What does amiibo mean? Let Nintendo answer that for you

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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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