- Confirmed by JK Rowling
- Very confident in its accuracy
- Moderately confident in its accuracy
- Not very confident
- Confirmed false, but I felt like posting it anyway.
Abraxam horses - Hagrid claims a friend breeds them when under interrogation by Umbridge
- An abraxas is a word, often engraved on a gem, used as a charm.
Accio - summoning charm
- Latin: Accio -- "to call to, summon."
Abraxas Malfoy - See "Malfoy, Abraxas"
Aconite - plant used in Potions, also called "wolfsbane" or "monkshood."
- Aconite, indeed also known as monkshood and wolfsbane, is a type of perennial herb formerly used in medicine. Aconites contain highly active alkaloids, making them poisonous to both humans and animals. When eaten in small to moderate amounts, roots produce symptoms of restlessness, salivation, nausea, a weakened and irregular heartbeat, chest pain, prostration, and frequently death within hours. In myth, it was used by Athena to turn Arachne into a spider.
Acromantula - gigantic spider
- Probably a combination of akros (Greek, "extreme") and "tarantula."
Adalbert Waffling - See Waffling, Adalbert.
Aesalon, Falco - Ancient Greek wizard, the first recorded example of an animagus. Transformed into a falcon.
- The scientific name for the European falcon is Falco aesalon aesalon, a subspecies of Falco columbarius. --Merlin Falcon
Agrippa - featured on one of the wizard cards Ron doesn't have.
- Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim combined magic, astrology, Qabbalah, theurgy, medecine, and the occult properties of plants, rocks, and metals. This work was an important factor in the spread of the idea of occult sciences. (Thanks to Rita Winston)
Aguamenti - spell to make water jet from the end of one's wand
- Agua (Spanish, "water") + augment (to increase).
Alastor Moody - See "Moody, Alastor"
Alberic Grunion - See "Grunion, Alberic"
Albus Dumbledore - See "Dumbledore, Albus"
Alchemy - Nicholas Flamel's forte.
- Alchemy is the medieval chemical philosophy concerned primarily with the transmutation of base metals (especially lead) into gold.
Alecto (Carrows?) - Death Eater, possibly Amycus' sister. One of the Death Eaters that invaded Hogwarts in HBP.
- Alecto is one of the Furies from Greek mythology. Her name means "unceasing in anger" (Encyclopedia Mythica).
Alohomora - charm used to unlock doors
- According to Steve Vander Ark, this could be a combination of "Aloha" (Hawaiian, "Goodbye") and "mora" (Latin, "obstacle").
Alphard Black - see "Black, Alphard"
Amarillo Lestoat - see "Lestoat, Amarillo"
Ambrosius Flume - See "Flume, Ambrosius"
Amorentia - powerful love potion
- Amor: "love" [Latin]
Amycus (Carrows?) - Death Eater, possibly Alecto's brother. One of the Death Eaters that invaded Hogwarts in HBP.
- Amycus was "the son of Poseidon and the nymph Melia. He was king of the Bebryces, a mythical people in Bithynia, and was very skilled in boxing. When the Argonauts passed through his territory, Polydeuces managed to defeat him in a fight" (Encyclopedia Mythica). No apparent etymological connection.
Anapneo - spell used by Slughorn to clear Belby's airway
- According to About.com, "I recover breath."
Andrew Kirke - See "Kirke, Andrew"
Anglia - see "Ford Anglia"
Animagus - A wizard capable of transforming into another animal. Plural Animagi
- The word "Animagus" is a combination of "animal" and "mage" (sorceror).
Aparecium - spell used to make invisible ink visible
- "Appareo" is Latin for "to become visible."
Apollyon Pringle - See "Pringle, Appolyon"
Apparate - magical ability to disappear and reappear at any location
- "Appareo" is Latin for "to become visible."
Aragog - giant spider cared for by Hagrid.
- "Ara" comes from "arachnid," which is the class spiders belong to. "Gog" was a legendary giant. Together, "giant arachnid." (Thanks to Kate C.)
Arithmancy - one of Hermione's favorite subjects
- Arithmancy - an early form of numerology dealing with the study of numbers, where divination is made through numbers, especially those numbers associated with the letters of a person's name. (Thanks to The Encyclopedia Potterica! -- link outdated)
Argus Filch - See "Filch, Argus"
Arnold - Ginny's pygmy puff
- Ginny might be poking fun at the inept Rita Skeeter, who referred to her father as "Arnold Weasley" in her demeaning article "Further Mistakes at the Ministry of Magic" (GoF).
- However, my pet theory is that Ginny chose the ironic name "Arnold" after Arnold "The Terminator" Schwarzenegger. Of course, seeing as how the Weasleys are so clueless about Muggle affairs, I highly doubt this is the case, but the idea still amused me.
Arsenius Jigger - See "Jigger, Arsenius"
Arthur Weasley - See "Weasley, Arthur"
Ashwinder - a snake born from an untended magical fire
- Quite simply, a combination of "ash" (the residue of fire) and "winder" (as in "sidewinder," a snake that moves sideways).
Augurey - a rather pathetic-looking bird whose cry was thought to fortell death.
- An "augury" is a sign of something coming; an omen.
Auror - dark wizard catcher
- I've been puzzling over this one for ages! Finally, it seems Petrea Mitchell of The Akashic Record has found the logic behind this name. "Auror" derives from the Latin "aurum," which means "gold." Meanwhile, Brits call policemen "coppers." A higher class of policeman would be a "golder" or as JKR suggests, "auror." Thanks, Petrea! Now I'll be able to stop lying awake at night pondering this word's significance.
Avada Kedavra - unblockable killing curse
- "Avada kedavra" is an Aramaic phrase (adhadda kedhabhra) that means "may the thing be destroyed."
Avis - Spell used by Mr. Ollivander to make birds fly out of Krum's wand.
- "Avis" is Latin for "bird."
Azkaban - Dementor-guarded wizard prison
- Similar to "Alkatraz," an infamous Muggle prison.
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