July 29, 2014

Harry Potter Name Meanings

Posted by at 1:00 am in Harry Potter | Permalink

Harry Potter illustration by Mary GrandPreHarry Potter Name Meanings

What is in a name? Harry Potter could hardly go by anything else! Okay, except for “The Chosen One,” I suppose. In celebration of Harry’s birthday on July 31, we’ve compiled a list of Harry Potter name meanings! Whether you’re a seasoned Harry Potter fan and honorary member of Dumbledore’s Army, or you’re just starting your first year at Hogwarts, you’ve probably noticed J. K. Rowling’s characters have some quirky names. From Hermione to Bellatrix, it turns out their names might signify more than you realize. Check out the following Harry Potter name meanings to see just how much thought went into naming our magical friends of the wizarding world.

  • Harry means “army leader.” Fitting, yes?
  • Hermione means “well born” (Take that, Malfoy!) and “stone,” which is also appropriate considering her run-in with a certain serpent in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
  • Ronald means “mighty counselor.” Now that sounds like a reliable friend!
  • Albus means “white” in Latin. Wait, what color is the headmaster’s hair?
  • Sirius means “dog star.” You can say that again!
  • Argus means “bright.” Perhaps she was being sarcastic here? But then again, as Hogwarts’ caretaker, Filch is always walking the halls with a lantern at night!
  • Tom means “twin.” Ponder this one when you get to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows! We might also consider the relationship between Harry and Tom Riddle’s wands . . . 
  • Bellatrix means “warlike.” No surprise there!
  • Cedric means “kind and loved.” He does try to stop the other fourth-years from wearing the buttons that make fun of Harry in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire!
  • Draco means “dragon.” He does, after all, use words like he’s spitting fire . . . 
  • Cho means “beautiful.” Plenty of Hogwarts fourth-years would agree!
  • Alastor (a.k.a. Mad-Eye Moody) means “man’s defender.” This one, too, will be clear if you’ve read the very beginning of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows!
  • Dolores means “sorrow.” That’s definitely what I felt when Umbridge arrived at Hogwarts!
  • Severus means “stern” or “severe.” Okay, fair enough – the meaning of Professor Snape’s name was probably the most obvious!
  • Sybill means “prophetess.” There couldn’t possibly be a more perfect name for the Hogwarts professor of Divination!
  • Arthur means “strong as a bear.” That’s the head of the Weasley clan, thank you very much!
  • Minerva means “goddess of wisdom” or “wise” – as any Gryffindor head of house should be!

It looks like naming characters was something of a science for J. K. Rowling! What do y’all think of these Harry Potter name meanings?

Marisa, STACKS Intern

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  1. purpleicecream199

    I had know idea that the Harry Potter names really had meanings! J.K. Rowling definitely went overboard when writing the Harry Potter books! :)

    Reply