Pokemon Go is developing its own jargon

Pokemon Go has so many players that it’s kind of inevitable it would start to generate its own jargon. Here are a few words that Pokemon Go players are starting to use to talk about the game:


A “nest” is a place where a rare or hard-to-find pokemon spawns very reliably. Frequently, players will notice that a specific park or area or complex of Pokestops tend to spawn a specific rare pokemon species at an extremely high rate; they’ll call that a “nest.” Here, for example, is a player identifying known “nests” in Los Angeles.


A Pokemon.


A verb meaning: to evolve a Pokemon.


“Balling” is the act of successfully catching a Pokemon with your first Pokeball thrown. It takes a lot of skill and practice to effectively ball large numbers of Pokemon.

You may call someone who often balls Pokemon a “baller,” but it isn’t recommended.


A term for one’s favorite Pokemon. A trainer may show you their strongest Pokemon and say, “Look at my beautiful son, Koffing,” “here is my precious daughter, Mankey,” or “this is my most precious child, Kangaskhan.”


When a group of Pokemon trainers visit large numbers of gyms in a single night in order to level them up, this is known as a “gymboree.” You and your friends might form a gymboree to brave the town at night. Nothing makes a cold night safer than the hearty friendship of a good gymboree.


“Ducking” is the well-known and widely-decried, obnoxious practice of leaving a CP10 Psyduck in a gym. A “ducker” is someone who repeatedly “ducks” a gym, much to the chagrin of their many enraged teammates. “Oh no,” they may cry. “Yet another ducking!!”

A “ducker” may have a whole inventory full of little Psyducks which they leave mischievously in gyms all over their neighborhood. This is known as a “duckbag.” An experienced ducker may have all Golducks rather than Psyducks; in this case, their inventory may be referred to as a “grandpa duckbag.” If someone suspects you of being the neighborhood’s loathed ducker, they might corner you behind the CVS and shout, “Hey, you ducker, show me your duckbag!”

A 'jenny' (left) and a 'joy.' A 'joy' is a medical professional assisting Pokemon trainers in children's wards. (Photo source: AK4Real Photography.)

A ‘jenny’ (left) and a ‘joy.’ A ‘joy’ is a medical professional who also trains Pokemon, especially at children’s hospitals. (Photo source: AK4Real Photography.)


A “jenny” is a cop who also trains Pokemon. “Don’t worry, night patrols around here are all jennies,” you might tell your friend as you cross the graveyard at night, seeking Pokemon. If you trip the alarm in an abandoned Circuit City as you seek Pokemon in its depths, you might tell your friend, “I hope whoever shows up is a jenny.” “Hey, I bet you’re a jenny,” you might hopefully ask the booking officer in the jail, after you are arrested for trespassing. Jennies or no, though, there are sacrifices to be made in the name of ‘mon.


A “bod” is a corpse found while playing Pokemon. While blindly hunting rare Pokemon in the Nearby menu, you may wander off the main thoroughfare and discover a “bod” under a bridge or at the bottom of a cliff or at the shore of a body of water. It’s appropriate to warn other players of the location of a bod. You might say: “Don’t go down the hill, we found a bod by the train tracks.” It’s important to also warn the police about the location of bods.

“Bod” is NOT an appropriate term for dead ANIMALS found while playing Pokemon Go. Dead animals are more appropriately termed “Little Sleepies” or “Stale ‘Mons.”

Pictured: an oaked player has found some good pidge.

Pictured: an oaked player has found some good pidge.


“Pidge” is something good that you find or experience while playing Pokemon Go. You might stop at a Dairy Queen with your friends, fresh off the shock of finding a bod by the train tracks, and buy some mint chocolate chip ice cream. You will take a good bite and say, “Ahh, yes, that’s some good pidge.” “Some good pidge right there,” your friend will say. You will sit together in the shade at the Dairy Queen and try not to shudder, try not to betray your shock and horror at the bod you just saw. That rancid, swollen bod! No — a Pokemon trainer is strong. A Pokemon trainer doesn’t cry. A Pokemon trainer hunts the good pidge wherever it might be –whether it’s the good Pidgey, the good ice cream, or the sweet, unsoiled air at the edge of the forest, behind the police caution-tape line, in the shock of long grass and wild dandelions between the squad cars. The telephone wires sway in the overhead and plunge down the side of the hill behind you toward the town below. The good pidge. You’re still hunting it. All these years, you’ve been hunting it.


A player is “oaked” when the long years of Pokemon-hunting have made them bitter, cynical, and old.  You had a friend once — someone who hunted the good pidge with you in the long grass all those years ago. Someone you could count on in a pinch. But he’s oaked now — his Dragonite lost an eye in a gym battle, and his Vaporeon got a taste for blood, and had to be put down. His Scyther’s got a weak back and it lazes around in the kennels all day, hissing at him when he comes looking for companionship. “I’m oaked,” he tells you. Grief hangs heavy on his shoulders, and he gathers it around himself like a comfortable old blanket. “Sometimes I feel like trying to be the very best is a lie,” he tells you. “There is no best. Nobody can be the very best. I tried, and look where I am now.” He downs a glass of Romanian Pinsr Vodka and presses his hand over his eyes for a quiet cry.

You leave him in the bar and saunter out to the porch, where your old Rapidash, Sunny, blinks blearily at the cruel noon sun. You’re feeling a little oaked yourself. Maybe everyone gets oaked at this age. (Age 22.) When you stop to send a text about it to your mom, though, the phone relentlessly autocorrects “oaked” to “naked.”

Naked. Naked under the cruel judgement of the long-passing years. Yeah. Yeah. That sounds about right.

Stop it, Jim. I need to do this.

Stop it, Jim. I need this.


To “buff it” is to die — i.e., to “wobbuffet it,” or to “wobbuff-it.” Taken from the popular folk theory that Wobbuffet is the worst Pokemon, more useless and corpse-style passive than even a Magikarp. Your Rapidash buffed it last month — fell flat on its face outside the CVS while you were buying a Hagen Dazs bar inside. You buried it under the old oak tree beside the highway up on the mountain. Fearows wheel overhead as you place the final stone on the cairn.

What has your career come to, after all these years training Pokemon? All these years struggling for gyms? The hope and honor in your heart has buffed it, too. All is ash. You used to wake up at five in the morning, drink a quart of Miltank milk, and go out with a bright eye to conquer the world. Now? Now you might as well buff it, too.

Top image: Olivia Harris, Getty Images.