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What does amiibo mean? Let Nintendo answer that for you

It sounded peculiar when announced at E3 2014, but Nintendo of America’s Bill Trinen has now shed light on the meaning behind amiibo – the company’s foray into the toys-to-life market.

“They came up with the name in Japan, and the ‘amii’ portion comes from a little something in Japanese that conveys the sentiment of friend, of playing with your friend,” Trinen explained to TIME. “That’s what they’re really trying to convey with it. I think for us it sounds a little like amigo. That’s not the origin of the name, but it conveys the intent.”

He also added further thoughts on this yesterday as part of the company’s amiibo Q&A on Twitter, adding: “The ‘amii’ in amiibo can mean friend or buddy in Japan. So, think of them all as your little buddies, little buddy.”

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