Behind the Names in Harry Potter

The more I research and analyze the Harry Potter series, and the more background information JK Rowling herself releases, the more clear it is how much thought and detail JK Rowling put into every aspect of the series. One aspect that is of particular interest to me is her choice of names for the different characters. Many of her names come from mythology, history, the names of saints, British place names, or are made up to have her own meaning. I have researched the etymology of the names behind characters who are mentioned either in the books, or in new material from JK Rowling on Pottermore. I will release the names in installments of twenty names each. The names are organized in alphabetical order by first name, and I attempt to give definitions for both the first and last names.

My main rule in creating this document is that it must all be original research (meaning that Harry Potter fan websites are not allowed), unless the information comes from a fan book that I already own and have read, or from JK Rowling herself. Most of my information comes from internet research through baby name sites, articles on famous people with these names, Latin and Greek roots, and my own books of mythology. It is not my belief that every single one of the names I have researched were intended to have a meaning, but in order to be thorough I have included the origin of all the names here, regardless of their significance. However, I leave the final interpretation of their meanings up to you. Please feel free to leave any comments, questions, or new interpretations. I hope you enjoy!


Aberforth Dumbledore: Aberforth might mean “from the river.” The most famous use of Aberforth as a name is Aberforth Partners, an investment company in the UK, but it does not have any obvious connection with Harry Potter. Aber comes from the Old Norse meaning “cold, sharp, chilly, sad, bad, raw, bitter.” Aber is also the name of a railway station in the UK. Aber is a common element of place names, meaning a “confluence of waters.” In German “Aber” means “but.” Forth means forward, onward. Aberforth is a very uncommon name, which means that JK Rowling must have picked it for a reason. My favorite interpretation is the Old Norse definition of Aber as “cold, sad, bitter.” Those are all adjectives that describe Aberforth, especially in his relationship with his brother.

Abraxas Malfoy (took part in the premature removal of the first muggle-born minister): Abraxas is a name found in Gnostic texts and other ancient mythologies. Abraxas stones are believed to be amulets or charms. Some people believe the name is the origin of the term Abracadabra. Abraxas is also known as an Egyptian deity who is both god and demon.

Alastor Moody: In Greek mythology Alastor was the avenger of evil deeds, especially familial bloodshed. This is a fitting name for Mad Eye in his job as an Auror. The poet Percy Shelley wrote a poem called “Alastor, or the Spirit of Solitude”. The definition of Moody is “given to frequent changes of mood; temperamental.” Mad Eye is rather temperamental, paranoid, and hard to read, so this definition makes sense.

Albert Runcorn:  Albert means “noble, bright.” Runcorn is an industrial town and port in England.

Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore: Albus Dumbledore is Latin for “White Bumblebee.” JK Rowling chose the name Dumbledore because she said “my image is of this benign wizard, always on the move, humming to himself, and I loved the sound of the word, too.” The white could refer to Dumbledore’s age, or a sense of his purity, but it might have another meaning as well. In literary alchemy authors create three stages in their work that are supposed to represent the transformation of base metal into gold. The second stage (see Sirius Black for the first stage) is called “albedo,” or white work. In the white work the subject is purified for the third and final stage. The Half Blood Prince is known as the albedo novel of the series, and is Albus’ book because he tutors Harry, purifying him for the Deathly Hallows. Albus also dies at the end of Half-Blood Prince.

See Albus’ father, Percival Dumbledore, for the meaning of this middle name.

Wulfric means “wolf power.”

In Celtic mythology, Brian and his two brothers kill the Celtic god Cian, and to atone for their crimes are set eight tasks. They had to retrieve three apples from the Garden of the Sun, a healing pigskin from the King of Greece, a poisoned spear from the King of Persia, a cooking spit from the undersea kingdom, and seven pigs that would be eaten one day and found alive the next. Brian and his brothers die attempting to fulfill their last task.

Alecto Carrow: Alecto was one of the furies in Greek mythology. Her name means “unceasing anger.” In Ireland, a carrow is known as a “traveling gamester.” There is a medieval castle in Wales that is owned by the Carew family, a variant of the surname Carrow.

Ali Bashir (tries to sell flying carpets): Ali means “noble, elevated, exalted.” Bashir means “the one who brings good news” or “well-educated, wise.”

Alicia Spinnet: Alicia comes from the name Alice, which comes from Adelaide, which means “noble.” I could not find any information on the etymology of the last name “Spinnet,” but spinet refers to a compact, upright piano.

Altheda: Altheda means “like a blossom” or “healer” or “medicinal herb.” In Beedle the Bard’s tale “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” it is Altheda who concocts the potion to cure Asha.

Amata: Amata means “beloved.” In Beedle’s tale “The Fountain of Fair Fortune,” Amata had been abandoned by her lover, and later falls in love with Sir Luckless.

Ambrosius Flume(Honeydukes): Ambrosius means “immortal” or “divine.” In Greek mythology ambrosia is the food of the gods, which would make sense for the owner of a sweet shop. Ambrosius Aurelianus was a war hero of the Romano-British. Flume is a deep, narrow channel with a stream running through it.

Amos Diggory: Amos means “Carried.” See Cedric Diggory for the etymology of his last name.

Amycus Carrow: Amycus was a son of Poseidon in Greek mythology. He was a boxer. Amycus is also the name of a centaur who killed an innocent women and was sent to Tartarus. Both mythological figures are very violent and fit with Carrow’s personality. See Alecto Carrow for the etymology of his last name.

Andromeda Tonks: In Greek mythology, Andromeda’s mother, Cassiopeia, angered Poseidon by claiming to be more beautiful than the Nereids. Poseidon sent a dragon and a flood, and said that only the sacrifice of Andromeda could save them. Perseus, using his flying sandals and magic cloak/helmet, which made him invisible, killed the monster and saved Andromeda. On the Black family tree there is a Cassiopeia (although not Andromeda’s mother) and this story might be representing the way that Andromeda was saved from the pureblood mania of her family through her marriage to muggle-born Ted Tonks.

Angelina Johnson: Angelina comes from the word angel. Johnson is a name that literally means “son of John.”

Antioch Peverell: Antioch means “stubborn, resistant.” It was also an ancient city in Turkey. Antioch, the oldest in the Tale of Three Brothers, is definitely a stubborn, arrogant man, and this name suits him. Peverell is a neighborhood in Plymouth. The meaning is “piper”, which means pepper. Pepper signifies hot tempered. Also means “small boy.” The name came from William Peverell, the son of William the Conqueror.

Antonin Dolohov: Antonin could be a reference to the Roman Marcus Antonius, who ruled the empire jointly with Augustus (see fellow Death Eater Augustus Rookwood). Antonin means “worthy of praise.” Dolokhov is a character in War and Peace who is a cold, almost psychopathic man, and is a noted dueler and drinker.

Apolline Delacour: Appoline is a version of Appolonia, which comes from Apollo. Apollo is the Greek god of poetry, music, and sunlight. See Fleur Delacour for the meaning of her last name.

Apollyon Pringle (caretaker at Hogwarts): Apollyon is a name given to the devil in the New Testament. In Greek it means “to utterly destroy.” Pringle is the name of an old clan from Scotland, and means “enclosed valley or ravine.” Pringle is also a term for a coin. JK Rowling seems to have decided that all Hogwarts caretakers have an unpleasant personality, and although we know very little about Appolyon Pringle, his name makes that very clear.

Arabella Figg: Arabella means invokable.  The definition of invoke is “to call upon for help or aid.” Mrs. Figg is often called upon to help Harry or watch over him. Arabella is a variant of Annabel. Figg could either be derived from “fig” or from “vig,” meaning war. In the Bible, Jesus curses the fig tree so that it will bear no more fruit. This could be a reference to Mrs. Figg’s status as a Squib, unable to produce magic.

Aragog: A combination of two names. The first is Arachne, a girl in Greek mythology who was turned into a spider after boasting that she could weave better than Athena. The second name is Gog, a giant in the Bible and other British legends. Put together it makes Aragog, or “giant spider.”

Araminta Meliflua (cousin of Sirius’ mother, tries to make Muggle hunting legal): In Hebrew, Araminta means “lofty.” Meliflua is Spanish for sickly sweet. Also a vine native to the Philippines.

Argus Filch: In Greek mythology, Argus is Hera’s watchman who has thousands of eyes covering every part of his body. He was killed by Hermes, the trickster god (represented by Fred and George). Filch means “to take furtively or casually.”

Arianna Dumbledore: Arianna is the Italian form of Ariadne. Ariadne was a figure in Greek mythology who helped the hero Theseus escape from the labyrinth through the use of a string. Theseus had promised to marry Ariadne, but deserts her on an island where she is later married to Dionysus. In this myth I think of Theseus as Albus and Aberforth as Dionysus (not such a crazy connection since Aberforth is a barkeeper and Dionysus is the god of wine).  Theseus (Albus) is a strong hero, yet he needs the help of the simple mortal girl Ariadne to escape from the labyrinth. However, Theseus (Albus) betrays her, and it is up to Dionysus (Aberforth) to take care of Ariadne.

Armand Malfoy (first Malfoy in Britain): Armand means “bold, hardy man” or “army man, soldier.” See Draco Malfoy for the meaning of his last name.

Armando Dippet: Armando means “army man, soldier.” Dip is British slang for “a foolish or stupid person.” It is clear throughout the series that Armando Dippet is not supposed to be particularly intelligent, which is further evidenced by this last name of JK Rowling’s creation.

Arthur Weasley: Arthur has its origins in the legend of King Arthur. Arthur comes from the roots “Artos(bear) + Viros(man) + Rigos (king).” Weasley is connected to weasels, which in Christian mythology are one of two animals able to kill the Basilisk. Because they kill snakes, Christians think of weasels as a symbol of Christ. Medieval Christians regarded Weasel as a spiritual warrior able to defeat the Devil with faith. In Harry’s journey, the Weasleys represent Harry’s protectors and guides.

Asha (Fountain of Fair Fortune): A divine entity of Iranian Zoroastrianism, Asha is known as the guardian of fire and moral and physical order.

Astoria Greengrass: Astoria comes from the Astor family, which was known for its prominence in England and the US, and means “hawk.” Greengrass is a name for someone who lived in a recently cultivated area.

Augusta Longbottom: August means “marked by majestic dignity or grandeur.” Longbottom is a surname that refers to someone who lived in a long valley or dell. Her name is amusing in its contradictions since Augusta evokes dignity and Longbottom sounds slightly foolish.

Augustus Rookwood: See above for etymology of Augustus. Augustus was the founder of the Roman Empire, and he ruled with Marcus Antonius (see Antonin Dolohov). A rook is a member of the crow family, as well as a piece in chess. Rookwood is a cemetery in Australia which has a serpentine canal and gave rise to expression “crook as Rookwood.” William Harrison Ainsworth wrote a dark, Gothic romance called Rookwood which is about a fight for inheritance. All of these definitions fit with Rookwood’s status as a Death Eater and double agent.

Aurora Sinistra: Aurora is the Roman goddess of dawn, and is the name for a natural light display in the sky. Sinistra is the name of a star on the left side of the constellation Serpent Bearer. Both of these names, referring to occurrences in the skies, make sense for the Astronomy Professor.


Barnabas Cuffe: Barnabas means “son of prophet,” which is a clever pun since Barnabas Cuffe is the editor of The Daily Prophet. The name Cuffe may have originated from the glove makers profession.

Bartemius Crouch: Bartimaeus is the name of a blind beggar whom Jesus gave sight in the Bible. It literally means “son of Timaeus.” Timaeus is a figure in Plato who has a long discussion with Socrates about optics and eyes. This may be connected to the way that Barty Crouch Jr impersonates Mad Eye Moody. Crouch means “to stoop or bend low.” The surname Crouch means “cross.” In some ways Barty Crouch Jr serves as a cross for Barty Crouch Sr since he is a burden the latter is constantly forced to carry and hide and can never put down.

Bathilda Bagshot: Bathilda means “woman warrior.” Saint Bathild became Queen of the Franks in the 7th century, and opposed the slave trade. Bagshot is a town in the South of England.

Bellatrix Lestrange: Bellatrix means “female warrior,” and it is also the brightest star in the constellation Orion. Le strange is French for someone who is strange or foreign.

Bertha Jorkins: Bertha means “bright, famous.” Jorkins is a term for an intractable, unyielding lawyer. It means obstinate.

Bilius (Ron’s middle name, and his uncle’s name): Bilious means “consisting of bile, or ill humored.” In the Middle Ages, yellow bile was one of the four humors which represented warmth and fire. In the books, Ron and all the red headed Weasley’s represent the humor of bile.

Binns: “One who lives by an open manger or stall.”

Blaise Zabini: Blaise is “lisp, stutter”. Also could be a homophone for “blaze.” Blaise is the name of a saint who had miraculous healing powers. Zabi means “cutter, or butcher.”

Bogrod (Goblin): In Russian the word Bog means “god.” Rod is the creator deity in Slavic mythology.

Bole (Slytherin Beater): Bole is a shade of brown. It is also the name of a part of Nottinghamshire, England. Bole refers to the trunk of a tree. JK Rowling gives this minor character an unpleasant name that also gives an impression of his girth.

Bowman Wright: Bowman is a name for an “archer.” Wright is used to describe a maker of machinery or objects, mostly in wood. This last name makes sense for the craftsman who made the Golden Snitch.

Broderick Bode: Broderick comes from the Norse name Bruadar, which means “dream.” Bode means “to be an omen of a particular outcome.” I think JK Rowling would have enjoyed giving a name that suggests the ability to foretell the future to someone working in the Department of Mysteries.


Cadmus Peverell: Cadmus is “he who excels”, or “from the east”. Cadmus founded the city of Thebes. He killed the sacred dragon of Ares and planted its teeth in the ground, resulting in the growth of an army of undead soldiers. He then threw a stone among them, tricking them into fighting each other instead of him, and in the end forced them to build Thebes for him. However, he lived a life of misery for killing Ares sacred dragon, and turned into a serpent at the end of his life. This tale has many similarities to that of the second brother in Beedle the Bard’s tale. Cadmus attempts to bring back an army of soldiers from the dead, similar to the Resurrection Stone. In the end, he is punished for what he’s done, and there is even a serpent at the end to symbolize the evilness of his act.

Sir Cadogan: Cadogan means “battle glory.” It was the name of several Welsh princes in the early Middle Ages.

Cadwallader (Hufflepuff Chaser): “battle leader.”

Cantankerus Nott (wrote a list of 28 pure blood families): Cantankerous means “difficult or irritating to deal with.” Nott comes from the nickname for a thickset person.

Caractacus Burke: The name Caractacus was invented for the character Caractacus Pott, an eccentric inventor in the book Chitty Chitty Bang Bang by Ian Fleming, who lived with his twin children. JK Rowling has admitted to reading a different book by Ian Fleming, so it is very possible she read this one as well. Burke means “fort, or fortified town.”

Caradoc Dearborn (original Order of the Phoenix, vanishes): Caradoc was a Knight of the Round Table who was the ancestor to the Kings of Wales. Dearborn means “brook of the deer.”

Cassandra Vablatsky (author of Unfogging the Future)/ Cassandra Trelawney (Great-great-grandmother of Sybil Trelawney): Cassandra was the daughter of King Priam and Queen Hecuba of Troy, and was given the gift of prophecy by Apollo. Apollo curses her prophecies after she spurns his advances, saying that they will never be believed. As Sybil’s great-great-grandmother, this may be a reference to Professor Trelawney’s inability to make real predictions. Madame Blavatsky was a British writer about the spiritual traditions of the world, and the name Vablatsky is probably a reference to her.

Cedric Diggory: Cedric was the founder of Wessex. The name was created for the novel Ivanhoe. Diggory may mean “lost one,” which could be an allusion to Cedric’s death. The name comes from a poem about a knight named Sir Degare who needed to prove himself worthy of knighthood by undertaking tasks such as fighting dragons and giants. This could be a direct reference to Cedric’s need to accomplish the three tasks of the Triwizard Tournament. In the Chronicles of Narnia, Digory is the name of the boy in “The Magician’s Nephew,” so it already has magical connections in popular literature.

Celestina Warbeck: Celestina means “heavenly.” JK Rowling said, “I stole her first name from a friend with whom I worked, years ago, at Amnesty International’s Headquarters in London. ‘Celestina’ was simply begging to be scooped up and attached to a glamorous witch.” Warbeck sounds like warble, which is “a musical trill.”

Charity Burbage: Charity is a saint who was tortured to death. In the first chapter of “Deathly Hallows,” Charity, representing love, is killed and then eaten by Nagini, representing death and evil. This is a symbolic opening to the last book. Burbage is a parish in Leicestershire. It is also most famously connected with Richard Burbage, the star actor in Shakespeare’s plays.

Cho Chang: Cho means “butterfly” in Japanese. Chang is a Chinese surname which means “constant, or often.”

Ciceron Harkiss (gives Ambrosius Flume his first job): Ciceron means “chickpea.” The name may come from Cicero, who was a statesman, orator, and author in the 1st century BC. Harkiss means “hardy or brave.”

Colin Creevey: Colin means “young dog” in gaelic, or a form of Nicholas, which means “victory of the people.” Creevey means “curly headed.” Their coat of arms has a seated griffin with gold wings, which may be a reference to the fact that both Creevey’s are in Gryffindor.

Colonel Fubster: Fub is “a plump young person or child,” or “to put off by trickery, to cheat.” Fubster is an ugly character in a British children’s magazine called Little Wide Awake.

Connolly: “Descendent of the valorous.”

Cormac McLaggan: In mythology, Cormac is the son of an Irish king who goes into voluntary exile because of distaste for his father. He was killed by a jealous husband whose wife had fallen in love with him. McLaggan means “son of the servant of Adam.”

Cornelius Oswald Fudge: The house Cornelia was one of the most distinguished houses in Rome. It possibly comes from “cornu” which means “horn.” He was also the first person of the gentile class to be baptized in the bible. Oswald means “god’s power” or “man from the south woods.” This name reflects Fudge’s power hungry nature, and his belief that he is always right. Fudge can mean “to fail to come to grips with,” or “to fail to perform as expected.” This last name perfectly summarizes Fudge’s response to Voldemort’s return.

Corvinus Gaunt (creates the entrance to the Chamber of Secrets after a bathroom is built on top): Corvinus is a Roman name which means raven. It is also the name of a Hungarian King. See Marvolo Gaunt for the etymology of his last name.

Croaker: Croaker refers to an animal that croaks. In slang, Croaker means doctor. Croak could also be slang for “to die,” referring to Croaker’s job in the Department of Mysteries and the study of death.

Crookshanks: Possibly named after England’s most famous caricaturist and political satirist of the 19th century, George Cruikshanks. He was known for being able to look underneath the shows of political figures and pierce the powerful. Shank is the lower part of the leg, and Crookshanks is described as bowlegged, or with “crooked shanks.”

Cuthbert Mockridge (head of Goblin liaison office): Cuthbert means miracle healer. “Famous, bright.” The origin of the name Mockridge is unclear, but it is a fairly common British surname.


Dai Llewellyn (ward Mr. Weasley is kept in): Llewellyn is a publishing company that sells books that have to do with spiritual or magical topics. Dai Llewellyn was a Welsh socialite who was also a baronet.

Damocles (Belby’s uncle, invented the Wolfsbane potion): A Greek courtier to Dionysus who was forced to feast at a table with a sword hanging over his head suspended by a single hair.

Daphne Greengrass (Slytherin in Harry’s year): Daphne means “laurel tree.” In Greek mythology Daphne was protected from the unwanted attentions of Apollo by being turned into a laurel bush. In some languages Daphne means “victory.” See Astoria Greengrass for the meaning of her last name.

Dawlish: A town on the South coast of Devon, in England.

Dedalus Diggle: Deadalus is a skilled craftsman in Greek mythology who built the labyrinth of the minotaur, and escaped from this labyrinth by making wings for himself and his son. Diggle is a village in England, and it comes from a word which means “valley.” I think that JK Rowling enjoyed having alliteration in this name, and the use of a mythological character.

Dennis Creevey: Dennis is the French form of Dionysus, and is also a saint. See Colin Creevey for the etymology of his last name.

Derrick (Slytherin Beater):  A lifting device named after its resemblance to a type of gallows used for the hangman’s noose. The gallows got its name from Thomas Derrick, an English executioner.

Dervish and Banges (sells and repairs magical instruments): A Dervish is a member of a Muslim religious order who practices devotional exercises, or someone who whirls and dances with the abandonment of a dervish. Bange means to lounge about.

Diagon Alley: Diagonally.

Dilys Derwent (Head of Hogwarts and Healer at St Mungo’s): Dilys is of Welsh origin, from the mid 19th century. Means “perfect, true, reliable.” Derwent means “valley thick with oaks.”

Dimitrov: Comes from Demeter, the Greek goddess of crops.

Dobby: “Dob in” means “to inform against or report, especially to the police.” Dobby reports Lucius Malfoy’s plant to open the Chamber of Secrets to Harry in the second book.

Dolores Umbridge: Dolores is Spanish for “sorrows.” Umbrage means “to be insulted or resentful because of the action of others.”

Dorcas Meadowes (Original order of the Phoenix, Voldemort killed her personally): Dorcas is the Greek name of a woman in the New Testament who was known for her acts of charity. The name means gazelle.  Meadowes is an English name for someone who lives near the grasslands.

Draco Malfoy: Draco comes from the constellation of a dragon, yet Draco’s wand core is unicorn hair. Malfoy comes from old French and means “bad faith.”

Dudley Dursley: Dudley is the name of a Metropolitan borough in England. As a name it mean’s “the people’s field” or “Dudda’s field.” Dursley is the name of an English village in Gloucestershire. JK Rowling has never been there, but she thought the sound of the name seemed right.

Durmstrang: Durmstrang comes from “Sturm and Drang,” a German art movement that later became associated with Nazi Germany. A famous opera associated with this movement, called the Flying Dutchman, told of ghost ship similar to the one the Durmstrang students arrive on.


Eeylop (Owl Emporium): In Somali, “eey” means dog. “Lop”-eared bunnies are a type of rabbit. Although neither of these roots refer to owls, they are both connected to animals.

Eldred Worple (writes a book about vampires): Eldred means “wise advisor.” Worple may mean a wild land or winding road. It is part of old British dialect. Worple Road is a street in London.

Elphias Doge: Elphias is a very uncommon name, perhaps invented by JK Rowling herself. It may come from Eliphas Levi, a French occult author and ceremonial magician. Doge is the military leader and ruler of Venice. Currently it might be used as a slang term for dog, which might explain Rita Skeeter’s nickname Elphias “Dogbreath” Doge.

Elphinstone Urquart (McGonagall’s husband): Elphinstone is a village in Scotland. Urquhart is the name of a castle by Loch Ness in Scotland.

Emmeline Vance: Emmeline means “hardworking.” Emmeline was the name of one of the members of the Fabian Society, from which JK Rowling found many of the names of the members of the Order of the Phoenix. Vance means “marshland” or “from the marsh.”

Enid Smeek (lived in Godric’s Hollow when the Dumbledore’s lived there): JK Rowling’s mother was a great fan of the author Enid Blyton, although JK herself was not. This may be where she got this first name. Smeek means “to clean, clear, or drive out by means of smoke.” It does not appear to be a real last name.

Ernie Macmillan: Ernest means “serious.” Macmillan means “son of the bald man.”

Ernie Prang: Named after JK Rowling’s grandfather Ernest. Prang is slang for a crash involving a motor vehicle.

Errol: A variant of “Earl.” Scottish meaning is “to wander.”

Eupraxia Mole (Headmistress of Hogwarts): In mythology, Eupraxia is the personification of well-being and the spirit of good conduct. On Pottermore, JK Rowling said that Eupraxia tried to negotiate with Peeves, who is a completely contradicting spirit. Mole is a last name that comes from a river named Mole. However, it could also be referring to the animal, or a mark on someone’s face or body. Since Eupraxia Mole is only briefly mentioned, it is hard to know which interpretation JK Rowling is referring to.

Evan Rosier: Evan means “young warrior,” “good messenger,” or “rock”, depending on the country of origin. Rosier is a fallen angel considered the patron demon of tainted love and seduction.

Evangeline Orpington (Minister from 1849-1855): Evangeline is a Greek name meaning “bringer of good news.” Orpington is a suburban town in Southeast London

Everard (former Head of Hogwarts): Means “brave boar,” which could be a reference to Hogwarts.


Fabian Prewett (Molly Weasley’s brother): Fabian means “bean.” It comes from the name Romans gave to their freed slaves. JK Rowling was a big fan of E. Nesbit, who was a founding member of the Fabian Society, which eventually gave way to the UK Labor Party. Many of the members of the Order of the Phoenix are named for historical leaders of the Fabian society. Jill Prewett was one of JK Rowling’s flatmates when she lived in Portugal. Prewett is a welsh name that means “small but brave.”

Fawkes: JK Rowling says that the author she identifies most with is E. Nesbit, who wrote “the Phoenix and the Carpet.” In this book, the phoenix is discovered on Guy Fawkes Day. Guy Fawkes Day is a celebration in Great Britain that is commemorated by lighting bonfires around London.

Fawley (pure-blood family name): A village in Hampshire, England.

Fenrir Greyback: In Norse mythology, Fenrir is a giant wolf born from the trickster Loki and a giantess. He is tricked into being tied up by the gods, but in the end of the world he is believed to break loose and swallow the Norse god Odin. Greyback might be referring to gray wolves.

Fergus (Seamus’ cousin): Fergus was a Celtic king who was in love with a widow.  He allowed her son to rule for a year. However, at the end of the year no one wanted the son to step down, creating a large war.
Filibuster (fireworks company): A filibuster is a parliamentary procedure where debate is extended. It means “to act in an obstructive manner in a legislature, esp. by speaking at inordinate length.”

Filius Flitwick: Filius means “child” in Latin. This might be referring to Flitwick’s small size. Flit means “to move swiftly or lightly.” Wick means “to absorb or draw away by capillary action.”

Firenze: Firenze is the Italian name for Florence, a city known for art and scholarship.

Fleur Delacour: Fleur is French for flower. Coeur is French for heart. Fleur Delacour could mean “Flower of the heart” or “Flower of the court.”

Floo powder: Flue is “a channel in a chimney for conveying smoke into the outer air.”

Florean Fortesque: Florean means “flower.” Fortesque means “strong shield.”

Frank Bryce: The name Frank means “free.” Frank is also an adjective meaning “open, honest, and direct,” which is an apt description of Frank’s personality. The Scottish version of Bryce means “speckled” or “son of a nobleman.” In Gaelic it means “quick or speedy.”

Fridwulfa: Frid means “peace.” “Wulf” is German for wolf. I like this name because it uses two contradicting roots that illustrate both the love and the brutality of which giants are capable.


Gabrielle Delacour: Gabrielle is a French name meaning “woman of god.” See Fleur Delacour for the definition of her last name.

Gambol and Jakes (Wizarding Joke Shop): Gambol means “to frisk or frolic.” Jakes is slang for “all right, fine,” or “a wild turkey.”

Gawain Robards (Head of the Auror office): Gawain was one of the greatest knights of the Round Table. He was challenged to a game with the Green Knight who said that Gawain could strike him one blow as long as he was allowed to return the blow in a year. Gawain struck off the Green Knight’s head, but he did not die. A year later, when Gawain was searching for the Green Knight, he found a castle, where he was welcomed in. He made a deal with the Lord of the house that at the end of each day they would exchange what they had received that day. For the first two days Gawain agrees, but on the third day he receives a girdle that will make him invincible. He does not give that up, and the Lord of the house reveals himself as the Green Knight. Eventually the Green Knight forgives him for keeping the girdle, but from that day on Gawain wears that girdle as a sign of his shame. Robards means “fame, bright.”

Gellert Grindelwald: Gellert means “brave with spear.” Gellert was a saint in Hungary who was martyred by being thrown into the Danube river. “Wald” means forest, while Grindel may be referring to Grendel, the monster in Beowulf. Grindelwald is a village in Switzerland. Grindelwald means “a wooded area of valley blocked off from the rest of the world. ”

Gibbon (Death Eater): Gibbon is a type of ape.

Gideon Prewett (Mrs. Weasley’s brother): Gideon means “mighty warrior.” He was a figure in the Bible who saved the Israelites from the Midianites. See Fabian Prewett for the etymology of his last name.

Gilbert Wimple (Committee on Experimental Charms): Gilbert means “bright pledge.” Wimple is a cloth headdress worn by nuns.

Dervish and Banges (sells and repairs magical instruments): A Dervish is a member of a Muslim religious order who practices devotional exercises, or someone who whirls and dances with the abandonment of a dervish. Bange means to lounge about.

Diagon Alley: Diagonally.

Gilderoy Lockhart: Gilderoy was a handsome and bold thief in 16th century Scotland. JK Rowling found his name in the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. Lockhart was found on a war memorial, and shows how Gilderoy can unlock womens’ hearts.

Ginevra Weasley: Ginevra comes from the name Guinevere. Harry could be representing King Arthur in this scenario, and Ginny is his Guinevere. Alternatively, King Arthur could be referring to Mr. Weasley.

Gornuk (Goblin): “Gor” is from the old German, meaning “dirt, dung, feces.” “Nuk” means “not” in Albanian.


6 thoughts on “He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named

  1. Pingback: Second Installment of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named | Veritaserum: The Truth Behind Harry Potter

  2. Pingback: Third Installment of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named | Veritaserum: The Truth Behind Harry Potter

  3. Pingback: Fourth Installment of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named | Veritaserum: The Truth Behind Harry Potter

  4. Pingback: Fifth Installment of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named | Veritaserum: The Truth Behind Harry Potter

  5. Pingback: Sixth Installment of He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named | Veritaserum: The Truth Behind Harry Potter

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