{"won":false,"dspId":null} Every Meaning of the Character Names in 'The Lion King' - Break.com

Every Meaning of the Character Names in 'The Lion King'

Articles Aug 04, 2019 09:51

Let's find out how all the characters in 'The Lion King' get their names in the first place.

One of the most incredible elements of The Lion King is its breathtaking scenes in the heart of Africa. What's more, all The Lion King characters have names with African roots. Disney characters usually boast names that relate to their nature and purpose, and Mufasa's lineage is no exception. You may be surprised to know that the cast of The Lion King, with its loose connections to Shakespeare's Hamlet, have (mostly) Swahili names that explain their significance to the overall mythos. 

Watch:

Even though there have been some criticisms of The Lion King, the popularity of the original film has led to several spinoffs in the form of movies, TV series, original books, video games, and a musical stage adaptation. Many fans have fallen in love with the coming-of-age journey of Simba. Delve deeper into The Lion King world by checking out the list below to discover the meanings behind the characters' names and the connections to their roles and personalities. 

Simba Means "Lion"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

According to AnimationSource.org, Simba's name literally means "lion" in Swahili. While the connection seems a bit plain, Simba does grow into and personify the king of lions, so the name is quite fitting. 

Nala Means "Gift"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

As Simba's childhood friend and eventual wife, her Swahili name is very fitting. Along with Rafiki, she helped Simba find the courage to return to his home and reclaim the throne. She gave him both the gift of friendship and love in the film. 

Maybe you're interested in 14 Amazing Facts About The Masterpiece Of Animated Film, The Lion King

Mufasa Means "King"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

At the start of The Lion King, Mufasa (whose name is of Manazoto origin) is indeed the current king of the Pride Land. Also, since he was the first born son, it makes sense that he would be immediately bestowed with such a royal name. 

Timon Means "Respect"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

Timon is one of the few characters that doesn't have a name of African origin. According to MyLionKing.org, his name actually has Greek origins. The Lion King already draws from Shakespeare's Hamlet,so his name could also have ties to another of the playwright's tragedies, Timon of Athens. 

Pumbaa Means "Slow-Witted"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

With Timon being the "brains," Pumbaa would definitely be the heart. His kind disposition aside, he is definitely not the brightest, as his Swahili name suggests. Though he does manage to come up with a few great ideas, Pumbaa is endearingly remembered for his childlike personalty and behaviors. 

Rafiki Means "Friend"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

Rafiki's Swahili name exemplifies his greatest role in the movie: a devoted friend. Not only does he serve as a friend to the the royal family but he serves as a guide for the lost Simba. Some of the most touching moments of the story occur because of his counsel and guidance. 

Zazu Means "Movement"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

Interestingly, the name Zazu is a traditional Hebrew girl's name and is commonly used in Hebrew-speaking countries. This name was likely a literal connection to being a bird capable of flight, surrounded by grounded lions. 

Sarabi Means "Mirage"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

Sarabi's Swahili name means "mirage," which could serve to explain how Scar viewed the Queen of the Pride Land as the ticket to becoming king, but ultimately led to his downfall. 

Sarafina Means "Bright Star"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

According to IMBD.com, Sarafina's name (which has Swahili origins) was never spoken in the film. It's only in the end credits that the name of Nala's mother appears. The name Sarafina may also pay tribute to the popular South African musical Sarafina!

The musical later became a Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures film in 1992, starring Whoopi Goldberg.

Shenzi Means "Savage"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

The sassy Shenzi certainly lives up to her Swahili name meaning, "savage," as seen when the hyenas are harassing Simba and Nala. The de facto leader of the three hyenas actually has a much longer full name. In The Lion King 1 1/2, Timon reveals that her real name is Shenzi Marie Predatora Veldetta Jacquelina Hyena. 

Maybe you're interested in Lion King Hits Everyone In The Feels

Kiara Means "Small, Dark Thing"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

As the protagonist in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, Kiara is a far cry from her Swahili name. Her desire for adventure was often blocked by her father, Simba, being overprotective. In the end, however, she becomes the guiding light to help the Pridelanders and the Outlanders unite. 

Kovu Means "Scar"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

Kovu's name meaning, "scar," plays several roles. First, Kovu was chosen to be the heir to Scar, his adoptive father. He also gains a scar over his eye from his mother, Zira, in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride. LionKing.org reveals that originally, the plan was to name him Nunka and make him Scar's biological son.

However, there were concerns of creating an incestuous relationship with Kiara (his second cousin), so the idea was scraped. 

Zira Means "Hate"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

As one of the most accurate name selections of The Lion King franchise, Zira's Swahili name is the perfect description for her character. She was loyal to Scar's twisted beliefs and finds Simba to be an unfit king. She harbors a deep dislike for Simba that matches her namesake. 

Nuka Means "Stink"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

The Swahili name chosen for Nuka is perfect for this ragged lion. The eldest son of Zira is a disheveled lion who's had a terrible case of termites since he was an adolescent, causing him to actually stink. His jealously of Kovu drives him to do whatever he can to please his mother while constantly bullying his siblings. 

Vitani Means "Demon Of War"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

Very much her mother's daughter, Vitani is also filled with hate and anger. According to AnimationSource.org, she was originally going to be called Shetani, which means "devil." However, her chosen Swahili name fits her aggressive persona nicely. 

Banzai Means "Skulk" Or "Lurk"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

The name Banzai actually has several meanings. His name could be a reference to its Swahili origins or to the name of a Japanese battle cry. Considering his loathsome and deceptive behavior, the Swahili meaning seems to be the better fit. 

Kion Means "Leader"

Every Meaning of the Character Names in The Lion King

Kion's namesake is befitting for the head of the Lion Guard, as it means "leader." As the leader of the Lion Guard, Kion's job is to protect the Pride Lands and the Circle of Life. 

Watch next: Dark Theories About The Lion King That Change Everything

Source: https://www.ranker.com/list/lion-king-name-meanings/tamara-jude?ref=hp_list_regular&l=1

Related Topics