Books> Name Origins
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How did Jo pick your favourite characters names & what is the meaning behind them?
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JK Rowling named the two drivers of the Knight Bus, after her own grandfathers.
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Bagman, Ludo/Ludovic: Ludo is Latin for ‘I Play’ - either alluding to his gambling or Quidditch. In US slang, Bagman is often someone who transports cash for criminal operations.
Black, Sirius: Like his family members Bellatrix, Regulus Arceturus, Andromeda and more, Sirius is named after a constellation. To be specific, he is named after Orion’s dog star, the brightest in the northern sky. This makes sense, seeing as his Animagus is a big, black, dog.
Dumbledore, Albus: Dumbledore is an old devon word for ‘bumblebee.’ Jo picked it because she pictured him humming to himself, whenever strolling through the corridors of Hogwarts.
Errol: Meaning to wander.
Evans, Lily: Lily is so named after the flower, which is often associated with beauty or purity.
Fawkes: Named from Guy Fawkes, who conspired to set fire to British parliament in 1605.
Filch, Argus: Argus-the-all-seeing was a famous watchman in Greek mythology, kind of like Filch’s job at Hogwarts.
Fudge, Cornelius: The treat/taste of fudge has often been used to represent indecisiveness, fraud and evasiveness.
Granger, Hermione: Hermione is from A Winter’s Tale by William Shakespeare.
Hagrid, Rubeus: Hagrid Rubes was a giant in Greek mythology, who stole jewels.
Hedwig: St. Hedwig was the Duchess of Germany during the 1100’s, and ran an order of nuns who cared for orphans—just as Harry is at the beginning of the series.
Malfoy, Narcissa: Malfoy, “mal foi” means ‘bad faith.’ Narcissa is like narcissist, meaning someone who is full of themselves.
Nagini: Naga means snake in Sanskrit.
Potter, James: James means “supplanter,” which is one who takes something—sometimes by force. Could that something be Lily, and from Snape?
Skeeter, Rita: A skeeter is slang for a mosquito, and reporters have often been dubbed ‘bloodsuckers.’
Snape, Severus: Severus the Latin term for ‘strict’ or ‘severe.’
Voldemort: In French, this would be ‘vol de mort’, translating to ‘flight from death.’
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