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What's In A Name?

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What's In A Name? Empty What's In A Name?

Post  Lady Arabella Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:53 pm

The following is an archive of material originally posted on the Harry Potter Lexicon Forum, hosted by World Crossing, which ceased operations on April 15th, 2011
Lady Arabella
Lady Arabella

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Post  Lady Arabella Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:54 pm

What's in a name?
MoonRider - Mar 18, 2005 4:19 pm
Edited by Kip Carter Nov 17, 2005 12:47 am \
Hi All!

I've been wanting to add this discussion for some time, but I keep forgetting. I've searched ALL the discussion titles-----there's like, 442 of them-----but I haven't done a "Search", per se.....

Anyway, since the very first time I picked-up the very first HP book, I was amused with the names of people/things. I immediately thought of "bumblebee" when I read "Dumbledore"----then I read somewhere that Dumbledore is actually an olde English name meaning "bumblebee"-----or, the other way around. When I read Avada Kedavra, I immediately thought that it was a combination of "Abra Cadabra", and the word for a corpse, "cadaver" (I've since read that somewhere too----maybe here).

Other things I've thought of-----I've posted a couple of these on other threads, that's why I started a separate thread-----I came-up with "boring" for "Borgin"----of "Borgin and Burkes" (Knockturn Alley); "sever us" (Severus Snape); "serum" (Remus Lupin); "Lumos" (illuminate), etc., etc......

Anyway, I was wondering if anybody else came-up with others-----NOT anagrams-----though I came-up with one of those too: "Dilys Derwent" = "died strewnly" (I thought that was interesting)-----but, just names of people OR things that provoked thought for you.


pottermom34 - Mar 18, 2005 3:36 pm (#1 of 231)

Ooh! This sounds fun, can't think of anything now but I'll skim through the books and try to think of some more.


Albus Silente - Mar 18, 2005 3:54 pm (#2 of 231)

Somewhere I read something... about Pettigrew. The name foreshadowing his way of hiding: Pet-I-Grew


Ponine - Mar 18, 2005 5:17 pm (#3 of 231)

I am just embarrassed I never got “Sever us” and not to mention Knockturn Alley (Nocturnally) I would love to know what else went zipping over my head.


Choices - Mar 18, 2005 6:25 pm (#4 of 231)

If you think about Harry's name - in Britain it is often pronounced 'arry. In the Bible, God is referred to as "the potter" (who molds us, the clay). Put them together and you get 'arr (heir) y (to) God (ric). Heir to Godric - Is JKR trying to tell us something? I know it's a stretch, but I think it's interesting.

Severus Snape - Snape is an English word that can mean to "chide" or "rebuke", so Severus Snape might mean "severe rebuke" or "severe chiding" and Snape certainly does that.

Peter Pettigrew - Peter in the Bible was the apostle who betrayed Jesus. Pettigrew - "pet who grew" - which is what Peter, the betrayer of the Potter's, did in the Shrieking Shack - he grew from a rat into a man.

Just a few name thoughts......:-)


Round Pink Spider - Mar 18, 2005 7:59 pm (#5 of 231)

I thought I would mention -- from Alchemy -- the potter represents someone who works with all four Elements, Earth, Water, Air, and Fire. So it's a perfect name for someone who is meant to unite the four Houses in the school.

Choices -- I love "Snape" as "rebuke." About right!

Petty can also mean small, so "someone who was small who grew..."


pottermom34 - Mar 18, 2005 9:11 pm (#6 of 231)

This is kind of a dumb one but here goes: parsel(means to talk) tongue(language/dialect) = le's rap snake

Scary one = Lucius(Lucifer); Gregory Goyle = Gargoyle; Draco = Dracula


TwinklingBlueEyes - Mar 18, 2005 11:13 pm (#7 of 231)

Ok, pottermom, call me dense and color me a map please. Maybe it's just late, but I lost the connection.

...toddles off muttering... danged new-fangled technology...


Phelim Mcintyre - Mar 19, 2005 12:31 am (#8 of 231)

Welcome back to a reincarnation of a thread we have had before. This previous one had a lot of talk about names such as Petunia and others. The old thread has been mulched (the cheek of it - as I started it). I have noticed, though, that Mrs. Weasley seems to be a fan of knights. Percy is short for Percival, I think there is a clue there to his future in the books. Frederick (Fred), George, Ronald, William (Bill), Charles. All these are royal names (as is Gineverre) and all are names of knights from literature.


Dr Filibuster - Mar 19, 2005 3:04 am (#9 of 231)

Borgin and Burke remind me of Burke and Hare. They are an infamous duo who sold dead bodies for medical research to Edinburgh students.

They operated on a "no questions asked" basis. At the time only the corpses of executed criminals could be legally dissected, but murder victims and bodies robbed from graveyards passed through their lucrative business too.

Moresmodre reminds me of the Moors murderers (shudder).


MoonRider - Mar 19, 2005 5:24 am (#10 of 231)

pottermom34: "Scary one = Lucius(Lucifer); Draco = Dracula "

Yep! I remember thinking of those immediately, TOO! Strangely enough, I don't think I've seen them anywhere! I didn't think of "gargoyle"-----COOL!

Ponine: I didn't think of "nocturnally", either-----I did get "diagonally" (Diagon Alley).

Also, immediately upon reading the name "Pensieve", I thought of "pensive" (as in, "deep in thought").

Once-upon-a-time I had a list of several of these.....


Steve Newton - Mar 19, 2005 8:06 am (#11 of 231)

Some connected names. (Nothing new here.)

Bane-well, bane
Krum-crumb (sounds dumb to me)

There has to be at least 50 names that are words unto themselves. Wood, Potter and such,


Nathan Zimmermann - Mar 19, 2005 9:52 am (#12 of 231)

When I first read about the Prewett brothers:

The name Fabian reminded me of the ancient Roman general Fabian who fought Hannibal during the Punic Wars.

The name Gideon reminded me of Clarence Earl Gideon. Clarence Earl Gideon was the man responsible for ensuring that all people who were put on trial for a crime however slight had the right to have an attorney present to advise them. His original petition to the Supreme Court of the United States was handwritten.

Also, there was an ancient Isarelite general named Gideon defeated his enemies with a smaller force.


Solitaire - Mar 19, 2005 11:45 am (#13 of 231)

Someone mentioned Remus=serum. I suppose that could be a connection to something, although I tend to relate Remus to Romulus and Remus, the twins in Roman mythology who were raised by a she-wolf.

The word lupine means having to do with wolves, related to the wolf, wolf-like, fierce, etc. The name Remus Lupin seems kind of obvious to me. Although there is no twin, Remus does seem to have two "halves" to his life. His werewolf incarnation would seem to be his Romulus side. Interestingly, Romulus killed Remus. I hope this does not bode ill for my favorite character.



Choices - Mar 19, 2005 12:41 pm (#14 of 231)

Yes, I was going to add that many who adhere to the theory that James and Lupin switched bodies would say that Remus was killed by his brother (James and Remus were like brothers). They supposedly switched bodies, so it was actually Remus that was killed in James' body - thus Lupin was "killed" by James or as James. (I have the flu - does that make any sense at all? LOL) Anyway, now James supposedly is stuck in Lupin's body and is hiding out to avoid being killed by Voldemort. Supposedly Voldemort was out to kill the last two Potters and that is why he told Lily she didn't need to die - he was only interested in James and Harry and according to the “Lupin is really James” theory, they are both still alive. Now my brain hurts - time for more flu medicine.


Solitaire - Mar 19, 2005 5:19 pm (#15 of 231)

I thought Jo squelched that rumor on her site, but I could be wrong.



Catherine - Mar 19, 2005 5:43 pm (#16 of 231)


You are correct. Jo squelched that theory. Lupin is Lupin, James is James, and Dumbledore is the Giant Squid, after all. What's In A Name? 464751818

Ok, we don't have official confirmation on the DIGS theory, but the rest is true....


pottermom34 - Mar 19, 2005 7:37 pm (#17 of 231)

Chapter one of OotP --- Dudley Demented = Dudley goes insane (that's what demented means)

What I meant by parsel tongue was “let’s rap snake” - drop the t and it’s parsel (backward), tongue (being snake dialect.)

Tom Riddle His life is a riddle, hard to figure him out.


MoonRider - Mar 20, 2005 4:47 am (#18 of 231)

Solitaire: "Someone mentioned Remus=serum. I suppose that could be a connection to something....."

Yeah, what I was thinking, Solitaire, was that Lupin has to take a potion, "serum", so that he doesn't turn into a werewolf----he's just "....a harmless wolf"!

Fudge = not tell the whole truth.


Her-melanie - Mar 20, 2005 9:13 am (#19 of 231)

Remus Lupin = urine lumps (anagram) Also, generally when a name in HP makes an historical reference, I have to look it up to find out. I was proud of myself when I recognized Durmstrang as a reference to 'sturm und drang' (storm and stress), a late 18th cent. German artistic movement.


MoonRider - Mar 20, 2005 10:58 am (#20 of 231)

I wondered if "crucio" was derived from "excruciating".


Elanor - Mar 20, 2005 11:51 am (#21 of 231)

I've checked my Latin dictionary and "Crucio" is a Latin verb that means "to crucify, to torture, to torment and/or to hurt someone", very appropriate, isn't it? But "excruciating" certainly has "crucio" as a Latin root.


Penny Lane. - Mar 20, 2005 11:55 pm (#22 of 231)

I'm rather surprised that no one mentioned Septimius Severus, a Roman Emperor. I remember reading about him for my History course last year, and every time I saw "Lucius Septimius Severus, I wondered if that was where JKR got the name from.

Oh, anyway, Septimius Severus was an Emperor. He had a very stable empire, even though he wasn't well liked because he came to power by a military strategy. His sons divided the kingdom. That's really all I remember.


The giant squid - Mar 21, 2005 1:22 am (#23 of 231)

Lucius Septimius Severus

Makes me wonder if we'll hear about a DE named Septimius...



MoonRider - Mar 22, 2005 4:41 am (#24 of 231)

Elanor: "I've checked my Latin dictionary and "Crucio" is a Latin verb that means "to crucify, to torture, to torment and/or to hurt someone", very appropriate, isn't it? But "excruciating" certainly has "crucio" as a Latin root."

Thanks for looking that up and posting it!

I forgot one of the most obvious.....

Prefect - "perfect" ('Course, it's a word unto itself, also.)


Catherine - Mar 22, 2005 5:37 am (#25 of 231)

Prefect or Praefect , in ancient Rome, various military and civil officers. Under the empire some prefects were very important.

While Percy certainly acts like he is "perfect," I don't think that's the origin of the word "prefect."


pottermom34 - Mar 23, 2005 6:45 am (#26 of 231)

Argus (this could refer to Argus Filch or Aragog) In Greek & Roman mythology a monster with a hundred eyes. Aragog has a lot of eyes and a lot of children (which could act as his eyes)and really is a monster. Argus Filch has Mrs. Norris who seems to pop up at inconvenient time thus being more eyes for Filch sometimes seems like a monster.

Nymphadora = Nymph means beautiful maiden. adora nymph =adorable maiden

I found those in a 1991 almanac. Has a whole list of Greek & Roman, Norse and Egyptian mythology in, of all places, a crossword section!


Tomoé - Mar 23, 2005 9:27 am (#27 of 231)

I think Borgin sounds like bargin. I could be the only one though.


pottermom34 - Mar 23, 2005 11:55 am (#28 of 231)

I found another one in the Almanac, Narcissa Malfoy = Narcissus= Beautiful youth loved by Echo (a nymph). In punishment for not returning her love, he was made to fall in love with his image reflected in a pool; pined away and became flower.


Phelim Mcintyre - Mar 24, 2005 12:42 am (#29 of 231)

potterman34 - that is the root of the term narcissism, a dangerous form of self-love. So I guess that Narcissa is extremely self-centred.


vanessa cave - Mar 24, 2005 2:46 am (#30 of 231)

pottermom34 I love your avatar!


pottermom34 - Mar 24, 2005 7:44 am (#31 of 231)

Thanks, got the picture off Google then added the words myself. I wasn't sure the words would fit but I'm glad to see they did.


Solitaire - Mar 26, 2005 11:55 pm (#32 of 231)

Argus was the name of a giant with 1,000 eyes. His name also means "watchful person, or guardian."

Filch is a synonym for steal. To filch something--usually a small item--is to steal it. I wonder how those two go together. Will Argus Filch steal something important?



dizzy lizzy - Mar 27, 2005 3:03 am (#33 of 231)

Will Argus Filch steal something important? – Solitaire

Or has he already stolen it??


MoonRider - Mar 27, 2005 4:33 am (#34 of 231)

Solitaire: "Will Argus Filch steal something important?"
dizzy lizzy: "Or has he already stolen it??"

WOW-----COOL-----VERY intriguing thought!

(Bagman) Ludo - "loud" ("Sonorus"!)
Kreacher - "creature"


Little Ginny - Mar 28, 2005 2:47 pm (#35 of 231)

Ludo- loud" ("Sonorus"!)"

The Latin word "ludo" also means "I play". If that doesn't fit...

There are quite a lot of Latin roots in HP names, like Albus meaning white and so on, but I assume they have already been discussed.


T Brightwater - Mar 29, 2005 9:38 am (#36 of 231)

Actually, I think "Nymphadora" means something like "gift of the nymph" (Theodora = gift of God; Isidora = gift of Isis)

There was another emperor named Severus, can't recall his other names right now. He was one of half-a-dozen emperors who were trying to rule at the same time, and was eventually taken hostage and killed by Maximian, who was himself killed by Constantine the Great.

Andromeda was a princess who was chained to a rock as a sacrifice to a sea monster, in propitiation of a god who was annoyed with her father. She was saved, and the sea monster killed, by Perseus.

Ginevra, in “Orlando Furioso,” was a Scottish princess wrongfully accused of sexual misconduct in a set-up almost identical to that used on Hero, in “Much Ado About Nothing.” I think Ginevra means "juniper" (Ginevra dei Benci in Leonardo's portrait holds a sprig of juniper) but it is also the Italian equivalent of Guenever.


Elfcat - Apr 6, 2005 3:41 pm (#37 of 231)

I always assumed that the spells were just the Latin word for what they do, but I can't verify it as I don't have a way to translate.


MoonRider - Apr 9, 2005 7:58 am (#38 of 231)
Edited Apr 9, 2005 9:01 am

I don't know if someone already mentioned this, or not-----but, I wonder if JKR might've gotten "Draco" from "Draconian" (as in, extremely severe or cruel).

Also, I think somebody did mention this one: Draco was a 7th Century B.C. Athenian lawgiver who had a very harsh code of laws attributed to him (according to my dictionary). I guess a Prefect could be considered a "lawgiver"-----at least, Draco thought himself to be one, maybe.

I'm embarrassed to say what word I thought of when I read "Nymphadora"-----but, it's suffix is "-maniac"! (blush)


Little Ginny - Apr 9, 2005 10:12 am (#39 of 231)

Moon Rider, I had the same association when I first read 'Nymphadora' (*blushes as well*).

I think the word 'draconian' derived from the politician 'Draco' or 'Drakon', but the Latin word 'draco' means 'dragon' (as in 'draco dormiens numquam tittilandus') , so this may also be what she had in mind.


MoonRider - Apr 9, 2005 12:30 pm (#40 of 231)
Edited Apr 9, 2005 1:35 pm

Little Ginny: "Moon Rider, I had the same association when I first read 'Nymphadora'....."

PHEW! It's really good to know I'm not the only one! LOL

.....but the Latin word 'draco' means 'dragon'.....

Yeah, I saw that in my dictionary, as well-----but I didn't feel like it "fit" Draco, like "Draconian" does-----it's good that you posted it, though, so that others can benefit from the information, too.


pottermom34 - Apr 9, 2005 7:40 pm (#41 of 231)
Edited Apr 9, 2005 8:40 pm

I was looking in the dictionary for something that has an Umbridge ring to it and I found 2 words.

umbrage, which means a feeling or resentment or offense. Well a lot of people at Hogwarts resented Umbridge and were offended by her.

umbrageous, which means-shady and sure was a shady character.


GryffEndora - Apr 10, 2005 4:23 pm (#42 of 231)

Little Ginny: "Moon Rider, I had the same association when I first read 'Nymphadora'....."

MoonRider: "PHEW! It's really good to know I'm not the only one! LOL "

I thought the same thing as you two, I'll meet you at the Hogs Head and we can all blush together over a Butterbeer!


Choices - Apr 10, 2005 4:36 pm (#43 of 231)
Edited Apr 10, 2005 5:39 pm

Well really.....not me!!! I just thought of lovely wood nymphs and water nymphs frolicking innocently around a forest clearing or a green glade....... OH ALRIGHT, who am I kidding? What time are we meeting at the Hogs Head? Count me in. ;-)


Snuffles - Apr 11, 2005 1:17 am (#44 of 231)

Hah hah! Looks like the barman at the Hogs Head going to get a lot of extra people in his establishment! Count me in for a Butterbeer!


MoonRider - Apr 11, 2005 2:59 am (#45 of 231)

OMG-----this is too funny-----looks like I'm not the only nut, here! LOL

GryffEndora: "I thought the same thing as you two, I'll meet you at the Hogs Head and we can all blush together over a Butterbeer!"

Works for me!

Choices: TOO FUNNY!

Snuffles: Cool!


skh - Apr 11, 2005 7:48 am (#46 of 231)

I am one of those dumb-clucks that didn't get Diagon Alley ‘til it was pointed it - I vowed never to be so silly again, and then promptly didn't cop on to Knockturn Alley either! So I think that qualifies me for a Butterbeer too...

Malfoy always makes me think of the French "mal fois" as in bad / evil time (excuse my translation, I haven't used French for 10 years).

love the way all the spells have a latin root of some type. I'm not sure if all are grammatically correct (I guess they can't be, if only due to genders etc.) but it's great to link them back.

I also think that it is likely that there are more anagrams in the series somewhere, some that might only come out at the end? Apart from the big ole "I am Ld. V" one, they seem to be under-utilised?

What about Weasley and weasel? Not such a nice one, but it's there...

I've also always sniggered at poor Hermione and her unruly hair - am I the only person mean enough to have thought of "hairy Hermione"?!


T Brightwater - Apr 12, 2005 7:02 am (#47 of 231)
Edited by Kip Carter Apr 13, 2005 2:19 am

I got Knockturn Alley, and then got Diagon Alley.

Oddly enough, when I first saw Tonks' name; I just thought, "what a pretentious and embarrassing name, no wonder she doesn't use it." But I did do a double-take when I came across St. Nymphodora. (I work for a Byzantine Catholic Church.) I figured that was where Jo got the name, wondered why she changed the spelling. See you all at the Hog's Head, remember to bring your own glass!


pottermom34 - Apr 12, 2005 7:45 pm (#48 of 231)

for ron/hermione shippers: hermione = he mi ron(n)e


skh - Apr 13, 2005 12:58 am (#49 of 231)
Edited by Kip Carter Apr 13, 2005 2:16 am

I love a red herring - fall for them little devils EVERY time!


MoonRider - Apr 13, 2005 3:37 am (#50 of 231)

pottermom34: "hermione = he mi ron(n)e"

Oh, that's SO cool-----totally ingenious! I wonder if it was planned?

Lady Arabella
Lady Arabella

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Post  Lady Arabella Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:56 pm


Little Ginny - Apr 13, 2005 12:56 pm (#51 of 231)

Okay, so I'll meet you at the Hog's Head- but look out for people in bandages!

T. Brightwater, is St. Nymphodora famous for anything special? Does he or she have anything in common with our favourite metamorphmagus? (I just wondered about that)

Speaking about saints- I just thought of something concerning Lily. Aren't lilies a symbol of the Mother Mary? Or am I mixing up things and it's almond flowers? (which would still have a connection to Lily, though.)


T Brightwater - Apr 13, 2005 1:28 pm (#52 of 231)

Here's a link to find out more about St. Nymphodora:

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

There is one kind of lily (Lilium candidum) which is called the Madonna lily and is often pictured in Medieval paintings of the Virgin Mary. It looks like an Easter lily, but is taller and blooms in summer. It's one of the oldest species in cultivation. I've never heard of almond flowers as a symbol of Mary.


Winky Woo - Apr 18, 2005 1:25 pm (#53 of 231)

Aragog_"Ara" comes from "arachnid," which is the class spiders belong to. "Gog" was a legendary giant. Together, "giant arachnid."

Both Lily and her sister, Aunt Petunia, are named after flowers. The lily symbolizes purity and innocence. Quite intentionally I thinks this is opposed with the petunia, which symbolizes anger and resentment.

Something I know I have posted before but it still sends shivers down my spine: Pope Cornelius was followed by Pope Lucius!


MoonRider - Apr 18, 2005 4:30 pm (#54 of 231)
Edited Apr 18, 2005 5:35 pm

Winky Woo: Wow, it's really interesting that you posted about flower names, because I just learned a NEW one today-----new for ME, anyway.....

Lupin (Carolina) is a flower, TOO!


Winky Woo - Apr 19, 2005 3:56 am (#55 of 231)
Edited Apr 19, 2005 4:57 am

Doh! I can't believe I missed that one! I've got a tray of lupin seeds growing at the moment to plant in my garden! Sometimes you miss the obvious! I wondering if there are any other names that are plants or flowers...hmmm


GryffEndora - Apr 19, 2005 9:12 am (#56 of 231)
Edited Apr 19, 2005 10:12 am

MoonRider and WinkyWoo we recently discussed the Lupine/Lupin connection on the Remus Lupin thread. The discussion started Here


MoonRider - Apr 20, 2005 4:22 am (#57 of 231)
Edited Apr 20, 2005 5:23 am

GryffEndora: "MoonRider and WinkyWoo we recently discussed the Lupine/Lupin connection on the Remus Lupin thread."



Bilius (Ron's uncle): Bilious means having the appearance of someone who has suffered from some ailment of the liver; bad-tempered.


T Brightwater - Apr 20, 2005 1:35 pm (#58 of 231)

Narcissus is also a flower. Interesting that Narcissa Black Malfoy has a flower name instead of a star name.

Don't forget Lavender, Poppy, and Pansy; also Susan comes from a Hebrew word that is usually translated as "lily;" according to one translator the "lily of the valley" in the Song of Songs is probably Narcissus tazetta (Paperwhite narcissus).


pottermom34 - Apr 21, 2005 8:31 pm (#59 of 231)

Filch is an English slang word meaning "to steal"


Mellilot Flower. - Apr 22, 2005 1:59 am (#60 of 231)

I think this is the right place to put this... I hope it is, and I did a quick search of the site and was shocked that it hadn't been mentioned already, or at least not as far as my search showed up.

Anyway, the wizard of the month Oliphant has been mentioned as sounding very like Oliphaunt- Tolkien's elephant-like beasts. But I'm not sure if people have noticed how very similar butterbeer- the kid's favourite drink, is to Buterbur, the landlord of the prancing pony- the inn in which Frodo and the Hobbits meet Strider/aragorn for the first time.

I was just wondering if anyone else had spotted something similar?


pottermom34 - Apr 22, 2005 9:20 am (#61 of 231)

I never thought of those before, Melliot Flower, very interesting.


Solitaire - Apr 24, 2005 7:31 am (#62 of 231)

Pottermom, I mentioned the very same thing several posts back. It made me wonder ... will Filch steal something important? Actually, in his current capacity, he is able to take things away from kids, isn't he? Only it isn't called stealing; it's called confiscating!



Madame Pomfrey - Apr 24, 2005 5:50 pm (#63 of 231)

LoL Solitaire. Does anyone know what Argus means?


Albus Silente - Apr 24, 2005 5:51 pm (#64 of 231)
Edited Apr 24, 2005 6:57 pm

I read that somewhere on another thread, but honestly I'm too tired to go looking for it now. Seems that Argus is a mythological creature with many eyes.

Edited: Found it. Same thread, post #26 (I believe) by pottermom34


Madame Pomfrey - Apr 25, 2005 4:15 am (#65 of 231)

Thanks Albus. Sounds like Filch's name certainly fits him.


pottermom34 - Apr 25, 2005 5:32 am (#66 of 231)

You are correct Albus. There is also mention of it under Filch's name in the Lexicon.


MoonRider - Apr 26, 2005 3:51 am (#67 of 231)
I just found-out that "hogshead" is a unit of measurement.....

1 hogshead(UK) = 1,210 cups(US) (approximately)


Snuffles - Apr 26, 2005 3:57 am (#68 of 231)

Ooh put me down for 1 Hogshead of Butterbeer then please


Elfcat - Apr 26, 2005 5:00 pm (#69 of 231)

Sometimes I wonder what Kingsley Shacklebolt's name says about him. Is he going to be under the Imperius curse? Was he before? Is he now? Or is the King part more important? Maybe he's going to be the new minister of magic, or end up leading some huge, world-saving offensive against the forces of evil. Food for thought.


Snuffles - Apr 27, 2005 12:25 am (#70 of 231)

It might have been mentioned before, so sorry if it has, but Dolores is Latin and means Lady of Sorrows! Boy was she ever!!


MoonRider - Apr 27, 2005 4:26 am (#71 of 231)
Edited Apr 27, 2005 5:28 am

Oh-----I forgot.....

Mellilot Flower.: "But I'm not sure if people have noticed how very similar buterbeer- the kid's favourite drink is to Buterbur, the landlord of the prancing pony- the inn in which Frodo and the Hobbits meet Strider/aragorn for the first time.

I was just wondering if anyone else had spotted something similar?"

Yeah-----I did! (I apologize for not responding, earlier.)

Snuffles: "Ooh put me down for 1 Hogshead of Butterbeer then please "

WHOA-----that's ALOT!

Elfcat: "Sometimes I wonder what Kingsley Shacklebolt's name says about him. Is he going to be under the Imperius curse? Was he before? Is he now?"

Ummmm-----I'm thinking he is not, right now.....

Snuffles: ".....Dolores is Latin and means Lady of Sorrows! Boy was she ever!!"

Hmmmm, that's interesting-----I DEFINITELY agree!


pottermom34 - May 2, 2005 5:44 am (#72 of 231)
Edited May 2, 2005 7:01 am

Is everyone familiar with the puzzles where you have to find as many words as you can from one big word? Well I was trying to break down Dolores Jane Umbridge the other day and came up with a few interesting words mixed up in her name. Here is what I found:

interesting that she is mixed up with some "not so nice things" isn't it? Ok I take that “not so nice” part back.

Also mixed in her name, believe it or not ,and this is scary, without even using Jane, I found: Sir Dumbledore OR drop the sir use the Jane and I came up with Dumbledore Snare!


librarian314 - May 2, 2005 8:36 am (#73 of 231)

Hey all!

I found the following definition of a shackle bolt at the Burke's Peerage site: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

shack-bolt: a fetter put on the wrists or ankles of prisoners

shafted: used to denote that a spear-head has a handle

This is from W. Cecil Wade's "The Symbolisms of Heraldry or A Treatise on the Meanings and Derivations of Armorial Bearings". Published in London in 1898.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

Shacklebolt - Victory in war.

To see an image of a heraldic shackle bolt go to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] and scroll down to Nuthall.

All in all, I hope this has generally good connotations for our dear Auror. Hopefully, he'll catch some DEs, put them in irons, and that will help the Order be victorious in war.

*michelle the librarian**


Phelim Mcintyre - May 2, 2005 8:58 am (#74 of 231)

All these people drinking butter bear, I just hope that you don't have half-elf blood. I will stick to a small gilly-water.

Of course Sybil is named after a prophetess in Greek mythology. Minerva is the goddess of wisdom. Bane means poison (very appropriate I think).

I wonder if the current wizard of the month (Felix Summerbee) is any relationship to Dumbledore?


T Brightwater - May 2, 2005 11:22 am (#75 of 231)

I wonder if gillywater is made from Dianthus flowers (i.e. pinks, carnations)? They were called gillyflowers in Renaissance England.

I've had mulled wine with a carnation in it - you need a really fragrant, old-fashioned-type flower, and you drink the wine through the flower. Yum!


Phelim Mcintyre - May 4, 2005 4:03 am (#76 of 231)

I think Gillywater may be made from the weed Harry eats to do the second task. I think it is gillyweed, or has my crystal ball gone fuzzy again?


pottermom34 - May 4, 2005 4:55 am (#77 of 231)

No, your crystal ball isn't fuzzy, gillyweed is correct.


Choices - May 4, 2005 9:01 am (#78 of 231)

We know what effect gillyweed has on the body - gills develop - so I wonder if gillywater has any effects? It didn't seem to.


Phelim Mcintyre - May 5, 2005 12:15 am (#79 of 231)

Not that I've noticed, but the gillyweed is not neet, but just a very watered down alcoholic juice. But I do find that gillywater makes baths much more enjoyable - but maybe that's because I'm relaxed Wink


T Brightwater - May 5, 2005 3:53 am (#80 of 231)

Gillyweed doesn't sound like something anyone would eat if they didn't have to; that's why I think gillywater is made from something else. Gillyflowers/pinks/carnations were also called "sops-in-wine" because they were used to flavor wine, so that seems like a more likely source for a drink to me. An old-fashioned floral water seems like something McGonagall would drink, doesn't it? Flitwick's drink wasn't alcoholic either, as far as I can tell.


Choices - May 5, 2005 10:54 am (#81 of 231)

I like your idea T Brightwater. It definitely sounds more enjoyable.


MoonRider - May 5, 2005 11:50 am (#82 of 231)

COOL! I just learned another one.....

Privet (Privet Drive) is a SHRUB! That, kind of, adds to JKR's, like, "flower theme", doesn't it?

When I first read the word-----the first time I read Book 1-----I was amused by the thought that it sounded like "Private".....


Dr Filibuster - May 5, 2005 12:23 pm (#83 of 231)
Edited May 5, 2005 1:24 pm

British privet hedges are the equivalent to American white picket fences.

They are an extremely common border around one's property. It could be a pun on "private" or an indication that the Dursleys are thoroughly suburban and proud to be a perfectly normal, ordinary, NON MAGIC couple thank you very much. Nothing strange or mysterious for them!


dizzy lizzy - May 6, 2005 12:08 am (#84 of 231)

And in Australia the privet bush is classed as a very nasty pest/ weed.


T Brightwater - May 6, 2005 11:04 am (#85 of 231)

Lots of new housing developments have cutesy (and irrelevant) street names; I figured Privet Drive was consistent with Wisteria Walk and Magnolia Crescent.


MoonRider - May 6, 2005 1:21 pm (#86 of 231)

T Brightwater: ".....Wisteria Walk and Magnolia Crescent."

TWO more, yet, in the "flower theme".....

I can't believe I so totally overlooked more of the obvious! LOL


Sticky Glue - May 6, 2005 2:46 pm (#87 of 231)

I have been wondering if anyone has found out a meaning for Hogwarts. Seems to be a very strange name to give a top class school?


T Brightwater - May 6, 2005 5:18 pm (#88 of 231)

The village is Hogsmeade and one of its pubs is The Hog's Head, so a hog must have some significance to the area. Perhaps it was the heraldic device of the wizard who founded the village, or perhaps that was his animagus form.


Little Ginny - May 7, 2005 2:29 am (#89 of 231)

Also, isn't the gate to the school guarded by giant winged boars? I definitely think it has something to do with hogs, but perhaps this is just a little pun and has nothing to do with the actual story.

The Dutch name for Hogwarts, by the way, is Zwijnstijn (sp?), which means something like swine-stone, I think. Perhaps "warts" has a similar meaning as stone in Scots or Old English? Does anyone know?

I read somewhere that "Hogwarts" is an anagram for "Ghost Wars". I wonder whether that is a coincidence?


azi - May 7, 2005 4:00 am (#90 of 231)

JKR said that Hogwarts is the name of a flower didn't she? A type of lily in Kew gardens according to Madam Scoops. I remember something about JKR thinking up the name not realising she'd seen it before at the gardens or something.


Mrs Brisbee - May 7, 2005 9:29 am (#91 of 231)
Edited May 7, 2005 10:30 am

Aren't boars a symbol of bravery? I remember Richard III's symbol was a white boar, and Rowling has fun playing with that old rhyme about Richard III and his advisors (Catesby, Ratcliffe, and Lovell I think, but don't hold me to it) for one of her chapter headings in PoA: The cat, the rat, and Lovell the dog/ Rule all England under a hog.


timrew - May 7, 2005 11:32 am (#92 of 231)

Regarding the two winged boars at the gates.......

Hogwarts = Warthogs?


Mrs Brisbee - May 7, 2005 11:44 am (#93 of 231)
Edited May 7, 2005 12:45 pm

I looked up "wart" in my dictionary, and it's root wer- means "high, raised spot." The castle occupies the high ground. I think it was described as being on a mountain in PS/SS. So perhaps the "Hog" part comes from Hogsmeade and the "wart" part is to describe the terrain.


azi - May 7, 2005 1:28 pm (#94 of 231)
Edited May 7, 2005 2:28 pm

Would it make sense for the village, pubs etc. to have grown up around Hogwarts after it was founded? It would make more sense to have a school in a remote place first (away from muggle persecution) and then have some people just stay there for safety after they graduated.

Hmm, never realised that high raised spot bit, but Hogwarts is indeed sort of on a mountain, or at least next to one.


Mrs Brisbee - May 8, 2005 5:11 am (#95 of 231)
Edited May 8, 2005 6:11 am

you are right, azi, the castle probably came first and the town grew up next to it. So if the -wart is for the castle's high spot, and the -meade is for meadow the town sprang up in (as a variation of mead, sort of like Runnymede), then we still have the Hog part unexplained.


T Brightwater - May 9, 2005 8:37 am (#96 of 231)

Mrs. Brisbee, I was thinking of that rhyme too. (Did you also get it from Josephine Tey's _The Daughter of Time_?) Interesting that at the Shrieking Shack we have the cat, the rat, and the dog, among others.

Isn't the boar also a Campbell clan symbol?


Mrs Brisbee - May 10, 2005 2:37 am (#97 of 231)
Edited May 10, 2005 3:50 am

Wow, I read that book so long ago I'd almost forgotten about it! I probably did read the rhyme there first (I love mysteries, and read all Tey's book when a teenager), the rhyme is very catchy and easy to remember, though I've come across it too in books read in more recent decades.

Good idea to about thinking what "hog" means to the Scots. Don't know anything about the clans, but according to a Scottish dictionary, a "hog" is a young sheep before it's first shearing.


GryffEndora - May 10, 2005 9:09 am (#98 of 231)

Mrs Brisbee - Good idea to about thinking what "hog" means to the Scots. Don't know anything about the clans, but according to a Scottish dictionary, a "hog" is a young sheep before it's first shearing.

So perhaps the students are the "hogs"


Nathan Zimmermann - May 12, 2005 8:34 pm (#99 of 231)
Edited May 12, 2005 9:38 pm

Something interesting about the Blacks

Andromeda is the only Black whose name is both a constellation and a galaxy. Also the Andromeda Galaxy has two sub galaxies attached to it.


GryffEndora - May 14, 2005 4:02 pm (#100 of 231)

Today on Jo's website it is the birthday of Pomona Sprout. Pomona is from Roman Mythology. From Latin pomus "fruit tree". This was the name of the Roman goddess of fruit trees. I got this info from behindthename.com.
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Professor Dumbledore - May 14, 2005 5:52 pm (#101 of 231)

Piomona Sprout, eh? Seems fitting, lol.

Anyway, I found this awesome website that turns names into sentences and phrases that are anagrams. I used it to find these anagrams:

Severus Snape: 'Up averseness.'

Albus Dumbledore (Full name wouldn't fit): 'A bulbous meddler.'

Harry James Potter: 'Joy! Trash tamperer.'

Harry Potter: 'Try hero part.'

Ronald Bilius Weasley: 'Alleluia! By rowdiness.'

Ronald Weasley: 'Yellower and as.'

Hermione Granger: 'Ignore her German.'

Dolores Jane Umbridge: 'Soured, bleeding major.'

Draco Malfoy: 'A fool, mad cry.'

Petunia Dursley: 'Supine adultery.

Some of them make sense, but some are way out there. If anyone else wants to try one, go to [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


pottermom34 - May 16, 2005 5:37 am (#102 of 231)

Edited May 16, 2005 6:38 am
I typed in Pigwidgeon and got down piggie. That's a neat site we can get a lot of interesting things from it.


pottermom34 - May 16, 2005 7:48 pm (#103 of 231)
Edited May 16, 2005 8:52 pm

ok so I double posted sue me. Anyway I did a couple more names.

Professor Umbridge = pig of boss murderer

Aunt Marge = mature nag

What can I say I'm having fun. Everyone should do this. Yes, I am a dork!


Little Ginny - May 17, 2005 4:40 am (#104 of 231)

pottermom, that means that Professor Umbridge also gives boss of pig murderer. Now, I wonder what that does mean? And was Umbridge, technically speaking, Percy's boss? And what DID Percy do with the pig? :-)


Snuffles - May 17, 2005 5:25 am (#105 of 231)

I’m having fun too pottermom34.

I did one for mundungus fletcher and got: Nude, stenchful mug!! ha ha.

Well Harry always said there was a whiff around him!


Ruthie - May 18, 2005 3:46 am (#106 of 231)

OMG I anagrammed (is that a word?? lol) Severus Snape, which as we know is 'up averseness' then anagrammed 'up averseness' which gave "save pureness" I always knew Snape couldn't be trusted :-P lol this great


pottermom34 - May 18, 2005 5:06 am (#107 of 231)

Umbridge, technically speaking, Percy's boss? And what DID Percy do with the pig? :-)

Hmmm, The plot thickens...
I did one for mundungus fletcher and got: Nude, stenchful mug!! ha ha.

ROFL that's too funny!!!


far from prefect - May 18, 2005 1:57 pm (#108 of 231)

Pomona- definitely the goddess of fruit trees, and as apples are pomes I like to think of her as "apple blossom" to go with all the other flower names. Does anyone know if Professor Sinistra's name has been mentioned anywhere? If she is female (and I think she is) I hope her name is Iris. Just flows nicely for me.

Also, I seem to recall that Odin (or was it Thor?) rides to war on a battle hog.


far from prefect - May 18, 2005 2:48 pm (#109 of 231)

Oops, sorry! It was Freyja who rode to war on a battle boar...



Phelim Mcintyre - May 18, 2005 11:45 pm (#110 of 231)
Edited by Catherine May 20, 2005 6:21 am

And the apple is the fruit of wisdom in Celtic myth.

---->Edited to remove Biblical discussion. Email me if you have a question. --Catherine A.<------


Blaise Zabini - May 22, 2005 8:16 pm (#111 of 231)

An Unknown Pureblood Teacher?

Is it just me, or did anyone else notice that many purebloods have names that are names of a star, constellation, asterism, or galaxy? Here would be all I know of:

1) Bellatrix

2) Draco

3) Rigel

4) Sirius

5) Andromeda (mother of Tonks...once was a pureblood if I am not mistaken)

6) Percy (short for Perseus)

7) Arthur

Now, if this pattern is followed, I believe there may be another pureblood, who just so happens to be teaching at Hogwarts!

I present to you: Professor Sinistra

She is the astronomy teacher and her first name has never been mentioned.

She may have a first name which is related to astronomy (ironic, no?) and can just as well be a pureblood.

If we continue with this farfetched idea, I believe that Professor Sinistra is Blaise Zabini's mom! She may have kept her surname after she got married.

The reason I have this idea is because:

Blaise is in Slytherin so is probably a pureblood.

Both of them are known about in very limited quantities.

I know that the idea is VERY farfetched, but..it might just happen!


Choices - May 22, 2005 6:10 pm (#112 of 231)
Edited May 22, 2005 7:13 pm

No matter how far-fetched it is, if you can back it up with canon, it is a valid theory. However, I think you are basing your idea on a lot of supposition that is not based in fact. We know virtually nothing about Professor Sinistra - not her first name, or marital status, or blood status - just that she is female and teaches astronomy. We can speculate about her till the cows come home, but if it can't be backed up with facts/canon, it really has no validity. Sorry.


S.E. Jones - May 22, 2005 8:16 pm (#113 of 231)

I don't think the fact that these people have 'astronomical' names points to anything. There are also many names taken from flowers: Narcissa, Pansy, etc. JKR has said that these don't really mean anything.

World Day Chat; March 2004:
queenmarion: “I noticed in the Black Family tree that everyone is named after a constellation. Is this intentional? Does this have any bearing on the plot? “
JK Rowling replies –“It's just one of those family traditions, although Narcissa breaks the trend. I had always thought of her as 'Narcissa' so I decided not to change her to match the others when I came up with their names. There's been a lot of speculation that she is in some way linked to Lily and Petunia, because of the flower theme, but I can put that rumour to rest here: she isn't related to them. “

Also, we don't know what Percy is short for, if anything, so it could be Percival, Perseus, etc. His and Arthur's names could also have been taken from English history (Arthur, William, Charles, Alfred, and George are all names of English kings) or could have been taken from Arthurian myth.


Finn BV - May 23, 2005 6:16 am (#114 of 231)

In Harry's OoP trial, they are very formal with the names of the people present. I don't have my book handy, but I remember that Percy is referred to as "Percy Ignatius Weasley," no? I'll check when I get home, but assuming that full names are used, I would guess that Percy is his full first name, not anything else.

Now, to your theory, blaise, I'm afraid that while it all makes sense it doesn’t really have any effect on the outcome of the story. I don't think that we're suddenly going to have to have a revelation and complete change of ideas/plot because Professor Sinistra is Blaise Zabini's mother! You would think that, for JKR to reveal this theory as true, she would mock these characters up so that we'd learn a little bit more about them! And why the sudden connection between Sinistra and Zabini? Why not Professor Sinistra = Andromeda Tonks, after a second marriage? As I read this back I realize that it sounds a little crude, but I am not trying to be that way. It is just that the sudden jump to these characters we know so little about seems a little like it is being pulled out of nowhere to have no effect on a plot. Sorry!


GryffEndora - Jun 12, 2005 1:24 pm (#115 of 231)
Edited Jun 12, 2005 2:26 pm

Well I've been trying to find anything out about the new name that we have from HBP namely "Maclaggen".

The Maclaggen family name originated in Ayrshire , located in Border Country of Scotland and England.

Through the centuries the MACLAGGEN family was affiliated with many different clans through marriage. The clan ROBERTSON claims the MACLAGGEN family as a sept or directly affiliated family, entitled to clan rights including the use of the clan tartan shown here.

MACLAGGEN Shield: Gold with three passion nails piercing a man's red heart.
MACLAGGEN Crest: A passion nail piercing a man's heart.
MACLAGGEN Motto: " Hoc Majorum Virtus"

Now I don't know how to translate the motto beyond (“ This ____________ manliness, excellence, character, worth, courage ) and I haven't found any meaning for the name. Let me know what you find.


Nathan Zimmermann - Jun 12, 2005 6:38 pm (#116 of 231)
Edited Jun 12, 2005 7:45 pm

The Mclaggan's are also closely tied to the Clan Logan. The motto for the Mclaggan's is the same as the Clan Logan and translates to the following: This is the valour of my ancestors.


GryffEndora - Jun 12, 2005 7:15 pm (#117 of 231)

Aaaahhhhh, thanks Nathan. Now we just have to find a meaning of the name. But the motto sounds favorable. Not that the family motto would be "We are all Dark Wizards who firmly believe in the continuation of magical knowledge in only pure-blood magic families!" I guess it depends on his ancestors definition of valor. I guess I'm babbling.


Veritaserum - Jun 13, 2005 6:39 am (#118 of 231)
“This is the valor of my ancestors.” Sounds like a princely thing to me.


Nathan Zimmermann - Jun 13, 2005 8:57 am (#119 of 231)
Edited Jun 13, 2005 10:41 am


According to the information on clans contained at [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.] the clan originated in Western Ross

Little indeed is known of the Logans as a Highland clan, but that little is tragic enough—so tragic as to have brought about the change of the name Druim-na-clavan, the height on which the stronghold of the chiefs was built, to Druim-an-deur, the "Ridge of Tears." The estate, now known as Druim-deur-fait, in Eilan-dhu, the Black Isle, in Ross-shire, was still, in the middle of last century, in possession of the representative of the family, Robert Logan, a banker in London.

The word Logan, Laggan, or Logie, in the Celtic tongue signifies a hollow place, plain, or meadow, encircled by rising grounds. As a place name it is common throughout Scotland. Logie is the name of parishes in Clackmannan and the north east of Fife, while Logic-Easter is a parish in Ross and Cromarty, Logan Water is the old name of the Glencross Burn in the Pentlands, and Port-Logan is a village in the south of Wigtonshire

In addition to the clan's motto, a few clans also have a clan slogan. In the case of Clan Logan their clan slogan is Druim-nan-Deaur which translates as the ridge of tears.

The definition of the word Logan, Laggan, or Logie as signifying a hollow place reminded me of Godric's Hollow.


Nathan Zimmermann - Jun 15, 2005 12:37 pm (#120 of 231)
Edited Jun 15, 2005 1:43 pm

As mentioned above Mclaggen's are also closely tied to the Clan Robertson, the Clan McLaggen is a sept of the Clan Robertson.

The badge and the motto of the Clan Robertson are the following: The Robertson's badge is a hand holding an imperial crown, and the Robertson's motto is Virtutis gloria merces, which, translates as "Glory is the reward of valour".


hells456 - Jun 17, 2005 2:02 pm (#121 of 231)

Sorry I posted this to the wrong thread earlier.

JKR said: "I found the name McClaggan the other day"

I think she just liked the name. She also says in The Connection 12 October 1999: "I’m big on names. I like names, generally. You have to be really careful giving me your name if it’s an unusual one because you will turn up in Book 6."

It sounds to me like she was always going to look out for a good name for this character and that the name she picks doesn't have any other special meaning. She made the announcement a couple of days after Ian McClaggan (from Little Faces) was on the radio. She could have got the name from him.


Good Evans - Aug 13, 2005 5:04 am (#122 of 231)

I looked up Merope : it is the brightest star in the constellation the seven sisters.

“Brightest” as Merope was clearly a capable witch, not sure about the seven sisters, but that makes me think about mythology. I am unclear on the pronunciation I am pronouncing mer rope eee, anyone able to put me right or tell me more about the star that was Voldemorts mum?


Phelim Mcintyre - Aug 13, 2005 5:56 am (#123 of 231)
Edited Aug 13, 2005 7:00 am

Good Evans, could the Blacks be related to Voldemort then? To have Bellatrix, Regulus, Sirius, Andromeda amongst the Blacks and Merope as Moldie Voldy's mum is interesting.

edit - I have found this on the web (http://www.winshop.com.au/annew/Merope.html).History of the star: One of the Pleiades in Taurus, or Seven Sisters. She married Sisyphus, by whom she had a son, Glaucus. Merope was the only Pleiad to marry a mortal, and the star that she represents shines less bright than those which represent her sisters.

History of the star: This is the seventh of the sisters. She alone, married a mortal man and she repents of it, Sisyphus, and hid her face in shame at being the only one not married to a god and from shame at the deed, she alone of the sisters hides herself in the sky (there is some dispute over whether it is Merope or Electra that hides herself, i.e. the star does not shine). Her husband, Sisyphus, son of Æolus, grandson of Deucalion (the Greek Noah), and great-grandson of Prometheus. Sisyphus founded the city of Ephyre (Corinth) and later revealed Zeus's rape of Ægina to her father Asopus (a river), for which Zeus condemned him to roll a huge stone up a hill in Hades, only to have it roll back down each time the task was nearly done

Merope is the least bright (Good Evans - I think you found something that said Merope was the brightest). The interesting bit is Merope married a mortal. Voldemort's mum married a muggle.


Good Evans - Aug 13, 2005 10:04 am (#124 of 231)
Edited Aug 13, 2005 12:14 pm

That is very interesting Phelim, yes the web search I did said she was the brightest star but the constellation was the same one , but heyho - these things often contradict!!

The interesting point is that she married a mortal and had a son, and Merope married a muggle and had a son. Elements of shame and running away or going in to hiding - gosh yes the parallel does seem to stack up.

All of the pureblood families are related in some way, so I would not be surprised that a Gaunt and Black connection exists but I hadn't picked up on the astronomical match. Worth thinking about

I looked up Morfin too - but didn't find anything particularly relevant there, perhaps I'll use a different search engine!

Edit: The myth certainly says Merope's star is the less bright but the astronomical sites seem a bit divided over this!!

Anyhow... Merope's son was Glaucus who became king of Corinth (although a different Glaucus seems to have been born mortal and ate a sea plant which made him immortal - much more interesting!), anyway Glaucus upset Aphrodite who engineered Galucus' death by her Horses tearing him apart.

Could LV upset a great beauty who will bring about his death???

We do seem to be branching in to the mythology thread here - so I will stop - but interesting!


T Brightwater - Aug 13, 2005 4:09 pm (#125 of 231)

Aphrodite was goddess of LOVE and beauty...

I've got it! Ginny Weasley is going to hit Voldemort with a Bat-Bogey Hex and he's going to die of embarrassment!


Good Evans - Aug 14, 2005 12:44 am (#126 of 231)

He, he, T Brightwater - now that would be an end to the saga!

I missed the goddess of Love bit, just thought about her being beautiful - of course! Love will be LV's downfall, this has of course been discussed on the site. HA HA JKR - we've got you! Trouble is who is our goddess of Love? Ginny / Phlegm / Lily????


Phelim Mcintyre - Aug 14, 2005 3:56 am (#127 of 231)

Good Evans - Aphrodite was not the only goddess of love. Though she was the major. Juno/Hera, Penelope, Ceres/Demeter all had a role to play. Hera was the goddess of marriage. Then there was Vesta. Mythology does get complicated. I would guess that the goddess of love is a combination of Lily and Ginny.

But did you know that Aphrodite was also a goddess of war to the Spartans?


Good Evans - Aug 14, 2005 6:18 am (#128 of 231)

Phelim, Agreed, Aphrodite had many faces. The link is that in the mythology, Aphrodite brought about the destruction of Meropes son, Aphrodite standing for love mixes very well with the one power that LV does not possess and does not understand. There are of course lots of threads discussing that the power that Harry has that Voldemort knows not, is indeed love. Fitted in rather well - or is it all twig grasping?


Phelim Mcintyre - Aug 14, 2005 8:10 am (#129 of 231)

Seeing Jo's knowledge of mythology I'm not sure Aphrodite is the best link with love. Her temple at Corinth is not one for a family site.


Dame Peverell - Sep 7, 2005 1:13 pm (#130 of 231)

Ollivander = An evil lord


T Brightwater - Sep 13, 2005 11:01 am (#131 of 231)

Is there any character in the series who has a star or constellation name who is not a member of the (extended) Black family? (Draco's mother is a Black, for instance.) I'm thinking Merope Gaunt's mother (or possibly grandmother) was a Black.


Sparrowhawk - Sep 13, 2005 3:48 pm (#132 of 231)

A little more food for thought on this thread...

According to Homer, Merope's mortal husband, Sisyphus, is supposed to have once put Death in chains, and also to have escaped from Hades' realm for a while, before being condemned to a dreadful punishment by the gods...


Maddest Dragon - Sep 13, 2005 7:09 pm (#133 of 231)

And Tom Riddle, Junior has made becoming immortal his purpose.


Sparrowhawk - Sep 14, 2005 4:02 am (#134 of 231)
Edited Sep 14, 2005 5:03 am

Precisely! As a historian and archaeologist/art historian, I have always found the way JKR uses mythology very amusing (I can remember how I burst out laughing, after reading that Hagrid had bought Fluffy from a Greek...)


Nathan Zimmermann - Sep 17, 2005 12:48 pm (#135 of 231)

When I read the name Proudfoot I was reminded the surnames one of the Hobbit clan's from Tolkein's Lord of the Rings trilogy that attended Bilbo Baggins birthday celebration in the opening chapter of Fellowship of the Ring was surnamed Proudfoot and their patriarch's firs name was Odo.


i luv ron 33 - Oct 8, 2005 1:26 pm (#136 of 231)

Parvati, is Indian in Harry Potter, and her name is the name of an Indian goddess... and that really interested me.


hawick girl - Nov 10, 2005 11:05 pm (#137 of 231)

Harry's wand is made of Holly. Harry has a Holly-wood wand. Should be good for Special Effects?

Also Fleur Delcour- cour is french for heart and the basis for Courage (thanks Jeopardy!) So she is the Flower of Heart/Courage or Courage/heart flower. hmmmm... Go Flower Power!! lol


Elanor - Nov 10, 2005 11:52 pm (#138 of 231)

Actually "cour" means either "court" or "yard", so Fleur Delacour means "Flower of the Court" a very noble name, isn't it?
Heart in French is said "coeur", which is prounounced very differently (the French phoneme "oeu" is pronounced nearly like the 'a' in "above" in English) when the 'ou' of 'cour' is pronounced like the English "u".

Go Flower power indeed!

Edit: but "courage" indeed comes from "cor" that means "heart" in Latin and gave the French "coeur" afterwards. I love etymology!


hawick girl - Nov 11, 2005 5:41 pm (#139 of 231)

I should have asked if I was correct in my assumptions of word origins. Thank You Elanor! Flower of the Court is a good name. Hmmm... Lord Voldie, Half Blood Prince, lots of references to Sirs, and The Flower of the Court. Kingsley Shacklebolt is a stretch, but still in the 'kingdom'.


T Brightwater - Nov 16, 2005 8:27 am (#140 of 231)

Has anyone mentioned yet that Pomona is the Roman goddess of orchards?


Tomoé - Nov 30, 2005 12:06 pm (#141 of 231)

Elanor -> Actually "cour" means either "court" or "yard"

Indeed, when I first read the name I thought "Backyard flower, what a crappy name". Later on, I read in an interview it was actually "Flower of the Court", then I thought "what? There is no silent t or s to the king's court?" a quick check in a dictionary revealed there was no “t” (I'm rubbish with silent letter ^_~) .



Eponine - Nov 30, 2005 8:24 pm (#142 of 231)

I learned something today while looking at a word a day calendar.

Shunpike - A side road taken to avoid the tolls or traffic of a turnpike.


Veritaserum - Feb 5, 2006 1:03 pm (#143 of 231)

Merope is also Oedipus's adopted mother, I believe. That play is also one where people go to great lengths to avoid prophesies that end up coming true anyway. Interesting...


Choices - Feb 5, 2006 4:20 pm (#144 of 231)

Eponine - Check out the word "Widdershins" (Willie Widdershins) in the dictionary. I never knew it was a word until recently I came across it in the Outlander book series.


timrew - Feb 6, 2006 3:49 pm (#145 of 231)

Choices, 'Widdershins' means 'anti-clockwise'. It's an old English word - I don't know how old!


Choices - Feb 6, 2006 6:41 pm (#146 of 231)

Yes, that's what my dictionary said. In the book I was reading, it was used to describe a dog going round and round in a circle before lying down. He was going widdershins.


MichaelmasGal - Feb 9, 2006 10:22 pm (#147 of 231)

I've been amused by how the names of especially book authors fit the subject they are writing about, but also annoyed because that makes it seem like if you have a name that means something you are bound to be exactly like that name.


journeymom - Apr 11, 2006 8:35 pm (#148 of 231)

Another variation on the the name Merope, from Wikipedia:

Merope, one of the Pleiades, she married a mortal, Sisyphus, and was thus the faintest star in the star cluster that bears their name. With Sisyphus, she had one son: Glaucus.

I think this fits with our Merope, who shined so faintly as to barely be noticed. She married a muggle (like a mortal) and had one child, a son. Though I don't find any similarities between Glaucus and Tom Riddle. Maybe Riddle gets torn apart by thestrals.


Die Zimtzicke - Apr 25, 2006 5:27 pm (#149 of 231)

Did I miss it or did anyone here notice that we have a dig at fan girls in HbP?

Romilda Vane is an anagram of "I'm a Dan lover."


Phelim Mcintyre - Apr 26, 2006 4:57 am (#150 of 231)

journeymom, or Riddle tears his soul apart and creates Horcruxes.

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Miss Black - May 15, 2006 3:50 pm (#151 of 231)

Ron's middle name is Bilius, which means "ill." I thought it was funny as he's named after his uncle who died 24 hours after spotting the Grim.

Sirius is the dog star, and dog of Orion. On our handy-dandy Black Family Tree Orion is Sirius's father. Bellatrix means female warrior in Latin. Narcissa is my favorite name as Narcissus was some Roman person who fell in love with his reflection. I'm not sure if any of these have already been mentioned.


Rosebud O'R - May 27, 2006 9:48 pm (#152 of 231)

I believe that JKR gave us a direct clue as to Professor Sinistra’s gender the moment she was introduced. Her name has direct links to the feminine. Those who have read ‘The Da Vinci Code’ by Dan Brown will follow my line of thinking.

Sinistra means ‘the left direction’ in Italian and Ido. They are derived from the Latin word ‘sinister’, meaning ‘left hand’. According to Brown, the masculine and feminine were assigned a direction each: right for the masculine, and left for the feminine. He goes on to explain how words meaning left (such as sinister) have come to have much more, well, sinister meanings (excuse me, I can’t help myself!) in English, because of the Church’s smear campaign against the feminine. The point I am trying to make, however, is that ‘sinistra’ has a connection with the feminine and therefore JKR’s character would surely be female. I am aware that she has already confirmed this but I would like to point it out anyway.

Note: All my info came from Wikipedia


Phelim Mcintyre - May 30, 2006 3:12 am (#153 of 231)

Rosebud, I wouldn't use Dan Brown as a source of information. And as JKR also says that Sinistra is the witch who teaches astronomy then we don't have to rely on a writer who takes a basic idea and plays with smokes and mirrors to produce a "fact" based novel.


virginiaelizabeth - May 30, 2006 2:32 pm (#154 of 231)

Rosebud, I wouldn't use Dan Brown as a source of information. And as JKR also says that Sinistra is the witch who teaches astronomy then we don't have to rely on a writer who takes a basic idea and plays with smokes and mirrors to produce a "fact" based novel.

Actually Phelim, I have read the DaVinci Code, and it is a fictional story that is based on hard facts, so I would think that the information Brown uses it very much a reliable source, but as Rosebud said, those who have read the story will be familiar with it. Her actual information came from Wikipedia, not the novel itself.

Very interesting info though Rosebud!!One of my favorite books!


Steve Newton - May 30, 2006 2:43 pm (#155 of 231)

Having read some historical stuff on which The DaVinci Code is based, the only hard fact in the book is that the Louvre exists.


timrew - May 30, 2006 3:12 pm (#156 of 231)

I quite agree, Steve. In fact, I began to doubt the existence of The Louvre when it appeared in The Da Vinci Code......... What's In A Name? 2222139670

I believe 60% of readers believe The Da Vinci Code is true. I think to myself, "Is this the only book they've read?"


journeymom - May 30, 2006 3:18 pm (#157 of 231)
Edited May 30, 2006 4:19 pm

How about them Red Sox?

Getting back on topic, do you suppose there's any significance to Harry's last name, 'Potter'? Who is a potter but somebody who manipulates clay into useful shapes? And clay is a derivative of mud.

Am I looking for an analogy that isn't there? I suppose we'd have seen more of that analogy by now if it really existed.


Miss Black - May 30, 2006 4:16 pm (#158 of 231)

Might I also add that Septimious Severus was a nasty Roman emperor? And on our Black Family Tree a Septimious Weasley marries Cedrella Black...


virginiaelizabeth - May 30, 2006 4:28 pm (#159 of 231)
Edited May 30, 2006 5:29 pm

Having read some historical stuff on which The DaVinci Code is based the only hard fact in the book is that the Louvre exists. Steve

I believe 60% of readers believe The Da Vinci Code is true. I think to myself, "Is this the only book they've read?" -Tim

What I meant is that Dan Brown did his research and the information on ancient theories and beliefs such as what Rosebud was talking about( the roots of sinistra and possible meanings) are fact. It is a fictional book and I know that, and that doesn't mean that I believe some of the other ideas in it, but there are facts in the story that are not fiction, or religious beliefs and that was the information I was referring to as being fact. My guess is that neither of you have actually read it and I personally think it's a bit narrow-minded to assume that people who have read it, believe every word of it and for you to make assumption like the both of you have. JKR makes references to actual people (Nicholas Flamel really worked on alchemy in his lifetime) in HP even though the rest of the story is not real. Just because it's a fiction book doesn't mean there are no facts in it.

Now back to names...

Potter.... hmm I'm going to have to think on that one, journeymom, maybe do a little research on it! I don't think you’re looking for an analogy that isn't there, it's quite possible.


Steve Newton - May 30, 2006 4:50 pm (#160 of 231)
Edited May 30, 2006 5:50 pm

I have read the book. I can't understand why it is a best seller. I really am a librarian. I know how to evaluate sources of information.


Choices - May 30, 2006 4:54 pm (#161 of 231)

It probably is a matter of personal taste. I read Da Vinci Code and thought it was very interesting - an enjoyable read. You may be shocked, but I know some people who do not like Harry Potter. What can I say??? There really is something wrong with those people!! LOL


timrew - May 30, 2006 4:55 pm (#162 of 231)
Edited May 30, 2006 5:58 pm

Hmmmm, the Grail Legend itself. This was written (as a story) in the 12th Century (1200 years after The Bible). The 'Grail' isn't mentioned in the Bible at all.

Mary Magdalen is mentioned in the Bible, but nowhere does it say she was a 'lady of the night', so to speak.

'Jesus' is mentioned in the Bible, but nowhere does it describe the 'nuptials' of Him and Mary Magdalen.

The documents for the 'Secret Society' (The Priory of Sion) mentioned in The Da Vinci Code, headed by Leonardo Da Vinci, amongst others, were planted in a library in the 1950s. They were a forgery, and the person responsible has confessed.

The Da Vinci Code is, basically, a load of old banana skins, albeit a good yarn. Nothing more, nothing less..............

p.s. Harry Potter is not true, either........


virginiaelizabeth - May 30, 2006 5:08 pm (#163 of 231)

Wow I really cannot possibly argue anymore about what is fact and what isn't in The DaVinci Code, it seems I have once again been misunderstood. I was not trying to start a fight over the morals and ideas in this book, only trying to show that certain aspect, like the thing Rosebud mentioned, and not necessarily the beliefs the story talks about, are facts and it's unfair to say that they aren't just because they came from a book with controversial ideas.

It is just a matter of opinion, but this thread is not for the DaVinci Code, but for Harry Potter and thoughts on the names, so I don't really think this topic needs to be discussed any further.

And now for the hopefully last time.....Back to Harry!


timrew - May 30, 2006 5:16 pm (#164 of 231)

Thank you, virginiaelizabeth, back to Harry..........


Choices - May 31, 2006 7:55 am (#165 of 231)

Timrew - "p.s. Harry Potter is not true, either........"

*gasp** You mean his name isn't really Harry Potter????


haymoni - May 31, 2006 6:16 pm (#166 of 231)

I thought Jo said she took the name "Potter" from a family that she grew up with.

No Harry Potter!

Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.


Laura W - Jun 1, 2006 1:31 am (#167 of 231)

p.s. Harry Potter is not true, either........

Timrew, I hope you ironed your keyboard - as penance for it having allowed you to type that - with a really hot iron, after posting this.

Laura (who will forgive you *this time*)


timrew - Jun 1, 2006 3:25 pm (#168 of 231)

Thanks, Laura.........


TheSaint - Jun 3, 2006 4:24 pm (#169 of 231)

I did find an interesting entry for Potter once. It was a religious sect that used clay to prove the trinity (not saying I believe either way). They used clay pots and such..placed them over fire to demonstrate the presence of water. As clay heats, water is released..earth, fire, water. Actually earth, air, fire, water..as the fire will not burn without the air, but that is a whole other tale. I will look for the link and add it.


Die Zimtzicke - Jun 3, 2006 7:00 pm (#170 of 231)

If we're talking about how the church views women, I'm with Dan Brown. They have been shunted aside throughout its history in my opinion. But I'm not going to get into what else is real or not real in the DaVinci Code. It's fiction, as is Harry Potter. If you believe either book can shake someone's faith, that says more to me personally about the person's faith than it does about the books.

As for names, I do NOT think Jo has given all of these names as much thought as we give her credit for. Some yes, maybe, but not all. I haven't thought that since the Mark Evans debacle. She never thought we'd start speculating on that name? Give me a break. That was a choice made in a thoughtless way. And I'm sure there are other names she just picked because she liked them, or the way they sounded, or they just popped into her head. Not everything in these books can possibly be fraught with meaning, or be an anagram, or relate to a myth, or whatever.

Sometimes a cigar has to be just a cigar, so to speak.


TheSaint - Jun 4, 2006 2:03 am (#171 of 231)
Edited Jun 4, 2006 3:04 am

'If you believe either book can shake someone's faith, that says more to me personally about the person's faith than it does about the books. ' Die

Channel surfing, I saw some religious program that had invited three specialists on to counter 'The Da Vinci Code' for people. I found that hysterical, I mean three experts, why would you need three guys to explain the word 'fiction'.

I do agree that not all names have some deep dark meaning, it is fun none-the-less, to look them up.


Choices - Jun 4, 2006 8:27 am (#172 of 231)

Darn, now you tell me that all names in HP don't have meaning....just when I was developing a great theory that the Evans were really evan-gelical wizards. LOL (Sorry, I know we aren't supposed to interject religion.)


Die Zimtzicke - Jun 4, 2006 2:32 pm (#173 of 231)

Talking about names, I was watching an old episode of "The Worst Witch" today (the series that many feel was the forerunner to HP) and for the first time I noticed that the founder of Miss Cackles's Academy was named Hermione! I thought that was cool, since there are so many parallels between the old Jill Murphy books and the TV shows of them, and the newer Rowling books and the films of them.


timrew - Jun 4, 2006 3:56 pm (#174 of 231)

I know......spotting a female, new, achniologist (skin expert) is going to create a bit of a stink. Personally, I don't give a hot banana skin.......


Die Zimtzicke - Jun 5, 2006 9:34 am (#175 of 231)

I have no idea what timrew meant by that. Does anyone else? Maybe I'm just being particularly senile today.



Choices - Jun 5, 2006 9:40 am (#176 of 231)
Edited Jun 5, 2006 10:40 am

I thought maybe it was a British thing and that's why I didn't understand it either. ???? Want to clue us in, Timrew, or is it best left unsaid??? LOL


Snuffles - Jun 5, 2006 1:51 pm (#177 of 231)

Heh, well I'm British, Choices, and I didn't get it either!!!


timrew - Jun 5, 2006 3:23 pm (#178 of 231)
Nope............I didn't get it either.


Laura W - Jun 6, 2006 3:43 am (#179 of 231)
Edited Jun 6, 2006 4:46 am

Timrew wrote: "I know......spotting a female, new, achniologist (skin expert) is going to create a bit of a stink. Personally, I don't give a hot banana skin......."

Ok, we know it isn't American because two Americans didn't get it and we know it isn't British because at least one Brit didn't understand it. Must have written this in Mermish, Tim, as your picture *does* show you on a lake (or some body of water).

Now that we've got that cleared up (takes bow), back to "What's in a name?".


Pinky Prime - Jun 11, 2006 3:44 pm (#180 of 231)
Edited Jun 11, 2006 4:47 pm

If Professor Quirrel's first name was Stan he would have been

Squirrel = S + Quirrel - L

Acted like one in the movie. With his hands raised like claws while faking his speech impediment.


Mediwitch - Jun 11, 2006 5:59 pm (#181 of 231)

Nice one, Pinky Prime!


sailto mist - Jun 16, 2006 12:33 pm (#182 of 231)

Post #106 ...Severus Snape, which as we know is 'up averseness' then anagrammed 'up averseness' which gave "save pureness" I always knew Snape couldn't be trusted....

I really like the 'save pureness'. When I read the HBP, I felt that Snape was trying to protect Draco (maybe) and Harry's innocence. Dumbedore said that an untarnished soul has more power than a mutilated one. That could also explain why snape yells to Harry "No Unforgivable Curses from you, Potter!" Great Job!


Choices - Jun 27, 2006 10:49 am (#183 of 231)

Was reading about the apparition lessons last night in HBP and thought the name Twycross was interesting.....twy (or twi actually) means double - double cross. Hmmmmm????


haymoni - Jun 27, 2006 10:56 am (#184 of 231)

Twycross sounds like Tweety trying to say "Try cross".

That makes me think of him trying to get them to cross over into the hoop.


TheSaint - Jul 4, 2006 4:09 pm (#185 of 231)

I went looking at Peverell, as Hollywand has mentioned it several times and I have only given it a cursory inspection. I found this and I enjoyed it so much I had to share.

[You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Choices - Jul 4, 2006 4:13 pm (#186 of 231)

That's a lovely picture in there, too.


Phelim Mcintyre - Jul 5, 2006 1:01 am (#187 of 231)

TheSaint - the estate I live in is called Peverel Court. A British writer, Flora Thompson, wrote about the village I live in and gave it the fictional name of Peverel.


TheSaint - Jul 5, 2006 3:20 am (#188 of 231)

Interesting Phelim. This book, no idea if it is fiction or not, is on every section of England. If you hit the link at the bottom middle it will take you to the home page with all the listings.


Vulture - Jul 10, 2006 8:14 pm (#189 of 231)
Edited Jul 10, 2006 9:17 pm

I noticed someone mentioning that "Malfoy" can be taken as mal-fois , French for "bad time". True, "fois" does mean "time", but "foi" means "faith", so you end up with mal foi , i.e. "bad faith". I think JKR was probably aware of this one _ the French name has this would-be aristocratic connotation. As for "bad faith", remember that the first thing Ron tells us about Malfoy is that his family were among the first to "come back to our side" after Voldemort fell. In short, the Malfoys have shown bad faith towards both the wizard world and Voldemort.


This probably turns up on some thread about HP and other literature, but I couldn't find it, so:

Fudge obligingly tells us in Book 5 that Harry's full name is HARRY JAMES POTTER. As HARRY is simply a popularisation of HENRY, Harry's first names are HENRY JAMES.

Henry James was an American author who, among other things, wrote a ghost story called "Turn Of The Screw" involving a pale boy with black hair. I was reminded of this when reading both the descriptions of Harry and young Voldemort's visit to grandpa, grandma, and dad in "The Riddle House" in Book 4.


Choices - Jul 11, 2006 9:27 am (#190 of 231)
Edited Jul 11, 2006 10:30 am

Vulture - "Fudge obligingly tells us in Book 5 that Harry's full name is HARRY JAMES POTTER. As HARRY is simply a popularisation of HENRY, Harry's first names are HENRY JAMES."

There is absolutely no canon evidence that what you allege is true. We are told that Harry's name is Harry James Potter and I believe that is what it is - Harry, not Henry. Not once in 6 books has it even been hinted that his name is Henry. Harry James was a famous band leader.


haymoni - Jul 11, 2006 10:17 am (#191 of 231)

I'm guessing Pet & Vernon might have found "Henry" a more acceptable name than "Harry," which Pet actually calls a “common, nasty name.”


Dr Filibuster - Jul 11, 2006 1:01 pm (#192 of 231)

JKR actually said in a very early interview (sorry, don't know which one) that Harry was not short for Henry.


Vulture - Jul 11, 2006 1:33 pm (#193 of 231)
Edited Jul 11, 2006 2:36 pm

JKR actually said in a very early interview (sorry, don't know which one) that Harry was not short for Henry. Dr Filibuster - Jul 11, 2006 2:01 pm (#192) Sue, from Northwich, England.

Well, this puts me in the terrible position of having to directly contradict JKR herself _ because it just is , regardless of what she or any of us says.

Don't take my word for it _ check out all the authorities, whether authors or language experts, back to William Shakespeare, who has several King Henrys getting referred to as Harry all over the place.

Most English names (as with most West European), as far as I'm aware, come originally from what were claimed to be Christian saints, whether Anglo-Saxon or Norman. Henry came from Norman French "Henri". Harry was a popular derivation of the name Henry. That's just how it is. But as I say, don't take my word for it _ it can all be checked.

Of course, nowadays, someone can resolutely call their son whatever they like, so they could say he's Harry and refuse any association with the name Henry. But historically, that's where it comes from.

For example, someone could resolutely call their daughter Bet, Beth, Liz, Lisa, Lizzie or Eliza and say it means nothing else. But that doesn't alter the fact that all those names, historically, came about from the name Elizabeth.

(I don't know about the band leader. But you can trust me on Henry James being a famous writer _ I had to study the bloke.)


timrew - Jul 11, 2006 1:44 pm (#194 of 231)

I had a relative (dead now), whose name was Harry - not Henry, Harold or anything else. He was christened just plain old 'Harry'.

Maybe Harry Potter was christened that. Just 'Harry' - nothing else.


Catherine - Jul 11, 2006 2:18 pm (#195 of 231)
Edited Jul 11, 2006 3:19 pm

Well, this puts me in the terrible position of having to directly contradict JKR herself _ because it just is , regardless of what she or any of us says. --Vulture

Well, as to her intentions, I suppose she can't be contradicted. She intended what she intended. Harry's legal, wizarding first name is just Harry.

And there is a trend whereby some folks give their children names which are technically "nicknames." While this is not a trend I favor, I think it would be rude to tell them that they are "wrong."


geauxtigers - Jul 11, 2006 2:58 pm (#196 of 231)

I agree Catherine and everyone, If JKR wanted Harry's name to be 'Henry' she would have made it that. His name is Harry James Potter. JKR also said that she liked the name Harry, if I'm remembering correctly.


Amilia Smith - Jul 11, 2006 4:10 pm (#197 of 231)

I'm thinking this is a case where everyone is right. Harry's name really is just plain old Harry. But it does bring Henry to mind, whether intentionally or no.

Cool catch on Henry James, BTW.



journeymom - Jul 11, 2006 7:36 pm (#198 of 231)

My aunt's legal name is Gwen. Not Gwendolyn or Guinevere (or Ginevra!). It goes well with her middle name, Helen. My son's friend is Jack, not John.


TheSaint - Jul 11, 2006 7:41 pm (#199 of 231)

I think the point was one was derived from the other...


Phelim Mcintyre - Jul 12, 2006 4:31 am (#200 of 231)

Quite right TheSaint. Harry does seem to be derived from Henry and some poems speak of Henry VIII as Harry, so Vulture is right. But many people use Harry as a name in its own right with no connection to Henry. This is what JKR did. So any link to Henry James is not supported by JKR's use of the name Harry, especially as his father's name is James.

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Choices - Jul 12, 2006 9:05 am (#201 of 231)
Edited Jul 12, 2006 10:06 am

I don't think any of us are arguing that the name Harry is derived from the name Henry. What we are arguing is Vulture's contention that Harry's real name is Henry. It is not - his real name is Harry James Potter.


TheSaint - Jul 12, 2006 2:33 pm (#202 of 231)
Edited Jul 12, 2006 3:34 pm

He meant that literally? I thought he was just supporting it as we do all mythological and other references. That Harry is derived from Henry thus the relationship to the writer. I did not think he meant it literally, but as a clue.


Dr Filibuster - Jul 12, 2006 2:47 pm (#203 of 231)

Sorry Vulture.

I know the name Harry is derived from Henry. I also thought you may like to know that JKR specifically said Harry Potter was Harry, not Henry.

Dr F: a.k.a Susan/Sue


Die Zimtzicke - Jul 14, 2006 6:24 am (#204 of 231)

Harry James was a big band leader in the 40's. I believe, if I remember correctly, the film makers played with this by having Lupin play Harry James music during his lesson in PoA.

Maybe Jo's parents liked him or something? I don't know.


Vulture - Jul 15, 2006 8:22 am (#205 of 231)

Well, I bow to all your judgments _ at least as far as JKR's intentions for Harry's name are concerned. It's a pity, because I really thought I was on to something with that kid in the Henry James story resembling young Tom Riddle in appearance.

It occurs to me that I may have assumed Harry's name to be Henry because of imagery reminding me of Shakespeare's depiction of Henry V. Gryffindor's heraldic colour being red, with the rampant lion and all, the Gryffindor sword, Harry doing brave deeds year after year ... well, it does tend to conjure up a "Prince Harry" image. Maybe it's just me.


Choices - Jul 15, 2006 8:59 am (#206 of 231)

You know, I was thinking about the Henry thing and I have had two friends named Henry and their nickname was Hank, not Harry. Also I think Henry Fonda was called Hank. The baseball great Henry "Hank" Aaron is from here in south Alabama where I live. Maybe Harry is more commonly used in Britain and Hank in the USA??


Catherine - Jul 15, 2006 9:01 am (#207 of 231)
Edited Jul 15, 2006 10:01 am

I've wondered if there will be a play on the name "Harry" itself. Harry has certainly been "harried" through the novels.

From Miriam Webster Online:

Etymology: Middle English harien, from Old English hergian; akin to Old High German heriOn, to lay waste, heri, army, Greek koiranos, ruler

1 : to make a pillaging or destructive raid on : ASSAULT
2 : to force to move along by harassing “harrying the terrified horses down out of the mountains -- R. A. Sokolov”
3 : to torment by or as if by constant attack

This is one reason why I believe JKR when she says that the name "Henry" was not was she was considering.


Choices - Jul 15, 2006 9:07 am (#208 of 231)

There is also a hunting dog called a Harrier (sort of looks like a big beagle) - I just saw one at a dog show on Animal Planet - I also saw a dog like Fang - boy do they have excess skin. LOL


Good Evans - Jul 16, 2006 7:18 am (#209 of 231)

I agree with much of what has been said before, Henry's (as in Prince Henry of Wales) are often called "Harry" as a nickname. Harry remains a perfectly valid name in its own right much the same as Jack and John as has been mentioned earlier.

I meet more "Jack's" now than "John's", and "Harry" is very popular. I have not met a "Henry" in years (and this is several years of cub scout leading. so I think our Harry (Potter) is indeed a Harry by intention, not nickname or default.


TheSaint - Jul 16, 2006 8:11 am (#210 of 231)

Hurry...somebody change the subject already!


Choices - Jul 16, 2006 8:58 am (#211 of 231)

Check out the name of this thread - it's sort of hard to change the subject from names. LOL


TheSaint - Jul 16, 2006 11:31 am (#212 of 231)

Well...we could have another name.


Choices - Jul 16, 2006 5:01 pm (#213 of 231)

Any suggestions? About a name, that is?


Die Zimtzicke - Jul 16, 2006 5:25 pm (#214 of 231)

I brought this up in the Trelawney folder.

Maybe it will do to change the subject. In Ancient Greece and Rome seers were called sibyls, and they got high to give prophecies. They sometimes used narcotic incense, or wine. The shrine at Delphi was situated over a crevice that emitted methane gas and made the seers stoned, and the shrine at Dodona was over a spring that seeped carbon dioxide. (Remember the Simpsons episode where Flanders has a statue of his wife that was positioned over a gas leak and he thought he was getting messages from the great beyond?) Was anyone really surprised out Sibyll is a seer who drinks?


haymoni - Jul 17, 2006 4:09 am (#215 of 231)

I was more interested in the "P" for her middle name.

Didn't it turn out to be "Patricia"?

We were hoping for something more - Persephone or something like that.


shepherdess - Jul 17, 2006 6:03 am (#216 of 231)

What exactly are "Harpies"?


Choices - Jul 17, 2006 9:14 am (#217 of 231)
Edited Jul 17, 2006 10:18 am

Harpy - From Greek mythology - a foul, malign creature that is half woman, half bird. It can also mean a predatory person or a shrewish woman.

Harpy eagle - a large powerful crested eagle.


SilverMoonLady - Jul 17, 2006 2:23 pm (#218 of 231)

I always rather liked the fact that her grandmother (I think) was Cassandra Trelawney, as in Cassandra the Trojan prophetess who was always right and cursed never to be believed! That fits rather nicely with our dear old Sybil, wouldn't you say? Smile


Choices - Jul 17, 2006 4:58 pm (#219 of 231)

Fits perfectly, SML - thanks for that information.


Die Zimtzicke - Jul 18, 2006 7:18 pm (#220 of 231)
Edited Jul 18, 2006 8:19 pm

Sybil is probably named after the seers of ancient Greece and Rome. They were called sibyls. They traditionally got high to give prophecies. Some used narcotic incense, and some used wine. The famous shrine of the soothsayers at Delphi was built over a crevice that leaked methane gas, and the shrine at Dodona over a spring that gave off carbon dioxide. The seers would breathe it in and babble and that was interpreted as prophecy. We are discussing this on the Trelawney thread. Stop in if you get a chance!


shepherdess - Jul 18, 2006 7:29 pm (#221 of 231)
Edited Jul 18, 2006 8:30 pm

So, since holy is a type of wood, Holyhead Harpies would be what?...woodenheaded...predators? Oh, yeah, I wanna be on their team. lol


Phelim Mcintyre - Jul 19, 2006 5:37 am (#222 of 231)
Edited Jul 19, 2006 6:44 am
Shepherdess – it’s holy, not holly. Holyhead is a town on the island of Anglesey in Wales. The island was sacred to and the last stronghold of druidism during the Celtic/Roman times. I have done a Google search and found nothing to do with the holy as holly, so there could be religious inferences as Holyhead is on the major peninusla on Anglesea nearest the mainland.

Edit; just been to an Anglesey website. Due to its sacred nature this site also calls Anglesey Holy Island. So Holyhead is holy head not holly head. The page link is [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]


Die Zimtzicke - Jul 19, 2006 10:45 am (#223 of 231)

The Holyhead Harpies got the name Harpies because only women were allowed to play on that team, didn't they? I don't have a copy of "Quidditch through The Ages" with me. It was in there, if I remember right.


Finn BV - Jul 27, 2006 8:14 pm (#224 of 231)

I always think of JKR as slacking off when I think of Cassandra Trelawney, great-great-grandmother, and Cassandra Vablatsky, author of Unfogging the Future. I mean, come on, couldn't you come up with another mythical seer's name??


Choices - Jul 28, 2006 8:58 am (#225 of 231)

Actually, I think it is a rather nice tie between the two. The writer of Unfogging the Future is to remind us of the seer ancestor of Trelawney.


Flo - Aug 2, 2006 12:02 am (#226 of 231)
Hello all,

Do you think the name "Grimmauld place" could derive from "grimy"? (reference to the somber, dark atmosphere of the house)


Good Evans - Aug 2, 2006 3:28 am (#227 of 231)
Hello Flo

I've always taken it as a "Grim old place" - Grim being your Grimy definition. It certainly was Grimy until the cleaning squad finished in that sense of the word too.


Flo - Aug 2, 2006 3:32 am (#228 of 231)

Good idea Good Evans, thanks. With that French habit of quite often not pronouncing the last letters of a word, I had not caught on the "old"


Madam Pince - Aug 2, 2006 7:15 am (#229 of 231)
Edited Aug 2, 2006 8:16 am

I remember reading something when the book first came out (I think it was maybe by Lexicon Steve, even?) that everyone was madly trying to discern hidden clues/meanings in all the names, and they were trying to figure out Latin roots or whatever for "Grimmauld" and then his (or someone's) kid said "Hey Dad, I thought it was just "Grim Old Place" and then he felt really silly for not having noticed that and for being all obsessive instead. ***can't imagine anything like that really happening*** ***cough-cough-Mark-Evans-cough-cough***


Rosebud O'R - Aug 16, 2006 12:58 am (#230 of 231)
Edited Aug 16, 2006 1:59 am

I'm sorry to cause any confusion as to my intentions. First of all, I liked the DaVinci Code as a *book*, not as an historical account. I believe it was meant to be read as such. Secondly, I used a small thing Dan Brown said and did my own research to back it up. I told you what Sinistra's name made me think of, which is what this discussion is about, is it not?

As for the name 'Potter', I think JK Rowling just used it because it was common and (I think) she knew someone named Potter. At the time she was making up the base characters, I don't think she was getting into the analogies and hidden meanings. Although the 'mud' thing is interesting...

Edit: Whoops! I didn’t realise there was more to the discussion after Dan Brown argument. I'm sorry to drag the discussion back to this point. Smile


Denise P. - Aug 16, 2006 5:16 am (#231 of 231)

Madam Pince, you remember correctly. It was Lexicon Steve and a little Lexicon child who pointed out Grimmauld Place to his dad

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