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How is the title of the well-known cartoon となりのトトロ supposed to be perceived in Japanese?

What is the device behind the トトロ? Is it alliteration, word-play or something else?

1 Answer 1

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Mei, the main character in the movie, has a tendency to mispronounce words.

「トトロ」is a mispronunciation of the word「トロル」or 「トロール」, meaning "troll"— which may refer to the antagonist of the classic children's story "The Three Billy Goats Gruff".

Sources:

From Nausicaa

From EN Wiki

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    でも、Wikiには「広報部が公式ブログでこれを否定する見解を発表」って書いてあるような気が・・・上のほうにも『「トトロ」の名前は「所沢のとなりのお化け」に由来している』って書いてあるし・・・
    – user1016
    Commented Mar 14, 2014 at 7:29

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