paku paku taberu is the etymological root of pac-man.  taberu means to eat.  stuff in front of it makes it more specific (and is usually doubled up like that).  paku paku taberu means to "gobble down."

thanks, cuthalion


though i originally heard this from cuthalion, i put out a small search for some real evidence.  i won.  neener neener. :)  an interview with the creator himself can be found at the link at the end of this node, do a search for 'paku' to find it quicker.  i'll include the excerpt from it right here though:

The Japanese have a slang word - paku paku - they use to describe the motion of the mouth opening and closing while one eats. The name Pac Man came from that word.

Pac-Man designer, Toru Iwatani  < >

* by the way, in japanese, u's at the end of words are pretty much not pronounced.