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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