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Super Mario Bros.: What Is Yoshi's Real Name?

If the "Super Mario" universe is known for any one thing, it's not its deep lore. It's simple enough for anyone to enjoy, and has been that way from the start. Very little has changed about the franchise's core identity in the 40+ years the "Super Mario" series has been around. But ever since fans first saw the names of all the enemies they fought along the way during the end credits of "Super Mario World," silly names and wacky titles have been an integral part of the Mario formula. Enemies and characters with names like Dry Bones, Bob-Omb, Spiny, Chargin' Chuck, Super Koopa, and others who have come and gone over the years all add to the series' unique whimsy.


Yoshis and their iconic high-pitched exclamations are some of the series' most beloved characters, but despite what some fans think, there isn't just a single Yoshi. As seen in games like "Yoshi's Island," the cutscene at the start of "Super Smash Bros. Melee," and most recently in "The Super Mario Bros. Movie," there are a lot of Yoshis out there.

Yoshi and his brethren debuted in 1990's "Super Mario World," but according to a character reference guide from Nintendo published in 1993, the most famous green dino actually goes by something else. As it turns out, Yoshi is actually a shortened version of either the lizard's scientific classification — or a much more formal, full name.

'T. Yoshisaur Munchakoopas' doesn't roll off the tongue

According to an old Nintendo reference book, 1993's Nintendo Character Manual, Yoshi's full given name is "T. Yoshisaur Munchakoopas." A page in this book depicts the beloved Yoshisaur and a brief description of how he and Mario first met. Because of the label below the image, it's easy to conclude that the original Yoshi that Mario frees "Super Mario World" is named T. Yoshisaur Munchikoopas — "Yoshi" for short. 


What the "T." stands for is anyone's guess, but because Yoshi is a dinosaur, and because the rest of the official name sounds a bit scientific, it could also mean that Yoshi's "proper name" is just its classification. The Tyrannosaurus Rex is shortened to T. Rex in real life, for example. As such, the "T." in Yoshi's full name could actually stand for Tyrannosaurus, or even "Therapoda," as some fans believe. This line of thinking is backed up by the fact that Mario is humorously labeled as "homo nintendonus," which probably would not be mentioned unless it were meant to parallel Yoshi's scientific classification.


Whether T. Yoshisaurus Munchakoopas is the character's actual name or its taxonomy classification, we don't actually know for sure. Nintendo seemingly hasn't referenced this little bit of media in the years since 1993. The Nintendo Character Manual was originally produced to act as a legal and artistic reference for anyone using the likenesses of Nintendo-owned characters, so it stands to reason it would still be a legitimate resource. The name could very well be non-canonical at this point, but because it hasn't ever been confirmed or denied, it ultimately remains up to fan interpretation.