What does Atari mean?

Atari (no meaning)


Been asked this question 3 times in the last 2 weeks. Guess I should address it.

Atari was an American company. The name was chosen at random (apparently). The decision may or may not have been reinforced by the Japanese word 当たり atari which means something like “hit” or “strike” or “to be right.”

Most Japanese people have never even heard of the old Atari game systems. Nintendo was much bigger over here.

We had the Atari 400 in my home as a kid.
We had the Atari 400 in my home as a kid.

11 thoughts on “What does Atari mean?

  1. That’s crazy my name is Atari I was born in 1975.I was always told the reason I was named Atari was that it meant prepare to be attacked.My father read alot and in some book he read about WWII the Japanese pilots(Kamikaze’s)would say Atari right before they would crash into the US carriers.

  2. Well Atari isn’t spelled in Katakana. So that might be why you can’t find it. Try kanji. It is 100% a Japanese word.

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