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We have Professors Oak, Elm, Birch, Sycamore, etc, in the games. We also have Professor Ivy, etc.---in the anime.

  • This could apply to movies as well – user35971 Sep 27 '17 at 12:38
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    Not sure so not going to post this as an answer, but probably just for fun. Kinda like how many related Dragonball characters share a naming scheme (Saiyans are named after vegetables, Ginyu Force members after dairy products, etc.). – Becuzz Sep 27 '17 at 14:45
  • Might be worth to note that note that not all professors follow this pattern. Manga exclusives, anime exclusives and games outside of the main series don't always follow this pattern – Dimitri mx Sep 28 '17 at 8:55
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    The various professors have plant names in Japanese too. Oak is Ōkido = "orchid"; Elm is Utsugi = this; Birch is Odamaki = "Aquilegia"; Sycamore is ~Platane = "Platanus". Of course, that just makes the question "why are they named after plants in Japanese", and I don't specifically know why. But idiosyncratic naming schemes like this are hardly uncommon or unusual. – senshin Sep 28 '17 at 18:47
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There's no real reason to why they're all named like this, but rather they primarily do it to just follow a fun naming scheme. Naming schemes are common in a lot of media. The most common use of this is the use of the 7 Deadly Sins as names, found in several pieces of entertainment. You never know though, Game Freak might run out of trees eventually!

  • This is an interesting angle. Are you certain that it was Game Freak that came up with that naming convention to begin with? – Makoto Sep 28 '17 at 15:27
  • Personally, I feel that that it is primarily used just to make it easier to come up with names after the fact. I mean trees are a good metaphor as well, having experience that can be passed down, in a metaphorical sense of course. – Shinji Wins Sep 29 '17 at 12:39

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