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This Is How Bowser Got His Name

It feels like, at this stage in history, we've told and retold the story about how Nintendo's Mario got his name numerous times. But what of his arch nemesis, King Koopa? What about the big baddie we take on at the end of just about every Super Mario game? This is how Bowser got his "koopa" name.


It all starts with a Korean meal called gukbap. No, seriously. Gukbap looks like a sort of soup, but with its orange colored broth and greens (piled nicely in the center), gukbap can sometimes look like the King of the Koopas, Bowser. The connection becomes even more apparent when you see the word the Japanese used in their language to describe the Korean dish: ku-ppa.

It sounds totally made up, doesn't it? But sure enough, Shigeru Miyamoto himself confirmed ku-ppa as the inspiration for the Koopa name Bowser proudly wears. It's been around for decades now, showing up in a slew of Mario titles, yet all this time, we had no idea it originated from someone simply looking at Bowser and going, "He looks kind of like this soup."


As for where the name Bowser comes from? That's a bit of trivia that's yet to be discovered. But despite Nintendo of America's president being Doug Bowser, we can confirm that the famous Nintendo villain did not get his name from Nintendo's new American executive. Bowser himself has been around since the 1980s, and Doug Bowser only recently joined Nintendo in 2015. That's not to say Nintendo hasn't had a little bit of fun with the two sharing a name. But there's no connection between the two outside of the best coincidence ever.

Keep your eyes peeled. Should Shigeru Miyamoto spill the beans on why Bowser is called Bowser (or why any other Nintendo character has the name they do) we'll be sure to pass that information along to you.