Nicknames can be confusing things, especially when they’re the only name by which you’ve ever known someone. I can clearly remember the moment when my friend’s Japanese wife looked at me with a mixture of surprise and betrayal, for example, when she found out that Phil (or “Firu” as it’s awkwardly pronounced in Japanese) is in fact short for Philip.
But after learning that the same green dinosaur that I’ve traversed hundreds of levels, raced go-karts and carried baby Mario back to his parents with since I was about 10 years old isn’t actually called Yoshi, I can kind of understand why she was so shocked.
That’s right! According to Blake J. Harris, all-round nice guy and author of the recently released book Console Wars, Nintendo’s happy green dinosaur’s full name is in fact T. Yoshisaur Munchakoopas.
It’s bad enough that it’s taken us over 20 years to learn Yoshi’s real name, but now we’re even more in the dark, because what on earth does that ‘T’ stand for!? Terrance? Tim? Theodore?! Yoshi, I feel like don’t even know you anymore, man!
Harris apparently spotted this factoid in a Nintendo Character Guide from 1993. Whether or not Yoshi’s original creators gave the semi-scientific-sounding name the green light is anyone’s guess, but isn’t it nice that Yoshi has been letting us call him by his nickname since the moment we met him?
Now I feel really bad for all that betrayal in Super Mario World…