The Akashic Record

Being a Compendium of Lore, Onomatology, Miscellanea, and Pareidolia

Relating to the Universe of Harry Potter

With Commentary Esoteric and Exoteric

Compiled by Petréa Mitchell

This is the downloadable form of the Akashic Record. To get the latest version of this reference, go to:

Spoiler level: Full


Abbott, Hannah (PS ch. 7): A Hufflepuff, same year as Harry, now a prefect and a member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: The Middle English spelling of abbot, just the thing to go along with the Fat Friar.

Abercrombie, Euan (OotP ch. 11): A Gryffindor, 4 years behind Harry.

Etym: Last name of a British general who participated in the French and Indian Wars.

Aberforth Dumbledore: Etym: No name-specific info. Aber in Scottish placenames means "confluence" or "river mouth", so it could mean the location of Edinburgh-- at the mouth of the river Forth.

Abergavenny: A town in Wales where the Knight Bus dropped off a Madam Marsh.

Abraxan horse (OotP ch. 20): A variety of winged horses.

Etym: Looks like it's from Abraxas, a word used in magical amulets and later turned into a Gnostic deity, though what that implies I have no idea.

Abraxas Malfoy: Etym: See above.

Acanthia Way (OotP ch. 10): The address given in Little Norton for Doris Purkiss.

Etym: Various plants in the genus Acanthus; the leaf of A. spinosa became a popular classical decorative motif.

Accidental Magic Reversal Squad: An arm of the Ministry of Magic which rescues and restores the victims of splinching and other magical accidents.

Accio: The incantation for a Summoning Charm, usually followed by the name of the item summoned.

Etym: Latin, "I summon".

Achievement in Charming (OotP ch. 31): A book Hermione was studying for her O.W.L.s from.

Ackerley, Stewart [Acker] (GoF ch. 12): A Ravenclaw, three years behind Harry.

Etym: From a Middle English or German word for "field".

Acid Pops: A magical candy capable of actually burning a hole through one's tongue.

acromantula (HBP ch. 22): A giant talking spider, such as Aragog and his family.

Etym: Not sure, but my best guess is a conflation of acromegaly and tarantula.

Adalbert Waffling: Etym: No etymology found. Name of a bishop of Hamburg-Bremen, and a Lombard king of Italy.

Adrian Pucey: Etym: From Latin Hadrianus "of the Adriatic", name of an emperor and several popes.

Advanced Potion-Making (HBP ch. 9): The textbook for N.E.W.T.-level Potions.

Advanced Rune Translation (HBP ch. 7): The textbook for N.E.W.T.-level Ancient Runes.

Adventures of Martin Miggs, The Mad Muggle, The: A comic book series that Ron reads.

Agatha Timms: Etym: From Greek agathos, "good". St. Agatha is a martyr of possibly the 3rd century.

Age Line: A barrier which stops anyone below a certain age crossing it.

Aging Potion: Can age a person physically, but does not fool an Age Line.

Agnes (OotP ch. 23): A witch confined to the Janus Thickey Ward.

Etym: From Latin agnus, "sheep". In this case, a sheep in wolf's clothing.

Agrippa (PS ch. 6): Henrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, at various times the secretary to Charles V, physician to Louis of Savoy, theologian, military entrepreneur, philosopher, orator, public advocate (discharged for defending an accused witch) and expert on occultism. His De occulta philosophia was one of the biggest influences on the Renaissance concept of magic, particularly Kabalism, and his writings and fame made him a figure in early versions of the Faust legend.

Featured in the Famous Witches and Wizards series of trading cards.

Aguamenti (HBP ch. 27): An incantation that produces water; may be the same as the Refilling Charm.

Etym: Combination of agua, Spanish for "water", and augment.

Aidan Lynch: Etym: Diminutive of Old Irish aid "fire".

akashic record: A New Age concept derived from Hindu occultism. An alternate dimension or invisible energy in which psychic vibrations of every object and event, past, present, and future, are stored, thus providing a mechanism for clairvoyance. I chose this name because all the good relevant ones were taken, and in the faint hope that perhaps I have managed to make a forward reference.

Alastor Moody: Etym: PN: "In Greek legend an avenging deity who drives the sinner to fresh crimes. Shelley's Alastor is, however, the Spirit of Solitude." Having seen what Moody thinks of Snape, that first part sounds rather ominous... Also used to name the target that the deity takes over, rather like Moody's form being used for evil purposes.

Alberic Grunnion: Etym: A Germanic name, formed from from oelf "elf" + riic "power".

Albert Runcorn: Etym: Germanic, adal "noble" + berht "famous".

Albus Dumbledore: Etym: From a root meaning "white". Cognate to Albion, a poetic term for Britain, usually translated as "White Isle".

Albus Severus Potter: Etym: See above.

Alderton, Arkie (DH ch. 13): Allegedly a well-known broomstick designer who married a Muggle, but the Ministry is looking into that.

Etym: Habitation name from at least five places in the UK.

Alecto Carrow: Etym: One of the Furies, the Greco-Roman goddesses of vengeance. This name means "unceasing (in anger)".

Alfred Cattermole: Etym: From oelf "elf" + roeed "counsel". A very popular name due to Alfred the Great, king of Wessex, who famously maintained the only Anglo-Saxon kingdom not conquered by the Danes.

Algie (PS ch. 7): Neville Longbottom's great-uncle who was forever trying to get Neville's magic to manifest itself.

Etym: Of Norman-French origin, meaning "with whiskers" or "mustaches".

Ali Bashir: Etym: Anglicization of an Arabic name derived from from `ala, "rise, ascend".

Alice Longbottom: Etym: From Old German athal "noble" + haidu "kind, sort"

Alicia Spinnet: Etym: Ultimately from Old German athal "noble" + haidu "kind, sort" (the equivalent to Modern English -hood).

Alohomora: Incantation for an unlocking charm.

Etym: Possibly Hawai`ian aloha "hello, goodbye", plus something I can't identify.

Alphard (Black?): Etym: A star whose common name means "the solitary one".

Amelia Susan Bones: Etym: ECN says it's derived from the Old German name element amal- "work", but OED claims it's from Latin melior "better". The intended etymology is probably the latter.

Ambrosius Flume: Etym: Related to ambrosia, idiomatically the most wonderful food.

Amortentia (HBP ch. 9): The strongest of all love potions.

Etym: From Latin roots meaning "love" and "to death".

Amos Diggory: Etym: From Hebrew for "carried", an Old Testament prophet with a message of doom.

Amy Benson: Etym: From Old French amée, "loved".

Amycus Carrow: Etym: A minor figure in the story of the Argonauts, a son of Poseidon who was famed as a boxer.

Anapneo (HBP ch. 7): An incantation to relieve choking.

Etym: Latinized form of Greek anapno- "respiration".

Ancient Runes: An elective subject at Hogwarts, which Hermione is taking.

Ancient Runes Made Easy: A book Hermione was reading to prepare for taking Ancient Runes.

Andrew Kirke: Etym: From the Greek for "manly"; also the name of the patron saint of Scotland and Russia. The saint's name is probably derived from a Hebrew name.

Andromeda Black Tonks: Etym: A mythical woman who was to be sacrificed to a sea monster because of her mother's boasting, saved by Perseus who killed the sea monster and an uncle who intended to marry her. In keeping with the astronomical names of the Black family, also the closest galaxy to our own.

Angelina Johnson: Etym: "Little angel"; also a tree of tropical America, a genus of Leguminosae, with showy purple flowers.

Angus Fleet: Etym: As a name, probably from Old Irish AEngus "one choice". Also a breed of cattle, a 9th century saint, and a minor mythical hero.

Animagus: A wizard who can transform at will (along with their clothes and anything they may be carrying) into a characteristic animal form which reflects their personality. The Ministry of Magic maintains a registry of Animagi, but unregistered ones abound. Animagi revealed so far are James Potter, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black, Rita Skeeter and, the only registered one mentioned here, Professor McGonagall.

Etym: I'm guessing this is not "animal mage" but "spirit mage", from Latin anima.

Anthology of Eighteenth-Century Charms, An: A book in the Hogwarts library.

Anthony Goldstein: Etym: Unknown. The name of a couple saints.

Anti-Cheating Charms (OotP ch. 31): Probably the same as the Anti-Cheating Spell, used on the O.W.L. exam papers.

Anti-Cheating Spell: Used on the quills the Hogwarts student use for their written exams. Probable mechanism: the pen senses when it's about to be used to write information obtained illicitly. Maybe if the student doesn't think they're cheating...

Anti-Disapparation Jinx (OotP ch. 36): A spell that disables the target's ability to Apparate.

Antigone Bungs, Romilda:

Etym: The daughter of Oedipus and his mother Jocasta, who was sentenced to death for giving her brother Polyneices a decent burial.

Antioch Peverell: Etym: A city now known as Antakaya, in Turkey, which made its name as one of the major seats of Arianism, a strand of Christianity believing that the Holy Trinity were not all of the same substance. Also, Antiochus was a popular name in the Seleucid dynasty.

Antonin Dolohov: Etym: Cognate of Anthony, whose etymology is unknown. St. Anthony is the patron saint of swineherds.

Aparecium: Incantation to be used with a Revealer.

Etym: The closest thing I can find is apertum, Latin for "open, uncovered, accessible".

Apolline Delacour: Etym: Of or pertaining to Apollo, who was the god of music, but also death and terror at a distance.

Apparate: To perform an Apparation.

Apparation Test Center (OotP ch. 7): The arm of the Ministry of Magic that certifies people to allow them to perform Apparation.

Apparation: The act of teleporting from one place to another. The Ministry of Magic requires those who want to use it to pass a test and get a license, as it can be dangerous. The grounds of Hogwarts are enchanted to make Apparation impossible there.

Apparation Test (HBP ch. 18): Administered to wizards of age 17 or older, to determine whether they get a license to Apparate.

Apparition: Alternate spelling of Apparation in the Scholastic editions of HBP.

Appraisal of Magical Education in Europe, An: A book which contains information on Durmstrang and Beauxbatons.

Apollyon Pringle: Etym: A name for the Devil, meaning "destroyer". And we thought Filch was bad...

Aquavirius maggots (OotP ch. 34): Whatever they are, The Quibbler thinks the Ministry of Magic is breeding them.

Etym: Think it's from the Latin roots for "water" and "life".

Arabella Doreen Figg: Etym: A name of Scottish origin and unknown etymology, possibly from Latin Orabilis "easy to be entreated"; also the title character of a Strauss opera.

Aragog: A giant, intelligent, spiderlike creature (an acromantula) raised by Hagrid in his school days. Aragog now lives in the Forbidden Forest with his wife Mosag and their happy brood of scuttling flesh-eating spawn.

Etym: May be related to Gog and Magog, which among other things are the names of two giants in English legend, with ara- for "arachnid".

Araminta Meliflua: Etym: Started as an invented name, possibly conflated from Arabella and Aminta.

Archie [Archibald] (GoF ch. 7): A wizard in attendance at the Quidditch World Cup who is not entirely in tune with Muggle fashions.

Etym: From Old German ercan "genuine, simple" + bald "bold".

Arcturus Black, Regulus: Etym: The brightest star in Bootes, the name meaning "bear guardian".

Arcus (DH ch. 21): Wizard of old who may have had dealings with the Elder Wand.

Etym: Latin for "bow" (as in the implement, not the action).

Argus Filch: Etym: A figure from Greek myth with a hundred eyes, killed by Hermes, after which his eyes were transferred to the tail of the peacock. By extension, a vigilant person.

Argyllshire: A hilly and remote section of Scotland. The Fat Lady hid in a map of it after being attacked by Sirius Black.

Ariana Dumbledore: Etym: Goes back to Ariadne, who helped Theseus defeat the Minotaur and got no happiness out of it.

Arithmancy: An elective subject at Hogwarts which Hermione is now taking, taught by Professor Vector.

Arkie Alderton: Etym: See below.

Arkie Philpott: Etym: Might be short for Arkady, from Arcadia, or Arcas, mythological father of the Arcadians.

armadillo bile: Apparently, a basic potionmaking supply used by Hogwarts students.

Armando Dippet: Etym: From Old German harja "host, army" + mana "man".

Arnold (HBP ch. 7): Ginny's Pygmy Puff.

Etym: See below.

Arnold Peasegood: Etym: From Old German arin "eagle" + vald "power".

Arsenius Jigger: Etym: Arsenious means "of or relating to arsenic".

Arthur Weasley: Etym: From the name of the legendary king. Various Celtic derivations have been proposed, but most likely from a Roman gens named Artorius.

ash: Any tree of the genus Fraximus. Wood of the commercial varieties is stiff, strong, resilient, and lightweight, and frequently used in tool handles and sports equipment.

Arthur Weasley, Bill: Etym: See above.

asphodel: In poetic use, the narcissus; ancient references are to the genus Asphodelus. An ingredient for the Draught of Living Death.

Asiatic Anti-Venoms (OotP ch. 16): A book in the Hogwarts library.

Atmospheric Charm (DH ch. 12): Some sort of weather-regulating spell.

Aubrey, Bertram (HBP ch. 25): An unfortunate victim of the Marauders.

Etym: Comes from the Germanic name Alberic; might be named after John Aubrey, a Tudor-era chronicler and also the author of one of the first books on fairies and related spirits.

Augusta Longbottom: Etym: Feminine form of Augustus; see below.

Augustus Pye: Etym: See below.

Augustus Rookwood: Etym: Latin, meaning "venerable, consecrated".

Aurors: Wizards employed by the Ministry of Magic to hunt down users of dark magic. Frank Longbottom and Alastor Moody are ex-Aurors.

Etym: British slang calls policemen coppers. Auror could easily be from aureum, Latin for "gold".

Auror Headquarters (OotP ch. 7): Located in the Ministry of Magic.

Auto-Answer Quills (OotP ch. 31): A banned item at O.W.L. exams.

Avada Kedavra: Incantation for the Killing Curse.

Etym: Several Web sites (including an earlier version of this one, mea culpa) have given this as the root of abracadabra, originating as a Kabalistic term. Instead, it appears that abracadabra comes from Abraxas via Gnostic occultism, and I haven't been able to find anything on the origins of avada kedavra.

Avery: A Death Eater, left at large after claiming he had been a victim of the Imperius Curse, but imprisoned after the battle at the Ministry of Magic.

Etym: A variation of the Germanic name Alberic, from oelf "elf" + ric "power". John Avery was a renowned pirate of the late 17th century.

Avis: Incantation to conjure birds from one's wand.

Etym: Latin, "bird". Technically, should be the plural, aves.

Axebanger: The nickname of Rupert Brookstanton.

Axminster: A type of flying carpet used in Britain before carpets were added to the Registry of Proscribed Charmable Objects.

Etym: An Axminster carpet refers to a type originally made by a factory in Axminster, Devon, from 1755 to 1835.

Azkaban: A prison for users of dark magic, located in the North Sea, staffed by dementors.

Etym: Origin unknown. Invented?


Babbitty Rabbitty and Her Cackling Stump (DH ch. 7): A selection from Tales of Beedle the Bard.

Babbling Beverage (OotP ch. 32): A potion that makes the recipient spout nonsense.

Babbling Curse: Details unknown; Lockhart claimed to have cured a Transylvanian villager of it.

Baddock, Malcolm (GoF ch. 12): A Slytherin, three years behind Harry.

Etym: A diminutive of a Provençal name meaning "open-mouthed idiot".

Bagman, Ludo: A former Beater for the Wimbourne Wasps, a Death Eater allowed to remain free after pleading youthful misconduct, more recently the head of the Department of Magical Games and Sports, and most recently in hiding from goblin financiers who do not understand the term "debt restructuring".

Etym: The name means "one who carries a bag". In criminal jargon, can mean a money launderer, or someone who specializes in making inconvenienct people disappear.

Bagman, Otto (GoF ch. 5): Ludo Bagman's brother, who got into "a spot of trouble" with the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office over an enchanted lawnmower.

Bagnold, Millicent (OotP ch. 5): Fudge's predecessor as Minister of Magic.

Etym: From Old English beadu "battle" + halh "nook, recess" or holt "wood".

Bagshot, Bathilda (PS ch. 5): Author of A History of Magic.

Etym: A type of ammunition. Looking at this whole name, it appears the history of magic must have been pretty, um, exciting...

Ballycastle Bats: A British Quidditch team. Ballycastle may be a fictional place.

Bandon Banshee: Allegedly banished by Gilderoy Lockhart. A banshee is a wailing or singing demonic spirit; Bandon is a town in County Cork, Ireland.

Banishing Charm: The reverse of a Summoning Charm.

banshee: see Bandon Banshee.

Bane [Banes or Bain]:

Etym: Bunch of choices here: from a nickname meaning "bones"; a Welsh patronymic meaning "anvil"; Gaelic for "white, fair"; Middle English meaning "welcoming, friendly"; or Middle English/Old French meaning "bath". Or perhaps the character name is just from the modern English word.

Barnabas Cuffe: Etym: See below.

Barnabas Deverill: Etym: See below.

Barnabas Finkley: Etym: See below.

Barnabas Finkley Prize for Exceptional Spell-Casting (DH ch. 18): Won by Albus Dumbledore.

Barnabas the Barmy (OotP ch. 18): A wizard who attempted to train trolls to do ballet, commemorated in a tapestry opposite the Room of Requirement.

Etym: From bar "son" and Nabia, a name maybe meaning "confession". The name of a biblical missionary.

Barnsley (OotP ch. 1): An industrial town in Yorkshire (for the British perception of it, read "dour and boring"), location of the Five Feathers.

Barny Weasley: Etym: Short for Barnabas, but barney also means to cheat, or play unfairly.

Barry Ryan: Etym: From Irish bearrach "spear".

Bartemius Crouch: Etym: From Aramaic Bartholomew "son of Tolmai". No etymology on Tolmai.

Baruffio (PS ch. 10): A wizard infamous for misspeaking a charm and conjuring up a buffalo.

Etym: No etymology.

Baruffio's Brain Elixir (OotP ch. 31): Confiscated by Hermione from Eddie Carmichael.

Bashir, Ali (GoF ch. 7): A flying carpet merchant, upset that his wares are banned in Britain.

Etym: "Bringer of good news, messenger sent by Allah".

Basic Hexes for the Busy and Vexed: A book in the Hogwarts library.

Basil (GoF ch. 7): A wizard helping with logistics at the Quidditch World Cup.

Etym: From Greek basileios "kingly"; also the name for herbs of the genus Ocymum. There is a St. Basil, who was the bishop of Caesarea in the mid-4th century.

basilisk: A mythical creature supposed to spring from an egg laid by a rooster and incubated by a serpent or toad. Basilisks are usually depicted as snakelike, sometimes with a crown (its name derives from the Greek for "king") and are capable of turning any living thing to stone by looking at them.

The one which had been lurking in the Chamber of Secrets at Hogwarts is additionally in danger from the crowing of roosters, and generates an aura that sends spiders fleeing.

Bat-Bogey Hex (OotP ch. 6): A spell that summons winged imps to harass the target. A specialty of Ginny Weasley's.

Etym: Bogey or bogy is a term covering many different malicious folkloric spirits.

Bathilda Bagshot: Etym: OED has an entry for batilde, an obsolete form of a word meaning "embattled".

Bayliss, Hetty (CoS ch. 5): A Muggle who spotted the flying Ford Anglia.

Etym: From Late Latin baiulus "carrier, porter", cognate to bailiff.

Beast Division (OotP ch. 7): A section of the Ministry of Magic for dealing with magical creatures.

Beater: A member of a Quidditch team who deflects Bludgers away from their teammates (and, ideally, toward the opponents).

Beauxbatons Academy: A school of wizardry which participates in the Triwizard Tournament; its current headmistress is Olympe Maxime. Its students speak with French accents, wear silk robes, and move in a balletic manner. (Ballet is absolutely essential to the British stereotype of the French.)

Etym: French, "lovely wands".

Bedazzling Hex (DH ch. 21): Something that works as well as invisibility, for a while.

beechwood: Various trees of the genus Fagus, all tall, wide-spreading, and preferring temperate climes. The wood is durable under water, and used for cabinetry, tool handles, and shipping containers. Also cultivated as a shade tree.

Beedle the Bard (DH ch. 7): The fabulist behind Tales of Beedle the Bard.

Etym: A beadle is a herald, crier, or messenger.

Befuddlement Draught (OotP ch. 18): A potion that creates hot-headedness or recklessness.

Beginner's Guide to Transformation, A: The first-year textbook for Transfiguration.

Being Division (OotP ch. 7): A section of the Ministry of Magic for dealing with magical sentients.

Belby, Marcus (HBP ch. 7): A member of the Slug Club because of his uncle Damocles. One year ahead of Harry.

Etym: Couldn't find anything.

Belcher, Humphrey (HBP ch. 10): According to Dumbledore, the man who believed the time was right for a cheese cauldron.

Etym: From Old French bel "lovely" + chere "face, countenance", or a variation on a name meaning "beam". Also the last name of a caricaturist for Punch.

Belch Powder: Something that can be gotten in Hogsmeade, probably from Zonko's Joke Shop.

Bell, Katie (PS ch. 12): A Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, and a member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: Does in fact come from Middle English for "bell".

belladonna: Atropa belladonna, deadly nightshade, the "essence" of which probably refers to atropine.

Bellatrix Black Lestrange: Etym: The name of a star; the name also means "female warrior".

Benjy Fenwick [Benjamin]:

Etym: Literally, Hebrew for "son of the south", interpreted as "son of the right hand". Allusively, the favored son or the best share.

Benson, Amy (HBP ch. 13): A child in the same orphanage as Tom Riddle, somehow harmed by him.

Etym: Patronymic deriving from Benedict "blessing", or from an Old English placename meaning "Banesa's settlement".

Bertha Jorkins: Etym: From Old English for "bright".

Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans: Jellybean-like magical candies of any flavor imaginable... including the ones you don't want to imagine.

Bertie Higgs [Bertram]:

Etym: From Old German words berhta "bright" + hraben "raven"; the name of the family in Mansfield Park, which also gave us Mrs. Norris.

Bertram Aubrey: Etym: See above.

Bethnal Green (OotP ch. 7): An area of London, the site of the third regurgitating toilet incident.

Betty Braithwaite [Elizabeth]:

Etym: See Elizabeth. Also, to betty is to fuss about.

bezoar: This term has been applied to various substances believed to be universal antidotes, but most commonly to a concretion formed around foreign matter in the gut of certain ruminants. Originally these were taken from the wild goat and antelope of Persia, which are also known as the bezoar goat and bezoar antelope.

bicorn: A creature from early French and English literature, it subsisted by devouring virtuous husbands. Powdered bicorn horn is one of the ingredients of the Polyjuice Potion.

Bilius (PoA ch. 6): One of Neville's uncles. He died a day after seeing a Grim.

Etym: Probably a variation of bilious.

Bilius, Ron Weasley: Etym: See above.

Bill Weasley [William]:

Etym: From Old German vilja "will" + helma "helmet".

Billy Stubbs [William]:

Etym: See above.

billywig (DH ch. 21): Another marvelous creature from the pages of The Quibbler.

Etym: Probably an insect of some sort, by analogy with earwig.

Binky (PoA ch. 8): Lavender Brown's rabbit, killed by a fox.

Binns, (first name unknown): The teacher of the History of Magic classes at Hogwarts, and unusual among history teachers for being as dead as his lectures.

Etym: From the Old English name Binna, of uncertain origin, or a word for an open manger, stall, or hollow place.

Bishop, Dennis (HBP ch. 13): Another of Tom Riddle's fellow orphans, which he did something to.

Etym: Means what it looks like.

Black Forest: An area in Germany.

Black(?), Alphard (OotP ch. 6): Sirius's uncle, estranged from the family for supporting him.

Etym: See below.

Black(?), Elladora (OotP ch. 6): Sirius's aunt, who started the family tradition of beheading elderly house-elves.

Etym: See below.

Black Lestrange, Bellatrix: Etym: See below.

Black, Madam (OotP ch. 4): Sirius's mother, technically dead but still very much a presence through her portrait.

Etym: See below.

Black Malfoy, Narcissa: Etym: See below.

Black, Regulus Arcturus (OotP ch. 6): Sirius's younger brother, a Death Eater during the first wizard war and not terribly good at it either.

Etym: See below.

Black, Sirius: Harry's godfather and a member of the Order of the Phoenix, imprisoned in Azkaban for years after being framed by Peter Pettigrew, and now unfortunately and rather confusingly dead.

Etym: Just means black. As a side note, though, some instances of this surname come from Old English blac, the equivalent of French blanc... meaning "white"!

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Black Tonks, Andromeda: Etym: See above.

blackthorn: Prunus spinosa, a dense, spiny plant, used mostly as a hedge. The fruits are also used to flavor a type of gin.

bladvak: The Gobbledygook word for "pickax".

Blaise Zabini: Etym: Full etymology unknown but cognate to Blasius, the name of the patron saint of wool-workers and sufferers of throat diseases. Once very popular in England, a major wool producer. ECN: "The only relic of the trade in Romsey, Hants (once a wool staple), is an inn called the Bishop Blaise."

Blast-Ended Skrewts: A cross between fire-crabs and manticores used by Hagrid for the Care of Magical Creatures class.

Blaze Box (OotP ch. 28): A unit of Weasleys' Wildfire Whiz-Bangs.

Bletchley, Miles (PS ch. 11): The Keeper for the Slytherin Quidditch team in Harry's first year.

Blibbering Humdinger (OotP ch. 13): Another creature only {The Quibbler believes in.

Blood Blisterpod (OotP ch. 14): One of the components of the Skiving Snackbox.

Blood Brothers: My Life Amongst the Vampires (HBP ch. 15): Eldred Worple's account of vampire life.

Blood-Replenishing Potion (OotP ch. 22): A treatment for hemorrhages at St. Mungo's Hospital, apparently obviating the need for transfusions.

Blood Status (DH ch. 11): Legitimacy in the eyes of the pureblood regime at the Ministry of Magic.

Blood-Sucking Bugbear: What Hagrid thought might be killing his roosters. A bugbear in popular legend is a monster in the shape of bear said to devour naughty children.

Bloody Baron: The house ghost of Slytherin.

Bludger: A small, hard ball used in Quidditch. Bludgers fly around the field of play attempting to knock players off their brooms.

Etym: Undoubtedly from bludgeon. OED has an entry for bludger, actually, but in the interest of preserving our G rating we must move on.

bluebell fire: A magically conjured blue fire that can be carried around in a jar.

Bluebottle: A type of flying broom, advertised as "A Broom for the Whole Family."

Boardman, Stubby (OotP ch. 10): According to the The Quibbler, Sirius Black's real name, under which he was the lead singer of The Hobgoblins.

Etym: Originally a name for a person who lived on the edge of a town, from Middle English border "edge".

Bob Ogden [Robert]:

Etym: See Roberts.

Bobbin, Melinda (HBP ch. 11): A student at Hogwarts whose family owns a large chain of apothecaries.

Etym: A spool of thread, or a small bundle of wood.

Bode, Broderick (GoF ch. 7): An Unspeakable who was at the Quidditch World Cup.

Etym: From the Germanic word "to announce", meaning much the same as the English word bode.

Body-Bind: A curse that paralyzes the target completely. Incantation: Petrificatus Totalus.

Bodrod the Bearded (GoF ch. 31): May have been a participant in a historical goblin rebellion.

Etym: No info; probably invented.

boggart: In these books, a creature that assumes the appearance of whatever a person looking at it fears most. Can be banished with a humorous mental image and the incantation Riddikulus.

Bogrod (DH ch. 26): A Gringotts employee.

Etym: Probably invented.

Bole (PoA ch. 15): A Beater on the Slytherin Quidditch team.

Etym: Something of a cylindrical shape, such as the trunk of a tree or a pillar. As a name, an anglicized form of Ó Baoighill, possibly from words meaning "rash pledge", or derived from the placename Boyville.

Bonaccord, Pierre (OotP ch. 31): The first Supreme Mugwump of the International Confederation of Wizards.

Etym: French, "good agreement".

Bonder (HBP ch. 2): The caster of the spell cementing an Unbreakable Vow.

Bones, Amelia Susan (OotP ch. 7): An official at the Wizengamot, killed by the Death Eaters.

Etym: Derived via Yiddish from Italian bona "good".

Bones, Edgar (OotP ch. 9): A member of the Order of the Phoenix who was killed by the Death Eaters along with other members of his family.

Etym: See above.

Bones, Susan (PS ch. 7): A Hufflepuff, in the same year as Harry, and a member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: See above.

Bonfire Night: November 5th, in England the commemoration of the Gunpowder Plot. Typically involves lots of fireworks.

boomslang: Dispholidus typus.

Boot, Terry (PS ch. 8): A Ravenclaw, the same year as Harry, and a member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: From Middle English for "boot" or Dutch for "boat".

Borage, Libatius (HBP ch. 9): Author of Advanced Potion-Making.

Etym: A group of plants in the genus Boraginaceae. The main British species is used to make cordial, and as a flavoring for alcoholic drinks.

Borgin and Burkes: A shop in Knockturn Alley specializing in the ingredients of dark magic; Evil backwards-R Us.

Etym: No info on Borgin, but perhaps it's supposed to sound like Borgia. The name Burke comes from Old High German burg "fortification". A likelier source for the store's name, however, is the 19th-century murderer and grave-robber William Burke.

Borgin, Mr. (CoS ch. 4): One of the founders of Borgin and Burkes, still working there, or else a descendant.

Etym: See above.

Boris the Bewildered (GoF ch. 23): A statue of him is near the prefects' bathroom.

Etym: Russian name of uncertain etymology; may signify "fight".

Bottom Bridge (DH ch. 20): A place that might be near the Lovegood residence.

Etym: Bottom is an archaic word for "valley". Probably not a real location in this case, though there are a lot of Such-and-Such's Bottom Bridges out there.

bouillabaisse: A fish stew whose characteristic form originated in France.

Bouncing Bulbs: Some sort of plant covered in the Herbology class.

bowtruckle (OotP ch. 13): Twig-like creatures that guard trees with wand-quality wood.

Etym: Possibly bow as in "bend" + the obsolete word truckle "be subservient, yield, be daunted".

Bozo (GoF ch. 24): Rita Skeeter's photographer.

Bradley (OotP ch. 31): A Chaser on the Ravenclaw Quidditch team.

Etym: Possibly after Francis Herbert Bradley, an idealist philosopher.

Braithwaite, Betty (DH ch. 2): A Daily Prophet reporter who seems to be only slightly less wonderful than Rita Skeeter herself.

Etym: brath is a dialect word meaning "impetuous, violent, wrathful". The name itself is one of those boring habitation names, from Old Norse breiðr "broad" + þveit "clearing".

Branstone, Eleanor (GoF ch. 12): A Hufflepuff, three years behind Harry.

Etym: From the Old English name Brant + tuun "enclosure, settlement".

Break with a Banshee: One of Gilderoy Lockhart's books.

Brian Dumbledore, Albus Percival Wulfric: Etym: Brian Boru, the legendary high king of Ireland.

Bring-and-Fly Sale (OotP ch. 15): The wizard variant of a "Bring and Buy Sale", a sort of community flea market organized in aid of a church, school, or community center.

British and Irish Quidditch League (OotP ch. 7): The league in which the professional Quidditch teams listed here play; its headquarters are at the Ministry of Magic.

Brockdale Bridge (HBP ch. 1): A bridge which collapsed unexpectedly, killing an unreported number of Muggles.

Brockelhurst, Mandy (PS ch. 8): A Ravenclaw, the same year as Harry.

Etym: Placename, after a wooded hill that was home to badgers. Brock on its own has been a word for various small animals, including badgers.

Broderick Bode: Etym: None found.

Broken Balls: When Fortunes Turn Foul: A book on divination at Flourish and Blotts.

Brookstanton, Rupert "Axebanger" (HBP ch. 30): A former Hogwarts student.

Etym: I was able to find that Stanton from Old English staan "stone" + tuun "enclosure".

brooms: The flying broom is an ancient and venerable mode of wizard transportation, and an indispensable part of Quidditch. Types of brooms include the Bluebottle, Cleansweep Five, Cleansweep Seven, Cleansweep Six, Comet Two Ninety, Comet Two Sixty, Firebolt, Nimbus Two Thousand, Nimbus Two Thousand and One, Silver Arrow, and Shooting Star.

Broom Compass (OotP ch. 23): Presumably a compass that can be mounted on a broom.

Broom Regulatory Control (OotP ch. 7): An arm of the Ministry of Magic.

Brown, Lavender (PS ch. 8): A Gryffindor, the same year as Harry, a founding member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: Really means "brown".

brown owl: A very common European owl, known most commonly as the tawny owl.

Bryce, Frank: The gardener at the Riddle House, killed by Voldemort, brought back as a shade.

Etym: No etymology; suspected to be of Celtic origin.

Bubotuber: A magical plant useful for making an acne remedy.

Etym: Bubo as in bubonic plague; there is a plant structure called a bulbo-tuber, which is neither a true bulb nor a true tuber.

Buckbeak: A hippogriff falsely accused of being dangerous, now on the run with Sirius Black.

Etym: Probably invented.

budgie: A small yellow bird, very popular as a pet in Britain at one time, less common these days.

Budleigh Babberton (HBP ch. 4): Horace Slughorn's last hiding place before he was lured back to Hogwarts.

Etym: There is no such place, although there is a Budleigh Salterton.

bugbear: see Blood-Sucking Bugbear.

Building Society (DH ch. 9): A cooperative savings society, originally for working-class men to pool their savings to make loans to members of the group. Roughly similar to a credit union in the US.

Bulbadox Powder (OotP ch. 12): A powder that causes boils.

Etym: From Latin roots meaning "rounded object" and "inflate".

Bulstrode, Millicent (PS ch. 8): A Slytherin, the same year as Harry.

Etym: A place name, from Old English burh "fortress, town" or bula "bull" + strood "brushwood".

Bungs, Rosalind Antigone (HBP ch. 30): A former Hogwarts student.

Etym: A bung can be a stopper, or the mouth of a cask, or a brewer, pickpocket, or lie. Circa 1900, it was also slang for a bribe.

Bungy (OotP ch. 1): A budgie who lives at the Five Feathers who has learned to water-ski.

Burbage, Charity (DH ch. 1): The Muggle Studies teacher at Hogwarts through the end of Harry's sixth year. Now you see what leading a quiet, unadventurous life leads to.

Etym: The name comes from Old English burh "fort" + boec "hill", but she might be named for the builder of the Globe and Blackfriars Theaters.

Burke, Caractacus: One of the founders of Borgin and Burkes.

Etym: See under Borgin and Burkes.

Burning Day: The day on which a phoenix renews itself.

Burrow, The: The house of the Weasley family.

butterbeer: A popular drink at the Three Broomsticks, nonintoxicating to humans, but with a strong effect on house-elves.


Cadmus Peverell: Etym: The legendary founder of Thebes. OED also includes Cadmean victory, "a victory involving one's own ruin".

Cadwallader (HBP ch. 19): A Chaser for Hufflepuff.

Etym: Welsh cad "battle" + gwaladr "leader".

Cadogan, Sir: A knight whose portrait was temporarily moved to guard the Gryffindor dormitory when the Fat Lady was frightened off.

Etym: From the Old Welsh name Cadoc, which is possibly related to a word meaning "battle".

Callisto (OotP ch. 14): One of the Galilean moons of Jupiter.

Calming Draught (OotP ch. 27): A soothing potion.

Canary Creams: A pilot product for Weasley's Wizard Wheezes which turns the eater into a giant canary.

Caput Draconis: The first password to the Gryffindor tower when Harry arrives at Hogwarts.

Etym: Latin for "dragon's head".

Caractacus Burke: Etym: See below.

Caradoc Dearborn: Etym: The Celtic form of Caratacus, the name of a British chieftain who led resistance against the Romans.

Care of Magical Creatures: An elective class at Hogwarts, taught by Professor Kettleburn until Harry's third year, when Hagrid took over. Harry, Ron, and Hermione are all enrolled in it.

Carmichael, Eddie (OotP ch. 31): A Ravenclaw, one year ahead of Harry.

Etym: From Britonnic ker "fort" + Michael.

Carrow, Alecto: A Death Eater and Muggle Studies professor in what would have been Harry's seventh year.

Etym: Obsolete word meaning "gambler".

Carrow, Amycus: A Death Eater and Defense Against the Dark Arts professor in what would have been Harry's seventh year.

Etym: See above.

Cassandra Trelawney: Etym: See below.

Cassandra Vablatsky: Etym: In Greek legend, Cassandra was given the gift of prophecy by the god Apollo, who loved her, and then cursed by him when she rejected him. The curse was that no one would ever believe her predictions.

Cauldron Cakes: A type of wizard candy, probably something akin to a cupcake.

Cattermole, Alfred (DH ch. 13): One of Reg and Mary's children.

Etym: Unknown origin, might be Low German.

Cattermole, Ellie (DH ch. 13): Another of Reg and Mary's children.

Etym: See above.

Cattermole, Maisie (DH ch. 13): Yet another of Reg and Mary's children.

Etym: See above.

Cattermole, Mary Elizabeth (DH ch. 13): Reg Cattermole's wife, and a damn good witch if she was really able to steal her powers at the age of eleven.

Etym: See above.

Cattermole, Reg (DH ch. 12): An employee of Magical Maintenance.

Etym: See above.

Cave Inimicum (DH ch. 14): Incantation to some sort of warding spell.

Etym: Latin, "beware the malicious person".

Cauldwell, Owen (GoF ch. 12): A Hufflepuff, three years behind Harry.

Etym: The name of several places, variously spelled but all from Old English c(e)ald "cold" + well(a) "spring". As a common noun, a weir that diverts water into a mill-lead.

Cecilia (HBP ch. 10): Tom Riddle senior's girlfriend, until he was stolen away by Merope Gaunt.

Etym: From Latin caecus, "blind". The saint of that name is the patron of musicians and music.

Cedric Diggory: Etym: ECN: "This now not uncommon name seems to have been invented by Sir Walter Scott for one of the characters in Ivanhoe, `Cedric the Saxon'. It was probably a mistake of Scott's for Cerdic, the name of the traditional founder of the West Saxon kingdom." Which may in turn be from the Welsh name Caradawg, meaning "amiable".

Celestina Warbeck: Etym: This was the term for a late-18th-century keyboard instrument developed from the armonica. The word is from Latin caelestis "heavenly".

centaur: A mythical creature with the body of a horse, and the top half of a human attached where the neck would be. Rowling's centaurs are largely peaceful but wish to keep to themselves. A group of them lives in the Forbidden Forest.

Chamber of Secrets: An enormous magical cavern, rumored to have been constructed by Salazar Slytherin, concealed beneath Hogwarts for nearly eight centuries, even when a modern girls' bathroom was built over the entrance, until Tom Riddle figured out how to open it and pin the blame on Hagrid.

chamberpot room: Dumbledore claims to have stumbled into a hidden room filled with solid gold chamberpots one night when he was heading for the bathroom. This was in fact the Room of Requirement.

Chambers (OotP ch. 31): A Chaser on the Ravenclaw Quidditch team.

Etym: From Middle English/Old French cha(u)mbre "chamber, room".

Chameleon Ghoul: Mentioned in passing, presumably a type of ghoul with some natural ability to disguise itself.

Chang, Cho: A Ravenclaw, a year ahead of Harry, and Seeker for the Ravenclaw Quidditch team. Briefly Harry's girlfriend, and may still be a member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: No reliable info.

Charing Cross Road: A major road in London. The Leaky Cauldron is apparently located along or near it.

Charity Burbage: Etym: Exactly what it looks like.

Charlie Weasley [Charles]:

Etym: From ceorl, Old English for "a man".

Charm to Cure Reluctant Reversers, A: Page 12 of the Handbook of Do-It-Yourself Broomcare.

Charms: One of the basic subjects that all students at Hogwarts have to study, taught by Professor Flitwick. A general term for all sorts of minor spells of instantaneous effect.

Charm Your Own Cheese: One of Molly Weasley's cookbooks.

Chaser: One of the three players on a Quidditch team who pass the Quaffle between them and attempt to throw it through one of the goal hoops. A goal is worth 10 points.

Cheering Charm: A charm to elevate someone's mood.

Chinese Chomping Cabbage (OotP ch. 16): Sounds like a special variety of Chinese cabbage that you don't want to mess with.

Chinese Fireball: A variety of dragon.

chipolata: A type of sausage.

Cho Chang: Etym: No reliable info on the meaning of the name. It was the family name of a couple of Korean artists of the Yi dynasty.

Chocoballs: A candy available at Honeydukes.

Chocolate Frogs: A wizard candy, undistinguished except for the line of Famous Witches and Wizards trading cards that come with them.

chocolate gateau: A type of chocolate cake. Here's an example, although I'm not sure how representative it is.

Chorley, Herbert (HBP ch. 1): A junior minister who was for some reason hit with an Imperius Curse.

Etym: Related to several placenames, all derived from Old English ceorla "churl, peasant" + leeah "wood, clearing".

Christmas pudding: A rich fruit pudding, typically splashed with brandy and set alight just before serving. Hiding a silver coin in it is also traditional.

Christmas rose (DH ch. 16): Helleborus niger, a flower that blooms in late autumn to early spring, but most around Christmas.

Chudley Cannons: A professional Quidditch team. Chudley itself appears to be fictional, unless it's an alternate spelling of Chudleigh.

Ciceron Harkiss: Etym: Later form of Cicero. There's also cicerone, a guide to local antiquities and curiosities.

Circe: An enchantress who figures in the Odyssey. She transformed Odysseus's crew into pigs. Featured on a Famous Witches and Wizards trading card.

Clankers (DH ch. 26): A signal for Gringotts dragons to get the hell out of the way. Now every thief that goes in there is going to be carrying a bag of random metal.

Clapham (OotP ch. 14): Sturgis Podmore's hometown.

Class C Non-Tradeable Substance (OotP ch. 9): Venemous Tentacula seeds are included in this category.

Cleansweep Five: A type of flying broom.

Cleansweep Seven: A type of flying broom.

Cleansweep Six (OotP ch. 10): Yet another variety of flying broom.

Clearwater, Penelope (CoS ch. 14): Percy Weasley's girlfriend, a Ravenclaw prefect.

Etym: Pretty much what it looks like, and like her first name, a symbol of purity. Just the girl for Percy...

Cliodna: A druid featured on a Famous Witches and Wizards trading card.

Cloak of Invisibility (DH ch. 21): The proper name of one of the Deathly Hallows.

cobbing: A penalizable infraction in Quidditch-- excessive use of elbows toward opponents.

Etym: The word is first noted as a term for a nautical punishment in the late 18th century, taking on the more general meaning "to strike" in the mid-19th.

cockatrice: In antiquity, originally another name for a basilisk. Later on, a creature with the head, wings, and feet of a rooster, a serpentine body, and a barbed tail.

Cockroach Cluster: A candy available at Honeydukes.

Etym: Likely from a product of the same name mentioned in the Monty Python "Crunchy Frog" sketch (series 1, episode 6).

Cokeworth: Location of the Railview Hotel.

Cole, Mrs. (HBP ch. 13): The head of the orphanage that took in Tom Riddle.

Etym: From Old English col "charcoal".

Colin Creevey: Etym: Anglicization of Gaelic Cailean, which may be from coileán, meaning "young dog, youth" and by extension "cadet".

Colloportus (OotP ch. 35): A spell to seal a door.

Etym: I think this is intended to be from Latin roots meaning "bring together" and "door" (actually "gate").

Color-Change Charm (OotP ch. 31): Something Harry mixed up with a Growth Charm.

Come and Go Room (OotP ch. 18): Another name for the Room of Requirement.

Etym: Probably refers to how sometimes it's there and sometimes it isn't.

Comet Two Ninety (OotP ch. 9): A brand of flying broom.

Comet Two Sixty: A brand of flying broom.

Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures: Part of the Ministry of Magic. "Disposal" usually consists of killing the animal.

Committee on Experimental Charms: Part of the Ministry of Magic.

Common Apparition Mistakes and How to Avoid Them (HBP ch. 22): A leaflet available from the Ministry of Magic.

Common Magical Ailments and Afflictions: May or may not be an actual book available in the wizarding world.

Common Welsh Green: A type of dragon native to the British Isles.

Compendium of Common Curses and Their Counter-Actions, A (OotP ch. 18): A book that Dumbledore's Army found in the Room of Requirement.

Confronting the Faceless (HBP ch. 9): A book Hermione had to read for her Ancient Runes class.

Confundus Charm: A spell that can be used to temporarily make a person believe something they would otherwise disbelieve.

Confusing Concoction: A type of potion Harry had to make for his final exam in his third year.

Confusing Draught (OotP ch. 18): Probably the same thing as the Confusing Concoction.

Conjunctivitis Curse: Conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva-- the inner membrane of the eyelid.

Conjuring Spells (OotP ch. 13): What it sounds like.

conk: British slang for "nose".

Connolly (GoF ch. 8): A Beater on the Irish national Quidditch team.

Etym: Anglicized form of Ó Conghalaigh, from a name meaning "valiant".

Coote, Ritchie (HBP ch. 11): One of Fred and George's replacements as Beater on the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

Etym: From Middle English co(o)te "coot", used because of the bird's reputation as a nickname for a stupid or bald man.

Cormac McLaggen: Etym: From Gaelic corb "defilement, valley" + mac "son".

Cornelius Oswald Fudge: Etym: St. Cornelius was pope from 251 to 253, and is noted for taking a liberal attitude toward Christians who had renounced their faith under duress. He was succeeded by St. Lucius.

Corner, Michael (OotP ch. 16): A Ravenclaw, a member of Dumbledore's Army and Ginny's ex-boyfriend.

Etym: Originally meant "hornblower", or referred to someone who lived at the corner of two streets.

Cornish pasty: A pasty is a small pastry filled with meat, potatoes, and vegetables. Pronounced to rhyme with "nasty".

Cornish pixies: Small electric-blue creatures; not terribly dangerous, although they seem to have a talent for vandalism.

counterjinx (OotP ch. 15): Term for any spell when it is used in opposition to a curse.

Courtroom Ten (OotP ch. 7): Where the hearing on whether to ban Harry from using magic was held.

Crabbe senior (GoF ch. 33): A Death Eater still at large, at least until the battle at the Ministry of Magic.

Crabbe, Vincent: One of Draco Malfoy's cronies, a Beater on the Slytherin Quidditch team for a while, killed along with a Horcrux by friendly Fiendfyre.

Etym: From a nickname for someone with an odd gait, like a crab, or a cantankerous person, as a shortening of crabapple.

Cragg, Elfrida (OotP ch. 22): A witch whose portrait hangs in St. Mungo's Hospital.

Etym: From the same root as crag, originally a name for someone living near one.

Cresswell, Dirk (HBP ch. 4): A Muggle-born student in the year after Lily Evans, who is now the head of the Goblin Liaison Office.

Etym: From Old English coerse "watercress" + well(a) "spring, stream".

Cribbages Wizarding Crackers: A magical version of Christmas crackers-- traditional British party favors consisting of a wrapped tube containing a surprise.

Creevey, Colin: A Gryffindor, a year behind Harry; Harry's first papparazzo. A member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Craoibhe, from a name meaning "curly(-headed)" or "prolific". Thomas Creevey (1768-1838) was a politician and placeman, remembered because some of his journals and correspondence were published in 1903 and 1905.

Creevey, Dennis: A Gryffindor, 3 years behind Harry, and a member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: See above.

crinolines: Clothing made with crinoline, a stiff fabric made of horsehair that was used primarily in the 19th century. At first it was used in hats and shoes, and later to make dresses, petticoats, and other things as a substitute for stiffened muslin.

crisps: Bits of pastry made by deep-frying batter.

Croaker (GoF ch. 7): An Unspeakable seen at the Quidditch World Cup.

Etym: As a common noun, one who talks dismally or despondingly, or who forebodes or prophesies evil. Makes you worry what they're up to in the Department of Mysteries.

Crockford, Doris (PS ch. 5): A particularly effusive fan of Harry's that he met in The Leaky Cauldron.

Etym: From the placename Crockford Bridge; further etymology is uncertain and probably not relevant. Also the name of a London gambling club, and the colloquial designation of a reference work produced by the Anglican Church.

Crookshanks: Hermione's unusually intelligent (because he's part Kneazle) cat.

Etym: Means "crooked legs".

Crouch, Bartemius, junior: A convicted Death Eater who was snuck out of Azkaban by his father and went on to repay him by mind-controlling him, usurping his identity, and eventually killing him.

Etym: In addition to the usual meanings, an obsolete form of cross; name for someone who lived near a cross.

Crouch, Bartemius, senior: The former head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, later Percy Weasley's boss in the Department of International Magical Cooperation, still later killed by his own son.

Etym: See Crouch junior.

Cruciatus Curse: One of the Unforgivable Curses, it causes unbearable pain to the target. Prolonged exposure can apparently result in memory loss, as for the Longbottoms. Incantation: Crucio.

Crucio: The incantation for the Cruciatus Curse.

Etym: Latin, literally "I crucify". The same word at the root of exruciating. Imperative: crucire "be crucified".

Crumple-Horned Snorkack (OotP ch. 26): A possibly imaginary beast of burden that may live in Sweden and be very good at finding where its rider wants to go.

Etym: I think the Snorkack part is onomatopoeic.

crup (OotP ch. 15): A creature that resembles a Jack Russell terrier with a forked tail.

Etym: An archaic word with various meanings related to the hindquarters or the tack on that part of a horse; also Kentish dialect meaning "brittle, short, snappish".

Cuffe, Barnabas (HBP ch. 4): The editor of the Daily Prophet.

Etym: Perhaps he makes off-the-cuff remarks.

curses: Spells that injure or impede the target. Some require only a wand and a quick incantation, but stronger ones require the caster to maintain line-of-sight and keep up the incantation for the full time of effect. The terms jinx and hex appear to be equivalent, and are used in curse names for alliterative effect.

Curses and Countercurses: A book seen in Diagon Alley.

Curse of the Bogies: Something Professor Quirrell mentioned in class. Bogie has varied meanings, a lot of them overlapping with boggart.

Cuthbert Mockridge: Etym: St. Cuthbert (d. 687) was bishop of Lindisfarne and is one of the most popular saints in northern England. Also a term for a conscientious objector in World War I.


D.A.: Short for Dumbledore's Army.

Dagworth-Granger, Hector (HBP ch. 9): Founder of the Most Extraordinary Society of Potioneers.

Etym: Couldn't find anything on Dagworth; see Granger for that etymology.

Dai Llewellyn Ward (OotP ch. 22): A ward for bite victims at St. Mungo's Hospital.

Etym: Named for "Dangerous" Dai Llewellyn, whoever he is.

Daily Prophet: A daily newspaper, the primary news source for most British wizards.

Damocles (Belby?) (HBP ch. 7): Marcus Belby's uncle, one of Horace Slughorn's former students, who went on to invent the Wolfsbane Potion.

Etym: A courtier in Greek myth who, to make a point about how precarious life is, found himself under the famous dangling sword.

dandelion juice (OotP ch. 38): Apparently a perfectly ordinary drink for wizards.

Daphne Greengrass: Etym: A nymph who escaped Apollo's advances by being turned into a laurel, which ever after was sacred to Apollo. From this came the use of the laurel as an award for achievement.

Dark Arts Outsmarted, The (OotP ch. 18): A book found in the Room of Requirement.

Dark Force Defense League: An organization of which Gilderoy Lockhart is an honorary member. It may be some sort of vigilante group.

Dark Forces, The: A Guide to Self-Protection: The first-year textbook for Defense Against the Dark Arts.

Davies, Roger (PoA ch. 14): Captain of the Ravenclaw Quidditch team.

Etym: From the Hebrew name David, meaning "beloved". Sarah Emily Davies (1830-1921) was a pioneer in the movement to allow women into colleges, and was the founder of Girton College, Cambridge.

Davy Gudgeon [David]:

Etym: Hebrew, meaning "beloved". St. David is the patron saint of Wales.

Dawlish (OotP ch. 27): An Auror who came to arrest Dumbledore in Harry's fifth year, and later was assigned to guard Hogwarts anyway.

Etym: Might be related to dawly, a dialect word in northern England meaning "miserable, gloomy, lonely".

Daydream Charm (HBP ch. 6): A product created by Weasley's Wizard Wheezes to make classes more pleasant.

Dean Thomas: Etym: From Middle English dene "valley", or deen, a borrowing of a word that ultimately meant "a leader of ten men".

Dearborn, Caradoc (OotP ch. 9): Etym: None found, but might just be from dear and born.

deathday: The date on which a ghost comes into being, or the anniversary of that date. Like a birthday, a cause for celebration.

Death Chamber (OotP ch. 35): The room in the Department of Mysteries where Sirius Black died.

Death Eaters: Voldemort's merry band of evildoers, now nearly all killed or captured.

Killed in the first war: Evan Rosier, Wilkes
Killed in Voldemort's service since: Bartemius Crouch junior, Bellatrix Lestrange
Either killed or captured: Alecto Carrow, Amycus Carrow, Avery, Crabbe senior, Antonin Dolohov, Gibbon, Fenrir Greyback, Goyle senior, Jugson, Rabastan Lestrange Rodolphus Lestrange, Walden Macnair, Lucius Malfoy, Mulciber, Nott senior, Rookwood, Travers, Yaxley
Whereabouts unknown: Ludo Bagman Renounced Voldemort (and killed) in the first war: Regulus Black
Renounced Voldemort (and killed) since: Igor Karkaroff, Peter Pettigrew (sorta), Severus Snape

Deathly Hallows (DH ch. 20): The Elder Wand, the Resurrection Stone, and the Cloak of Invisibility. If you have seen any of these items, please contact Death.

Death Omens: What to Do When You Know the Worst is Coming: A book in Flourish and Blotts.

Deathstick (DH ch. 21): A colloquial but much cooler name for the Elder Wand.

Decoy Detonator (HBP ch. 6): A Weasley's Wizard Wheezes product which provides a convenient nearby distraction when you need one.

Decree for Justifiable Confiscation (DH ch. 7): A law allowing the Ministry of Magic to, er, inspect a wizard's estate. Probably called that because it's quicker to say than "Decree for Helping Ourselves to Whatever Looks Interesting".

Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Wizardry: A law dating from 1875 which disallows student wizards from using magic outside of school.

Dedalus Diggle: Etym: Alternate spelling of Daedalus, of course.

Defense Against the Dark Arts: A required subject for all Hogwarts students, but by far the most hazardous class to teach. Teachers so far:

Harry's first year: Professor Quirrell
Second year: Gilderoy Lockhart
Third year: Remus Lupin (with a bit of substitute teaching from Professor Snape, nearly dodging the jinx)
Fourth year: Bartemius Crouch disguised as Alastor Moody
Fifth year: Dolores Umbridge
Sixth year: Snape again, unfortunately
Seventh year: Amycus Carrow

Defensive Magical Theory (OotP ch. 9): The textbook for Defense Against the Dark Arts in Harry's fifth year.

Deflagration Deluxe (OotP ch. 28): A collection of Weasleys' Wildfire Whiz-Bangs.

Deflating Draft: The antidote to a Swelling Solution.

Defodio (DH ch. 26): An incantation for tunnel-digging.

Etym: Latin, "I dig down", "cover", "bury", "conceal". (Just plain "dig" is fodio.)

Delacour, Apolline (DH ch. 6): Fleur and Gabrielle's mother.

Etym: See below.

Delacour Weasley, Fleur Isabelle: Etym: French for "of the court". A "flower of the court" would be a particularly striking noble lady.

Delacour, Gabrielle: Fleur Delacour's little sister.

Etym: See above.

Delacour, Monsieur (DH ch. 6): Fleur and Gabrielle's unnamed father.

Delaney-Podmore, Sir Patrick (CoS ch. 8): The head of the Headless Hunt.

Etym: Delaney may be from a French root meaning "wool" or "alder grove", or the Gaelic patronymic Ó Dubhshláine, composed of the elements dubh "black" + slán "challenge, defiance".

Podmore is of uncertain origin, possibly from Middle English pod or pad "frog" + more "fen, marsh".

Deletrius: An incantation to banish a summoned creature.

Etym: An alteration of deleterious, maybe.

Deluminator (DH ch. 7): Albus Dumbledore's name for his Put-Outer. (Or possibly the proper name all along, and it got changed for the US edition.)

Etym: It's the thing which causes things to be non-luminous.

Demelza Robins: Etym: The name comes from a placename, and was popularized by a character in the Poldark series.

dementor: A corpselike, possibly undead creature that feeds on emotions, draining away a person's will to live. Usually swathed in a cloak, their faces are seen only by people about to receive a dementor's kiss. Dementors are the guards of Azkaban.

Etym: Invention from demented, as in cause to be.

dementor's kiss: How a dementor sucks out a person's soul, leaving them in a permanent vegetative state.

Demiguise (DH ch. 21): A creature whose hair can be made into an invisibility cloak, although it will eventually wear out and remain visible. For more information, see Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Etym: Demi- (half) + guise (appearance).

de Mimsy-Porpington: see Mimsy-Porpington.

Dennis (PS ch. 3): Part of Dudley Dursley's gang.

Etym: Derived from Dionysius, though the exact etymology is uncertain. St. Denis is a patron saint of France, who according to legend was martyred by decapitation. He is portrayed in art as a headless living figure.

Dennis Bishop: Etym: See above.

Dennis Creevey: Etym: See above.

Densaugeo: Incantation for a curse that makes the target's teeth grow.

Etym: Latin dens "tooth" + augeo "I augment". To make grammatical sense, ought to be dentemaugeo ("tooth" as direct object) or densauge (imperative: "tooth, grow!").

Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures: One of the many departments of the Ministry of Magic, incorporating the Beast Division, Being Division, Spirit Division, the Goblin Liaison Office, and the Pest Advisory Bureau.

Department of International Magical Cooperation: Another department of the Ministry of Magic, responsible in part for overseeing the Quidditch World Cup and the Triwizard Tournament, and containing the International Magical Trading Standards Body, the International Magical Office of Law, and the British seats of the International Confederation of Wizards.

Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes (OotP ch. 7): Another arm of the Ministry of Magic which holds the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad, the headquarters for Obliviators, and the Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee.

Department of Magical Games and Sports: Yet another tentacle of the Ministry of Magic, incorporating the British and Irish Quidditch League, the Official Gobstones Club, and, for some reason, the Ludicrous Patents Office.

Department of Magical Law Enforcement (OotP ch. 7): A piece of the Ministry of Magic which contains the Magical Law Enforcement Squad, the Improper Use of Magic Office, the headquarters for the Aurors, and the administrative services for the Wizengamot.

Department of Magical Transport (OotP ch. 7): Another name for the Department of Magical Transportation.

Department of Magical Transportation: A section of the Ministry of Magic which contains the Floo Network Authority, Broom Regulatory Control, the Portkey Office, and the Apparation Test Center.

Department of Mysteries: The research arm of the Ministry of Magic.

Deprimo (DH ch. 21): An incantation that knocks a hole in the floor.

Etym: From Latin deprimere, "press down" or "sink down".

Derek (PoA ch. 11): A Hogwarts student, two years behind Harry, house unknown.

Derrick (PoA ch. 15): A Beater on the Slytherin Quidditch team.

Etym: Related to Theoderic, "people-rule". As a common noun, from the surname of a noted hangman at Tyburn, circa 1600.

Dervish and Banges: A toy shop in Hogsmeade.

Etym: Dervish is from Arabic darwiish, meaning a member of a Sufi fraternity, and is also used in fantasy to mean a whirling supernatural being. Banges would be an alteration of bangs.

Derwent, Dilys (OotP ch. 22): An 18th century Healer at St. Mungo's Hospital, after which a stint as headmistress of Hogwarts must have seemed fairly easy.

Descendo (DH ch. 31): An incantation to make something fall down.

Etym: Latin, "I descend". I guess it's supposed to be transitive?

Detachable Cribbing Cuffs (OotP ch. 31): A banned item at O.W.L. exams.

Deverill, Barnabas (DH ch. 21): A former owner of the Elder Wand, killed by Loxias for it.

Etym: Closest I could find was Everill, which goes back to an Old English name constructed from eofor "wild boar" + hild "battle".

Devil's Snare: A magical plant which grabs hold of anyone within range. (What it plans to do with them next has not been recorded.) It recoils from bright light.

Devon: A region of the UK which is home to the Flamels.

Diagon Alley: A wizard shopping district somewhere in London, accessible from The Leaky Cauldron and the Floo Network. Establishments therein include Eeylops Owl Emporium, Flourish and Blotts, Gringotts, Madam Malkin's Robes for All Occasions, Gambol and Japes, Florean Fortescue's ice cream parlor, Magical Menagerie, Quality Quidditch Supplies, Twilfitt and Tatting, Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, and Ollivander's.

Diffindo: The incantation for the Severing Charm.

Etym: Possibly Latin, "I split, cleave". Imperative: diffindere.

Diggle, Dedalus: A wizard who, according to Professor McGonagall, "never had much sense". Harry met him at The Leaky Cauldron.

Etym: Probably from the word dighel, meaning secret or obscure, though the proper etymology of the surname is different.

Diggory, Amos (GoF ch. 6): Cedric Diggory's father. He works for the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.

Diggory, Cedric: A Hufflepuff, two years ahead of Harry, the captain and Seeker of the Hufflepuff Quidditch team and one of the Hogwarts champions in the Triwizard Tournament. Also a co-winner of the tournament, which inevitably leads to him being killed seconds later. Now exists as a shade. Wand: 12.25", springy, ash and unicorn hair.

Etym: Goes back to the medieval romance of Sir Degaré, and is probably from French égaré "strayed, lost".

Dijon (OotP ch. 20): A region of France that Hagrid and Maxime passed through on their way to find the giants.

dilligrout (HBP ch. 12): A password used by the Fat Lady.

Etym: An actual obsolete word; it was pottage offered to the kings of England on their coronation day.

Dillonsby, Ivor (DH ch. 2): A wizard who claims Albus Dumbledore plagiarized his dragon's blood research.

Etym: Couldn't find any.

Dilys Derwent: Etym: None found.

Dimitrov (GoF ch. 8): A Chaser on the Bulgarian national Quidditch team.

Etym: From Greek Deemeetrios "(follower) of Demeter".

Dingle, Harold (OotP ch. 31): A student who was selling fake powdered dragon claw as an exam-taking aid.

Etym: From the Middle English word for a small wooded dell or hollow.

Dippet, Armando (CoS ch. 13): The headmaster of Hogwarts in Tom Riddle's time, probably Dumbledore's immediate predecessor.

Etym: Variation of Theobald, from the Germanic personal name *þeudo "people, race" + bald "bold, brave".

Dirigible Plum (DH ch. 20): A radishlike fruit which grows above ground. The name would suggest you can make it do something.

Dirk Cresswell: Etym: A Flemish version of Derrick.

Disapparation: Apparation as seen from the point of departure.

Disarming Charm: A spell that knocks an opponent's wand out of their grip. Incantation: Expelliarmus.

Disillusion (OotP ch. 3): To cast a Disillusionment Charm on.

Disillusionment Charm (OotP ch. 3): A spell that gives the target perfect camouflage.

Dissendium: The password to open the secret passage from Hogwarts to Honeydukes.

Etym: Latin, "dissension, discord".

dittany: OED lists a number of possible plants but, for our purposes, probably Origanum dictamnus aka Dictamnus creticus, once alleged to have medicinal virtues.

Divination: An elective subject at Hogwarts, taught, in a loose sense of the word, by Professor Trelawney.

Dobbs, Emma (GoF ch. 12): A Hogwarts student three years behind Harry, house unknown.

Etym: From a variation of Robert, which comes from Old English/German hrothi "fame" + berhta "bright".

Dobby: A house-elf formerly in the employ of Lucius Malfoy, who went to Hogwarts to break new ground with the unthinkable practice of being paid to work, and later to Shell Cottage to wind up getting ground broken for him.

Etym: Word for a household sprite or apparition, particularly a brownie. See house-elf for more.

Doge, Elphias (OotP ch. 3): A member of the Order of the Phoenix.

Etym: The title of the ruler of Venice from the 8th to 18th centuries, also used as the title of a civil official for a time in Genoa.

Dolohov, Antonin (GoF ch. 30): A Death Eater, imprisoned in Azkaban, freed, and sent right back after the Death Eater raid on the Ministry of Magic.

Etym: No info on the name and the nearest Russian words don't look too likely at the moment.

Dolores Jane Umbridge: Etym: Spanish for "sorrows".

Dorcas Meadowes: Etym: A Biblical figure whose name became associated with women's associations that made clothes to give to the poor.

Doreen Figg, Arabella: Etym: Probably an Irish version of Dorothy, "gift of God".

Doris Crockford: Etym: The name of a sea nymph in Greek myth, origin unknown. Noted as a given name only as far back as 1819.

Doris Purkiss: Etym: See above.

Dorkins, Mary (OotP ch. 1): A TV news reporter.

Etym: No info on the name. Used here, the closeness to dork might be intentional.

Dot [Dorothy] (GoF ch. 1): The cook at The Hanged Man.

Etym: The name is believed to have developed from an arbitrary inversion of Theodora, Greek for "God's gift".

Downing Street (DH ch. 5): The street on which the British prime minister lives; used as shorthand for that residence.

doxy (OotP ch. 6): Small, beetle-like magical creatures with a venemous bite.

Etym: Not sure.

Doxycide (OotP ch. 6): An aerosol spray that will paralyze a doxy.

Draco Malfoy: Etym: Latin for "dragon", though the direct source for Mr. Malfoy's name is probably the Athenian ruler who gave us the word draconian.

Dragomir Gorgovitch: Etym: From Old Slavic dorogo "dear, beloved" + meri "great, famous".

dragons: Many dragon species are still found in the wild throughout Europe. All appear to be are variations on the typical European dragon, with wings and fiery breath. Specific varieties mentioned so far are the Chinese Fireball, Common Welsh Green, Hebridean Black, Hungarian Horntail, Swedish Short-Snout, and Norwegian Ridgeback.

Although captive dragon breeding is now outlawed, dragons are still useful to wizards in many ways. Their heartstrings are used in wands, their dung is used as compost for magical plants, and Albus Dumbledore alone has invented twelve uses for their blood.

When facing a dragon, it is helpful to remember that its eyes are its weakest spot.

Dragon Breeding for Pleasure and Profit: One of Hagrid's collection of dragon books.

Dragon Keeper's Guide, A: Another of Hagrid's collection of dragon books.

dragon pox (OotP ch. 22): A contagious magical disease. I don't even want to think about how you get it.

Dragon Species of Great Britain and Ireland: Yet another of Hagrid's collection of dragon books.

Draught of Living Death: An extremely powerful sleeping potion.

Draught of Peace (OotP ch. 15): A calming potion.

Dreadful Denizens of the Deep: A book in the Hogwarts library.

Dream Oracle, The (OotP ch. 12): A book used in the Divination class in Harry's fifth year.

Dr. Filibuster's Fabulous Wet-Start, No-Heat Fireworks: Magical fireworks available at Gambol and Japes.

Dr. Ubbly's Oblivious Unction (OotP ch. 38): Applied to heal Harry's wounds from being attacked by a brain.

Etym: Ubbly might be another form of obley an archaic word for "offering, oblation, sacrifice".

Drooble's Best Blowing Gum: A wizard candy. Probably best to steer clear of it, because...

Etym: One of a number of variations on the French word for "trouble".

Drought Charm: A spell to lower or dry up small bodies of water.

Dudley Dursley: Etym: From an Old English placename, composed of the name Dudda + leeah "wood, clearing", and maybe a pun on him being a bit of a dud as a human being.

Dumbledore, Aberforth: Albus Dumbledore's brother, banned from using magic after being caught "practicing inappropriate charms on a goat".

Etym: See below.

Dumbledore, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian: A former headmaster of Hogwarts, old buddy of Grindelwald, a gourmet of candies, and discoverer of the 12 current uses for dragon's blood. An all-around nice guy, at least until he decides it's time for you to die.

Etym: Old word for a bumblebee, from dumble "stupid, dull, slow" + dor "insect that makes a loud humming noise".

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Dumbledore, Ariana (DH ch. 2): Albus and Aberforth's sister, who dutifully fulfilled the familial role of Relative That No One Talks About.

Etym: See above.

Dumbledore, Kendra (DH ch. 2): Albus, Aberforth, and Ariana's mother.

Etym: See above.

Dumbledore, Percival (DH ch. 2): Albus, Aberforth, and Ariana's father, who died in Azkaban due to the unfortunate circumstance of not living in an era when it was okay to beat up Muggles.

Etym: See above.

Dumbledore's Army (OotP ch. 18): Harry's secret extracurricular Defense Against the Dark Arts class. Members are Ron, Hermione, Hannah Abbott, Katie Bell, Susan Bones, Terry Boot, Lavender Brown, Cho Chang, Michael Corner, Colin Creevey, Dennis Creevey, Marietta Edgecombe, Justin Finch-Fletchley, Seamus Finnigan, Anthony Goldstein, Angelina Johnson, Lee Jordan, Neville Longbottom, Luna Lovegood, Ernie Macmillan, Padma Patil, Parvati Patil, Zacharias Smith, Alicia Spinnet, Dean Thomas, Fred and George Weasley, and Ginny Weasley.

Dundee: A city in northern Scotland.

Durmstrang Institute: Another school of magic, thought to be somewhere in northeastern Europe. Its curriculum is rumored to include dark magic.

Etym: Almost certainly invented from the German phrase sturm and drang.

Duro (DH ch. 32): An incantation to turn something to stone.

Etym: Latin, "I cause to become hard".

Dursley, Dudley: Harry's cousin, a fine young lad who knows how to get the best out of life, at least from people who are swayed by screaming tantrums.

Etym: Stated by Rowling to be from the place name, which for the record is from the Old English given name Deeorsige + leeah "wood, clearing".

Dursley, Marge: Harry's aunt-in-law, Vernon Dursley's sister, dog fancier, occasional babysitter, and dispenser of time-honored wisdom on the subject of breeding.

Etym: See above.

Dursley, Petunia Evans: Harry's aunt, Lily Potter's sister, who selflessly gave up several cubic feet of storage space to house her weird nephew.

Etym: See above.

Dursley, Vernon: A respectable businessman, the director of Grunnings, a doting father, and really not at all to blame for his nephew being a freak.

Etym: See above.


eagle owl: A type of owl found across Eurasia; the largest of the European owls. Draco Malfoy has one.

ebony: Wood from several tree species in the genus Diospyros, favored for its durability, hardness, and ability to take high polish. In India it was used for drinking cups for its supposed ability to neutralize poison. Use these days is mainly decorative.

Eddie Carmichael: Etym: From Old English ead "rich, happy" + weard "guardian".

Edgar Bones: Etym: From Old English Eadgar "rich, happy".

Edgecombe, Marietta (OotP ch. 18): A friend of Cho Chang, probably a Ravenclaw, who spilled the beans on Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: Couldn't find anything specific, but probably from a name for a person living on the edge of a valley.

Edible Dark Mark (HBP ch. 6): Actually not all that edible; not even Weasley's Wizard Wheezes can make Voldemort palatable.

Educational Degree Number Twenty-eight (OotP ch. 28): The one that made Umbridge the headmistress.

Educational Degree Number Twenty-five (OotP ch. 19): The one that gave the High Inquisitor supreme authority over all punishments given to Hogwarts pupils.

Educational Degree Number Twenty-four (OotP ch. 17): The one that restricted freedom of assembly to approved student groups.

Educational Degree Number Twenty-nine (OotP ch. 28): The one that Filch thought would bring back corporal punishment.

Educational Degree Number Twenty-seven (OotP ch. 26): The one to expel any student caught in possession of The Quibbler.

Educational Degree Number Twenty-three (OotP ch. 15): The one that created the post of Hogwarts High Inquisitor.

Educational Degree Number Twenty-two (OotP ch. 15): The one that gave the Ministry of Magic the power to select a teacher when the headmaster cannot.

Eeylops Owl Emporium: A store in Diagon Alley, where Harry got Hedwig.

Egbert the Egregious (DH ch. 21): The proud owner of the Elder Wand after he killed Emeric the Evil for it.

Etym: From Old English ecg "edge (of a sword)" + beorht "bright"; the name of a famous king of Wessex

Eileen Prince Snape: Etym: Irish form of Evelyn, the origins of which are murky.

elderflower wine: Can mean wine made from elderberries or elderberry flowers combined with some other fruit.

Elder Wand (DH ch. 21): One of the Deathly Hallows, a super-powerful wand, the BFG of the wizarding world.

Eldred Worple: Etym: Old English, eald "old, great" + roed "counsel".

Eleanor Branstone: Etym: From a Provençal form of Helen, Greek for "the bright one". The name of several queens.

Elephant and Castle (OotP ch. 7): The site of one of the regurgitating toilet pranks and later a "nasty backfiring jinx"; a popular part of London.

Elfric the Eager (PS ch. 16): The leader of a notable historical uprising.

Etym: From the Old English words for "elf" and "ruler".

Elixir of Life: A formula that extends the lifespan indefinitely, made possible with a Philosopher's Stone.

Elixir to Induce Euphoria, An (HBP ch. 22): A potion described, and apparently not very well, in Advanced Potion-Making.

Elfrida Cragg: Etym: From Old English ælf "elf" + thryth "strength".

Elizabeth Cattermole, Mary: Etym: From Hebrew Elisheba, "my God (is) satisfaction".

Elladora (Black?): Etym: None found.

Ellie Cattermole [Elizabeth]:

Etym: See Elizabeth.

Eloise Midgen: Etym: From Old German haila "hale, sound" + vid "wide".

Elphias Doge: Etym: Unknown.

Emeric the Evil: A wizard who once controlled the Elder Wand, and all it ever got him was a mention in the history textbooks so that latter-day students could confuse him with Uric the Oddball.

Etym: From an Old German root Im- or Em-, of unknown meaning, + ric "ruler". Also, emerick is an obsolete alternate form of emery.

Emeric Switch: Etym: See above.

Emma Dobbs: Etym: A hypocoristic form of various Old German names combined with ermin/irmin "whole, universal".

Emmeline Vance: Etym: From a diminutive form of amal- "work".

Enchantment in Baking: A cookbook in Molly Weasley's collection.

Encyclopedia of Toadstools: A book at Flourish and Blotts.

Enervate: An incantation to revive an unconscious person.

Etym: English. Spelled ennervate in some first editions, but one n is correct.

Engorgement Charm: A spell to increase the size of something. Incantation: Engorgio.

Engorgio: Incantation for an Engorgement Charm.

Etym: Pseudo-Latin, "I (cause to) engorge". The imperative form would be engorgere or engorgire "become engorged".

Enid (PS ch. 7): Neville Longbottom's great-aunt.

Etym: Celtic name of uncertain derivation. In Arthurian legend, the wife of Geraint, noted as an example of long-suffering patience.

Enid Smeek: Etym: See above.

Enlarging Spell (OotP ch. 23): A spell that makes something bigger inside than out.

Entrail-Expelling Curse (OotP ch. 22): What it sounds like, I guess.

Entrancing Enchantments: Not defined explicitly, but would seem to be spells to produce infatuation.

Episkey (HBP ch. 14): An incantation to reduce swelling.

Etym: No idea.

Eric Munch: Etym: An unknown element + ric "ruler, government". Also an obsolete word for blood money.

Eric Whalley: Etym: See above.

Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi: The inscription on the Mirror of Erised, describing soed ti tahw.

Ernie Macmillan [Ernest] (CoS ch. 11):

Etym: From Old German Ernust "vigor, earnestness".

Ernie Prang [Ernest]:

Etym: See above.

Errol (CoS ch. 3): The Weasleys' owl.

Etym: From Latin errare "to wander". Hints also of Errol Flynn.

Erumpent (DH ch. 20): A creature not invented by the Quibbler, but apparently confusable with a Crumble-Horned Snorkack. See Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Etym: Actual word meaning "that bursts forth".

Eton: The most exclusive secondary school in England; Justin Finch-Fletchley still picked Hogwarts over it.

Euan Abercrombie: Etym: Probable variation of Evan.

Europa (OotP ch. 14): One of the Galilean moons of Jupiter.

Evan Rosier: Etym: From a Welsh form of John, from Hebrew Johanan, meaning "Jehovah has favored".

Evanesco (OotP ch. 5): Etym: Formed from Latin evanescere "to vanish like vapor".

Evans Dursley, Petunia: Etym: See Evan.

Evans, Mark (OotP ch. 1): A ten-year-old that Dudley Dursley and his gang beat up.

Etym: See Evan.

Evans Potter, Lily: Etym: See Evan.

Evening Prophet: An evening newspaper, probably an alternate edition of the Daily Prophet.

Everard (OotP ch. 22): A previous headmaster of Hogwarts.

Etym: From Old German ebur "boar" + hardu "hard".

Ever-Bashing Boomerangs: Something from the long list of items students are banned from bringing into Hogwarts.

Everlasting Elixirs: May be potions with no expiration date.

Expecto Patronum: Incantation to summon a Patronus.

Etym: From Latin exspecto "I expect" (literally "look forward to") and patronus, "patron, defender".

Expelliarmus: The incantation for the Disarming Charm.

Etym: Derived somehow from Latin expellere "drive out, drive away".

Expellimellius (OotP ch. 18): A fumbled incantation for a Disarming Charm that instead resulted in an arm catching fire.

Etym: Just a gibberish form, I guess.

Exploding Snap: A wizard card game.

Extendable Ears (OotP ch. 4): An eavesdropping aid produced by Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.

Extinguishing Spell: A spell to put out fires.


Fabian Prewett: Etym: Short form of the name of Quintus Fabius Maximus, a Roman general famous for delaying and skirmishing tactics.

Fainting Fancy (OotP ch. 13): One of the ingredients of the Skiving Snackbox.

fairy lights: Magical decorations which are actual fairies, persuaded to hold still.

Famous Witches and Wizards: A series of trading cards packaged with Chocolate Frogs. Featured people include Agrippa, Circe, Cliodna, Albus Dumbledore, Nicholas Flamel, Alberic Grunnion, Hengist of Woodcroft, Merlin, Morgana, and Paracelsus.

Fang: Hagrid's dog, a boarhound.

Fanged Frisbees: A banned item at Hogwarts.

Fanged Geranium (OotP ch. 31): A plant in the O.W.L. for Herbology.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: A first-year textbook. Also available in a Muggle edition.

Fat Friar: The house ghost of Hufflepuff.

Fat Lady: The painting that guards the Gryffindor dormitory.

Fawcett (CoS ch. 12): A Ravenclaw who came to Lockhart's dueling club. A couple years later, she tried to age herself to be a candidate for the Triwizard Tournament.

Etym: From the placename Fawcet or Facit, both from Old English fah "(brightly) colored, variegated, flowery" + side "slope".

Fawcetts senior (GoF ch. 6): Acquaintances of the Weasley family who couldn't get tickets to the Quidditch World Cup.

Etym: See above.

Fawkes: Dumbledore's phoenix friend, and the donor of the feathers in both Harry's and Voldemort's wands.

Etym: From Guy Fawkes, the mastermind of the Gunpowder Plot.

Felix Felicis (HBP ch. 9): A potion for creating luck.

Etym: Latin, "luck of all luck".

Fenrir Greyback: Etym: Also known as Fenrisúlfr ("Fenris-wolf"), the world-destroying wolf that Norse legend says will be loosed at Ragnarok.

Fenwick, Benjy (OotP ch. 9): A member of the Order of the Phoenix who was killed by the Death Eaters.

Etym: From Old English fenn "marsh, fen" + wiic "dairy farm, outlying village".

Fergus: A friend of Seamus Finnigan's.

Etym: Gaelic fear "man" + gus "vigor", and name of a mythological hero.

Ferula: An incantation to conjure up some sort of magical splint.

Etym: Probably from ferrule, a ring or cap put on a shaft to keep it from splitting. Ferula is an actual word, but means an instrument such as a flat piece of wood used to punish children.

Fever Fudge (OotP ch. 18): One of the items in the Skiving Snackboxes.

Fidelius Charm: A spell that conceals a piece of information inside a living soul-- a Secret-Keeper.

Fiendfyre (DH ch. 31): Fire so cursed that it can destroy a Horcrux.

Figg, Arabella Doreen: A Squib who is a member of the Order of the Phoenix, set to watch Harry while he stays with the Dursleys.

Etym: The name is properly derived from fig, but my guess is that if there is any meaning to it, Rowling is thinking more along the lines of the surname Figgis, from a nickname for a trustworthy or reliable person.

Filch, Argus: The caretaker of Hogwarts and terror of curfew-breakers-- all the harder for him as he's a Squib. The movie suggests that he's an honorary Slytherin.

Etym: Probably just the English word... thus, Argus Filch is on the lookout for all who might steal. (Doesn't do a very good job of it, does he?)

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Filius Flitwick: Etym: Latin, "son".

Finch-Fletchley, Justin (PS ch. 7): A Hufflepuff, the same year as Harry, and a member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: Finch means what it looks like, and I've no idea about the other part.

Finite (OotP ch. 36): An incantation that halts the operation of a spell.

Etym: Latin, "end".

Finite Incantatem: An incantation that halts all ongoing spells in the vicinity.

Etym: Latin, "end spellcasting".

Finkley, Barnabas (DH ch. 18): A wizard who gave his name to a spellcasting prize.

Etym: May derive from finch.

Finnigan, Seamus (PS ch. 7): A Gryffindor, the same year as Harry, and a member of Dumbledore's Army. His mother was a witch, and didn't tell his Muggle father until after they were married.

Etym: From the Gaelic name Fionn, meaning "white".

fire-crabs: One of the creatures hybridized to form Blast-Ended Skrewts.

Firebolt: The absolutely most advanced broom yet created by modern magical technology.

Firenze: A centaur who once lived in the Forbidden Forest, now an outcast for helping humans, if you can call his lessons as an alternate Divination teacher helpful.

Etym: The modern Italian name for Florence.

Five Feathers (OotP ch. 1): The Barnsley habitat of Bungy the budgie.

Fizzing Whizbee: A type of wizard candy available at Honeydukes.

Flagrante Curse (DH ch. 26): A spell to make something burning hot.

Etym: Same as below.

Flagrate (OotP ch. 34): An incantation to draw a flaming symbol on something.

Etym: From a Latin word meaning "burst into flame".

Flamel, Nicholas (PS ch. 6): A 665-year-old alchemist and opera lover, a friend of Dumbledore's, and the creator of the only Philosopher's Stone known to be in existence.

Etym: The name of an actual historical alchemist. The Spell Binder has a lengthy article on him.

Flamel, Perenelle (PS ch. 13): Nicholas Flamel's wife, a mere 658 years old.

Fleet, Angus (CoS ch. 5): A Muggle resident of Peebles who spotted Harry and Ron in the flying Ford Anglia.

Etym: As a last name, from Old English fleot "stream, estuary, creek" or Middle English flete "swift".

Fleetwood's High-Finish Handle Polish: Part of Harry's broomstick maintenance kit.

Etym: Fleet... wood... get it?

Flesh-Eating Slug Repellent: Something to keep Flesh-Eating Slugs out of cabbages, apparently.

Fletcher, Mundungus (CoS ch. 3): The target of a raid by the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office. Also, a member of Dumbledore's "old gang".

Etym: An arrowsmith, from Old French fleche "arrow".

Fleur Isabelle Delacour Weasley: Etym: French for "flower".

Flint, Marcus (PS ch. 11): A Slytherin, five years ahead of Harry. Chaser and captain of the Slytherin Quidditch team during Harry's first year.

Etym: Name for someone who lived near a notable outcrop of flint, or nickname for a hard-hearted individual.

Flitterbloom (OotP ch. 25): What someone disguised a Devil's Snare as to send to Bode.

Flitwick, Filius: The Charms teacher at Hogwarts, a former dueling champion who has since moved on to the far more exciting and dangerous career of teaching adolescents to handle supernatural forces. Also, head of Ravenclaw House.

Etym: A town in Bedfordshire; no etymology found, though.

flobberworm: The most uninspiring magical creature in existence. A flobberworm subsists on a diet of lettuce and does nothing else.

Floo Network: The network on which one travels with Floo powder. Overseen by the Floo Regulation Panel.

Floo Network Authority (OotP ch. 7): May or may not be the same thing as the Floo Regulation Panel.

Floo powder: A substance that allows one to travel from fireplace to fireplace (via the Floo Network) by throwing some into a fire and speaking the intended destination.

Etym: Probably a pun on flew or flue or both.

Floo Regulation Panel: The governmental body that maintains the root servers of the Floo Network.

Florean Fortescue: Etym: From Latin florianus "flowery, blooming". Florian is the name of a 4th century saint invoked against fire and drought.

Florence (GoF ch. 30): A student at Hogwarts at the same time as Bertha Jorkins.

Flourish and Blotts: A bookstore in Diagon Alley, the place where Hogwarts students buy their textbooks.

Etym: A flourish, in penmanship, is an added decoration. To blot is to dry wet ink by pressing something absorbent (like a blotting-paper) onto it, to absorb the excess and keep it from smudging. When writing with a fountain pen or quill, one would sign with a flourish and then blot it.

Fluffy: A cerberid dog acquired by Hagrid and put to work guarding the Philosopher's Stone.

Flume, Ambrosius (HBP ch. 4): The head of Honeydukes.

Etym: No etymology as a name, may just be the English word.

Flutterby Bush: A magical plant, undescribed but possibly a variation of a butterfly bush.

fluxweed: An ingredient of the Polyjuice Potion. Invented, as far as I can tell.

Flying with the Cannons: A book on the Chudley Cannons.

Foe-Glass: A mirror which shows any enemies of the owner who are in the vicinity.

Forbidden Forest: The woods adjoining Hogwarts and Hogsmeade, home to all sorts of magical creatures, including centaurs, Aragog, and possibly a werewolf or two.

Ford Anglia: A cousin to the Ford Prefect which was produced in England from 1959 to 1967 and then was simplified to become the Ford Popular. Arthur Weasley got hold of one and performed a few minor adjustments to it such as allowing it to fly and become invisible at will. Since being crashed into the Whomping Willow, the car has turned feral and been living in the Forbidden Forest.

Forgetfulness Potion: The final exam for Harry's first year of Potions.

Fortescue (OotP ch. 27): A previous headmaster of Hogwarts.

Etym: See below.

Fortescue, Florean (PoA ch. 4): The proprietor of an ice cream parlor in Diagon Alley until he disappeared for unknown reasons, who for some reason knows an awful lot about the history of witch-burning.

Etym: From Old French fort "strong, brave" + escu "shield". Thus, a powerful protection against burning.

Fountain of Fair Fortune, The (DH ch. 7): A story in Tales of Beedle the Bard.

Fountain of Magical Brethren (OotP ch. 7): An artistic statement of the Ministry of Magic's worldview, now, appropriately, utterly destroyed.

Four-Point Spell: A spell to make one's wand indicate north (whether it's magnetic or true north hasn't been said). Incantation: Point Me.

Fowl or Foul? A Study of Hippogriff Brutality: A book Ron consulted in Buckbeak's defense.

Frank Bryce [Francis]:

Etym: From Latin Franciscus, "Frenchman".

Frank Longbottom [Francis]:

Etym: See above.

Fred Weasley [Frederick]:

Etym: From Old German frithu "peace" + ric "ruler". The name of lots and lots of German kings.

Freezing Charm: Some kind of paralysis-inducing spell.

Fridwulfa (GoF ch. 24): Hagrid's mother, a giantess, whereabouts unknown.

Etym: As far as I can tell, this name is invented, but from recognizable roots. Frid and similar forms mean "peace" as a name element, though another possibility (from An Anglo-Saxon Dictionary is friid- meaning "stately". Wulfa is undoubtedly "wolf".

Frobisher, Vicky (OotP ch. 13): A Gryffindor who tried out to be the Keeper on the Quidditch team.

Etym: Originally an occupational name for a polisher of metal, from Old French fo(u)rbisseor. Also the name of a 16th century explorer who was not too good at factual reporting.

Frog Spawn Soap: Something available at Zonko's Joke Shop.

From Egg to Inferno: Another of Hagrid's collection of books on dragon-rearing.

Fubster, Colonel (PoA ch. 2): A retired friend of Harry's Aunt Marge who sometimes looks after Marge's dogs.

Fudge, Cornelius Oswald: The current Minister of Magic, although apparently unable to handle the job without constant advice from Dumbledore. If political events in the books match actual history, Fudge is a Tory (in fact, he bears a suspicious resemblance to one particular Tory) who is due to be replaced sometime in book 6 or 7 when Labour takes over the government.

Etym: Of all the meanings available, I think we should look at "false" or "clumsily forged".

Fudge Flies: A candy available at Honeydukes.

Furnunculus: I believe this is a typo for furunculus. Can someone tell me if this was corrected in a later version of GoF?

Furunculus: An incantation that causes the target to break out in boils.

Etym: Latin, "boil", the root of the modern word furuncle.


Gabrielle Delacour: Etym: Feminine form of Gabriel, from Hebrew for "God is a strong man" or "strong man of God".

Gadding with Ghouls: One of Gilderoy Lockhart's books.

Gaddley (DH ch. 22): A place where a Muggle family was killed as reported on Potterwatch.

Galatea Merrythought: Etym: The name of Pygmalion's statue, and also of a nymph.

Galleon: A gold coin, equivalent to 17 Sickles or 493 Knuts.

Etym: Probably from the meaning "a great prize or catch", referring to the capture of Spanish galleons by English privateers.

Gambol and Japes: The joke shop in Diagon Alley.

Etym: Gambol as in to play, jape as in joke.

Gamp's Law of Elemental Transfiguration (DH ch. 15): A law with five principal exceptions covering stuff that would ruin the story if you could conjure it out of thin air.

Etym: The name of a character in Martin Chuzzlewit; probably nothing is meant by the connection, it's just an interesting-sounding name.

Ganymede (OotP ch. 14): One of the Galilean moons of Jupiter.

gargoyles (OotP ch. 17): Apparently there is a pair of them guarding the staffroom. (Technically, unless they're channeling water, they're actually grotesques.)

garlic: Rumored to be the source of the smell coming from Professor Quirrell's turban. Garlic has been credited with numerous medical powers, and the ability to ward off vampires.

Garroting Gas (OotP ch. 32): Some kind of asphyxiatory magical gas.

Gaunt, Marvolo (HBP ch. 10): Voldemort's maternal grandfather.

Etym: From Middle English, meaning "thin" but also "greedy" or "ravenous".

Gaunt (Riddle), Merope (HBP ch. 10): Voldemort's mother, briefly married to Tom Riddle senior thanks to a love potion.

Etym: See above.

Gaunt, Morfin (HBP ch. 10): Marvolo's son, Merope's sister, who spent some time in Azkaban for hexing Tom Riddle senior.

Etym: See above.

Gawain Robards: Etym: One of the knights of the Round Table, originally introduced as the model of knightly perfection, but in the later versions, he became treacherous and violent.

Gellert Grindelwald: Etym: From an Ashkenazic nickname for a man with light hair or a sallow complexion.

Geminio (DH ch. 13): An incantation to duplicate an object.

Etym: Latin, "I duplicate".

Geoffrey Hooper: Etym: Several different possible etymologies.

George Weasley: Etym: The patron saint of England, whose dragon-killing exploits, said to have happened in Libya, may be a transfer of the Perseus myth. The name is from Greek for "farmer".

Gernumbli gardensi (DH ch. 8): The taxonomic name for gnomes. (Well, maybe. Consider the source.)

Etym: The second is the right formation for "of the garden" but I have no idea where the first came from.

ghosts: Dead wizards who have chosen to remain in the mortal plane, rather than move on. Hogwarts has about 20 ghosts in residence, including the Bloody Baron, the Fat Friar, the Grey Lady, Nearly Headless Nick, Moaning Myrtle, Peeves, and Professor Binns.

ghoul: A malignant spirit sometimes associated with grave-robbing; one haunts the attic of The Burrow.

giants: Huge humanoids usually believed to have existed before humans. Frequently characterized as brutish and stupid, although medieval mythology included several giants as tutelary figures.

Gibbon (HBP ch. 29): A Death Eater, who may have been one of the ones recently sprung from Azkaban,captured in the fight at Hogwarts.

Etym: From a diminutive of Gilbert.

Gideon Prewett: Etym: The name of an Israelite judge and leader. Comes from Hebrew, meaning "having only a stump (for a hand)".

Gilbert Wimple: Etym: From Old German gisil "pledge" + berhta "bright". There was a St. Gilbert of Sempringham in the early 12th century who founded an order of monks, which spread as far as Scotland before the order was dissolved by Henry VII.

Gilderoy Lockhart: Etym: The name of a famous robber, whose victims included Cardinal Richelieu and Oliver Cromwell.

Gilderoy Lockhart's Guide to Household Pests: Yet another of Gilderoy Lockhart's books.

gillywater (HBP ch. 15): A drink available to the students at Hogwarts.

gillyweed: A magical plant that allows someone who eats it to breathe water.

Etym: Invented; OED has an entry for gillyflower, meaning various pinks or wallflowers, particularly Dianthus Caryophyllus.

Ginger Newt (OotP ch. 12): A kind of cookie that Professor McGonagall keeps a supply of in her office.

Ginny Molly Weasley Potter (Ginevra):

Etym: A variant of the name we know best as Guenivere, originally from a Celtic root meaning "white, shining".

Gladrags Wizardwear: A chain store with branches in London, Paris, and Hogsmeade.

Gladys Gudgeon: Etym: From Welsh Gwladys, of unknown etymology. Folk etymology favors a formation from Claudia.

Glisseo (DH ch. 32): The incantation to flatten stairs.

Etym: Semi-Latin, "I smooth".

gnomes: In these books, burrowing pests that tear up wizard gardens. Plaster statues of gnomes are fulfill roughly the same function in British gardens as plastic flamingoes do in American ones.

Gobbledegook: The language of goblins.

Goblet of Fire: The magical artifact that selects champions for the Triwizard Tournament.

goblins: The bankers of the wizard world. As a species which specializes in handling money, they are required to be short, ugly, and unpleasant in accordance with the long tradition enshrined in the Secret Protocols of the Elders of Science Fiction and Fantasy.

Goblin Liaison Office: A department of the Ministry of Magic.

Gobstones: A wizard variation of marbles in which the marbles can spit a foul-smelling liquid in a player's face.

Godelot (DH ch. 21): A previous owner of the Elder Wand.

Etym: No idea.

Godric Gryffindor: Etym: From Old English god, which may mean "good", + ric "ruler".

Godric's Hollow: Where Harry's parents were living when they were killed by Voldemort. A fictional place.

Golden Snitch: A tiny, winged ball used in Quidditch. It flies around the field of play attempting to not get caught by the Seekers. Catching the Snitch earns 150 points for the catching team and ends the game.

Goldstein, Anthony (OotP ch. 10): A Ravenclaw prefect in Harry's year and a member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: Ashkenazic Jewish for "gold stone".

Golgomath (OotP ch. 20): The new Gurg of the giants.

Etym: Might be related to Golgotha, Aramaic for "skull".

Golpalott's Third Law (HBP ch. 18): The antidote for a blended poison will be equal to more than the sum of the antidotes for each of the separate components.

Etym: Probably supposed to sound like "gulp a lot".

Gordon (PS ch. 3): A member of Dudley Dursley's gang.

Gorgovitch, Dragomir (DH ch. 6): A (former?) transfer player for the Chudley Cannons. Sure he's dropped the Quaffle more times than anyone else, but how many times has he scored, huh?

Gornuk (DH ch. 15): A goblin who joined the resistance, or at least the avoidance.

Etym: Not a clue.

Goshawk, Miranda (PS ch. 5): Author of the Standard Book of Spells series.

Etym: Astur palumbarius and relatives, primarily short-winged, forest-dwelling accipters. All the other textbook authors named have names clearly relating to the subject of their books, but I'm at a loss to explain this one. A pun on a real-world author's name, perhaps?

governors, board of: Some sort of oversight board for Hogwarts. Lucius Malfoy is (or was) a member.

Goyle, Gregory: The slightly stupider of Draco Malfoy's cronies, now a Beater on the Slytherin Quidditch team.

Etym: A deep trench or ravine. Or maybe intended to make us think of gargoyle.

Goyle senior: A Death Eater, still at large.

Graham Pritchard: Etym: From the surname of a prominent Scottish family, originally from the placename Grantham, etymology unknown.

Granger Weasley, Hermione Jane: Etym: A word for a farm bailiff, responsible for overseeing the collection of rent. In the US, the Granger movement fought on behalf of farmers against the monopolistic grain transport practices of the railroads after the Civil War.

Grawp (OotP ch. 30): Hagrid's younger full-giant half-brother.

Etym: No idea.

great grey owl: A large owl distributed all around the northern hemisphere.

Great Hall: The biggest indoor space in the Hogwarts castle; where the students and staff usually dine. The ceiling is enchanted to look like the sky outdoors.

Great Hangleton: A town next to Little Hangleton.

Great Humberto, The (PS ch. 3): A stage magician (well, one assumes...) whose TV show on Monday nights is one of Dudley Dursley's favorites.

Great Wizarding Events of the Twentieth Century: A book Hermione read to catch up on wizard culture.

Great Wizards of the Twentieth Century: One of the books in the Hogwarts library.

Greengrass, Daphne (OotP ch. 31): Another student in Harry's year.

Etym: An actual recorded surname. Means what it looks like. I guess she's really good at Herbology.

greenhouse one: The only greenhouse first-year Herbology students are allowed into.

greenhouse three: A place with much more interesting plants than greenhouse one.

Gregorovitch (GoF ch. 18): The maker of Viktor Krum's wand.

Etym: Russian name, a patronymic (but not usually surname) from Gregory.

Gregory Goyle: Etym: See below for one meaning. In common usage, has meant "a gallant" (c. 1599), "a hangman" (17th century), and a children's game. My money's on the hangman...

Gregory the Smarmy (PS ch. 9): A statue that conceals a secret passage out of Hogwarts.

Etym: As a name, from a Greek word meaning "to be watchful".

Greyback, Fenrir (HBP ch. 2): An infamous werewolf and Death Eater, captured after the fight at Hogwarts.

Etym: I think it's supposed to be literal.

Grey Lady: The house ghost of Ravenclaw.

Grim: A death omen in the form of a huge black dog. Though it should also be noted that there is a "Church Grim", said to guard graveyards from witches and the Devil.

Grimmauld Place (OotP ch. 3): The street on which Sirius Black's ancestral home is hidden.

Etym: Well, the house is a grim old place, y'see...

Grindelwald (PS ch. 6): A dark wizard defeated by Dumbledore in 1945, likely on or before May 7th. (The mess in the Pacific was presumably still the work of mere Muggles.) Now comfortably ensconced in his own little prison in Nurmengard.

Etym: Grindel means "fierce, angry" and wald is German for "forest". Grindelwald is also the name of a place in south central Switzerland.

grindylow: A malignant creature that lurks in water, waiting to strangle the unwary. From Yorkshire folklore, where it is said to prefer deep pools of stagnant water for its resting place and children fr its victims.

Gringotts: The British wizards' bank, run by goblins and based in Diagon Alley.

Griphook (PS ch. 5): A goblin working at Gringotts.

Etym: Probably invented.

Griselda Marchbanks: Etym: Related to an archaic word for "gray, grizzled". Also, the name of a character in medieval romance who was celebrated for her patience and wifely obedience.

Growth Charm (OotP ch. 31): Mixed up with a Color-Change Charm by Harry during his O.W.L. test.

Grubbly-Plank, Wilhelmina (GoF ch. 24): The substitute Care of Magical Creatures teacher.

Etym: No info; probably one of those random interesting names off of a gravestone.

Grunnings: The drill-making firm of which Vernon Dursley is the director.

Grunnion, Alberic (PS ch. 6): A person featured on a Famous Witches and Wizards trading card. No further info found.

Gryffindor, Godric: Etym: Invented. The griffon (or gryphon) is a symbol of bravery and guardianship.

Gryffindor House: The house that Harry belongs to; it selects for bravery and leadership qualities. The house ghost is Nearly Headless Nick, and the head of the house is Professor McGonagall. Badge: Gules, a lion rampant to sinister Or. (The version that appears in the movie is a bit different-- I'm going with the version that appeared on earlier merchandising.)

Gubraithian fire (OotP ch. 20): Everlasting fire. Hagrid and Maxime presented a branch of it to Karkus.

Gudgeon, Davy (PoA ch. 10): A former Hogwarts student who nearly lost an eye to the Whomping Willow.

Gudgeon, Gladys (CoS ch. 7): A big fan of Lockhart's, still writing to him even during his rehabilitation.

Etym: Nickname deriving from a fish (Gobio gobio), which originally may have been used with reference to a greedy or credulous person. Also, various meanings referring to pins or sockets at pivot points.

Guidelines for the Treatment of Non-Wizard Part-Humans: A directive of the Ministry of Magic which covers vampires, among others. This of course brings up the question of the legal status of a part-human who is a wizard...

Guide to Advanced Transfiguration, A: Harry's fourth-year Transfiguration textbook.

Guide to Medieval Sorcery, A: A book in the Hogwarts library.

Gulping Plimpies (HBP ch. 20): Someting to be warded off with a Gurdyroot.

Etym: No idea.

Gurdyroot (HBP ch. 20): A root bearing a suspicious resemblance to a green onion. It supposedly wards of Gulping Plimpies.

Etym: No idea on this either.

Gurg (OotP ch. 20): The chieftain of the remaining giants.

Etym: Maybe as in gurgle?

Gwenog Jones: Etym: Couldn't find any.


haggis: A traditional Scottish dish consisting of sheep innards stuffed with oatmeal.

Hagrid, Rubeus: The Keeper of the Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts, a giant of a man with a heart to match, especially when it comes to exotic and dangerous animals (cf. Norbert and Fluffy). Wand (supposedly destroyed, but strongly hinted to be hidden in his umbrella): oak, bendy, 16".

Etym: According to Rowling, "If you were hagrid-- it's a dialect word-- you'd had a bad night. Hagrid is a big drinker-- he's had a lot of bad nights."

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Hair-Raising Potion: Something that includes rat tails as an ingredient.

Hair-Thickening Charm (OotP ch. 19): Something that could conceivably cause someone's eyebrows to get huge.

Handbook of Do-It-Yourself Broomcare: A book Hermione gave to Harry.

Handbook of Hippogriff Psychology: A book Ron consulted to defend Buckbeak.

Hand of Glory: An item associated with dark magic since medieval times. Usually said to be the hand of a thief or murderer hanged at midnight, modified to allow candles to be socketed in its fingertips. In this series, it provides light only to the holder.

Hanged Man, The: The pub in Little Hangleton.

Hannah Abbott: Etym: From Hebrew for "He (God) has favored me". In the Bible, the mother of Samuel, and in the Talmud, a prophetess; her prayer exemplifies successful petitions to God.

Harkiss, Ciceron (HBP ch. 4): Ambrosius Flume's first employer.

Etym: From Hard, meaning "hardy, brave, strong", or a stern man.

Harold Dingle: Etym: Derives from the Old English words here "host, army" + weald "power".

Harper (HBP ch. 14): A student a year behind Harry; Draco Malfoy's stand-in as Slytherin Seeker for one game.

Etym: Occupation name, also seen as an error for harpy.

Harry James Potter: Etym: Stated by Rowling on numerous occasions to just be her favorite male name.

Hassan Mostafa: Etym: Means "beautifier".

Hawkshead Attacking Formation: A Quidditch move which involves the three Chasers flying close together.

Head Boy: A seventh-year student chosen for leadership and scholastic abilities who shares the prefects' duties.

Head Girl: A seventh-year student chosen for leadership and scholastic abilities who shares the prefects' duties.

Head Hockey: A pastime of the Headless Hunt.

Headless Hat (OotP ch. 24): Another fine product of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes which causes the wearer to appear decapitated.

Headless Hunt: A mass of headless ghosts who won't let Nearly Headless Nick join them.

Head Polo: Another pastime of the Headless Hunt.

Healer (OotP ch. 22): One of the medical staff at St. Mungo's Hospital. Their symbol is a crossed wand and bone.

Healer's Helpmate, The (HBP ch. 5): A book Molly Weasley used for first aid advice.

Hebridean Black: A type of dragon native to the British Isles.

Hector Dagworth-Granger: Etym: One of the major figures in the Trojan War. The name is from Greek ekhein "check, restrain", and can also mean a swashbuckler, braggart, or bully.

Hedwig: Harry's owl, named after someone he read about in A History of Magic. Cut down in her middle age by an errant Killing Curse aimed at Harry.

Etym: Stated by Rowling to be a medieval saint, which would be St. Hedwig of Andechs. Another possibility is the devout but not canonized medieval woman who was crowned "king" of Poland at the age of 9, strongly supported religion and scholarship, and caused the restoration of the university of Kraków, which became the Jagiellonian University. (Here's the English root page.)

Helena Ravenclaw: Etym: Variant of the Greek name Helen, "the bright one". The name of the sainted mother of Constantine the Great.

Helga Hufflepuff: Etym: From Norse, meaning "holy". Also an alternate name for St. Olga (890-969), the first recorded female ruler in Russa, the first Russian royal to adopt Christianity, and the first Russian Orthodox saint.

heliopath (OotP ch. 16): Fire spirits that Cornelius Fudge allegedly has a private army of.

Etym: Greek helio- "sun" + -path in the sense of "sympathetic to, sharing the quality of".

hellebore (OotP ch. 12): Can refer to various plants in the genera Helleborus and Veratrum, believed to have medicinal properties. Syrup of hellbore is an ingredient in the Draught of Peace.

Hengist of Woodcroft (PS ch. 6): Was featured on a Famous Witches and Wizards trading card. Might be an actual historical person, but I haven't found any info on him.

Heptomology (OotP ch. 25): Some kind of divination.

Etym: Hept- indicates it involves the number 7 in some way.

Hepzibah Smith: Etym: Also spelled Hephzibah, a Biblical name meaning "my delight is in her". The name of mother of Manasseh, and also used as a figurative name for Israel.

Herbert Chorley: Etym: From Old German harja "host, army" + berhta "bright".

Hereward (DH ch. 21): The son of Godelot, who killed him for the Elder Wand.

Etym: Hereward the Wake was a semi-historical Saxon outlaw.

Hestia Jones: Etym: The Greek goddess of the hearth.

Hetty Bayliss [Henrietta]:

Etym: Feminine of Henry from Old German haimi "house, home" + ric "ruler".

Herbology: A required course at Hogwarts, taught by Professor Sprout.

Hermes (CoS ch. 3): Percy's owl, a screech owl, bought for him when he became a prefect.

Etym: The Greek name for the messenger of the gods, also the god of thieves, children, and travellers.

Hermione Jane Granger: Etym: A derivative of Hermes. Used by Shakespeare in A Winter's Tale as the name of a queen falsely accused of adultery, who dies of the shock when the evidence in her favor is disregarded.

Hiccuping Solution (HBP ch. 22): A potion Draco Malfoy made but not very well.

Hiccup Sweet: Something available at Zonko's Joke Shop.

Higgs, Bertie (HBP ch. 7): One of Cormac McLaggen's uncle's companions on nogtail hunts.

Etym: See below.

Higgs, Terence (PS ch. 12): The Seeker for the Slytherin Quidditch team in Harry's first year, replaced by Draco Malfoy later on.

Etym: From the medieval given name Hicke, a form of Richard, whose etymology is uncertain; may be riic "ruler" + heard "hard".

High Inquisitor (OotP ch. 15): A post created for Dolores Umbridge giving her authority of inspection and dismissal over the other teachers. The real-world equivalent is Ofsted.

hinkypunk: A one-legged creature which lures travelers to their death in bogs.

Etym: Usually spelled Hinky-Punk, this is a local equivalent to the will-o'-the-wisp on the Somerset-Devon border.

Hippocrates Smethwyck: Etym: After the most important medical figure of ancient times.

hippogriff: A mythical creature with the head, wings, and legs of an eagle and the hindquarters of a horse. In these books, a proud and demanding creature that requires a person to show respect before they can approach it.

History of Magic: A required course at Hogwarts, taught by Professor Binns.

Hit Wizards: The toughest portion of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement.

Hobgoblins, The (OotP ch. 10): A band that Sirius Black is alleged to have led under the name Stubby Boardman.

Hog's Head, The (OotP ch. 16): The wrong-side-of-the-tracks bar in Hogsmeade.

Hogsmeade: The only entirely non-Muggle settlement in the British Isles, located near Hogwarts. Local businesses and features include the Three Broomsticks, the Hog's Head, Madam Puddifoot's tea shop, the Shrieking Shack, Honeydukes, a branch of Gladrags Wizardwear, Scrivenshaft's Quill Shop, Dervish and Banges, and Zonko's Joke Shop.

Etym: -meade in English placenames refers to a piece of grassland; thus, it's the meadow near Hogwarts. Interesting that the school appears to have preceded the village (unless both were named after some other local feature).

Hogwarts: The school for young wizards in the British Isles, housed in a massive castle with 142 shifting staircases, living paintings, numerous ghosts, and pretty much everything else that would have made your school the least bit interesting.

Etym: Stated by Rowling (in an interview not on the Web) to be from the name of a variety of lily she saw in Kew Gardens many years before starting the books.

Hogwarts Express: The train that runs from King's Cross to Hogwarts at the beginning of the school year, and back at the end.

Hogwarts, a History: One of the books Hermione read to get ready for the start of school.

Holidays with Hags: One of Gilderoy Lockhart's books.

Hokey (HBP ch. 20): The aged house-elf of Hepzibah Smith.

Etym: A word meaning old and overused; also a petty oath.

holly: Shrubs and trees of the genus Ilex, reputed to have protective powers. Harry's wand probably was made with English holly (I. aquifolium).

Etym: Rowling has given her reason for using it as its association with life and also with the word holy. Unfortunately, the second part is folk etymology; the word holly goes back to an Indo-European stem meaning "to prick". (Hollyhock, on the other hand, evolved from holy hock.)

Holyhead Harpies (HBP ch. 4): A professional Quidditch team. Holyhead is a ferry port in Wales.

Home Life and Social Habits of British Muggles: The textbook for the Muggle Studies class.

Homenum revelio (DH ch. 9): An incantation which is supposed to reveal hidden people... well, humans, anyway.

Etym: Sort of Latin for "I reveal a person". (Should start Hominum...)

Homorphus Charm: The spell with which Lockhart claims to have cured the Wagga Wagga Werewolf. He probably made it up-- it appears the Wolfsbane Potion is the only effective countermeasure.

Honeydukes: The candy store in Hogsmeade.

Etym: No info; also invented?

honking daffodils (OotP ch. 27): A variety cultivated by Professor Sprout.

Hooch, Madam: The flying instructor at Hogwarts, and usually the referee for inter-house Quidditch games.

Etym: No etymology. There was a minor Dutch painter named Pieter de Hooch, or Hoogh, or Hooghe (1629-1684).

Hooper, Geoffrey (OotP ch. 13): A Gryffindor who tried out to be the Keeper on their Quidditch team.

Etym: Occupational name for a craftsman who would fit hoops on casks, barrels, etc., from Middle English hoop "hoop, band".

Hopkirk, Mafalda (CoS ch. 2): Someone in the Improper Use of Magic Office.

Etym: From Hopekirk, named from Northern Middle English hop(e) "valley among hills" + kirk "church". A former Hufflepuff?

Horace E. F. Slughorn:

Etym: Couldn't find an etymology, but this is the name under which the poet Quintus Horatius Flaccus is best known.

Horcrux (HBP ch. 17): A container used to hide a piece of a wizard's soul.

Etym: The first element may be Latin horreum "barn, storehouse"; don't know about the second.

hornbeam: Various hardy, slow-growing trees of the birch family grown for timber and ornament. The wood is valued for toughness.

Hornby, Olive (CoS ch. 16): A girl who particularly tormented Moaning Myrtle and was haunted by Myrtle for it until the day she (Olive) died what seems like an awfully early death.

Etym: Name of several places in northern England, from the Old Norse name Horni "horn" + býr "farm, settlement".

Horseback Head-Juggling: Another pastime of the Headless Hunt.

house-elf: A magical creature, bound to a specific wizard family or place, which does housekeeping tasks. If a house-elf's employer hands a piece of clothing to them, the elf is considered dismissed.

House-elves are based on brownies, mostly benevolent spirits said to inhabit particular houses or farmsteads and do chores when no one is looking. One can leave bread or a bowl of milk or cream out for the brownie to show thanks, but making any more extravagant gifts will offend it, which will turn to mischief. If a suit of clothes is made for a brownie, it will put them on and disappear.

House-Elf Liberation Front: Hermione's current effort to better the conditions of house-elves.

Hover Charm: A spell used to make something float in the air. Apparently detectable from a distance (unless someone from the Improper Use of Magic Office just happened to be nearby).

Howler: An angry voice recording which plays at full volume when opened, sent by parents to give public rebukes to their children at school; a nastygram.

Hufflepuff, Helga: One of the four founders of Hogwarts.

Etym: See below.

Hufflepuff House: One of the four houses of Hogwarts, it emphasizes hard work, goodness, and self-sacrifice. The house of the saints-- and martyrs. Badge: Or, a brock rampant reguardant, at best guess, anyway. House colors are supposed to be black and gold. The house ghost is the Fat Friar, and the head of the house is Professor Sprout.

See "In Defense of Hufflepuff" for more on the house philosophy.

Etym: Invented; along the lines of "huff and puff".

Hugo Weasley: Etym: Name derived from Germanic hug, "heart, mind, spirit", which suggests an eventual Hufflepuff. Also the name of Rowling's first non-children's book award, regardless of what the W. H. Smith people say.

Humberto: see The Great Humberto.

Humphrey Belcher: Etym: From Old English hun "bear-cub, warrior" + frith "peace". Also, "to dine with Duke Humphrey" is to not eat.

Hungarian Horntail: A particularly large and nasty species of dragon.

Hurling Hex: A malignant spell which can be cast on a broomstick.


Ice Mice: A type of wizard candy.

Ignatius Weasley, Percy: Etym: Ignatius Loyola was the founder of the Jesuits.

Ignotus Peverell: Etym: Latin, "unknown".

Igor Karkaroff: Etym: From the Viking name Ingvar(r), meaning "hero". The name of a couple Russian princes; one was the founder of the Kievan dynasty of Rus, and the other is the Prince Igor of the opera.

Imago, Inigo (OotP ch. 12): The author of The Dream Oracle.

Etym: In psychoanalysis, a subjective image formed in the subconscious that influences one's behavior without conscious knowledge.

Impedimenta: The incantation for the Impediment Curse.

Etym: Latin, "impediment".

Impediment Curse: A spell that slows or completely stops the movement of a living being. Incantation: Impedimenta.

Impediment Jinx (OotP ch. 19): Probably the same as the Impediment Curse.

Imperio: The incantation for the Imperius Curse.

Etym: Latin, "I command".

Imperius Curse: One of the Unforgivable Curses, a spell which makes the target do the caster's bidding against their will, although a strong wizard can fight the curse to some extent. Incantation: Imperio.

Imperturbable Charm (OotP ch. 4): Wards off anything from making contact with the target.

Impervius: An incantation that makes a surface repel water.

Etym: Altered spelling of impervious.

Important Modern Magical Discoveries: A book in the Hogwarts library.

Improper Use of Magic Office: The arm of the Ministry of Magic which, among other things, keeps tabs on any students who try to use magic outside of school.

Inanimatus Conjurus (OotP ch. 14): A spell to conjure up a non-living thing.

Etym: From Latin in- "not" + animatus "life, animation" and conjuro, the root for "conjuration".

incantations: The verbal components of spells. Incantations come in a variety of languages. Oddly, modern-language spells which contain verbs are in the imperative (the command form) but the Latin ones are in the indicative (that is, descriptive of action). There may be a deep reason for this, but it's probably just because Rowling was never forced to take Latin. I was, and by golly I'm going to get some use out of it. Imperative forms are provided for the curious.

Incarcerous (OotP ch. 33): An incantation that conjures ropes to bind the target.

Etym: The Latin root is carcer "prison", as in incarcerate.

Incendio: An incantation to start a fire.

Etym: Latin, "I set fire to". Imperative: incendere.

Inferius (HBP ch. 3): A reanimated corpse, basically a zombie under a new name.

Etym: From a Latin root meaning "low-lying" or "from the lower world". And the proper plural is Inferii, not Inferi! Argh! Shoot the copyeditor!

Inigo Imago: Etym: Unknown, a cognate to Ignatius, but I think it was just picked for assonance.

Instant Darkness Powder (HBP ch. 6): A product imported by Weasley's Wizard Wheezes from Peru, proof against all light spells.

Inquisitorial Squad (OotP ch. 28): Umbridge's own little junior Gestapo.

Inner Eye: A term for clairvoyant ability.

InterCity 125: An engine widely used on Britain's commuter railways.

Inter-House Championship: The competition between the Hogwarts houses to see which can accumulate the most points by the end of the year.

Intermediate Transfiguration: The textbook for the third-year Transfiguration class.

International Alchemical Conference (DH ch. 18): An organization based in Cairo, or an event held there. Egypt was home to many early alchemical developments.

International Association of Quidditch: The organization which sanctions the Quidditch World Cup, akin to FIFA.

International Ban on Dueling: The exact nature of the ban has not been explained, but since Lockhart was allowed to have a go at starting a dueling club, it's either very recent, or not a total ban, or the UK is not a signatory to it. We know for certain that Transylvania is not.

International Confederation of Warlocks: Some sort of multinational professional association.

International Confederation of Wizards (OotP ch. 7): Another variation on the International Confederation of Warlocks.

International Federation of Warlocks: Probably a typo for the International Confederation of Warlocks, or vice versa.

International Magical Office of Law (OotP ch. 7): A division of the Ministry of Magic.

International Magical Trading Standards Body (OotP ch. 7): Another division of the Ministry of Magic.

Invigoration Draught (OotP ch. 28): Something Harry had to make in Potions class.

Invisible Book of Invisibility: The most problematic book ever to blight the stockroom of Flourish and Blotts until the arrival of The Monster Book of Monsters.

Invisibility Booster: Something that can make a flying car invisible, at least to Muggles.

invisibility cloak: An extremely rare magical item which makes the wearer(s) totally invisible to normal sight, though it is penetrable with any kind of magical sight. Harry's father left one to him.

Io (OotP ch. 14): One of the Galilean moons of Jupiter.

Irma Pince: Etym: Believed to have originated as a short form of Ermengarde or Ermyntrude, which is from the Germanic words ermin "whole, universal" + drudi "strength".

Isabelle Delacour Weasley, Fleur: Etym: Spanish variant of Elizabeth.

Ivanova (GoF ch. 8): A Chaser on the Bulgarian national Quidditch team.

Etym: Patronymic from Ivan, another form of John.

Ivor Dillonsby: Etym: Can't find any.


Jack Sloper: Etym: Another form of John.

James Potter: Etym: A variation of Jacob, from Hebrew âqoob, whose meaning is not clear. Folk etymology gives a meaning of "he seized the heel" or "he supplanted". St. James the disciple, along with St. John, are sometimes called boanerges, Greek for "sons of thunder", for their fiery zeal.

James Potter (the younger):

Etym: See above.

Jane Granger Weasley, Hermione: Etym: See below.

Jane Umbridge, Dolores: Etym: A feminine variant of John.

Janus Thickey Ward (OotP ch. 23): The section of St. Mungo's Hospital for those with incurable spell damage.

Etym: Janus is a Roman god represented as having two heads facing in opposite directions; thickey is British slang for an idiot. It's the confused and stupid ward.

Jelly-Legs Jinx: A spell that makes a person's legs wobbly in an unnatural fashion.

Jelly Slugs: A type of wizard candy available at Honeydukes.

Jenkins, Joey (GoF ch. 22): A current or former member of the Chudley Cannons.

Etym: From the Middle English given name Jenkin, a diminutive of John.

Jigger, Arsenius (PS ch. 5): Author of Magical Drafts and Potions.

Etym: 1.5 fluid ounces; a measurement used for alcoholic drinks. So, a poisoned drink. Jeez, it's like everything associated with potions has to be evil and nasty.

Jimmy Peakes [James]:

Etym: See James.

Jinxes for the Jinxed (OotP ch. 18): A book that Dumbledore's Army found in the Room of Requirement.

Joey Jenkins [Joseph]:

Etym: Joseph is from the Hebrew for "may Jehovah add (children)". On the other hand, Joey is a semi-archaic slang term for a clown.

John Lupin, Remus: Etym: See Johnson below.

Johnson, Angelina (PS ch. 12): A Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, 2 years ahead of Harry. Now team captain as well, and a member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: Patronymic form of John, which is from the Hebrew name Johanan "Jehovah has favored".

Jones, Gwenog (HBP ch. 4): Captain of the Holyhead Harpies and a good friend of Horace Slughorn.

Etym: See below.

Jones, Hestia (OotP ch. 3): A member of the Order of the Phoenix.

Etym: Another form of John.

Jordan, Lee (PS ch. 7): A Gryffindor and a close friend of Fred and George Weasley. The announcer at inter-House Quidditch matches. Also now a member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: As a personal name, from an Old Norse or Old German root meaning "land". As the river, from the Hebrew for "flowing down".

Jorkins, Bertha (GoF ch. 1): A witch of the same generation as Harry's father. She worked for the Department of International Magical Cooperation before being tortured and killed by Voldemort. She is one of the people brought back as a shade.

Etym: No info found.

Jugson (OotP ch. 35): A Death Eater, who may have been one of the ones sprung from Azkaban, but is definitely there now after the fight at the Ministry of Magic.

Justin Finch-Fletchley: Etym: From Latin justus "just", the name of two Byzantine emperors and a saint; also brings to mind the emperor Justinian.


kappa: A creature from Japanese mythology which lurks in rivers and lakes, waiting to kill unwary passers-by. In these books, the kappa kills by strangulation; in the mythological form, it goes after swimmers by pulling their livers out through their bottoms. Kappas are confined to wilderness waters, so there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to think about this if your bottom is exposed to water in an urban setting.

Karkaroff, Igor: The former headmaster of Durmstrang, who ran away from his Death Eater obligations and was killed for it.

Etym: Couldn't find anything on this name, but might be invented from the Russian stem karka- "to caw, to predict the worst". Another outside possibility is Finnish karkuri "deserter, runaway".

Karkus (OotP ch. 20): The Gurg until he was killed by Golgomath.

Etym: Maybe from carcass?

Katie Bell [Katherine]:

Etym: St. Katherine or Catherine of Alexandria was a scholarly woman who was imprisoned for converting the wife and soldiers of the emperor Maxentius. He is said to then have dispatched his philosophers to convince her by logical arguments to denounce her faith, only to find that she instead converted them. Later she was martyred, and a particular instrument of torture associated with this is known as "St. Katherine's Wheel". The etymology of this name is unknown.

Keeper: The player on a Quidditch team who attempts to keep the Quaffle from going through any of the goal hoops.

kelpie: A malicious water creature able to assume a number of shapes, but usually appearing as a horse, which takes delight in the drowning of passers-by.

Kendra Dumbledore (DH ch. 2): Etym: Feminine form of Kendrick, which comes from Old Welsh Cynwrig, which might be from worlds for "high, exalted", and "hill, summit".

Kenmare Kestrels (OotP ch. 11): Seamus Finnigan's favorite Quidditch team.

Kenneth Towler: Etym: Unknown, but the name of one of the most popular Scottish saints and three Scottish kings.

Kent: The home of the Wailing Widow.

Kettleburn (PoA ch. 5): The former Care of Magical Creatures teacher.

Etym: Means pretty much what it looks like.

Kevin (GoF ch. 7): Etym: See below.

Kevin Whitby: Etym: From Old Irish Coemgen or Caemgen "comely birth". St. Kevin is one of the patron saints of Dublin and is represented as a protector of animals.

Killing Curse: One of the Unforgivable Curses, a spell of instantaneous and terrifying death; fod; kill -9. The only person ever known to have survived it is Harry.

King's Cross: A major train station in London, and the point of origin for the Hogwarts Express. Rowling has said, though, that when she described the station, she was actually thinking of the layout of Euston.

Kingsley Shacklebolt: Etym: Possibly after Charles Kingsley, a Victorian novelist, clergyman, and teacher who was a strong supporter of social causes.

Kirke, Andrew (OotP ch. 21): One of the replacement Beaters on the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

Etym: From Middle English kirk "church".

knarl (OotP ch. 9): A hedgehog-like magical creature which can fire its quills at people. (Hedgehogs were once believed to be able to do this).

Etym: A 19th-century word which meant "hunchback" or "dwarf".

kneazle (OotP ch. 15): Something that was going to be covered in Care of Magical Creatures.

knickerbocker glory: A confection similar to a large ice cream sundae with all the attendant toppings, sauces, etc., traditionally served in a very tall glass.

Knight Bus: A bus summonable by any wizard in dire need of transportation which can take them anywhere they want to go on land.

Knights of Walpurgis: An earlier name for the Death Eaters which Rowling mentioned in an interview. Maddeningly, she did not say whether this name belonged to an organization predating Voldemort, or Voldemort came up with this name too.

Etym: From Walpurgis Night, a pagan festival absorbed into Christian tradition as the last stand of the forces of evil, represented as witches, until Halloween.

Knockturn Alley: The evil twin of Diagon Alley, location of Borgin and Burkes.

Etym: Say it out loud...

knotgrass: Polygonum aviculare, and one of the ingredients for the Polyjuice Potion. Herbal lore says an infusion of knotgrass is supposd to stunt one's growth.

Knut: 1/493 of a Galleon, 1/29 of a Sickle.

Etym: Not sure, maybe just a variation of nut, the coins being brownish and all.

Kreacher (OotP ch. 4): The loyal, long-suffering, put-upon, etc., etc. house-elf steward of the Black family's house in Grimmauld Place.

Etym: Mangled spelling of creature.

Krum, Viktor: The Seeker on the Bulgarian national Quidditch team, and the Triwizard Champion for Durmstrang. Wand: 10.25", rigid, hornbeam and dragon heartstring.

Etym: This was the name of a Bulgarian khan who died in 814, who developed the first rudiments of state organization there and was able to threaten the Byzantine Empire toward the end of his reign. Krumm, German for "crooked, bent, winding, twisted" is mentioned on other HP Web sites, but this seems an unlikely source to me.

Kwikspell: A correspondence course in basic magic that Filch apparently tried.


Laburnum Gardens (OotP ch. 14): The street in Clapham where Sturgis Podmore lives.

Etym: Laburnum is a genus of ornamental but poisonous trees and shrubs.

lacewing flies: An ingredient for the Polyjuice Potion. This could refer to anything in the order Neuroptera, particularly in the family Chrysopidae (green lacewings) or Hemerobiidae (brown lacewings).

Lachlan the Lanky (OotP ch. 13): A historical figure of whom there is a statue in Hogwarts.

Etym: Possibly from Gaelic laochail "warlike".

Ladislaw Zamojski: Etym: Name shared, with various other spellings, by kings of Bohemia, Hungary, and Naples. No info on what it actually means.

Lake Windermere (DH ch. 2): A prominent feature of the Lake District in the UK, where Rita Skeeter supposedly interviewed Elphias Doge.

Langlock: The incantation for the Tongue-Tying Curse.

Etym: Lang- from a root meaning "tongue", and lock as in "lock".

Lavender Brown: Etym: Lavandula vera, used for perfumes. The flower signifies distrust.

Leaky Cauldron, The: A wizards' pub located somewhere in London, along Charing Cross Road; the primary entrance to Diagon Alley.

Leanne (HBP ch. 13): A friend of Katie Bell.

Etym: Either compounded from the names Lee and Anne or a variation of Liane, derived from Greek helios "sun".

Leaving Feast: The traditional end-of-school-year feast, held the night before everyone goes home on the Hogwarts Express.

Lee Jordan: Etym: The sheltered side of something, or dregs. As a name, from Old English leeah "meadow".

leeches: An ingredient for the Polyjuice Potion. The type of leech needed for magic is probably the European medicinal leech, Hirudo medicinalis.

Legilimency (OotP ch. 24): The magical art of rooting around in someone else's mind. Incantation: Legilimens.

Legilimens (OotP ch. 24): The incantation for Legilimency; also someone who practices it.

Etym: Latin, legere "read" + mens "mind, intellect".

Leg-Locker Curse: A spell that paralyzes the legs. Incantation: Locomotor Mortis.

Lestrange, Bellatrix Black: A Death Eater cousin of Sirius's, who did her darndest to make up for how little help he gave the dark side of wizardry, but couldn't outdo him in the dramatic death department.

Etym: Derived from strange as you might expect. A Sir Roger L'Estrange, an early English journalist and pamphleteer, was a Royalist supporter during the English Civil Wars and Commonwealth period, and was imprisoned for four years after being implicated in an unsuccessful attempt to capture the town of Lynn, Norfolk for the Royalists.

Lestrange, Rabastan (OotP ch. 6): Rodolphus's brother, also a Death Eater, sprung from Azkaban briefly but recaptured at the Ministry of Magic.

Etym: See above.

Lestrange, Rodolphus (OotP ch. 6): Bellatrix's husband, also a Death Eater, also imprisoned in Azkaban, but, unlike her, recaptured at the Ministry of Magic.

Etym: See above.

Levicorpus (HBP ch. 12): Another incantation to float a body (see Mobilicorpus).

Etym: Corpus is Latin for "body"; levi- as in levitate.

Levski: A Chaser on the Bulgarian national Quidditch team.

Etym: No etymology found, but this was the byname of Vasil Ivanov Kunchev (1837-1873), a Bulgarian revolutionary leader.

Libatius Borage: Etym: By analogy with libation.

Liberacorpus (HBP ch. 12): The counter-incantation to Levicorpus.

Etym: Liber- is the Latin root for "freedom" or "to free"; corpus is "body".

Licorice Wands: A wizard candy, undoubtedly very tasty if you happen to like licorice.

Life and Lies of Albus Dumbledore, The (DH ch. 2): Rita Skeeter's latest stunning bestseller.

Lily Evans Potter: Etym: As a personal name, probably derives from a pet form of Elizabeth. In the plant world, anything in the genus Lilium. Different types of lily have different meanings; if a specific one is intended, it's probably "purity and sweetness", the white lily. Outside possibilities are "majesty", for the imperial lily, or "return of happiness", the lily of the valley.

Lily Potter (the younger):

Etym: See above.

lionfish: Several species of fish of the family Scorpaenidae. The spines, which contain a mild venom, are a basic potion-making supply.

Lisa Turpin: Etym: Another nickname from Elizabeth, which is from Hebrew Elisheba, "my God (is) satisfaction".

Little Hangleton: The location of the Riddle House and The Hanged Man, 200 miles from Little Whinging. Apparently fictional, though there is a just plain Hangleton in Sussex.

Little Norton (OotP ch. 10): The home of Doris Purkiss.

Little Whinging: The town in Surrey in which the Dursleys live. Does not appear to be a real town.

Livius (DH ch. 21): A wizard who might have owned the Elder Wand.

Etym: Can't find an etymology. Might be named for the Roman historian.

Lockhart, Gilderoy: A best-selling author, honorary member of the Dark Force Defense League, five-time winner of the Witch Weekly Most Charming Smile Award, and the Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in Harry's second year. Owing to a bungled Memory Charm, he is now confined to St. Mungo's Hospital, and unlikely to write anything more unless it's Psessions with Psychologists.

Favorite color: lilac. Ideal birthday gift: harmony between magic and non-magic peoples. Secret ambition: Rid the world of evil and market his own line of hair-care products.

Etym: EB has an entry for John Gibson Lockhart (1794-1854) a Scottish writer, best remembered for his Life of Sir Walter Scott, "one of the great biographies in English". Appropriate for a thief of biographies.

Locomotor (OotP ch. 3): Generalized incantation to give an object the power of independent movement.

Etym: Latin for "that which has locomotive power".

Locomotor Mortis: Incantation for the Leg-Locker Curse.

Etym: Latin, "appendage" and "death".

Longbottom, Alice: Neville's mother, tortured by the Death Eaters to try and get information out of Neville's father. Confined to St. Mungo's Hospital along with her husband.

Etym: See below.

Longbottom, Augusta: Frank Longbottom's mother, who has raised Neville.

Etym: See below.

Longbottom, Frank (GoF ch. 30): Neville's father, an Auror who was captured and tortured by the Death Eaters after Voldemort's fall. Now confined to St. Mungo's Hospital.

Etym: See below.

Longbottom, Neville: A Gryffindor, same year as Harry, with the worst memory in his class. Nevertheless, now a member of Dumbledore's Army. New wand: cherry and unicorn hair.

Etym: Place name from western Yorkshire, from Middle English for "long valley".

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Loser's Lurgy (HBP ch. 19): What Luna Lovegood asserted Zacharias Smith to be suffering from on the Quidditch pitch.

Etym: Well, Goon fans, OED actually lists them as the source for lurgy, which has since made its way into common parlance as "the dread lurgy", so this may not be a direct reference.

lovage (OotP ch. 18): Levisticum officinale, used in our world as an herbal tea, a seasoning, and a perfume oil. In the magical world, a common ingredient of Confusing Draughts and Befuddlement Draughts.

Lovegood, Luna (OotP ch. 10): A Ravenclaw a year behind Harry, and a member of Dumbledore's Army. Later to become a famous naturalist.

Etym: None found.

Lovegood, Xenophilius (DH ch. 8): Editor of The Quibbler, official newspaper of the resistance.

Etym: None found.

Loxias (DH ch. 21): The last confirmed owner of the Elder Wand before Gregorovitch.

Etym: An alternate name for Apollo as an oracle; also the location of one of the oracles.

Lucius Malfoy: Etym: From Latin lux, light; possibly intended as a reference to Lucifer, "light-bearer". The name of three popes, including the patron saint of Copenhagen, who succeeded St. Cornelius and continued his policies... does this mean we'll be seeing a new Minister of Magic? EB also gives this as an obsolete form of luscious, but let's not go there.

Ludicrous Patents Office (OotP ch. 7): A function of the Ministry of Magic.

Ludo (Ludovic) Bagman:

Etym: Ludo is a game similar to pachisi/parcheesi. The word is Latin for "I play".

Lumos: An incantation to make one's wand glow.

Etym: Pseudo-Latin/Greek for "light".

Luna Lovegood: Etym: The Latin name for the moon, which does have a linguistic connection with lunatic.

Lupin, Nymphadora Tonks: An Auror and member of the Order of the Phoenix; a Metamorphmagus with a tropism for unstable furniture. Killed in the war.

Etym: See below.

Lupin, Remus John: The Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher in Harry's third year. Removed after he was revealed to be a werewolf, due to some parents having small-minded knee-jerk prejudices against allowing their children into close proximity with someone who can turn into a man-eating monster. Lupin was also one of James Potter's close friends during their school days. Killed in the war, although the way married life was working out, you wonder if he didn't feel better that way.

Etym: A variation on lupine.

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Lupin, Teddy Remus (DH ch. 25): Nymphadora and Remus's son, raised by Nymphadora's parents.

Etym: See above.

Lynch, Aidan (GoF ch. 8): The Seeker on the Irish national Quidditch team.

Etym: Anglicized form of Ó Loingsigh, from a given name meaning "mariner", or of Linseach, a name of unknown origin.


MacDougal, Morag (PS ch. 7): A Hogwarts student of the same year as Harry, house unknown.

Etym: From the Gaelic name Dubhghall, from dubh "black" + gall "stranger".

Macmillan, Ernie: A Hufflepuff in Harry's year, now a prefect and a member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: Anglicized form of Mac Maoláin, from a diminutive form of maol, meaning "bald, tonsured" and in a transferred sense, a devotee of a saint.

Macnair, Walden: The former executioner for the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures, now imprisoned in Azkaban for being a Death Eater.

Etym: HH has three possibilities, the most interesting being an anglicization of Mac an Mhaoir, "son of the steward, keeper". "The principal Irish family of this name held the hereditary post of Keeper of the Book of Armagh at Ballymoyer (Gaelic Baile an Mhaoir `town of the keeper')."

Madcap Magic for Wacky Warlocks: A book in the Hogwarts library.

Madley, Laura (GoF ch. 12): A Hufflepuff, 3 years behind Harry.

Etym: Name of several places in Britain, from the Old English words *mada (probably a derivative of maad, "foolish") + leeah "wood, clearing".

Mafalda Hopkirk: Etym: No etymology on this one, but it's the name of the socially concerned title character of a Portuguese comic strip.

Magical Drafts and Potions: A first-year textbook for Hogwarts students.

Magical Hieroglyphs and Logograms (OotP ch. 25): A book Hermione was reading to study for her O.W.L.s.

Magical Law Enforcement Patrol (OotP ch. 7): Alternate name for the Magical Law Enforcement Squad.

Magical Law Enforcement Squad: The ordinary police of the wizard world, as opposed to Aurors.

Magical Maintenance (OotP ch. 7): The department at the Ministry of Magic that decides what kind of illusory weather is visible out the windows. Uniform: navy robes.

Magical Me: Gilderoy Lockhart's most recent (and probably last) book of his exploits.

Magical Menagerie: The general pet store in Diagon Alley.

Magical Theory: A first-year textbook for Hogwarts students.

Magical Water Plants of the Mediterranean: A book lent to Neville by the fake Alastor Moody.

Magick Moste Evile (HBP ch. 18): A book in the Hogwarts library which does not detail Horcruxes.

Magnolia Crescent: A street near the Dursleys' home.

Magnolia Road (OotP ch. 1): Another street near the Dursleys' home.

Magorian (OotP ch. 30): A centaur living in the Forbidden Forest.

Etym: Couldn't find any.

mahogany: A tropical hardwood from several trees of the family Meliaceae, most often the West Indies mahogany, used mainly in furniture and paneling.

Maisie Cattermole: Etym: From a Gaelic form of Margaret (see Marge).

Malcolm Baddock: Etym: See below.

Malcolm (PS ch. 3): Part of Dudley Dursley's gang.

Etym: From Gaelic maol-Columb, "servant or disciple of Columb". Columb is the Gaelic form of the Latin Columba "dove", and was the name of a saint known as "the apostle of the Picts". Malcolm was also the name of several Scottish kings.

Malfoy, Abraxas (HBP ch. 9): Lucius Malfoy's father, known to Slughorn.

Etym: See below.

Malfoy, Draco: A Slytherin, the same year as Harry, who generously offered to introduce Harry to the "in" crowd and has not yet gotten over being snubbed. In Harry's second year and later, the Seeker for the Slytherin Quidditch team. In their fifth year, a prefect, for all the good it does him.

Etym: Stated by Rowling to be an invented name, from the French mal + foy or foi. Could be taken to mean "bad faith" as in a lack of faith or a false promise, or "faith in evil". We've certainly seen both out of the Malfoys by now.

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Malfoy, Lucius: A Death Eater of exalted lineage who has ascended the steps of societal power, taking hold of the scepter of leadership for the pure-blood faction, only to be smacked by the wet haddock of Voldemort's return and fall into the slimy canal of embarrassment at not being immediately thrilled at his former master's return. Now proving his everlasting loyalty by being locked up in Azkaban.

Etym: See above.

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Malfoy, Narcissa Black: Draco's mother.

Etym: See above.

Malfoy, Scorpius (DH ch. 37): Draco's son, off to Hogwarts with the rest of the lot.

Etym: See above.

Malkin, Madam (PS ch. 5): Proprietor of Robes for All Occasions in Diagon Alley.

Etym: As a surname, derived either from the medieval female given name Malle, or the Yiddish name Malke, from the Hebrew word malka "queen". OED also gives it as a name for a woman of the lower classes in various proverbial expressions; the name of a female spectre or demon; dialectual name for a cat; or an effeminate man. If I had to guess, I'd go with the female spectre.

mallowsweet (OotP ch. 27): Something in the family Malvaceae which centaurs burn along with sage for divinatory purposes.

mandrake: In these books, a plant which resembles a humanoid with a normal-looking plant growing out of its head. The scream of a mature mandrake can kill, while that of a young one will still stun a person. Mandrakes can be used to restore a person who has been paralyzed by a basilisk.

The real mandrake is any of the six species of the genus Mandragora, alleged to have all sorts of magical powers, and said to produce the scream when pulled from the ground.

Mandrake Restorative Draught: The potion made from mandrakes which can cure a person who has been paralyzed by a basilisk.

Mandy Brockelhurst [Amanda]:

Etym: Latin for "fit to be loved", also translated as "beloved".

manticore: A mythological creature with the body of a lion, the head of a man, sharp quills like a porcupine, and the tail of a scorpion.

maple: Any tree of the genus Acer, comprising the sugar maple, several varieties that provide a dense, hard wood used in furniture, and many ornamental trees.

Marauders, the: What James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew called themselves at school.

Marauder's Map: A magical map created by Messrs. Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot, and Prongs, which shows all of Hogwarts, the locations of all people therein, and instructions for opening the various secret passages out of the school.

Marchbanks, Griselda (OotP ch. 31): The head of the Wizarding Examinations Authority, and an elder of the Wizengamot until resigning in protest at the introduction of the High Inquisitor.

Etym: A Scottish surname, said to date from the 16th century when a family previously named Johnston acquired an estate by the name of Ratho-Majoribankis.

Marcus Belby: Etym: See below.

Marcus Flint: Etym: Probably derived from Mars. If this name is meant as a historical reference, then it's got to be Marcus Antonius aka Mark Antony.

Marge (Marjorie) Dursley (PS ch. 2):

Etym: From a French form of Margaret, derived from the Greek for "pearl". St. Margaret is the patron saint of Scotland.

Marietta Edgecombe: Etym: Modern use of this name appears to originate with a town in Ohio named for Marie Antoinette.

Marius (DH ch. 26): A Ministry wizard helping guard Gringotts.

Etym: Possibly named for Gaius Marius, a Roman general turned consul turned insane execution-happy old guy.

Mark Evans: Etym: The modern form of Marcus, the name of 2 saints.

Marlene McKinnon: Etym: This name was invented for Marlene Dietrich by telescoping her original first and middle names of Maria Magdalena.

Mars: Stemming from its association with the Roman god of war, Mars is often associated with conflict and death in astrology.

Marsh, Madam (PoA ch. 3): A frequent passenger on the Knight Bus.

Etym: Derived from the Old English word for same.

Martha (HBP ch. 12): An assistant at the orphanage that raised Tom Riddle.

Etym: From Aramaic mar "lord". The name is used as a Biblical allusion to concern with domestic affairs.

Mary Elizabeth Cattermole: Etym: See Molly.

Mary Dorkins: Etym: See Molly.

Marvolo Gaunt: Etym: See below.

Marvolo Riddle, Tom: Etym: Probably invented to make the anagram come out right.

Masons (CoS ch. 1): A builder (contractor) and his wife that the Dursleys had over for dinner in an attempt to get a large drill order out of them.

Etym: What it looks like; the surname derives from being an occupational name for a stonemason.

Maxime, Olympe: The headmistress of Beauxbatons, alleged by Hagrid to be a half-giant but not admitting to it yet.

Etym: Probably invented as a cognate to "maximum".

McDonald, Natalie: A Gryffindor, 3 years behind Harry.

Etym: From a Gaelic patronymic deriving from dubno "world" + val "might, "rule".

McGonagall, Minerva: Head of Gryffindor House, and the Transfiguration instructor.

Etym: Patronymic from the name Congal, composed of the Old Celtic words for "high" and "valor", appropriate for a Gryffindor. However, the professor is actually named for a Scottish poet reputed to be the worst ever to, er, grace the English language.

In-depth article at HPLexicon

McGuffin, Jim (PS ch. 6): A TV weatherman.

Etym: Name etymology is probably not relevant. The name was used as a term by Alfred Hitchcock to mean an object that is significant to a plot. Okay, that's probably not relevant here either.

McKinnon, Marlene (OotP ch. 9): An early member of the Order of the Phoenix who was killed by Voldemort along with her husband.

Etym: Anglicized form of Mac Fhionghuin, from the name meaning "fair born" or "beloved son".

McLaggen, Cormac (HBP ch. 7): A student one year ahead of Harry, a member of the Slug Club, and briefly the Gryffindor Keeper.

Etym: Couldn't find anything.

Meadowes, Dorcas (OotP ch. 9): A member of the Order of the Phoenix who was killed by Voldemort during his earlier reign.

Etym: Originally a name for someone living by a meadow.

Medal for Magical Merit: Tom Riddle was awarded one during his days at Hogwarts.

Medieval Assembly of European Wizards: Something the History of Magic class was assigned to write a yard-long essay about.

mediwizard: A wizard paramedic.

Meliflua, Araminta (OotP ch. 6): A cousin of Madam Black's who tried to make Muggle-hunting legal.

Etym: If she was making legislation, she was probably a mellifluous speaker.

Melinda Bobbin: Etym: A name of recent invention, from adding -inda to Melissa or Melanie.

Memory Charm: A spell that causes the target to forget about something. Incantation: Obliviate.

Men Who Love Dragons Too Much: A book in the Hogwarts library.

Merlin (PS ch. 6): The best-known wizard in English folklore, and also apparently in the British wizard community, as evidenced by the Order of Merlin.

Mermish: The language of merpeople.

Merope Gaunt (Riddle):

Etym: One of the Pleiades, the only one to fall in love with a mortal. Also, meropia is a dullness or obscuration of sight.

merpeople: Mermaids and mermen, not on the best terms with air-breathers. A town of them is located at the bottom of the lake by Hogwarts.

Merrythought, Galatea (HBP ch. 17): The last person to remain as Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher for more than a year.

Etym: I think the meaning is literal; incidentally, this is also apparently a term for a wishbone.

Metamorphmagus (OotP ch. 3): A witch or wizard with the inborn ability to change their appearance at will. Not their overall shape, though, as far as we can tell.

Metamorph-Medal (HBP ch. 5): A sham amulet sold with the promise to allow the wearer to alter their appearance like a Metamorphmagus.

Michael Corner: Etym: The name of the head Biblical archangel, from Hebrew for "Who is like the Lord?"

Midgen, Eloise (GoF ch. 13): A girl who tried to curse her acne off and ended up removing her nose (reattached, though slightly off-center).

Etym: No info found.

Miles Bletchley: Etym: From Old German Milo, possibly related to Old Slavonic milu "merciful" (not in this case, though).

Millamant's Magic Marquees (DH ch. 6): A magical pavilion-maker.

Etym: The name of a character in William Congreve's play The Way of the World.

Millicent Bagnold: Etym: See below.

Millicent Bulstrode: Etym: From the Old German name Amalasuintha, composed of amal "work" + swintha "strong".

Mimbulus mimbletonia (OotP ch. 10): The Latin name for the plant that produces stinksap.

Etym: Variation on the real genus Mimulus, used as a folk remedy for shyness, anxiety, and forgetfulness.

Mimsy-Porpington, Sir Nicholas de: Aka Nearly Headless Nick, the house ghost of Gryffindor. He celebrated his 500th deathday on Halloween, 1992. If this count includes the shift to the Gregorian calendar, it means he died on October 20th or 21st, 1492.

Etym: Mimsy was a word invented by Lewis Carroll for his poem "Jabberwocky", and has been defined as "prim, prudish, contemptible". No idea about Porpington.

Minerva McGonagall: Etym: Probably of Etruscan origin, this is the Roman equivalent to Athena, the goddess of wisdom and valor.

Minister of Magic: The head of the Ministry of Magic.

Ministry of Magic: A secret Cabinet-level department of the UK government, charged with providing civil services to wizard-dom. The current Minister of Magic is Cornelius Fudge.

The Ministry is divided into these departments, which contain further subentities (see the department entries for lists):

Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures
Department of International Magical Cooperation
Department of Magical Accidents and Catastrophes
Department of Magical Games and Sports
Department of Magical Law Enforcement
Department of Magical Transportation
Department of Mysteries

We don't know which departments these belong to:

Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures (probably the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures)
Committee on Experimental Charms
Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office

Minsk (OotP ch. 20): A place in eastern Russia where Hagrid had an argument with a vampire.

Miranda Goshawk: Etym: Invented by Shakespeare, from Latin for "worthy to be admired".

Miriam Strout: Etym: Probably, like Mary, from the Hebrew for "wished-for child", though the alternative merî, "rebellion" has been posited.

Mirror of Erised: A magical device which entraps its viewer by showing them impossible scenes of what thay most desire, entrapping the viewer to stare blankly at it for hours. Muggles have managed to build a crude version of this.

Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office: The department of the Ministry of Magic which enforces laws on enchanting certain proscribed objects and tries to keep enchanted objects of all sorts away from Muggles.

Moaning Myrtle: The ghost of a Hogwarts student who haunts a stall in the first-floor girls' bathroom. She was killed by Tom Riddle when he first opened the Chamber of Secrets.

Etym: Myrtle refers to various shrubs of the genus Myrtus.

Mobiliarbus: An incantation to levitate a tree.

Etym: Probably supposed to be Latin, "moving tree". "Tree" is in fact arbor.

Mobilicorpus: An incantation to levitate a body.

Etym: Latin, "moving body".

Mockridge, Cuthbert (GoF ch. 7): The head of the Goblin Liaison Office.

Etym: From the town of Mogridge in Devon, whose name comes from Old English Mogga, probably a personal name, and hrycg "ridge, spur".

Modern Magical History: A book in the Hogwarts library.

mokeskin (DH ch. 7): A pouch made of it will allow no one but the owner to remove an object from it. Mokes are very rare (even rarer now that Hagrid got hold of one to make the pouch).

Molly Prewett Weasley: Etym: A form of Mary, from a Hebrew name probably meaning "wished-for child".

Molly Weasley Potter, Ginny: Etym: See above.

Mollywobbles (HBP ch. 86): Arthur Weasley's nickname for Molly. Note for students of stealth: a secret password is not a secret password if you're going to say it in front of the kids.

monkshood: see wolfsbane.

Monica Wilkins: Etym: Unknown; name of the mother of St. Augustine.

Monster Book of Monsters, The: The textbook for the Care of Magical Creatures class.

Montague (PoA ch. 15): A Chaser on the Slytherin Quidditch team, he became team captain in Harry's fifth year, though he may not be anymore if he never recovers from his experience with the Vanishing Cabinet.

Etym: From a place name in La Manche, from Old French mont "hill" + agu "pointed", or an Anglicized form of Mac Taidhg, from a name meaning "poet, philosopher". Also the family name of the late-medieval Earls of Salisbury.

Montgomery (HBP ch. 22): The last name of two sisters at Hogwarts whose brother was killed by a werewolf (probably Fenrir Greyback).

Etym: From Old French mon "hill" plus a Germanic name composed of guma "man" + riic "power".

Moody, Alastor: An Auror, instrumental in rounding up the Death Eaters after Voldemort's fall, appointed to teach Defense Against the Dark Arts in Harry's fourth year, but captured and impersonated by Bartemius Crouch. Nicknamed "Mad-Eye" for the magical device which takes the place of his natural left eye, but even with that, killed when he failed to exercise constant vigilance at a crucial moment.

Etym: HH: "Nickname for a courageous, arrogant, or foolhardy person, or one quickly moved to anger." Or we could just be supposed to look at the modern English word.

Moon (PS ch. 7): A student in the same year as Harry, house unknown.

Etym: Several possibilities: the French town Moyon; Anglo-Norman French moun "monk"; Cornish mon "thin"; or a diminutive of the Gaelic word for "early, timely".

moonstone (OotP ch. 12): Has various meanings, but to the ancients it was selenite, which was believed to help with prediction of the future and to reconcile lovers.

Moony: Remus Lupin's nickname during his school days.

Mopsus: A discarded character, mentioned by Rowling in this interview, who would have been a True Seer present in the first book.

Etym: The name of not one but two seers in Greek myth.

Morag MacDougal: Etym: Gaelic, a diminutive of mor(a), meaning "the sun".

Moran (GoF ch. 8): A Chaser on the Irish national Quidditch team.

Etym: Gaelic mórán "great, large".

Morfin Gaunt: Etym: Might be a distant relative of Mervin, which is from mer, which may mean "marrow" and myn "eminent". ECN mentions that this was the name of "a shadowy Welsh king" of the 9th century.

Morgana (PS ch. 6): A sorceress who, in some versions of the Arthurian legend, was Arthur's sister and helped bring about his downfall. Featured in the Famous Witches and Wizards trading card series.

Morsmordre: The incantation that conjures the Dark Mark.

Etym: "Death mark", from Latin mors "death" and French mordre "to bite, cut".

Mortlake (CoS ch. 14): A wizard raided by the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office who turned out to be law-abiding except for the presence of "some extremely odd ferrets".

Mosag (CoS ch. 16): Aragog's wife, procured for him by Hagrid.

Etym: No etymology.

Mostafa, Hassan (GoF ch. 8): The chair of the International Association of Quidditch, and referee for the Quidditch World Cup.

Etym: Variation of Mustafa, meaning "chosen, selected, preferred".

Most Charming Smile Award: Awarded by Witch Weekly five times to Gilderoy Lockhart.

Moste Potente Potions: A book in the Restricted Section of the Hogwarts library; contains the formula for the Polyjuice Potion.

Most Extraordinary Society of Potioneers (HBP ch. 9): A group founded by Hector Dagworth-Granger.

Mould-on-the-Wold (DH ch. 11): The village the Dumbledore family originally lived in.

mountain troll: The variety of troll that got loose in Hogwarts on Halloween; apparently one of the lesser varieties.

Mr. Paws (PS ch. 3): One of Mrs. Figg's cats.

Mrs. Skower's All-Purpose Magical Mess Remover: Pretty much what it claims to be.

Etym: Skower is an invented variation on scour.

Mudblood: Extreme pejorative for someone with any non-magical ancestry. Users of this word contrast themselves as pure-bloods.

Muffliato (HBP ch. 12): A spell to keep nearby peopl from eavesdropping.

Etym: Derived from muffle.

Muggle: 1) A person who is not part of, or was not raised in, the wizard society. 2) A person with no magical powers.

Etym: Stated by Rowling to be invented from the British slang meaning of mug, "a dupe". Coincidentally an actual archaic English word, as has been discussed at length elsewhere.

Muggle-born Register (DH ch. 11): A survey by the Ministry of Magic to better understand magical genetics.

Muggle-born Registration Commission (DH ch. 11): The committee compiling the Muggle-born Register.

Muggle Protection Act: A proposed new law (possibly passed by now).

Muggle Repelling Charms: Spells that keep prying non-magical people away from large gatherings of wizards (such as the Quidditch World Cup).

Muggle Studies: An optional class at Hogwarts.

Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee (OotP ch. 7): A division of the Ministry of Magic, which may be for coming up with explanations of bizarre things that Muggles inadvertently see.

Mugwump: Albus Dumbledore is a (or the) supreme one.

Etym: Not sure of the meaning in this context, but it was 18th/19th century slang for a person disinterested in party politics, an independent thinker, or, alternatively, a major "boss". The term originates from a Natick Indian word for a major chief.

Mulciber (GoF ch. 30): A Death Eater, imprisoned in Azakaban until recently, briefly sprung and then sent right back after the battle at the Ministry of Magic.

Etym: Another name for Vulcan/Hephaestus, the god of the forge and weaponsmith to Zeus, whose smithy was said to be in Mount Etna.

Mullet (GoF ch. 8): A Chaser on the Irish national Quidditch team.

Etym: From Middle English mule, meaning, you guessed it, "mule".

Mundungus Fletcher: Etym: Offal, refuse, or bad-smelling tobacco, from Spanish mondongo, meaning "black pudding" or "tripe"... like that thing about his 12-person tent.

Murcus (GoF ch. 26): The chieftainess of the merpeople who live by Hogwarts.

Etym: OED has an entry for murcous, meaning having had a thumb cut off, from a Latin word meaning "one who cuts his thumb off to avoid military service". Er, no, I don't think so either.

Muriel (HBP ch. 29): A great-aunt of Molly Weasley.

Etym: Of uncertain origin, possibly from Irish muir "sea" + geal "bright".

murtlap (OotP ch. 15): Some magical creature that has tentacles, the essense of which aids in healing.

Etym: No idea.


Nagini (GoF ch. 1): A gigantic snake under the control of Voldemort which produces some kind of magical milk.

Etym: Naga is the name of a Hindu deity represented as a snake, and various other mythological snake-creatures; this name, I think, signifies someone who has transformed (or been transformed) into a snake.

Narcissa Black Malfoy: Etym: The feminine form of Narcissus, the figure from Greek legend who gave his name to a flower after pining away from falling in love with his reflection. The flower signifies egotism or self-esteem.

nargles (OotP ch. 21): A creature which Luna Lovegood believes can infest mistletoe.

Etym: No idea. Narghile is another word for a hookah, but I don't think that's it.

Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests: The highest-level graduation exams that Hogwarts offers; equivalent to the "A-level" (advanced level) exams in real British schools. Possible passing grades are O(utstanding), E(xceeds Expectations), and A(cceptable); failing, P(oor), D(readful), and T(roll).

Natalie McDonald: Etym: From Latin natale (domini), i.e. Christmas Day.

Nature's Nobility: A Wizarding Genealogy (OotP ch. 6): A book in the Black house.

Nearly Headless Nick: The students' nickname for Sir Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington.

Nettles, Madam Z., of Topsham: A witch quoted by the Kwikspell ad copy.

nettle wine: Believe it or not, somebody out there actually makes this...

Neville Longbottom: Etym: From a two French towns of the same name, or an Anglicized form of Ó Niadh, from a name meaning "warrior". The name of various earls; also the first Lord Latimer of the village of Snape. The Battle of Neville's Cross, October 17, 1346, was a notable English victory over the Scots, who were allied with France against the English.

N.E.W.T.s: Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests.

Newt Scamander [Newton]:

Etym: From Old English neowe "new" + tun "enclosure, settlement".

newts, double-ended: Creatures available at the Magical Menagerie. The reader is left to speculate on which end they have two of.

New Theory of Numerology (OotP ch. 23): A book Harry gave Hermione for Christmas.

Nicholas Flamel: Etym: See below.

Nicholas de Mimsy-Porpington:

Etym: St. Nicholas, Bishop of Myra circa 300, is the patron saint of sailors, pawnbrokers, wolves, and scholars, especially schoolboys.

niffler: A small, furry black creature native to Britain, which has an ability to sniff out treasure. It can be trained to bring anything it finds back to its handler.

Nigellus, Phineas (OotP ch. 6): Sirius Black's great-great-grandfather, a Slytherin alleged to be the least popular headmaster Hogwarts ever had.

Etym: Latin, diminutive of "black".

Nimbus Two Thousand: The (once) most advanced broom yet created by modern magical technology.

Nimbus Two Thousand and One: The (previously) new most advanced broom yet created by modern magical technology.

nogtail (HBP ch. 7): A beast found in Norfolk and hunted by wizards.

Etym: Another version of the noggle, nuggle, or nygel, mythical shapeshifters of evil intent found in various folklore throughout Britain.

Norbert: A Norwegian Ridgeback hatched by Hagrid, raised in secret to the age of a month or two, then spirited away to Romania to finish growing up in the wild and probably enter a lifetime of psychotherapy.

Etym: St. Norbert of Xanten (1080-1134), was the founder of the Premonstratensians (or Norbertines, or White Canons), a monk-like order.

Norberta: Norbert's new identity. Clearly the adjustment issues were worse than we first thought.

Norfolk: A rather flat, boring sector of England, I am told. I can't even find a decent Web site on it...

Norris, Mrs.: Filch's cat and assistant in spotting trespassers.

Etym: Named for a sneaky, spiteful character in the Jane Austen novel Mansfield Park.

Norwegian Ridgeback: A species of dragon, sporting mildly poisonous fangs in addition to the usual features. Its eggs are large and black.

Nose-Biting Teacup: A gag item from Zonko's Joke Shop.

Nosebleed Nougat (OotP ch. 6): An ingredient in the Skiving Snackboxes.

Notable Magical Names of Our Time: A book in the Hogwarts libary.

Nott, Theodore: A Slytherin in the same year as Harry.

Nott senior (GoF ch. 33): A Death Eater, still at large.

Etym: See above.

Nox: An incantation that cancels out Lumos.

Etym: Latin, "night".

Numerology and Gramatica: A textbook for one of Hermione's classes in her third year.

Nurmengard (DH ch. 18): Grindelwald's current residence, originally built for the benefit of his enemies.

Etym: Well, first consider that -gard is roughly equivalent to -berg, shuffle a few consonants, and voilà!

Nymphadora Tonks Lupin: Etym: -dora as a name element usually means "gift"; this could be "nymph's gift" or "girl who is a gift". The mythical Andromeda had six sons and a daughter; if that's the case with Mother Tonks, the latter meaning could be it.


oak: Any of the trees or shrubs in the genus Quercus, notably some hardy, long-lived timber trees whose lumber is used in structural members, furniture, millwork, and cooperage.

Oblansk (GoF ch. 8): Something close to the name of the Bulgarian Minister of Magic.

Etym: The closest thing I can find is Obolensk or Obolensky, the latter being a habitation name derived from the former.

Obalonsk (GoF ch. 8): Something else close to the name of the Bulgarian Minister of Magic.

Etym: See above.

Obliteration Charm (OotP ch. 20): A spell to make something vanish.

Obliviate: The incantation for a Memory Charm.

Etym: Just the English word.

Obliviator: A member of the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad, or someone who specializes wiping Muggles' minds of things they weren't supposed to have seen.

Occlumency (OotP ch. 24): The art of blocking Legilimency.

Etym: Latin occluudere "to shut up, close" + mens "mind, intellect".

Occlumens: A wizard or witch who is proficient in Occlumency.

Octavius Pepper: Etym: Modification of Octavian.

Odo (HBP ch. 22): A legendary wizard, the subject of a long, tragic ballad.

Etym: From Old German auda "rich".

Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects (HBP ch. 5): A newly formed authority headed by Arthur Weasley.

Official Gobstones Club (OotP ch. 7): A Gobstones league run by the Ministry of Magic.

Ogden, Bob (HBP ch. 10): The one-time head of the Magical Law Enforcement Squad.

Etym: See below.

Ogden's Old Firewhisky: A favorite of Gilderoy Lockhart.

Etym: Place in Yorkshire, from Old English aac "oak" + denu "valley"; probably just picked for alliterative value.

Ogden, Tiberius (OotP ch. 15): An elder of the Wizengamot who resigned in protest at the creation of the post of High Inquisitor.

Etym: See above; also the name of a an early 20th century linguist.

Ogg (GoF ch. 31): The groundskeeper before Hagrid.

Etym: Anglicized form of a nickname from the Gaelic óg "young", used to distinguish the younger of two bearers of the same given name. Also Australian/New Zealand slang for "shilling".

Olde and Forgotten Bewitchments and Charmes: A book in the Hogwarts library.

Olive Hornby: Etym: Olea europaea or Olea sativa. ECN: "In the Roman martyrology there is a St. Oliva, a virgin of Anagni of unknown date, and also a St. Oliva, venerated in the place so named and the patroness of olive-trees, which looks suspiciously as though she started life as a tutelary goddess."

Oliver Wood: Etym: With a small o, an olive tree. The name is more likely from the Old German Alfihar, "elf-host".

Ollivander, Mr.: Proprietor of a wand shop in Diagon Alley, now missing. According to its sign, his family have been "Makers of Fine Wands since 382 BC".

Etym: OED thinks this is an error for olivaster, meaning "olive-colored" or "having an olive complexion".

Olympe Maxime: Etym: Probably related to Olympus, in Greek legend, the highest mountain in the world.

Omnioculars: Magical binoculars that not only enhance vision but offer instant replay and advanced graphics.

One Minute Feasts -- It's Magic!: A cookbook in Molly Weasley's collection.

One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi: A first-year textbook for Herbology.

Oppugno (HBP ch. 14): An incantation to direct conjured creatures to attack.

Etym: From Latin for "fight against, attack".

Order of Merlin: An award given by the Ministry of Magic; the highest honor available to a British wizard.

There is a real-life Order of Merlin, but it's nothing like the fictional one. It's given by the International Brotherhood of Magicians for 25 years of membership.

Order of the Phoenix, The: Dumbledore's anti-Voldemort alliance. Members and status:

Casualties of the first war: Edgar Bones, Caradoc Dearborn, Benjy Fenwick, Alice Longbottom, Frank Longbottom, Marlene McKinnon, Dorcas Meadowes, James Potter, Lily Potter, Fabian Prewett, Gideon Prewett
Casualties of the second: Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, Alastor Moody, Severus Snape, Nymphadora Tonks, Emmeline Vance, Fred Weasley
Surviving members: Dedalus Diggle, Aberforth Dumbledore, Elphias Doge, Arabella Figg, Mundungus Fletcher, Rubeus Hagrid, Hestie Jones, Minerva McGonagall, Sturgis Podmore, Kingsley Shacklebolt, Bill Weasley, Charlie Weasley, George Weasley, Molly Weasley
Ex-member: Peter Pettigrew
Junior auxilliary: Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Dumbledore's Army

Order of Suspension: Issued by the governors of Hogwarts to temporarily remove Dumbledore.

Ordinary Wizarding Levels: Exams to demonstrate basic competence in a subject at graduation, equivalent to "O-levels" (ordinary levels) in British schools. Possible grades are O(utstanding), E(xceeds Expectations), and A(cceptable) for passing and P(oor) and D(readful) for failure. The Weasley twins claim it's also possible to get T(roll). Actual O-levels are graded on an alphabetically arranged scale.

Orla Quirke: Etym: No info.

Ornithomancy (OotP ch. 25): Divination through birds. This was practiced in ancient Rome by the auspex ("bird-watcher") priest, from which we get auspice.

Oswald Fudge, Cornelius: Etym: From Old English oos "god" + weald "power".

Ottery St. Catchpole: The fictional village where The Burrow is located.

Otto Bagman: Etym: From Old German auda "rich". The name of various Central European kings and emperors.

Ouagadougou: The capital of Burkina Faso, where Gilderoy Lockhart claims to have halted a series of supernatural attacks.

Owen Cauldwell: Etym: From Gaelic Eoghan "a youth". The name of several Welsh princes.

owls: Popular as familiars, owls are also the basis of the wizard postal system, able to find anyone, anywhere, to deliver their mail. In places where owls are not native, other birds may be used.

O.W.L.s: Ordinary Wizarding Levels.

Owlery: The place where the Hogwarts-owned owls, and sometimes student ones, roost when not delivering mail.

Owl Treats: What it sounds like.


Padfoot: Sirius Black's nickname during his school days.

Etym: A term originating around Leeds for a sheep-sized creature, sometimes in the form of a dog, said to haunt people who would shortly die.

Padma Patil: Etym: In Sanskrit, means the lotus, the symbol of enlightenment, and has various related meanings. In present-day usage, also the main channel of the Ganges River.

Pansy Parkinson: Etym: Viola tricolor aka heartsease. Signifies "thoughts", and the common name is derived from the French for "thought".

paper airplanes (OotP ch. 7): Used for interoffice memos at the Ministry of Magic, as owls are too messy.

Paracelsus (PS ch. 6): The pseudonym of Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493-1541), physician and alchemist, who established the role of chemistry in medicine, and was one of the first advocates of an empirical approach that became modern scientific method.

Parkinson, Pansy (PS ch. 7): A Slytherin in the same year as Harry; Draco's chief hanger-on and now his fellow prefect.

Etym: From a diminutive of Peter.

Parselmouth: One who has the automatic ability to speak Parseltongue.

Etym: According to Rowling, it's an old word for someone who has a mouth-related deformity.

Parseltongue: The language of snakes.

Partial Vanishment (OotP ch. 26): A weaker relative to Vanishing Spells.

Parvati Patil: Etym: EB: "The benevolent aspect of Shakti." Depending on which thread of Hinduism you follow, Shakti is either (a) the wife of Shiva, (b) a wife of Shiva, (c) the feminine, creative aspect of Shiva, (d) a personification of positive energy in general, or (e) all of the above but it doesn't matter since all definable things are illusion anyway.

Patil, Padma: A Ravenclaw, in the same year as Harry, now a prefect and a member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: See below.

Patil, Parvati: A Gryffindor, same year as Harry, and a member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: From the Pictish peit "portion (of land)" and Gaelic tulach "hill". Alternatively, also a surname of Indian origin.

Patricia Stimpson: Etym: Feminine form of Patrick.

Patricia Trelawney, Sybill: Etym: See above.

Patrick Delaney-Podmore: Etym: The name of the patron saint of Ireland, whose original name was Sucat. This name comes from Latin patricius, "nobleman". Also a Scottish variant of partridge.

Patronus Charm: A spell that invokes a guardian spirit to protect the caster; the primary means of defense against dementors. An essential component of the spell is focusing on a happy thought-- the happier the thought, the stronger the Patronus. Incantation: Expecto Patronum.

Payne (GoF ch. 7): One of the campsite managers at the Quidditch World Cup.

Etym: From Latin pagus "outlying village", the same root as for pagan. At first it meant a rustic, then later a civilian, and finally a heathen.

Peakes, Jimmy (HBP ch. 11): A Gryffindor three years behind Harry; one of Fred and George's replacements as Beater.

Etym: Comes from the Peak district in Derbyshire.

Peasegood, Arnold (GoF ch. 7): An Obliviator who was at the Quidditch World Cup.

Etym: No info for this name. Pease is a variation of peas, meaning peas or the pea plant.

Peebles: A town on the England-Scotland border.

Peeves the Poltergeist: An obnoxious ghost inhabiting Hogwarts, teasing the students and irritating the staff and other ghosts. Controllable only by the teachers and the Bloody Baron.

Etym: Invented, as far as I can tell, from peeve.

Penelope Clearwater: Etym: The wife of Ulysses. When he was thought to be dead, she held off suitors by saying she must first finish weaving a shroud for Laertes. Each night, she would undo the weaving she had done that day, thus delaying them indefinitely. She has come to symbolize the chaste and faithful wife.

Pensieve: An invention of Dumbledore's which allows him to store and review memories.

Etym: Pun on pensive and sieve.

Pepper Imps: A magical candy which causes the eater to breathe smoke.

Peppermint Toad: A wizard candy.

Pepper, Octavius (HBP ch. 21): A wizard whose disappearance was reported in the Daily Prophet.

Etym: WHat it looks like.

Pepperup Potion: A concoction useful for perking up someone who is cold and damp.

Percival Dumbledore: Etym: See above.

Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Albus: Etym: A knight of the Round Table who entered Arthurian lore in the 12th century. The knightliest of the first group of knights.

Percy Ignatius Weasley: Etym: A family name that dates back to William de Perci, a comrade of William the Conqueror.

Perenelle Flamel: Etym: I seem to recall this is a name for some kind of flower, but can't find any info. Anyone?

Perkins (CoS ch. 3): Along with Arthur Weasley, the staff of the Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office. The Weasleys borrowed a couple tents from him for the World Cup.

Etym: From another variation of Peter, from the Greek for "stone".

Perks, Sally-Anne (PS ch. 7): A student of unknown house, in the same year as Harry.

Etym: Variation of park, which in the Middle Ages meant a large enclosed area used for game hunting.

Permanent Sticking Charm (OotP ch. 5): What it sounds like. Used by Madam Black to ensure her picture would never be moved.

Peskipiski Pesternomi: An incantation that Lockhart claimed would drive off Cornish pixies.

Etym: At a guess, mangled English: pesky-piskey pester-no-me. Piskey is a dialectual variant of pixie.

Pest Advisory Bureau (OotP ch. 7): A section of the Ministry of Magic.

Peter Pettigrew: Etym: From the Greek petros "stone", a translation of the Aramaic Cephas.

Petrificatus Totalus: The incantation for the Body-Bind.

Etym: Latin-ish back-formation from petrify and total.

Pettigrew, Peter: James Potter's old school buddy, a rat Animagus, who lost a finger switching to Voldemort's side, a hand returning to it, and his life switching back again, which just goes to show it doesn't pay to rethink things.

Etym: From Old French petit "little" and cru "growth", a nickname for a small man, or an old form of "pedigree".

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Petunia Evans Dursley: Etym: From petun, "tobacco"; the flower is in the tobacco family.

Peverell, Antioch (DH ch. 21): The creator of the Elder Wand.

Etym: From a diminutive of pepper, meaning a small man, or one with a fiery temper, or a spicer.

Peverell, Cadmus (DH ch. 21): The creator of the Resurrection Stone and distant ancestor to Voldemort.

Etym: See above.

Peverell, Ignotus (DH ch. 16): The creator of the Cloak of Invisibility and distant ancestor to Harry.

Etym: See above.

Philosopher's Stone: A substance representing the ideal combination of the essences of all elements, sought by alchemists down the ages, thought to make it possible to do all sorts of magical things. In these books, an actual stone which can be used to make the Elixir of Life.

Philpott, Arkie (HBP ch. 6): A wizard who endured an intensive search to get into Gringotts.

Etym: Can't find any.

Phineas Nigellus: Etym: From an Egyptian word meaning "black".

phoenix: A mythical bird which lives 500 years and then dies, only to be reborn in a magical fire. Rowling's variant symbolizes love or loyalty. Phoenix feathers are used as wand cores, and phoenix tears have healing powers.

Phlegm (HBP ch. 5): Fleur Delacour's new nickname among the less enchanted Weasleys.

Phyllida Spore: Etym: Probably from Greek phyllos, meaning "leaf".

Pierre Bonaccord: Etym: Same as below.

Piers Polkiss: Etym: A French variation of Peter.

Piertotum Locomotor (DH ch. 30): An incantation that got all the statues in Hogwarts moving.

Etym: Latin, "all of (something) that moves".

Pigwidgeon: Ron's owl, given to him by Sirius Black and named by Ginny Weasley.

Etym: May be an alternate form of Pigwiggin, a fairy knight favored by Queen Mab, the wife of Oberon. Also, an archaic Scottish epithet.

Pince, Irma: The librarian at Hogwarts.

Etym: Variation of Pinch, a nickname for a chirpy person. Really.

Pius Thicknesse: Etym: Latin, cognate to pious.

Plangentines (DH ch. 11): A magical plant of some sort.

Etym: Plangent means "loud, plaintive, distressing".

Platform 9 3/4: The platform for the Hogwarts Express at King's Cross Station.

Pocket Sneakoscope: A magical device that spins and flashes when someone untrustworthy is present.

Podmore: see Delaney-Podmore.

Podmore, Sturgis (OotP ch. 3): A member of the Order of the Phoenix sent to Azkaban for trying to break into the Department of Mysteries.

Etym: See Delaney-Podmore.

Point Me: The incantation for the Four-Point Spell.

Poliakoff (GoF ch. 16): A student at Durmstrang.

Etym: Ethnic or regional name for someone from Poland.

Polkiss, Piers (PS ch. 2): Dudley Dursley's best friend and chief accomplice in tormenting Harry.

Etym: No etymology.

Polyjuice Potion: With the addition of a hair or other bit of someone, allows the drinker to take on the form of that person for one hour. Cannot be used for animal transformations.

pomegranate (OotP ch. 17): Its juice is not an ingredient in a Strengthening Solution.

Pomfrey, Poppy: The nurse at Hogwarts, for whom treating broken arms, catatonia, poison, and the like is a typical day's work.

Etym: Welsh name from the given name Humphrey, from the Germanic huun "bear cub" + frid "peace". (Alternately, OEW translates it as "peace through force".) St. Humphrey was a 9th century bishop of Therouanne.

Pomona Sprout: Etym: Name of the Roman goddess of fruit and fruit trees.

Pontner, Roddy (GoF ch. 7): One of the people Ludo Bagman had bets on the Quidditch World Cup with.

Etym: Derived from Old French pont, "bridge".

Poppy Pomfrey: Etym: Various flowers of the genus Papaver. Signifies consolation or oblivion. Also, in the UK, worn to commemorate veterans of the World Wars.

porlock (OotP ch. 15): A creature the Care of Magical Creatures class was going to cover.

Porskoff Ploy: A Quidditch move in which a Chaser pretends to hold on to the Quaffle, drawing the opponents' attention, while actually passing it to someone else.

Etym: None found.

Portable Swamp (OotP ch. 29): A product of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes demonstrated during Hogwarts's revolt against Umbridge.

Portkey: An otherwise uninteresting object enchanted to transport anyone touching it to a predetermined location at a given time, or under specified circumstances.

Portkey Office (OotP ch. 7): An arm of the Ministry of Magic.

Portus (OotP ch. 36): The incantation that creates a Portkey.

Potions: A standard class at Hogwarts; taught by Professor Snape until Harry's sixth year, when it was taken over by Slughorn.

Potter, Albus Severus (DH ch. 37): Harry and Ginny's second child, born 2006. In some doubt as to which House he'll wind up in, though with those initials one has suspicions.

Etym: See below.

Potter, Ginny Molly Weasley: Ron's sister, a year younger than him and Harry, and also a Gryffindor, and a member of Dumbledore's Army. Seeker and Chaser during her time at school, which she would later parlay into a brief career with the Holyhead Harpies, and later as the sports correspondent for the Daily Prophet.

Etym: See above.

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Potter, Harry James: A family man, head of the Aurors, raising three kids and a godson, and probably pining for the good old days when all he had to look after was himself and his closet. Wand: 11", supple, holly and phoenix feather.

Etym: Stated by Rowling to be a name she just liked.

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Potter, James: Harry's father, killed by Voldemort, but now wandering about as a shade. In school, he was a Gryffindor and became Head Boy. He was also an Animagus, taking on the form of a stag. Wand: 11", pliable, mahogany.

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Potter, James (the younger) (DH ch. 37): Harry and Ginny's oldest child, clearly already working on living up to his grandfather's reputation as a merry prankster.

Potter, Lily Evans: Harry's mother, killed protecting Harry from Voldemort, now also resurrected as a shade. She came from a Muggle family, was a Gryffindor and became Head Girl when she was at Hogwarts. Wand: 10 1/4", swishy, willow.

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Potter, Lily (the younger) (DH ch. 37): Harry and Ginny's youngest, born sometime after 2006.

Potterwatch (DH ch. 22): The pirate radio show of the resistance, hosted by River, with regular guests Romulus and Rapier.

Powers You Never Knew You Had and What to Do With Them Now You've Wised Up: A book in the Hogwarts library.

Practical Defensive Magic and Its Use Against the Dark Arts (OotP ch. 23): A set of books that Sirius and Lupin gave Harry for Christmas.

Prang, Ernie (PoA ch. 4): The driver of the Knight Bus.

Etym: Various meanings relating to crashing.

Predicting the Unpredictable: Insulating Yourself Against Shocks: A book in Flourish and Blotts.

prefect: A fifth-year or later student appointed by the teachers to take some responsibility for other students. There appears to be at least one prefect for each of the Hogwarts houses.

Prefects Who Gained Power: An engrossing book Percy picked up in Diagon Alley.

Prentice, Mr. (OotP ch. 21): One of Arabella Figg's cats.

Prewett, Fabian (OotP ch. 9): A member of the Order of the Phoenix who was killed by the Death Eaters.

Etym: Diminutive form of a name from Middle English prou(s) "brave", "valiant".

Prewett, Gideon (OotP ch. 9): A member of the Order of the Phoenix who was killed by the Death Eaters.

Etym: See above.

Prewett, Molly Weasley: Etym: See above.

Pride of Portree (OotP ch. 25): A professional Quidditch team. Portree is a port on the Isle of Skye.

Prime Minister (HBP ch. 1): At the time of this book it should be John Major. On the other hand, Major's predecessor was Margaret Thatcher, whereas the former PM that Fudge refers to is male, so things may have gone differently in Harry's world.

Prince Snape, Eileen: Etym: From Middle English, a nickname for someone with a regal manner, or who had won a contest of skill.

Principles of Rematerialization, The (HBP ch. 10): An essay Hermione had to write.

Pringle, Apollyon (GoF ch. 31): The caretaker who preceded Filch.

Etym: To have a prickly and tingling sensation. Also a proper surname.

Priori Incantatem: A phenomenon which occurs when two wands that share an identity are used in battle against each other. By this effect, Harry's wand caused Voldemort's to regurgitate the shades of its most recent victims.

Etym: Sort-of Latin, "former spell".

Prior Incantato: An incantation used on a wand to see what spell it was last used to cast.

Etym: See above.

Pritchard, Graham: A Slytherin, 3 years behind Harry.

Etym: As a surname, a Welsh patronymic derived from Richard, which may be from Middle English elements meaning "hard ruler". Pritch is also a mostly obsolete English word meaning "prod", "poke", or various sharp things.

Privet Drive: The street in Little Whinging where the Dursleys live. Privet is commonly used in hedges-- very much a feature of dull, conformist suburbia.

Probity Probe (HBP ch. 6): Hopefully this is just a lie detector.

Prod, Warlock D. J., of Didsbury (CoS ch. 8): A satisfied Kwikspell customer.

Prongs: James Potter's nickname among his school buddies.

Protean Charm (OotP ch. 19): A spell that transfers changes in an object to linked copies of the object.

Etym: From Proteus, a prophet in Greek myth who was also regarded as a symbol of the original matter from which the universe was constructed.

Protego (OotP ch. 26): The incantation for the Shield Charm.

Etym: Latin, "I cover over, protect". Imperative: protege.

Protego Horribilis (DH ch. 30): The incantation for a more advanced sort of protection charm.

Etym: Latin, as above and horribilis to mean "horrible", "frightful", and "dreadful".

Protego Totalum (DH ch. 14): The incantation for another advanced protection charm.

Etym: Latin, "I protect everything".

Proudfoot (HBP ch. 8): An Auror assigned to guard Hogwarts.

Etym: From a Scots nickname for a person with a haughty gait.

Pucey, Adrian (PS ch. 11): A Chaser for the Slytherin Quidditch team.

Etym: From a town in Berkshire.

Puddifoot, Madam (OotP ch. 25): The proprietor of a tea shop in Hogsmeade.

Etym: A name for someone compared in shape to a round barrel, from Middle English puddy "round-bellied" + fat "fat".

Puddlemere United: A Quidditch team which now includes Oliver Wood as a reserve player.

puffer fish: Any of the ninety or so fishes of the family Tetradontidae. Their eyes are an ingredient in a Swelling Solution.

puffskein (OotP ch. 6): There was a nest of dead ones under the sofa in the drawing room at the Black house.

Puking Pastilles (OotP ch. 6): Another component in a Skiving Snackbox. A pastille is a chewy, lozenge-shaped candy of sugar or sugar-covered fruit.

Pumpkin Pasties: A wizard candy, probably some kind of pastry with pumpkin filling.

pure-blood: Term for a wizard with no discernable Muggle or nonhuman ancestry. Used only by wizards who feel this sort of eugenic superiority gives them a divine right to rule others and operate outside the rules (as opposed to the actual divine right of Gryffindors to rule others and operate outside the rules).

Purge and Dowse Ltd. (OotP ch. 22): The storefront that hides St. Mungo's Hospital.

Etym: Purging (inducing vomiting) was one of the standard remedies, alongside bleeding, for just about anything before real medicine got going. Some dowsers, in addition to finding water, also claim the ability to locate sickness in the body.

Purkiss, Doris (OotP ch. 10): The witch who claimed in The Quibbler that Sirius Black was really Stubby Boardman.

Etym: From Anglo-Norman French purchacer "to acquire, buy", a name for an official who obtained supplies required by a manor house or monastery.

Put-Outer: A magical device that can supress lights.

Pye, Augustus (OotP ch. 22): The trainee Healer of the Dai Llewellyn Ward.

Etym: Various possible origins; I think the intended on is the Welsh patronymic derived from Hugh, which is from Old French hug "heart, mind, spirit".

Pygmy Puff (HBP ch. 6): A miniature puffskein, as bred by Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.


Quaffle: A large ball used for scoring in Quidditch.

Quality Quidditch Supplies: A store in Diagon Alley.

Quentin Trimble: Etym: From Latin for "fifth"; also the name for a type of French linen around the end of the 17th century.

Quibbler, The (OotP ch. 7): A wizard tabloid specializing in news of dubious provenance, kind of a magical equivalent to The Sun.

Quick-Quotes Quill: An indispensable part of Rita Skeeter's arsenal which eliminates all the tiresome rote work of actually writing turgid prose and lets her get straight to the libel and slander.

Quidditch: The most popular sport in the wizarding world, combining, on the one hand, the fast-moving team action of soccer or basketball with, on the other hand, the injury rate of rugby and the vehicular technology arms race of Formula One.

Briefly, a game takes place on brooms between two teams, each consisting of three Chasers, two Beaters, a Keeper, and a Seeker, using three types of ball: a Quaffle, two Bludgers, and the Golden Snitch. For a full treatment of the subject, see Quidditch Through the Ages or

Quidditch Teams of Britain and Ireland: A book that Hermione gave Harry for Christmas.

Quidditch Through the Ages: The definitive work on the history of Quidditch, available in a Muggle edition.

Quidditch World Cup: An international Quidditch competition held every four years.

Quietus: An incantation that cancels out the effect of Sonorus.

Etym: Latin, "quiet" (as a noun).

Quigley (GoF ch. 8): A Beater on the Irish national Quidditch team.

Etym: Anglicized form of Ó Coighligh, from a byname meaning "untidy person".

Quintessence: A Quest (HBP ch. 15): Assigned reading for Charms; not sure why, as the quintessence is usually associated with alchemy.

Quirke, Orla (GoF ch. 12): A Ravenclaw, 3 years behind Harry.

Etym: Anglicized form of Ó Cuirc, from a personal name meaning "heart" or, possibly, "tuft of hair". Sometimes translated as if from coirce, "oats".

Quirrell: The last name of the teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts in Harry's first year; revealed as a servant of Voldemort and killed in a confrontation with Harry.

Etym: Nickname for a troublemaker, from Middle English/Old French querel, meaning "complaint, accusation".


R. A. B. (HBP ch. 28): The mysterious individual who replaced one of Voldemort's Horcruxes with a fake. If it's someone we've heard of already, the possibilities are: Professor Binns, Regulus Black, Edgar Bones's wife, and Mr. Borgin.

Rabastan Lestrange: Etym: Probable corruption of Rastaban, a star whose name means "head of the snake".

Rackharrow, Urquhart (OotP ch. 22): The inventor of the Entrail-Expelling Curse. Wonder if he survived the experience.

Etym: Rack as in a racking cough, harrow as in "torment" or its archaic sense of "plunder".

Ragnok (OotP ch. 5): A goblin leader in negotiations with the Order of the Phoenix.

Etym: Diminutive form of Ragnarok??

Ragnuk the First (DH ch. 25): According to the goblins, the original owner of Godric Gryffindor's sword.

Etym: Maybe supposed to be the same as the previous.

Railview Hotel: A place where the Dursleys attempted to hide themselves and Harry from the Hogwarts owls.

Rapier (DH ch. 22): Fred Weasley's code name on Potterwatch.

Ravenclaw House: One of the four houses of Hogwarts, extolling the virtues of wisdom and friendship. The head of this house is Professor Flitwick. Its symbol is an eagle, and its colors are blue and silver. Attempting to combine this with the versions of its badge appearing in the movie and on merchandise gives Azure, an eagle displayed, wings inverted, argent, which really doesn't resemble either of those versions. The house ghost is the Grey Lady.

Etym: Invented. The raven is a symbol of wisdom in Norse mythology.

Ravenclaw, Rowena: One of the founders of Hogwarts.

Etym: See above.

Ravenclaw, Helena: Rowena's daughter and slightly too impatient heir.

Etym: See above.

Red Caps: Malicious spirits which lurk where there has been a battle, or other major bloodshed.

Reducio: An incantation which shrinks the target.

Etym: Latin, "I reduce". Imperative form: reducere "be reduced". Also, see below.

Reducto: The incantation for the Reductor Curse.

Etym: Akin to Latin reductio "reduction"; I suspect, though, that it's a typo for the above.

Reductor Curse: A spell that shrinks the target. Incantation (possibly): Reducto.

Refilling Charm (HBP ch. 22): A spell to regenerate whatever a bottle previously contained.

Registry of Proscribed Charmable Objects: A listing of Muggle artifacts that are illegal to enchant.

Reg Cattermole [Reginald] (DH ch. 12):

Etym: Germanic, ragin "advice, decision" + wald "ruler".

Regulus Black: Etym: A star of great astrological importance. Its name is Latin for "little king".

Relashio: An incantation that Harry attempted to fight a grindylow off with.

Etym: Not sure.

Remembrall: An item resembling a clear marble, which flashes red when the owner has forgotten something. It is unable to indicate what has been forgotten, though.

Remus John Lupin: Etym: In Roman legend, Romulus and Remus were orphaned or abandoned twins who were raised by a she-wolf and went on to found Rome (named after Romulus after he killed Remus).

Renervate (HBP ch. 26): A spell to awaken a person. This may be Enervate under another new spelling.

Rennervate (HBP ch. 26): Renervate as spelled by Scholastic.

Reparo: An incantation to fix minor damage.

Etym: Latin, "I repair". Imperative: repare "be repaired".

Repello Muggletum (DH ch. 14): The incantation for a Muggle Repelling Charm.

Etym: Pseudo-Latin for "I repel Muggles".

Restricted Section: A part of the Hogwarts library open only to faculty, advanced students of Defense Against the Dark Arts, and other students who can get a teacher's permission. Naturally, this is where all the really interesting and useful books are kept.

Resurrection Stone (DH ch. 21): Created by Cadmus Peverell, turned into a Horcrux by Voldemort, de-Horcruxed by Albus Dumbledore, but still apparently capable of establishing contact with the dead. Last seen in the forest not too far from Hogwarts, if you happen to be in the area.

Reusable Hangman (HBP ch. 6): Another product of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.

Revealer: An item that can make invisible ink visible.

Reverse Spell Effect: Another name for Priori Incantatem.

Rictusempra: A curse that makes the target laugh uncontrollably.

Etym: Rictus is Latin for "open mouth", and sempra is akin to various Romance languages' words for "always".

Riddle House: The house in Little Hangleton where Tom Riddle senior lived with his parents until all three were killed. The current owner of the house is a mysterious wealthy man who is believed to have bought it for tax reasons.

Riddle, Tom Marvolo: A star student and Head Boy about 50 years before Harry's time who opened the Chamber of Secrets and went on to a highly successful career as a master of dark wizardry under the name Voldemort.

Etym: OEW on an obscure meaning that I think is the one intended: "riddle has been used for a thousand years to mean a dark saying ... and almost as long to mean a coarse sieve, for arranging: separating chaff from corn, ashes from cinders, etc."
Beastly equation for "Tom Riddle": a=12, b=18, c=24, etc.; a=43, b=46, etc.; a=105, b=102, etc.
and for "Thomas Riddle": a=26, b=29, etc.; a=85, b=82, etc.

Riddle, Tom, senior: Tom Riddle's father, a Muggle who abandoned his wife when he learned that she was a witch and went back to live with his own parents, until he and they were mysteriously murdered. The younger Riddle is still a bit put out about this. One of his bones was used to reconstitute Voldemort.

Riddikulus: An incantation used to counter a boggart.

Ripper (PoA ch. 2): One of Harry's Aunt Marge's favorite bulldogs.

Etym: As in Jack the...

Rise and Fall of the Dark Arts, The: A book in the Hogwarts library.

Rita Skeeter: Etym: A variation of Margaret.

Ritchie Coote: Etym: Diminutive of Richard from ric "ruler" + heard "hard".

River (DH ch. 22): Lee Jordan's Potterwatch code name.

Robards, Gawain: Scrimgeour's successor as the head Auror.

Etym: See Roberts.

Roberts (GoF ch. 7): One of the campsite managers for the Quidditch World Cup.

Etym: From Old English/German hrothi "fame" + berhta "bright".

Robins, Demelza (HBP ch. 11): The newest Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

Etym: Diminutive of Robert (see Roberts).

rock cakes: A type of fruitcake, meant to be hard only on top but frequently ending up hard all the way through.

Roddy Pontner: Etym: Could be short for Roderick, from Old German hrothi "fame" + ricja "rule", or Rodney, from the village of Rodney Stoke.

Rodent (DH ch. 22): Fred Weasley's original assigned code name for Potterwatch.

Rodolphus Lestrange: Etym: From Old German hrothi "fame" + vulf "wolf".

Roger Davies: Etym: Derived from Old German Hrodgar, from hrothi "fame" and ger "spear". Name of various royalty.

Romilda Vane: Etym: An Italian name ultimately derived from Old German hroom "fame" + hild "battle".

Romulus (DH ch. 22): Remus Lupin's code name on Potterwatch.

Ron Bilius Weasley [Ronald]:

Etym: From a compound of the Old English words regen and weald, both of which mean "power, force, might".

Ronan: One of the centaurs living in the Forbidden Forest.

Etym: Gaelic for "seal".

Rookwood, Augustus: A Death Eater who worked in the Department of Mysteries until being caught and imprisoned in Azkaban. Ran loose for a brief time, until being rounded up at the Ministry of Magic and sent back to Azkaban again.

Etym: A rook is a type of crow, as well as the chess piece. Rookwood is a romance by W. A. Ainsworth, recounting the exploits of highwayman Dick Turpin and his mare Black Bess.

Room of Requirement (OotP ch. 18): A room on the seventh floor of Hogwarts that appears when necessary equipped with whatever the seeker desperately needs. Presumably there are limitations, since it isn't also known as the Room of Deus Ex Machina.

Rosalind Antigone Bungs: Etym: From Old German (h)ros "horse" + lindi "serpent"; the name of a character in As You Like It.

Rose Weasley: Etym: See below.

Rose Zeller: Etym: The name actually comes from (h)ros "horse", but over time has become associated with the flower.

rosewood: Name for several different ornamental timbers, never seen in large pieces because the heartwood of these trees decays early on. Its use it becoming even less common now due to dwindling supplies.

Rosier, Evan (GoF ch. 27): A Death Eater, killed before Voldemort's fall.

Etym: Poetic term for rose-tree or bush, of obscure origin.

Rosmerta, Madam: Proprietor of the Three Broomsticks.

Etym: Name of a Celtic goddess.

Rowena Ravenclaw: Etym: ECN: "This name seems to originate with Geoffrey of Monmouth, who gives it to the daughter of Hengist, with whom Vortigern fell in love." May be a compound of the Old English words hreod "fame" and wine "friend".

Rowle, Thorfinn (DH ch. 9): One of the the hardier Death Eaters.

Etym: From Middle English hrood "renown" + wulf "wolf".

Royal (DH ch. 22): Kingsley Shacklebolt's code nam on Potterwatch.

Rubeus Hagrid: Etym: From the Latin for "reddish".

Rufus Scrimgeour: Etym: Latin, "red-haired".

Runcorn, Albert (DH ch. 12): A big mover and shaker at the Ministry of Magic, and I mean big.

Etym: The name of a New Town built in Cheshire to hold overflow population for Liverpool and Manchester. For English romanticists, New Towns have sinister implications.

Rupert Brookstanton: Etym: From an Old German form of Robert (see Roberts).

Ryan, Barry (GoF ch. 8): The Keeper on the Irish national Quidditch team.

Etym: As a surname, derived ultimately from Rian or Riaghan, names of uncertain origin.


sage (OotP ch. 27): Any plant of the genus Salvia, but particularly S. officinalis, believed in medieval times to strengthen the memory and promote wisdom. Centaurs burn it to try to divine the future.

salamander: In mythology, a lizardlike creature associated with fires. Its blood is an ingredient in the Strengthening Solution.

Salazar Slytherin: Etym: A name of Basque origin from the Romance sala "hall" and Basque zahar "old". Hmm...

Salem Witches' Institute: A contingent from there came to the Quidditch World Cup. Might be the wizard equivalent to MIT.

Sally-Anne Perks: Etym: Sally is an alternate form of Sarah, Hebrew for "princess"; Anne is another form of Hannah.

Salvio Hexia (DH ch. 14): A protective incantation of some sort.

Etym: Semi-Latin, "I bid farewell to hexes". Salvere is actually a wish for good health, but it aslo saw usage as a greeting and farewell.

Sanguini (HBP ch. 15): One of Eldred Worple's vampire friends.

Etym: From the root sang-, meaning "blood".

Saucy Tricks for Tricky Sorts: A book in the Hogwarts library.

Savage (HBP ch. 8): An Auror stationed at Hogwarts to guard it.

Etym: From a nickname for a wild or uncouth person. Arthur Savage was the inventor of a repeating rifle.

Scabbers: Ron's pet rat for his first three years of school, until the rat turned out to be Peter Pettigrew in disguise.

Scabior (DH ch. 24): A dedicated Snatcher.

Etym: Similar to scabious, maybe one who causes irritation.

Scamander, Newt (PS ch. 5): Author of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Etym: The name of a river mentioned by Homer, used in the late 19th century to mean "to wander about" or "to take a devious course".

Scarpin's Revelaspell (HBP ch. 18): Reveals the ingredients of a potion.

Etym: Couldn't find anything on Scarpin, though there's a Scarpia in Tosca.

Scintillation Solution: No idea. It's mentioned by the Kwikspell ad.

Scops owl: A type of owl native to sub-Saharan Africa.

Scorpius Malfoy: Etym: "Scorpion".

Scourgify (OotP ch. 3): The incantation for the Scouring Charm.

Etym: Modification of scourge in the sense of its Latin root, "to strip off the hide of".

Scouring Charm: A cleaning spell. Incantation: Scourgify.

Screaming Yo-yos: A toy banned from Hogwarts.

screech owl: Refers to several species of owl, the most common ones being the western and eastern screech owls.

Screechsnap (OotP ch. 25): Another plant in fifth-year Herbology which probably does what it sounds like.

Scrimgeour, Rufus (OotP ch. 7): Someone (likely among the Aurors) becoming suspicious about what Tonks and Shacklebolt are up to.

Etym: From Old French eskermisseour, meaning fencer (related to skirmisher). The modern Earls of Dundee have the surname Scrymgeour-Wedderburn.

Scrivenshaft's Quill Shop (OotP ch. 16): A shop in Hogsmeade.

Etym: Scriven as in "carved", shaft as in that of a feather quill.

scrofungulus (OotP ch. 22): A contagious magical malady.

Etym: Looks like a conflation of scrofula and fungus. Might be a fungal infection of the lymph nodes.

scurvy-grass (OotP ch. 18): Cochlearia officinalis, at one time believed to help with scurvy. A common ingredient in Confusing Draughts and Befuddlement Draughts.

Seamus Finnigan: Etym: The Irish form of James.

Secrets of the Darkest Art (DH ch. 6): A library book Albus Dumbledore checked out and never remembered to check in again.

Sectumsempra (HBP ch. 21): An incantation that does some very interesting but unpleasant things to a person's bodily coherence.

Etym: Latin roots for "section, piece" + "always".

Secrecy Sensor: A device that vibrates when it detects concealment and lies.

Secret-Keeper: The person used in a Fidelius Charm.

Seeker: The player on a Quidditch team who chases the Golden Snitch. Catching the Snitch scores 150 points and ends the match.

Self-Correcting Ink (OotP ch. 31): A banned item at O.W.L. examinations.

Self-Defensive Spellwork (OotP ch. 18): A book found in the Room of Requirement by Dumbledore's Army.

Self-Fertilizing Shrubs (OotP ch. 14): Presumably this means plants which make their own compost, since the other possible interpretation actually exists in the real world.

Self-Inking Quill (HBP ch. 6): A useful and harmless product of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes (apparently invented on an off day).

Selwyn (DH ch. 4): One of the last surviving bunch of Death Eaters.

Etym: From Middle English silva "forest".

Serpensortia: An incantation that conjures a giant snake.

Etym: Latin serpens "snake" + something akin to French sortir "escape, go out" (a cognate to English sortie).

Severing Charm: A spell to cut things apart. Incantation: Diffindo.

Severus Potter, Albus: Etym: See below.

Severus Snape: Etym: The name of several Roman emperors, most notably Septimius Severus, who shifted the imperial power base from the nobility to the army. The word is Latin for "harsh, severe, strictly correct". Also, cognate to the later name Severian.

One Latin dictionary-- but just one out of 5 or 6 I've consulted by now-- suggests that the word may be from se verus, "one who separates the truth (from falsehood)".

Shacklebolt, Kingsley: A member of the Order of the Phoenix; an Auror and later Minister of Magic under the first government after Voldemort.

Etym: Just English shackle and bolt (as in a lock).

shade: Term used here for the manifestations brought out of Voldemort's wand by the Priori Incantatem effect, until we get to find out the proper word. The shades are echoes of some sort of targets of the Killing Curse. While Dumbledore says they aren't proper ghosts (speculation: not connected to the actual soul of the person represented), they do retain personality and memories and have some ability to interact with material objects.

The shades formed by this effect are those of James Potter, Lily Potter, Bertha Jorkins, Frank Bryce, and Cedric Diggory.

Shell Cottage (DH ch. 23): Bill and Fleur Weasley's home, near Tinworth.

Shield Charm: A general-purpose spell-blocker which can reflect attacks back at their originator. Incantation: Protego.

Shield Hat (HBP ch. 6): One of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes's best-selling products.

Shock Spells (OotP ch. 26): Administered at St. Mungo's Hospital. Sounds roughly equivalent to electroshock therapy.

Shooting Star: A brand of broom.

Shrieking Shack: A building in Hogsmeade reputed to be the most haunted structure in Britain; never actually haunted except by Remus Lupin undergoing werewolf transformations during his school years.

Shrinking Solution: A potion which appears to have the ability to age an animal backwards.

shrivelfig: I have no idea. Invented?

Shunpike, Stan: Etym: In early 20th-century US usage, "to drive along minor roads, avoiding the toll on turnpikes, or for pleasure". This may not be the direct source for Rowling's usage, but probably a similar meaning is intended.

Sibyll Patricia Trelawney: Etym: A sibyl is a female oracle or fortuneteller.

Sickle: 1/17th of a Galleon, or 29 Knuts.

Etym: "Silver sickle" is a popular poetic term for the crescent moon.

Side-Along Apparition (HBP ch. 3): A manner of Apparation that allows the caster to bring someone else along.

Silencing Charm (OotP ch. 18): A spell that silences the target. Incantation: Silencio.

Silencio (OotP ch. 18): The incantation for the Silencing Charm.

Etym: Portuguese, "silence".

Silver Arrow: A brand of flying broom, now out of production.

Etym: This was a nickname for Mercedes-Benz race cars up to 1955, when Mercedes-Benz pulled out of racing for a while due to one of its cars being invovled in a horrific accident at a race in Le Mans. Still used sometimes for its modern race cars.

Sinistra (CoS ch. 11): The witch who teaches Astronomy at Hogwarts.

Etym: Feminine form of Latin sinister, originally meaning "left-handed"; has connotations of "strange", "abnormal", the occult, etc. A Slytherin, perhaps?

Sirius Black: Etym: Canis Major, the Dog Star.

Sites of Historical Sorcery: A book which mentions a goblin rebellion at Hogsmeade in 1612.

Skeeter, Rita: Star reporter for the Witch Weekly, a perky and go-getting newspaper gal who lets nothing stand in the way of a good story, least of all the facts.

Etym: From the Old Norse byname Skyótr, meaning "swift". Here, could also be from the slang abbreviation of mosquito.

Skele-Gro: A medicinal concoction used to help regrow or enlarge bones.

skinning: In Quidditch, a deliberate attempt at collision with another player.

Skiving Snackbox (OotP ch. 6): A product of Weasley's Wizard Wheezes which contains an assortment of treats for producing a brief sickness to get out of class. They include Blood Blisterpods, Fever Fudge, Nosebleed Nougat, and Puking Pastilles.

Sleekeazy's Hair Potion: A wizard beauty product, tedious to use but sometimes worth it.

Sleeping Draft: Alternate spelling for Sleeping Draught.

Sleeping Draught: A potion that puts the drinker into an uninterruptible sleep.

Sleeping Potion: Another alternate for the Sleeping Draught.

Slinkhard, Wilbert (OotP ch. 9): The author of Defensive Magical Theory.

Etym: None found, so probably what it looks like. Yup, another Slytherin...

Sloper, Jack (OotP ch. 21): A replacement Beater on the Gryffindor Quidditch team.

Etym: Akin to Old English sluupan "to slip".

Sloth Grip Roll (OotP ch. 16): A Quidditch move that would seem to involve hanging upside down.

Slug Club, The (HBP ch. 6): Slughorn's collection of bright and interesting students.

Slughorn, Horace E. F. (HBP ch. 4): The new Potions teacher at Hogwarts, and former head of Slytherin.

Etym: A term for a horn malformed to be short and stubby.

Slytherin House: One of the four houses of Hogwarts. Its defining virtues are subject to debate: many non-Slytherins believe it selects for evil; the pure-blood faction says it's the house of the "true" wizards; the Sorting Hat and Dumbledore say determination and sneaky cleverness. For more on this topic, see "In Defense of Slytherin".

The head of the house is Professor Snape. Badge: Vert, a snake erect argent. The house ghost is the Bloody Baron.

Etym: Invented; undoubtedly meant to sound like "slithering".

Slytherin, Salazar: One of the founders of Hogwarts, and constructor of the Chamber of Secrets. He is rumored to have been a bigot about Muggle-born wizards, but one notes that the Sorting Hat has no problem placing students of Muggle ancestry in Slytherin.

Smart-Answer Quill (HBP ch. 6): Yet another product of Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes.

Smeek, Enid (DH ch. 18): An alleged acquaintance of Bathilda Bagshot.

Etym: Scottish dialectual word for smoke, or a strong and unpleasant smell.

Smeltings: The school that Vernon Dursley attended and which Dudley now goes to.

Etym: Probably invented from smelting.

Smethley, Veronica (CoS ch. 7): A big fan of Lockhart's.

Etym: From the name of an unspecified place, probably derived from Old English smeþe "smooth" + leeah "wood, clearing".

Smethwyck, Hippocrates (OotP ch. 22): The Healer in charge of the Dai Llewellyn Ward.

Etym: None found.

Smith, Hepzibah (HBP ch. 20):

Smith, Zacharias (OotP ch. 16): A Hufflepuff who is on their Quidditch team and is a member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: Originally an occupational name for a metalworker.

Snape, Eileen Prince (HBP ch. 25): Severus Snape's mother, and the one-time captain of the Hogwarts Gobstones team.

Etym: See below.

Snape, Severus: Former teacher, head of Slytherin House, and Headmaster of Hogwarts, variously a Death Eater and a member of the Order of the Phoenix, generally accomplished wizard and super-spy, his only misstep being he didn't survive to enjoy the glory afterward. (Fanfic writers around the world: OR DID HE?)

Etym: Stated by Rowling on numerous occasions to be from a village name. The name comes from Old Norse snap or Old English snoep, meaning "poor grazing" or "winter pasture", and is still used in Sussex as a term for ground that is too boggy to cultivate. Not too far from the meaning of Nettleship.

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Snape, Tobias (HBP ch. 30): A Muggle, Severus Snape's father.

Etym: See above.

Snatchers (DH ch. 19): The Ministry of Magic's crack fugitive-finding-and-roughing-up team.

Snargaluff (HBP ch. 14): A magical plant which must be battled to retrieve its pods from it.

Etym: Not a clue.

sneezewort (OotP ch. 18): Could refer to either Achillea ptarmica or Veratrum album. A common ingredient in Confusing Draughts and Befuddlement Draughts.

Snowy (PS ch. 2): One of Mrs. Figg's cats.

Snuffles: Sirius Black's nickname in his Animagus form as he lurks around Hogsmeade pretending to be a lovable stray.

Society for the Protection of Elfish Welfare: Hermione's first attempt at creating a political movement to push for house-elf rights, superseded by the House-Elf Liberation Front.

Sonnets of a Sorcerer: A book which caused everyone who read it to speak in limericks for the rest of their lives.

Sonorus: An incantation which magnifies the target's voice immensely.

Etym: Altered spelling of sonorous.

Sorceror's Stone: Name for the Philosopher's Stone in US editions. The US editor felt the word "philosopher" would scare people away from buying the book.

Sorting Ceremony: How new students at Hogwarts are assigned to a house. They put on the Sorting Hat, which decides where to send them.

Sorting Hat: A sentient magical artifact which looks into the minds of new students to decide which house they should be in. Originally, it was Godric Gryffindor's hat.

spattergroit (OotP ch. 23): A magical malady that a portrait in St. Mungo's Hospital thought Ron had.

Etym: Groit is a Scottish variation of groat, so maybe an affliction that causes a lot of small-coin-sized spots.

Special Award for Services to the School: Awarded to Tom Riddle for unspecified reasons-- possibly for exposing Hagrid as the opener of the Chamber of Secrets.

Specialis Revelio (HBP ch. 9): The incantation for Scarpin's Revelaspell.

Spectrespecs (HBP ch. 7): Psychedelic spectacles offered in an issue of the Quibbler.

Spell-Checking Quill (HBP ch. 6): Produced by Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes, they appear to wear out after a while.

Spellman's Syllabary (OotP ch. 26): A book Hermione was studying from for the Ancient Runes class.

Spellotape: What Ron fixed his wand with.

Etym: A pun on Sellotape, the British term for Scotch tape.

S.P.E.W.: The Society for the Protection of Elfish Welfare.

Spinner's End (HBP ch. 2): The street on which Snape used to live when away from Hogwarts.

Spinnet, Alicia (PS ch. 11): A Chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, two years ahead of Harry, and a member of Dumbledore's Army.

Etym: May be derived from a name used to mean a thorn bush or the crest of a hill. Also, a spinet is an instrument resembling a harpsichord.

Spirit Division (OotP ch. 7): A section of the Ministry of Magic that deals with relations with the dead.

splinched: Caught between one place and another due to a failed Apparation.

Spore, Phyllida (PS ch. 5): Author of One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi.

Etym: Meant to mean what it looks like.

spotted dick: Alas, this is merely a type of pudding with raisins being the spots.

Sprout, Pomona: The witch who teaches Herbology at Hogwarts; also, head of Hufflepuff House.

Etym: Derived from an Old English name possibly also meaning "sprout".

Squib: A person of magical parentage who has no magical powers.

Etym: A term from the 1800s, referring to a firework that produces only a slight explosion. Earlier, applied to persons, could mean mean, insignificant, or paltry.

squid, giant: A denizen of the lake adjoining Hogwarts, something along these lines.

Stan Shunpike [Stanley]:

Etym: From a place name derived from Old English staan "stone" + leeah "wood, clearing". Perhaps used as a reference to the explorer?

Standard Book of Spells, The: Name of a series of basic spell textbooks used at Hogwarts.

Statute of Secrecy: The law stating that wizard activity should be kept secret from Muggle society.

Stealth Sensoring Spell (OotP ch. 32): Some kind of passive detection spell.

St. Brutus's Secure Center for Incurably Criminal Boys: Where the Dursleys now claim Harry is going to school.

Etym: Can't find anything on any such saint but the name is cognate to "brutal".

Stebbins senior (OotP ch. 28): A student at Hogwarts at the same time as Harry's parents.

Etym: See below.

Stebbins (GoF ch. 23): A Hufflepuff, year unknown.

Etym: From a derivative of Old English stubb, "tree stump".

Stewart Ackerley: Etym: From a variation of steward.

Stimpson, Patricia (OotP ch. 12): A student two years ahead of Harry, house unknown.

Etym: Patronymic from Stephen, from the Greek word for "crown".

Stinging Hex (OotP ch. 24): A minor attack spell that produces a welt on the target.

Stink Pellets: Things available at Zonko's Joke Shop.

Stinkpellet (OotP ch. 28): Another spelling for Stink Pellet.

stinksap (OotP ch. 10): A particularly awful substance produced as a defensive mechanism by Mimbulus mimbletonia.

St. Mungo's Hospital for Magical Maladies and Injuries: The current residence of Frank Longbottom, his wife, and Gilderoy Lockhart, hidden behind the storefront of Purge and Dowse Ltd. in London.

Etym: St. Mungo, proper name Kentigern, is the patron saint of Glasgow. The name is Gaelic, meaning "amiable" or "my dear friend".

Stoatshead Hill: Where Harry and some of the Weasleys caught a Portkey to the site of the Quidditch World Cup.

Stonewall: The name of the local comprehensive school (what in the US would be a public combined high school and junior high) Harry was going to be sent to before he knew about Hogwarts.

Strengthening Solution (OotP ch. 15): A potion Harry had to make in class.

Stretching Jinx (HBP ch. 5): A spell that could make a person taller.

Strout, Miriam (OotP ch. 25): A healer at St. Mungo's Hospital.

Etym: Can't find this one.

Stubbs, Billy (HBP ch. 13): Another of Tom Riddle's comrades at the orphanage.

Etym: From Old English stub(b) "stump", used as a name for a short, stout man.

Stubby Boardman: Etym: Generally used as a nickname for a short and thick-set person.

Study of Ancient Runes: A class Hermione started taking in her third year.

Study of Recent Developments in Wizardry, A: A book in the Hogwarts library.

Stunner: Short way of referring to Stunning Spell.

Stunning Spell: A spell intended to knock out the target. Very large or tough targets can take the combined efforts of several casters to stun. Incantation: Stupefy.

Stupefy: The incantation for a Stunning Spell.

Etym: Just English.

Sturgis Podmore: Etym: From Old Norse þorr (the god) + gils "hostage, pledge".

Substantive Charm (OotP ch. 31): Not described; possibly the reverse of a Vanishing Spell.

sugar quills: Wizard candies cunningly disguised as the quills students write with in class.

Summerby (OotP ch. 26): The new Seeker on the Hufflepuff Quidditch team.

Summers (GoF ch. 16): Hufflepuff, year unknown, who tried to age himself to be a candidate for the Triwizard Tournament.

Etym: As a surname, a nickname for someone with a warm or sunny disposition, or associated with summer in some other way.

Summoning Charm: A spell that causes the target to fly through the air to the caster. Incantation: Accio plus (usually) the name of the target.

Supersensory Charm (DH ch. 37): A spell to give you eyes in the back of your head, or something like that.

Supreme Mugwump: One of Dumbledore's titles, which appears to be bestowed by the International Confederation of Wizards.

Surrey: The area in which Little Whinging is located. Surrey is fairly thick with businessmen who commute to London.

Susan Bones: Etym: From the the Hebrew Shushannah, "lily", the name of the heroine of the Book of Susannah, an apocryphal addition to the Book of Daniel.

Susan Bones, Amelia: Etym: See above.

Swedish Short-Snout: A breed of dragon.

Swelling Solution: A potion that causes whatever it touches to inflate.

Switch, Emeric (PS ch. 5): Author of A Beginner's Guide to Transformation.

Etym: What it looks like.

Switching Spells: Spells used in Transfiguration.


Taboo (DH ch. 20): A jinx put on a name to make whoever speaks it findable. I guess all that stuff about not speaking the name had some actual reason behind it.

Tail-Twig Clippers: Part of a broom maintenance kit.

Tales of Beedle the Bard, The (DH ch. 7): A book of old children's stories. Of course we all know there's no reason to be reading children's books...

Tarantallegra: An incantation that makes the target dance uncontrollably.

Etym: From Italian tarantella, a type of dance, and allegra "fast" (also a musical term).

Ted [Theodore] (PS ch. 1): Name of a newsreader the Dursleys watch.

Etym: Greek, "god's gift".

Teddy Remus Lupin [Theodore]:

Etym: See above.

Ted Tonks [Theodore]:

Etym: See above.

Tenebrus (OotP ch. 21): Hagrid's favorite of the thestrals, the first one born in the Forbidden Forest.

Etym: Altered spelling of tenebrous.

Terence Higgs: Etym: From Latin Terentius, the name of a Roman gens of unknown etymology.

Tergeo (HBP ch. 8): An incantation used to wipe away blood.

Etym: Latin, "I wipe, correct".

Terry Boot [Terence]:

Etym: See above.

Theodore Nott: Etym: See Ted.

thestrals (OotP ch. 10): Big skeletal carrion-eating black winged horses visible only to those who have seen death. Understandably, they have a bit of a bad reputation.

Etym: From an archaic word, thester "darkness".

Thicknesse, Pius (DH ch. 1): Scrimgeour's successor as Minister of Magic.

Etym: In the UK, a person who is stupid is said to be thick.

Thief's Downfall (DH ch. 26): A sort of anti-magic waterfall utilized by Gringotts.

Thomas, Dean (PS ch. 7): A Gryffindor, the same year as Harry, and a member of Dumbledore's Army. From a Muggle family, he is a big fan of the West Ham soccer team.

Etym: From Aramaic meaning "twin". We can also consider Thomas the Rhymer, a 13th century Scottish poet and prophet who in popular lore is connected with Merlin.

Thorfinn Rowle: Etym: An old Norse name. Thorfinn Karlsefni led one of the colonizing expeditions to North America.

Three Broomsticks: The pub in Hogsmeade.

Tibbles, Mr. (PS ch. 2): One of Mrs. Figg's cats.

Tiberius Ogden: Etym: The name of 2 Roman emperors, etymology unknown.

Tiberius (HBP ch. 7): Cormac McLaggen's uncle, who may or may not be the same as the above.

Etym: See above.

Time Room: The room in the Department of Mysteries for time-related research.

Timms, Agatha (GoF ch. 7): Etym: Etymology unknown; possibly cognate to the Germanic name Timmo, of unknown meaning.

Tinworth (DH ch. 16): Supposedly a village in Cornwall, but I can't find any record of it.

Tobias Snape: Etym: From a Hebrew name meaning "Jehovah is good", the main character of the book of Tobit.

Tofty, Professor (OotP ch. 31): Griselda Marchbanks's assistant in performing O.W.L. exams.

Etym: From Middle English toft "homestead".

Toujours Pur (OotP ch. 6): The motto of the Black family.

Etym: French, "always pure".

Tom (PoA ch. 3): The proprietor of The Leaky Cauldron.

Tom Marvolo Riddle [Thomas]:

Etym: From an Aramaic word meaning "twin". One of the twelve apostles, whose real name may have been Judah; the nickname would have been used to distinguish him from Judah the brother of James (St. Jude), and Judah of Kerioth (Judas Iscariot).

Tongue-Tying Curse: A spell to prevent vocalization. Incantation: Langlock.

Tonks, Andromeda Black (OotP ch. 3): Sirius's cousin; Nymphadora's mother.

Etym: Patronymic from a diminutive form of Thomas.

Tonks Lupin, Nymphadora: Etym: See above.

Tonks, Ted (OotP ch. 3): Nymphadora's father, a Muggle.

Etym: See above.

Ton-Tongue Toffee: A joke candy created by Fred and George Weasley which enlarges the eater's tongue beyond all belief.

Toothflossing Stringmints: A type of candy available at Honeydukes.

Tottenham Court Road (DH ch. 9): A major street in London.

Towler, Kenneth (OotP ch. 12): A student, probably a Gryffindor, two years ahead of Harry.

Etym: Name for a toll taker or tax gatherer, from Middle English toll "tax, payment".

trading cards: See Famous Witches and Wizards.

Transfiguration: One of the basic subjects at Hogwarts, it concerns the changing of things from one form to another. The Transfiguration teacher is Professor McGonagall.

Transfiguration Today: A wizard publication.

Transmogrifian Torture: A deadly spell that Lockhart claimed to know about.

Travels with Trolls: One of Gilderoy Lockhart's books.

Travers: A Death Eater, imprisoned in Azkaban until recently.

Etym: Name for someone who lived by a bridge or ford, or a gatherer of tolls, from Middle English/Old French travers "passage, crossing". Or, an Anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Treabhair, from a byname meaning "industrious, prudent".

treacle tart: A syrupy pastry usually served with custard.

Trelawney, Cassandra (OotP ch. 15): Professor Trelawney's great-great-grandmother, a seer of some reknown.

Etym: See below.

Trelawney, Sibyll Patricia: The Divination instructor and constant predictor of woe.

Etym: Placename, from Cornish tre "homestead, settlement" + an element of unknown meaning.

Trevor (PS ch. 6): Neville Longbottom's toad.

Etym: From Welsh tre(f) "homestead, settlement" + mawr "large", or Gaelic Ó Treabhair, from a byname meaning "industrious, prudent".

Trip Jinx (OotP ch. 27): A spell to trip someone.

trifle: A confection made of layers of sherry-soaked sponge cake, jelly, and custard, usually topped with whipped cream and fruit.

Trimble, Quentin (PS ch. 5): Author of The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self-Protection.

Etym: From an Old English personal name, formed from trum "strong, firm" + beald "bold, brave". On the other hand, also an obsolete form of tremble.

Triwizard Cup: The trophy of the Triwizard Tournament.

Triwizard Tournament: A competition between champions selected from Beauxbatons, Durmstrang, and Hogwarts chosen by the Goblet of Fire. Originally established 700 years ago and meant to be held every five years, but discontinued in recent centuries owing to a high fatality rate. It was resurrected in Harry's fourth year.

trolls: Large, stupid humanoid creatures that like to fight with clubs.

Troy (GoF ch. 8): A Chaser on the Irish national Quidditch team.

Etym: An Anglicized form of Ó Troighthigh, from a byname meaning "foot soldier".

True Seer: One with the gift of prophecy.

tubeworms: This term covers a whole range of polychaete worms.

Tufty (PS ch. 2): One of Mrs. Figg's cats.

Turpin, Lisa (PS ch. 7): A Ravenclaw, same year as Harry.

Etym: A number of possibilities here, but my favorite is Dick Turpin (1706-1739), an English highwayman, the subject of Rookwood.

Tutshill Tornadoes (OotP ch. 10): Cho Chang's favorite Quidditch team, presently leading their league. Tutshill is not a real place.

Twelve Fail-Safe Ways to Charm Witches (DH ch. 7): An advice book for wizards on how to improve their dating skills and, um, wandwork.

Twilfitt and Tatting (HBP ch. 6): A clothier in Diagon Alley.

Etym: The first is a contraction of it will fit; tatting is lacemaking.

Twitchy Ears: A curse that makes the target's ears wiggle.

Twycross, Wilkie (HBP ch. 18): An Apparation instructor dispatched to Hogwarts.

Etym: No etymology for the name, but it's a town with a famous zoo.


Umbridge, Dolores Jane (OotP ch. 8): A Ministry of Magic stooge sent in to harass, intimidate, and generally undermine Hogwarts, or someone who did a brilliant unintentional job of same.

Etym: Modified spelling of umbrage, in the sense of "shade, shadow".

Umgumbular Slashkilter (OotP ch. 18): A creature alleged by The Quibbler to be kept by Cornelius Fudge.

Etym: Couldn't find anything.

Unbreakable Charm: A spell that maintains the structural integrity of an object.

Unbreakable Vow (HBP ch. 2): A spell cementing an oath which techically is breakable, as long as you don't mind dying for it.

Undesirable Number One (DH ch. 13): Yet another honor collected by Harry in the course of the war.

Undetectable Poisons: Harry had to write an essay on them for Potions class, so apparently they do exist in the wizard world.

Unfogging the Future: The textbook for the Divination class.

Unforgivable Curses: Spells banned by the Ministry of Magic, although Crouch senior permitted their use in the hunt for the Death Eaters. Normally, use of them is a quick ticket to Azkaban. They are the Cruciatus Curse, the Imperius Curse, and the Killing Curse.

unicorns: Horselike creatures with a single horn, symbolizing absolute purity. (In medieval art, the unicorn was actually a single-horned goat.) Unicorn hairs are used as the cores of some wands.

U-No-Poo (HBP ch. 6): Weasley's Wizard Wheezes's new constipation inducer.

Unplottable: Not placeable on a map.

Unspeakable: A person who works for the Department of Mysteries.

Upper Flagley (DH ch. 16): An apparently fictional Yorkshire village with a high coefficient of wizarding.

Urg the Unclean (GoF ch. 31): Possibly a goblin involved in one of their many rebellions.

Etym: No info. Probably just invented to sound grunt-like.

Uric the Oddball: Some historical personage who could be confused with Emeric the Evil.

Etym: None found.

Urquhart Rackharrow: Etym: Name deriving from a place on Loch Ness, from Welsh ar "on, upon" + cardden "thicket". He might however have been named after Sir Thomas Urquhart, a 17th century translator and writer of some very weird fantastical works.

Urquhart (HBP ch. 14): The new Slytherin Quidditch captain in Harry's sixth year.

Etym: See above.


Vablatsky, Cassandra (PoA ch. 4): The author of Unfogging the Future.

Etym: "Madam" Helena Petrovna Blavatsky was one of the most famous spiritualists, and the founder of modern theosophy.

Vaisey (HBP ch. 14): A Slytherin Chaser who was unable to play against Gryffindor due to a practice injury.

Etym: From a nickname for a cheerful person.

vampires: Essentially, semi-human creatures who drink blood; the details of the legend have gone through many variations over the centuries. Rowling's vampires retain the aversion to garlic, though the exact mechanism by which it wards them off is yet to be explained; they are also recognizable in part by being very pale and gaunt. Modern Dracula-inspired mythology insists on a kinship with bats and a predilection for wearing black. Okay, kids, now keep a sharp lookout!

Treatment of vampires in wizard society is covered by the Guidelines for the Treatment of Non-Wizard Part-Humans; nevertheless, there seems to be popular opinion in favor of exterminating them anyway.

Vance, Emmeline (OotP ch. 3): A member of the Order of the Phoenix, killed by the Death Eaters.

Etym: From Old English fenn "marsh, bog"; also an archaic word meaning "advance".

Vane, Romilda (HBP ch. 7): A Gryffindor two years behind Harry, one of his admirers.

Etym: As a name, from Middle English fein "glad" or Welsh fain "slender". Also the name of a couple advisors and administrators during the English civil wars.

Vanishing Cabinet (OotP ch. 28): An artifact on the first floor of Hogwarts which transports people away to some random place.

vanishing sickness (OotP ch. 22): A magical malady that must be very hard to treat.

Vanishing Spell: A spell to unconjure a thing.

Vauxhall Road: A major thoroughfare in London. Tom Riddle bought a diary there.

Vector: Last name of the witch who teaches Arithmancy at Hogwarts.

Etym: From the mathematical term.

veela: Usually spelled vila, these originate from Balkan legends. Veela are the spirits of young women who died before marriage, who appear human except for having goats' hooves. They are said to be jealous and capricious, but not entirely unkind.

Venemous Tentacula: A spiky, dark red plant that has teeth.

Veritaserum: A truth potion. Three drops of it will cause the drinker to answer all questions fully and without falsehood. Testimony gathered in this way is considered unreliable, however, for reasons as yet unexplained.

Etym: From Latin veritas "truth" + serum "serum, whey".

Verity (HBP ch. 6): An assistant at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.

Etym: From Latin for "truth". Not the sort of thing you associate with a joke shop; I guess it's like the rule for characters named Chastity.

Vernon Dursley: Etym: Alternative for vernal in 1658, or a surname derived from a common placename in France.

Veronica Smethley: Etym: Corrupted form of Latin vera icona, "true image". St. Veronica is a legendary figure who is said to have wiped perspiration from Jesus's face as he carried his cross; the cloth used retained an image. Also the name of a plant genus.

Vicky Frobisher [Victoria]:

Etym: Latin, "victory".

Victoire (Weasley?) (DH ch. 37): Teddy Lupin's girl of the moment.

Etym: Yet another form of Victor.

Viktor Krum: Etym: Cognate to Victor, as you suspected.

Vincent Crabbe: Etym: From a derivative of Latin vincens, "conquering". The name of a 3rd century martyr, and St. Vincent de Paul (1580-1660), remembered for his clinics and works of charity. A bit closer to the character we're talking about, also used in 1592 to mean the dupe in a betting game.

Vindictus Viridian: Etym: From the same root as vindictive and meaning pretty much the same thing.

Violet (GoF ch. 17): A friend of the Fat Lady who lives in a portrait in a room off the Great Hall.

Viridian, Vindictus (PS ch. 5): Author of Curses and Countercurses.

Etym: Strong green; technically, Veronese green. In this case, the green of jealousy or envy.

vol-au-vent (DH ch. 6): A type of French filled pastry. Sample recipe here.

Voldemort: The Dark Lord; He Who Must Not Be Named. His rule was cut short by a curse that rebounded on him when he tried to kill the infant Harry and left him a shapeless wraith. Now reconstituted with the help of Peter Pettigrew, he has regathered the Death Eaters and started in on some serious villainy. Wand: 13 1/2", yew and phoenix feather.

Etym: Probably derived from French vol-de-mort, "flight of death". Beastly equation for "L*rd V*ld*m*rt": a=30, b=33, etc.

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Volkov (GoF ch. 8): A Beater on the Bulgarian national Quidditch team.

Etym: From Polish wilk, "wolf", probably from an Old Slavic given name or nickname.

Voyages with Vampires: One of Gilderoy Lockhart's books.

Vulchanov (GoF ch. 8): A Beater on the Bulgarian national Quidditch team.

Etym: No name info. Might be from something like volchonok, Russian for "young wolf", to go with Volkov.


Waddiwasi: A spell used by Lupin to eject some chewing gum from a keyhole.

Etym: Possibly the first element is as in a wad of gum... no idea otherwise.

Waffling, Adalbert: Author of Magical Theory.

Etym: No etymology.

Wagga Wagga Werewolf: A beast that Lockhart claimed to have cured with the Homorphus Charm. Wagga Wagga is a city in Australia.

Wailing Widow (CoS ch. 8): A ghost from Kent who came to Nearly Headless Nick's 500th deathday celebration.

Walden Macnair: Etym: From Old English wealh "foreigner, Briton, serf" + denu "valley".

wands: An essential tool for a wizard, used in nearly all magic (a notable exception being potions). Wands have four distinguishing characteristics: length, flexibility, the material used in the core, and the wood used for the exterior.

Wand cores are taken from magical animals or beings: phoenix feathers, unicorn hairs, veela hairs, and dragon heartstrings have been mentioned so far. The core determines the "identity" of the wand. The significance of the wood used and the flexibility of the wand are not clear, but it appears to affect the type of magic it is best suited for. This lexicographer hesitates to offer a hypothesis on the significance of wand length.

wand carriers: Goblin term for wizards. (Is a wizard just a wand's way of making another wand?)

Wanderings with Werewolves: One of Gilderoy Lockhart's books.

Wand of Destiny (DH ch. 21): Another name for the Elder Wand. Not, of course, to be confused with the Destiny Wand.

Warbeck, Celestina (CoS ch. 3): The Singing Sorceress, as featured on Witching Hour.

Etym: No name etymology found, but this was the name of a piano manufacturer. There is also a British musician and composer named Stephen Warbeck.

Warlocks' Convention: Some kind of rule-making body or event. One in 1709 outlawed dragon breeding.

Warrington (PoA ch. 15): A Chaser on the Slytherin Quidditch team.

Etym: From a town in Lancashire, from Old English Woeringtun, "settlement by a weir".

Weasley, Arthur [Wesseley]: The head of the Weasley clan; Ron's father.

Etym: Variation of the Russian patronymic Veselov, from a nickname meaning "cheerful".

Weasley, Barny (DH ch. 8): Harry's semi-secret identity while at the Burrow for a wedding.

Etym: See above.

Weasley, Bill Arthur: The oldest of the Weasley children (about 8 years older than Harry). He became Head Boy during his time at Hogwarts and is now a curse-breaker for Gringotts.

Weasley, Charlie: Second-oldest of the Weasley children (about 6 years older than Harry), he became captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team when he was a student. Now, he is studying dragons in Romania.

Etym: See above.

Weasley, Fleur Isabelle Delacour: The Beauxbatons entry in the Triwizard Tournament. Wand: 9.5", inflexible, rosewood and veela hair (one of her grandmother's). Now works for Gringotts, and is married to Bill.

Weasley, Fred and George: Twins, 2 years older than Harry and Ron, who were the Beaters on the Gryffindor Quidditch team until being banned, and members of Dumbledore's Army until leaving school in a blaze of joke-firework glory. Loosed on an unsuspecting world, they formed a gag-manufacturing company called Weasley's Wizard Wheezes, now left to George to run by himself after Fred was killed.

Etym: See above.

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Weasley Potter, Ginny Molly: Etym: See above.

Weasley, Hermione Jane Granger: One of Harry's two best friends, and the smartest student in the school in her time; a constant fighter for truth, justice, and proper study habits. Now employed by the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, after a stint advancing house-elf rights at the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures.

Etym: See above.

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Weasley, Hugo (DH ch. 37): Hermione and Ron's younger child, born sometime later than 2006.

Etym: See above.

Weasley, Molly: Ron's long-suffering mother.

Etym: See above.

Weasley, Percy Ignatius: One of Ron's older brothers, the Arnold Rimmer of his class (except for actually getting somewhere), now a junior assistant to the Minister of Magic.

Etym: See above.

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Weasley, Ron Bilius: Harry's best friend, a Gryffindor in the same year; the perfect sidekick until their fifth year, when he has suddenly developed talents of his own, becoming the Keeper for the Gryffindor Quidditch team and also a prefect. He would, however, return to form to help out his brother George at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.

Wand: 14", willow and unicorn hair.

Etym: See above.

In-depth article at HPLexicon

Weasley, Rose (DH ch. 37): Hermione and Ron's older child, in the same year at Hogwarts as Albus Potter.

Etym: See above.

Weasleys' Wildfire Whiz-Bangs (OotP ch. 28): The Weasleys' joke fireworks.

Weasley's Wizard Wheezes: The newest, flashiest gag manufacturer on the block, founded by Fred and George Weasley and based in Diagon Alley.

Weird Sisters (GoF ch. 22): A band which does music in some sort of Celtic vein.

Weird Wizarding Dilemmas and Their Solutions: A book in the Hogwarts library.

Wendelin the Weird (PoA ch. 1): A witch who was burned 47 times in various guises.

Etym: From gwen, "fair".

Wendell Wilkins: Etym: Derives from the Wend, an extinct Germanic tribe.

werewolf: So far the werewolves here appear to be the standard Western model, infected by another werewolf and turning into an unthinking man-eater when a full moon is above the horizon. A partial antidote to lycanthropy exists in the Wolfsbane Potion.

Werewolf Code of Conduct: Enacted in 1637, the specifics have not been given.

West Country (HBP ch. 4): The western part of Scotland or England; there was an alleged hurricane there which was actually the work of giants.

Whalley, Eric (HBP ch. 13): Another of the children at the orphanage with Tom Riddle.

Etym: From Old English hwealf "vault, hill" + leeah "wood, clearing". Also a variant of wall-eyed.

Where There's a Wand, There's a Way: A book in the Hogwarts library.

Whitby, Kevin (GoF ch. 12): A Hufflepuff, 3 years behind Harry.

Etym: From one of two places of the same name, in Yorkshire and Cheshire.

Which Broomstick: The definitive reference on all brands of broom.

Whizzing Worms: Something available in Hogsmeade; probably from Dervish and Banges.

Whomping Willow: A magical tree growing on the Hogwarts grounds which has an urge to batter anyone and anything in its reach, though it can be temporarily paralyzed by touching a certain spot on its trunk. This particular one was planted to guard the secret passage from Hogwarts to the Shrieking Shack.

Widdershins, Willy (OotP ch. 22): A prankster and spy of sorts who appears to have friends in high places.

Etym: From the English word, meaning a counter-clockwise rotation, associated with black magic.

Wilbert Slinkhard: Etym: From Germanic wil "will, desire" + berht "bright, famous".

Wilfred the Wistful (OotP ch. 14): A wizard commemorated with a statue at Hogwarts.

Etym: From Old English will "will" + frith "peace".

Wilhelmina Grubbly-Plank: Etym: Name of the queen of the Netherlands during World War II, a symbol of the Dutch resistance.

Wilkes (GoF ch. 27): A Death Eater, killed before Voldemort's fall.

Etym: From a medieval given name related to William. EA mentions a John Wilkes (1727-1797), an English reformist politician, rake, and wit.

Wilkie Twycross [Wilkins]:

Etym: Like above. Or, after Wilkie's Mounds in Westray, Orkney, where locals leave offerings of milk for a resident spirit.

Wilkins, Monica (DH ch. 6): New assumed name of Hermione's mother.

Etym: Like Wilkes.

Wilkins, Wendell (DH ch. 6): New assumed name of Hermione's father.

Etym: Like Wilkes, although I can't help thinking there was unconscious influence from Wendell Wilkie.

Williamson (OotP ch. 36): An employee of the Ministry of Magic.

Etym: Patronymic from William; see Bill.

willow: Any shrub or tree of the genus Salix, grown variously for ornament, shade, or timber. Willow bark is the source for salicin, the parent of a whole set of pain relievers.

Willy Widdershins [William]:

Etym: See Bill.

Wiltshire (OotP ch. 15): Where Lucius Malfoy's mansion is located. A popular place for ancestral country estates, having better weather than most of the UK and easy access to London. Also, the area where Stonehenge is located.

Wimbledon (OotP ch. 7): The site of one of the regurgitating toilet pranks.

Wimbourne Wasps: The team Ludo Bagman played for professionally. Wimbourne could be a misspelling for Wimborne, as in Wimborne Minster.

Wimple, Gilbert (GoF ch. 7): A wizard on the Committee on Experimental Charms who acquired a pair of horns somewhere along the way.

Etym: In addition to a head covering, wimple is a verb meaning to enfold or cover up.

Wingardium Leviosa: The incantation for a levitation charm.

Etym: From wing or something similar, and Latin levis, "light".

Winky: A house-elf once in the employ of Bartemius Crouch senior, set to guard Crouch junior and later dismissed by him. Last seen being sheltered by the Hogwarts house-elves.

Etym: Like winky is 19th/early 20th century abbreviation for like winking, i.e., very fast.

Wisteria Walk (OotP ch. 1): A street in the Dursleys' neighborhood.

Witching Hour: A wizard radio program.

Witch Weekly: A weekly publication focusing on soft news; something along the lines of People for wizards.

Witherwings (HBP ch. 3): Buckbeak's alias on his return to Hogwarts.

Etym: The withers is the highest part of the back, where a hippogriff's wings are traditionally connected to its body.

Wizard and the Hopping Pot, The (DH ch. 7): Included in the Tales of Beedle the Bard.

Wizarding Examinations Authority (OotP ch. 31): The department in charge of O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s.

Wizarding Wireless Network: A wizard radio network.

Wizengamot (OotP ch. 5): The high court of wizard-dom.

Etym: May be from roots meaning "wisdom" and "coming together". Not very sure of this.

wolfsbane: see monkshood.

Wolfsbane Potion: A potion which can cancel the mental effects of a werewolf's transformation, allowing them to remain sane. Rendered ineffective by the addition of sugar.

Wood, Oliver: The former Keeper and captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team, now a reserve player for Puddlemere United.

Etym: What it sounds like.

Wormtail: Peter Pettigrew's nickname among James Potter's gang.

wormwood: Artemisia Absinthium, used as a tonic and vermifuge. One of the ingredients of the Draught of Living Death.

Worple, Eldred (HBP ch. 15): Author of Blood Brothers: My Life Amongst the Vampires, and a friend of Slughorn's.

Etym: As a name, from German würfel "die, dice" and by extension a gambler or dice-maker. As an English word, a variant of warple, meaning a green lane or bridle-road.

Wrackspurt: One of the Quibbler's favorite creatures, which has siphons.

Wronski Defensive Feint: A Quidditch move in which a Seeker pretends to have seen the Golden Snitch, making the other team's Seeker follow and possibly causing them harm.

Etym: Russian patronymic from a nickname meaning "crow". Jósef Maria Wronski (1778-1853) was a Polish mathematician and philosopher.

Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Albus Percival: Etym: The name elements mean "wolf" and "ruler".

WWN: The Wizarding Wireless Network, with intimations of the BBC.


Xenophilius Lovegood: Etym: Derived from xenophile, one who likes weird stuff.


Yaxley (HBP ch. 2): A Death Eater who managed to not be sent to Azkaban after Voldemort's fall.

Etym: Yax(e) is an old variant of axe; the name is from Old English geeac "cuckoo" + leeah "wood, clearing".

Year with the Yeti: One of Gilderoy Lockhart's books.

yew: Trees and shrubs of the genus Taxus. The timber trees produce a wood that is hard, finegrained, and heavy, and was once popular for cabinetry, tools, and bows. In British folklore, it's associated with death.

Yorkshire: A region of northern England.

Yorkshire pudding: A floury batter cooked until crisp on top, usually served with roast meats.

Yvonne (PS ch. 2): Petunia Dursley's friend.

Etym: French name, possibly from Old German Iv "yew".


Zabini, Blaise (PS ch. 7): A Slytherin in the same year as Harry.

Etym: Derives from the name of the Sabine tribe. Probably no special meaning here.

Zacharias Smith: Etym: A minor prophet who produced eschatological visions. The name is from the Hebrew for "Jehovah has remembered".

Zamojski, Ladislaw (OotP ch. 19): Etym: No etymology, but maybe a variant of Zamoyski, the name of a Polish family that was highly influential in the 15th-19th centuries.

Zeller, Rose (OotP ch. 11): A Hufflepuff four years behind Harry.

Etym: From German zelle "small room", meaning specifically a shrine or hermit's cell.

Zograf (GoF ch. 8): The Keeper on the Bulgarian national Quidditch team.

Etym: No info.

Zonko's Joke Shop: The pranksters' supply house in Hogsmeade.

Etym: Zonko is an invention from or variation of zonky.