river on Galar’s Route 9.

Galarian city names: Wyndon

What Wyndon's name means

Wyndon is the aforementioned Galarian city based in London with lots of architectural inspirations. The top of the Rose Tower vaguely resembles the Tower of London, while its base looks like The Shard; the clock tower and adjoining building imitate Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament; Wyndon’s Ferris wheel is inspired by the London Eye; and the arch over the Wyndon Stadium, where the trophy is held instead of the Champions Cup Pokémon‘s traditional Elite Four, equivalent to the one above London’s Wembley Stadium. The word “Wynd” refers to a narrow alley or street typical of old cities like London.

Galarian city names: Freezington

What Freezington's Name Means

Freezington is the city in Pokémon sword and shieldCrown’s Tundra DLC and has an incredibly simple name. The crown tundra itself is a nod to the British royal family and their famous United Kingdom crown jewels, but Freezington’s name is merely a representation of the uniformly cold conditions on the tundra. It is perhaps the most unimaginative city name in Pokémon sword and shield, but its “-ton” suffix ensures that it matches its counterparts exactly.

Next: Added all Shiny Pokémon in the Sword & Shield DLC

Source: Galar Expedition Leader

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