Have you ever wondered what the names in the world of Harry Potter mean? Now you don’t have to any more! From the simple name of HARRY to the random name of Aragog, we got it covered! You may notice that some people are missing, and that’s ok. Feel free to add whoever you wish to the comments!
The name Harry is of Anglo-Saxon origin and means “power.” There was also a magician named Harry Houdini in the 1900s.
Potter – “Potter’s Field” is often the name given to a cemetery where a city or town buries those who have gone unclaimed or unwanted (a community’s orphans). “Potter’s Field” is also considered a cursed land because Judas hung himself in one.
Hermione – Means “well-born,” “earthy,” or “stone.” Refers to peony-type flowers. The feminine version of Hermes. In Greek mythology, was often known as the patron saint of high magic (no surprise our Hermione is so gifted).
Ron – He is the advisor to the King. Comparisons can be made here between Ron being an advisor to Harry on all of his choices and adventures. Both Ron and Hermione listen to Harry’s plan and then either agree with or tell them why they think his idea is not a good one.
Weasley – From J.K. Rowling’s site weasels were known to have a bad reputation, especially in Ireland, as an unfortunate animal. And well, the Weasleys are unfortunate because they’re poor.
Ginny – “Ginevra,” an Italian female and woman of the people, her name means “Juniper” as in evergreen tree.
Neville – Old French for “from the new farmland.”
Longbottom – The name itself is considered quite humorous, but “bottom” is an old word for “staying power.” This seems to accurately fit Neville’s personality and overall devotion to Harry.
Cho Chang – Cho is Japanese for “butterfly” and in Chinese means “autumn.” Chang is Chinese for “free” or “unhindered.” In Chinese, “chou chang” means “melancholy.”
Luna – The Roman goddess of the moon. “Luna” means “moon” in Latin, Romanian and Italian. In Romanian, it also translates to “month.” The word “lunatic” is also derived from the word “lunar,” as it was believed in old times that strange or odd behavior was caused by the moon. “Luna” is a term for “silver” in alchemy.
Colin – Means “youth, child, or victor.” Also means “young dog,” which fits his devotion to Harry.
Creevey – A common surname. From Irish origin, meaning ‘prolific’ – possibly a reference to the creevey brothers’ persistence or from “Creeve” =”to burst,” suggesting the Creevey brothers’ excitability.
James – Means “supplanter.” To “supplant” is” to to take the place of, or substitute, especially through intrigue or underhanded tactics.” James was also an apostle of Jesus.
Prongs – A slender pointed or projecting part; a point of an antler. Clearly referring to the stag that represents Harry Potter’s Patronus and James Potter’s Animagus form.
Sirius – Named after the star, Sirius, also known as the Dog Star or Great Dog (Canis Major). It is the brightest star in the sky, often called “scorching,” which quite suits his personality. According to The Magical Worlds of Harry Potter: A Treasury of Myths, Legends, and Fascinating Facts by David Colbert, in Egyptian mythology, the star Sirius is where it was believed the souls of humans traveled after death.
Padfoot – Yorkshire name for a large phantom black dog. It was as big as a calf and haunted lonely roads.
Remus – Twin brother of Romulus (founder of Rome). The King sent the two twin babies out to a river and tried to drown them, but a female wolf, instead of killing them, nursed them after finding the two boys. He was killed by Romulus.
Lupin – “Lupus” is the Latin derivative for “wolf.” Canis Lupus is the scientific name for wolf. To be described as “lupine” means to “resemble a wolf.”
Lily – A flower symbolizing purity and innocence. It is the flower commonly used during the Easter holiday and symbolizes immortality. The bulb decays in the ground, and from it new life is released. It is Lily who gives her life so Harry can keep on living.
Albus – In Latin, it means “white” (maybe for white beard). Wisdom. Albinus was Governor of Britain at the death of the Emperor Pertinax.
Dumbledore – Means “Bumblebee” in Old English. J.K. Rowling has said that she chose this name because she imagined Dumbledore walking around the castle, humming to himself.
(Professor) McGonagall – The name is Scottish (also written as McGonigle or McGonegal) and is from the Celtic name “Conegal,” which means “the bravest.” The “Mc” in McGonagall means “son of.” The bravery fits well with her first name, Minerva, the goddess of wisdom and war.
Minerva – The Roman counterpart to the Greek goddess named Athena. Both women in their respective mythologies represent war, handicraft and practical reason or wisdom.
Hagrid – J.K. Rowling said: “Hagrid is also another old English word meaning if you were Hagrid, it’s a dialect word meaning you’d had a bad night. Hagrid’s a big drinker. He has a lot of bad nights.” Grid was a Norse giantess known for having a terrible temper. “Ha” is a variant of the Old West Norse name element “half.” So, “Ha-Grid” may just mean “Half-Grid” or more notably “Half-Giant.” ” Haggard” can also mean “appearing worn and exhausted, gaunt; wild or distraught in appearance; a disheveled individual.” From the Mayor of Casterbridge by Thomas Hardy, the Old English term “hag-rid” means “indigestion” (not surprising considering all the weird things Hagrid eats).
Pomfrey, Madam – At the end of Prisoner of Azkaban, Dumbledore refers to Madam Pomfrey as “Poppy.” A poppy plant can be used to make opium and other drugs. It makes sense that the healer at Hogwarts would have a name related to a drug so often used for medicinal purposes.
Gilderoy – A highwayman known for being handsome. May also come from the word “gilded,” which is defined as having a “pleasing, showy appearance, which covers something of little worth.
Lockhart – As coincidental as the following information may be, J.K. Rowling stated in a radio interview with BBC 4 that she found the name Lockhart on a war memorial. Lockhart is a world renowned cognitive psychologist whose particular interest is in the study of memory and levels of processing. He did a lot of research in this area in the late 1970s.
Severus – Sever means “to cut off.” Snape appears to have “cut off” his ties with the Dark Lord through the first five books, and then with Dumbledore and the Order in Half-Blood Prince. “Severe” means “cruel, strict” – two characteristics that accurately describe the Potions Professor. Sounds very similiar to the Latin word “servus,” meaning “servant.” Is he still a servant of Voldemort’s? In ancient history, Lucius Septimius Severus restored stability to the Roman Empire after the tumultuous reign of Emperor Commodus (See Albus) and the civil wars that erupted in the wake of Commodus’ murder.
Snape – A town in England. Also based after a person J.K. Rowling knew.
Dolores – Of Latin origin. Means “lady of sorrows or pain” (psychological or physical). In Greek, “doleros” means “deceitful.” In Spanish, “dolor” means “to have pain.”
Umbridge – Sounds like “umbrage,” which is “a feeling of anger caused by an offense.” In Latin, “umbra” means “shadow, shade, or ghost” and can also be interpreted as “jealous or suspicious of another” or “standing in one’s light or way.” The phrase “to take umbridge” means to “cause offense and make trouble.” She certainly does this for Harry. The plural “umbrae” means “shadows”. In this context it can be used as shadowing or following other individuals – just how Umbridge does with the Ministry of Magic.
Bellatrix – “Bella” is a construct of the word “bellum” meaning “war” and “trix” refers to “a woman in power.” Bellatrix is therefore known as the “Female Warrior” and is also the pale yellow star indicating the left shoulder of the constellation Orion, the Great Hunter.
Lestrange – To be “estranged” means to be “removed from society.” In French, “etrange” means “strange” or “weird.”
Draco – Draco is a constellation that looks like a dragon but is a snake. In Latin, Draco means “dragon.” There was also a Greek ruler named Draco who developed a system of severe punishments for the smallest of crimes. “Draconian” means “harsh or cruel.” In Romanian, “drac” means “devil.”
Aragog – “Arachnid” means spider and “Gog” was the name of a legendary giant. Combined, the name means “giant spider.” Also possibly derived from the Greek word “agog,” meaning “leader.”