Great Big Story explains wasei-eigo, the practice of creating new Japanese words by combining words from other languages like English, and the surprisingly complex origins of the word Pokémon.
By now, words like “Pokémon,” “karaoke” and “anime” are established terms in modern English. But … are these words English or Japanese? As it turns out, neither! They fall into their own category entirely. “Wasei-eigo” is the Japanese art of making new words out of a combination of existing (usually English) words, and it literally means “Japanese-made English.” Making meaning is never bound by one language.