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: End of book 4


Abbott, Hannah (PS ch. 7): A Hufflepuff, same year as Harry.

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

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.

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".

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.

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.

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.

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.

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".

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

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".

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.

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

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.

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. 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.

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...

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".

Apparate: To perform an 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.

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...

Arabella 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 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".

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".

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.

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

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

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

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.

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

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".

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.

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.

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, staffed by dementors.

Etym: Origin unknown. Invented?


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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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".

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.

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

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Bill Weasley [William]:

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

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.

Black Forest: An area in Germany.

Black, Sirius: Harry's godfather, one of James Potter's school friends, imprisoned in Azkaban for killing Peter Pettigrew and twelve Muggles, now escaped and on the run until such time as the authorities can be presented with sufficient evidence that Pettigrew is in fact alive and responsible for the murders. Sirius is also an unregistered Animagus, taking the form of a large black dog.

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"!

Black Malfoy, Narcissa: Etym: See below.

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.

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

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."

Bode (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.

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.

Bones, (first names unknown) (PS ch. 4): The last name of a wizard couple killed by Voldemort.

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

Bones, Susan (PS ch. 7): A Hufflepuff, in the same year as Harry.

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".

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".

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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, Comet Two Sixty, Firebolt, Nimbus Two Thousand, Nimbus Two Thousand and One, Silver Arrow, and Shooting Star.

Brown, Lavender (PS ch. 8): A Gryffindor, the same year as Harry.

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.

bugbear: see Blood-Sucking Bugbear.

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".

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".

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".

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".

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Etym: No reliable info.

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

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 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.

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.

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

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

Cleansweep Five: A type of flying broom.

Cleansweep Seven: A type 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.

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.

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

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 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.

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.

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

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".

Cornelius 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.

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.

Crabbe senior (GoF ch. 33): A Death Eater still at large.

Crabbe, Vincent: One of Draco Malfoy's cronies.

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

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.

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.

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 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".

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.


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

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.

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

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

Death Eaters: Voldemort's inner circle during his reign of terror, now mostly gathered back to the cause. The Death Eaters mentioned so far, and their current statuses, are:

Dead: Bartemius Crouch junior, Evan Rosier, Wilkes
Renounced Voldemort: Igor Karkaroff, Severus Snape
Imprisoned: Antonin Dolohov, the Lestranges, Mulciber, Travers
Alive and free: Avery, Ludo Bagman, Crabbe senior, Goyle senior, Walden Macnair, Lucius Malfoy, Nott senior, Peter Pettigrew
Unknown: Augustus Rookwood

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

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, who is thus the only person we've seen fully survive the job so far)
Fourth year: Bartemius Crouch disguised as Alastor Moody

Deflating Draft: The antidote to a Swelling Solution.

Delacour, Fleur: The Beauxbatons entry in the Triwizard Tournament. Wand: 9.5", inflexible, rosewood and veela hair (one of her grandmother's).

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.

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

Department of Magical Catastrophes: Another arm of the Ministry of Magic.

Department of Magical Games and Sports: Yet another tentacle of the Ministry of Magic.

Department of Magical Transportation: A section of the Ministry of Magic which, among other things, regulates Apparation.

Department of Mysteries: Another part of the Ministry of Magic. Appropriately, we as yet have no idea what it does.

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.

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,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".

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

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

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".

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.

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.

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

Dolohov, Antonin (GoF ch. 30): A Death Eater, imprisoned in Azkaban.

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

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.

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".

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.

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

Draught of Living Death: An extremely powerful sleeping potion.

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

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

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: A bowling and chamber music aficionado, a gourmet of candies, and the headmaster of Hogwarts. Has been known to dabble in projects useful to wizard society, such as discovering the 12 current uses for dragon's blood, and defeating the dark wizard Grindelwald. Said to be an ex-Gryffindor.

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

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.

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: 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.

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

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

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

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.

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

Emeric the Evil: Some historical personage who could be confused 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".

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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".

Exploding Snap: A wizard card game.

Extinguishing Spell: A spell to put out fires.


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.

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.

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.

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

Figg, Arabella (GoF ch. 36): One of Dumbledore's "old gang".

Etym: See below.

Figg, Mrs. (PS ch. 2): A neighbor of the Dursleys who looks after Harry occasionally.

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.

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?)

Finch-Fletchley, Justin (PS ch. 7): A Hufflepuff, the same year as Harry.

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

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

Etym: Latin, "end spellcasting".

Finnigan, Seamus (PS ch. 7): A Gryffindor, the same year as Harry. 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 lives in the Forbidden Forest.

Etym: The modern Italian name for Florence.

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

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 Delacour: 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.

Flitwick: 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.

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 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.

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, Florean (PoA ch. 4): The proprietor of an ice cream parlor in Diagon Alley, 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.

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".

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: 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.

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.

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.

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".

ghosts: The spirits of the dead which linger for some reason. 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.

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.

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.

Ginny Weasley (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.

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.

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.

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

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 a member.

Goyle, Gregory: The slightly stupider of Draco Malfoy's cronies.

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, Hermione: One of Harry's two best friends, and the smartest student in the school; a fighter for truth, justice, and getting those lazy slobs around her to do some real studying.

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.

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.

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".

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.

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.)

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.

Grubbly-Plank (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.

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.

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.


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."

Hair-Raising Potion: Something that includes rat tails as an ingredient.

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.

Harry 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 Hunt: A mass of headless ghosts who won't let Nearly Headless Nick join them.

Head Polo: Another pastime of the Headless Hunt.

Hebridean Black: A type of dragon native to the British Isles.

Hedwig: Harry's owl, named after someone he read about in A History of Magic.

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.)

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.

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.

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 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.

Hiccup Sweet: Something available at Zonko's Joke Shop.

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".

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.

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.

Hogsmeade: The only entirely non-Muggle settlement in the British Isles, located near Hogwarts. Local businesses and features include the Three Broomsticks, the Shrieking Shack, Honeydukes, a branch of Gladrags Wizardwear, 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.

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.

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.)

Home Life and Social Habits of British Muggles: The textbook for the Muggle Studies class.

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?

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).

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?

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".

Humberto: see The Great Humberto.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Incendio: An incantation to start a fire.

Etym: Latin, "I set fire to". Imperative: incendere.

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 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 Federation of Warlocks: Probably a typo for the International Confederation of Warlocks, or vice versa.

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.

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

Etym: Patronymic from Ivan, 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.

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.

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.

Johnson, Angelina (PS ch. 12): A Chaser on the Gryffindor Quidditch team, 2 years ahead of Harry.

Etym: Patronymic form of John, which is from the Hebrew name Johanan "Jehovah has favored".

Jordan, Lee (PS ch. 7): A Gryffindor and a close friend of Fred and George Weasley. The announcer at inter-House Quidditch matches.

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.

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 headmaster of Durmstrang and a former Death Eater, now on the run from Voldemort.

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".

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.


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).

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.

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.

Leg-Locker Curse: A spell that paralyzes the legs. Incantation: Locomotor Mortis.

Lestranges (GoF ch. 27): Death Eaters, imprisoned in Azkaban.

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.

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.

Licorice Wands: A wizard candy, undoubtedly very tasty if you happen to like licorice.

Lily 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.

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 Whinging: The town in Surrey in which the Dursleys live. Does not appear to be a real town.

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 Mortis: Incantation for the Leg-Locker Curse.

Etym: Latin, "appendage" and "death".

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, Mrs. (GoF ch. 30): 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, Neville: A Gryffindor, same year as Harry, with the worst memory in his class.

Etym: Place name from western Yorkshire, from Middle English for "long valley".

Lovegoods: Acquaintances of the Weasley family who arrived at the Quidditch World Cup site a week before them.

Etym: No etymology.

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.

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".

Lupin, Remus J.: 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.

Etym: A variation on lupine.

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 (CoS ch. 11): A Hufflepuff, year unknown.

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 (PoA ch. 16): The executioner for the Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures. Also, 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 Law Enforcement Squad: Pretty much what it sounds like-- the wizard SWAT team.

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.

Magnolia Crescent: A street near the Dursleys' home.

mahogany: A tropical hardwood from several trees of the family Meliaceae, most often the West Indies mahogany, used mainly in furniture and paneling.

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, 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.

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.

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.

Etym: See above.

Malfoy, Narcissa: Draco's mother.

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.

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.

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.

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 passenger on the Knight Bus.

Etym: Derived from the Old English word for same.

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.

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 (PS ch. 4): The last name of a wizard couple killed by Voldemort.

Etym: Anglicized form of Mac Fhionghuin, from the name meaning "fair born" or "beloved son".

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.

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.

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.

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.

Millicent Bulstrode: Etym: From the Old German name Amalasuintha, composed of amal "work" + swintha "strong".

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.

Subentities of the Ministry seen so far are:

Accidental Magic Reversal Squad
Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures
Committee on Experimental Charms
Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures
Department of International Magical Cooperation
Department of Magical Catastrophes
Department of Magical Games and Sports
Department of Magical Transportation
Department of Mysteries
Floo Regulation Panel
Goblin Liaison Office
Improper Use of Magic Office
Magical Law Enforcement Squad
Misuse of Muggle Artifacts Office

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.

Molly Weasley: Etym: A form of Mary, from a Hebrew name probably meaning "wished-for child".

monkshood: see wolfsbane.

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.

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.

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.

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".

Moony: Remus Lupin's nickname during his school days.

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".

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.

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.

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 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.

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.

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.


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 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.

Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests: The highest-level graduation exams that Hogwarts offers; equivalent to the "A-level" (advanced level) exams in real British schools.

Natalie McDonald: Etym: From Latin natale (domini), i.e. Christmas Day.

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.

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 which has an ability to sniff out treasure. It can be trained to bring anything it finds back to its handler.

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.

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.

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.

Notable Magical Names of Our Time: A book in the Hogwarts libary.

Nott (PS ch. 7): A student in the same year as Harry. House unknown, but given the affiliation of the elder Nott, probably Slytherin.

Etym: From a Middle English nickname meaning "bald".

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.


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.

Obliviate: The incantation for a Memory Charm.

Etym: Just the English word.

Obliviator: A member of the Accidental Magic Reversal Squad.

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.

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. 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.

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 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.

Orla Quirke: Etym: No info.

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".

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.

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.

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.

Etym: See below.

Patil, Parvati: A Gryffindor, same year as Harry.

Etym: From the Pictish peit "portion (of land)" and Gaelic tulach "hill". Alternatively, also a surname of Indian origin.

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.

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.

Pepperup Potion: A concoction useful for perking up someone who is cold and damp.

Percy 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.

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.

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: One of James Potter's school friends, he became an Animagus with an animal form of a rat, which in retrospect really should have seen as some kind of warning. He later turned to the dark side and betrayed the Potters to Voldemort. When that unexpectedly resulted in Voldemort's fall, he faked his own death, cut off a finger to leave evidence framing Sirius Black for it, and took up a new life as Scabbers until Black hunted him down. Pettigrew then helped to resurrect Voldemort by cutting off an entire hand. One wonders what he's going to lose next time he switches sides.

Etym: From Old French petit "little" and cru "growth", a nickname for a small man, or an old form of "pedigree".

Petunia Dursley: Etym: From petun, "tobacco"; the flower is in the tobacco family.

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.

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.

Phyllida Spore: Etym: Probably from Greek phyllos, meaning "leaf".

Piers Polkiss: Etym: A French variation of Peter.

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: The librarian at Hogwarts.

Etym: Variation of Pinch, a nickname for a chirpy person. Really.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Portkey: An otherwise uninteresting object enchanted to transport anyone touching it to a predetermined location at a given time, or under specified circumstances.

Potions: A standard class at Hogwarts; taught by Professor Snape.

Potter, Harry: An orphaned wizard, unique among even his magically talented classmates in that dark forces really are constantly attacking him and causing him to miss class. Wand: 11", supple, holly and phoenix feather.

Etym: Stated by Rowling to be a name she just liked.

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.

Potter, Lily: 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.

Powers You Never Knew You Had and What to Do With Them Now You've Wised Up: A book in the Hogwarts library.

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.

Prewetts (PS ch. 5): Wizards killed by Voldemort.

Etym: Diminutive form of a name from Middle English prou(s) "brave", "valiant".

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.

Prod, Warlock D. J., of Didsbury (CoS ch. 8): A satisfied Kwikspell customer.

Prongs: James Potter's nickname among his school buddies.

Pucey, Adrian (PS ch. 11): A Chaser for the Slytherin Quidditch team.

Etym: From a town in Berkshire.

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.

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).

Put-Outer: A magical device that can supress lights.


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.

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".

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".


Railview Hotel: A place where the Dursleys attempted to hide themselves and Harry from the Hogwarts owls.

Ravenclaw House: One of the four houses of Hogwarts, extolling the virtues of wisdom and friendship. 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.

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.

Registry of Proscribed Charmable Objects: A listing of Muggle artifacts that are illegal to enchant.

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 J. 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).

Reparo: An incantation to fix minor damage.

Etym: Latin, "I repair". Imperative: repare "be repaired".

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.

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.

Roberts (GoF ch. 7): One of the campsite managers for the Quidditch World Cup.

Etym: From Old English/German hrothi "fame" + berhta "bright".

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.

Roger Davies: Etym: Derived from Old German Hrodgar, from hrothi "fame" and ger "spear". Name of various royalty.

Ron 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 (GoF ch. 30): A Death Eater who worked in the Department of Mysteries. Fate unknown.

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

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".

Rubeus Hagrid: Etym: From the Latin for "reddish".

Ryan (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.


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.

Saucy Tricks for Tricky Sorts: A book in the Hogwarts library.

Scabbers: Ron's pet rat for his first three years of school, until the rat turned out to be Peter Pettigrew in disguise.

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".

Scintillation Solution: No idea. It's mentioned by the Kwikspell ad.

Scops owl: A type of owl native to sub-Saharan Africa.

Scouring Charm: A cleaning spell.

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.

Seamus Finnigan: Etym: The Irish form of James.

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.

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 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)".

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.

Shield Charm: A general-purpose spell-blocker.

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 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.

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.

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.

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.

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".

Snape, Severus: The Potions teacher at Hogwarts; head of Slytherin House; a former Death Eater who turned spy before Voldemort's downfall (or maybe was a spy all along); and general doer of things to keep dark forces under control at the school, even though everything he does ends up being misinterpreted. Also spends a lot of time in a foul mood. Can't imagine why...

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.

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.

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.

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.

Spinnet, Alicia (PS ch. 11): A Chaser for the Gryffindor Quidditch team, two years ahead of Harry.

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.

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: 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.

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 (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.

Stink Pellets: Things available at Zonko's Joke Shop.

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.

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.

sugar quills: Wizard candies cunningly disguised as the quills students write with in class.

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.

Supreme Mugwump: One of Dumbledore's titles.

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.

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.


Tail-Twig Clippers: Part of a broom maintenance kit.

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".

Terence Higgs: Etym: From Latin Terentius, the name of a Roman gens of unknown etymology.

Terry Boot [Terence]:

Etym: See above.

Thomas, Dean (PS ch. 7): A Gryffindor, the same year as Harry. 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.

Three Broomsticks: The pub in Hogsmeade.

Tibbles (PS ch. 2): One of Mrs. Figg's cats.

Timms, Agatha (GoF ch. 7): Etym: Etymology unknown; possibly cognate to the Germanic name Timmo, of unknown meaning.

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).

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.

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.

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, Sibyll: 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".

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.

Twitchy Ears: A curse that makes the target's ears wiggle.


Unbreakable Charm: A spell that maintains the structural integrity of an object.

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.

Unplottable: Not placeable on a map.

Unspeakable: A person who works for the Department of Mysteries.

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.


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.

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.

Vanishing Spell: Might be something to render a person invisible or unnoticed, or another term for Apparation.

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".

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.

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.

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.

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.

Wanderings with Werewolves: One of Gilderoy Lockhart's books.

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, Bill: The oldest of the Weasley children. 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, he became captain of the Gryffindor Quidditch team when he was a student. Now, he is studying dragons in Romania.

Etym: See above.

Weasley, Fred and George: Twins, 2 years ahead of than Harry and Ron, and Beaters on the Gryffindor Quidditch team. Now armed with the 1000 Galleons Harry won in the Triwizard Tournament, they plan to start a company called Weasley's Wizard Wheezes.

Etym: See above.

Weasley, Ginny: Ron's sister, a year younger than him and Harry, and also a Gryffindor.

Etym: See above.

Weasley, Molly: Ron's long-suffering mother.

Etym: See above.

Weasley, Percy: One of Ron's older brothers, he became a prefect in Harry's first year and Head Boy in Harry's third. Noted for being fussy, rule-oriented, and in many other ways being the Arnold Rimmer of his class, he now works for the Department of International Magical Cooperation.

Etym: See above.

Weasley, Ron: Harry's best friend, a Gryffindor in the same year; the perfect sidekick in that he has no existence worth noting outside Harry's presence. Wand: 14", willow and unicorn hair.

Etym: See above.

Weasley's Wizard Wheezes: The company Fred and George Weasley plan to form to manufacture their joke products and spread evil and misery across the world. Er, I mean laughter and merriment. Of course.

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".

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Witching Hour: A wizard radio program.

Witch Weekly: A weekly publication focusing on soft news; something along the lines of People for wizards.

Wizarding Wireless Network: A wizard radio network.

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.

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.

WWN: The Wizarding Wireless Network, with intimations of the BBC.


X: The 24th letter of the modern alphabet and the 21st of the Roman, corresponding in form and position to the Greek xi. The early Greek forms represented the aspirate voiceless velar kh in the Ionian alphabet and ks in the Chaldean. The ancient Roman name of the letter was ix, and the Romans used it for the ks sound. Its earliest use in English was as a medial and final alternate spelling of cs.

In modern usage, x is a marker, a metasyntactic variable, and a symbol for the unknown. It is not, however, the beginning of any names or terms relevant to any of the Harry Potter books.


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.

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.