- 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.
Mackled Malaclaw - bad luck-bringing lobster-like creature
- "Mackled" means "blurred". Malaclaw = "Mal" (bad) + "claw". Therefore, a creature whose claws bring bad. I have no idea how "blurred" fits into the picture.
Madam Hooch - See "Hooch, Madam Rolanda/Xiomara (Madam)"
Madame Maxime - See "Maxime, Madame Olympe"
Madam Pomfrey - See "Pomfrey, Poppy (Madam)"
Madam Rosmerta - See "Rosmerta (Madam)"
Mad-Eye Moody - See "Moody, Alastor"
Magical Hieroglyphs and Logograms - a textbook from Hermione's ancient runes class
- Hieroglyphs were a system of writing, mainly in pictorial characters. A logogram is a letter, symbol, or sign used to represent an entire word.
Malécrit - Playwright of Hélas, Je Me Suis Transfiguré Mes Pieds (Alas, I've Transfigured My Feet)
- Malécrit is French for "badly written"
Malfoy, Draco - Slytherin rival of Harry, Ron, and Hermione.
- "Draco" means "dragon" in Latin. Also, Draco was the name of a cruel Athenian lawmaker. His harsh legal code punished both trivial and serious crimes with death. From this we get our expression "draconian laws", meaning unnecessarily harsh laws.
- According to JKR, "Malfoy" is old French for "bad faith".
Malfoy, Lucius - Draco Malfoy's father. Death eater.
- The name "Lucius" might be a nod to "Lucifer", the devil. Further, both Draco and Lucius were overly harsh Roman lawmakers.
- It was quite a fun theory while it lasted, but it has now been proved false. The bishop Saint Lucius succeeded Saint Cornelius as pope, which led me to suspect that Lucius Malfoy may become the next Minister of Magic.
- Again, "Mal foi" is French for "bad faith".
Malfoy, Narcissa (Black) - self-absorbed mother of Draco Malfoy.
- Narcissus was a being from Greek mythology who fell in love with his own reflection in a pond. Eventually, he wasted away and died, and a narcissus flower grew in his place. Today, "narcissistic" means "having an inflated idea of one's own importance."
Point of interest: Narcissa is alone in the Black family, being named after a flower. All others in her family are named for stars. JKR comments: "It's just one of those family traditions, although Narcissa breaks the trend. I had always thought of her as 'Narcissa' so I decided not to change her to match the others when I came up with their names. There's been a lot of speculation that she is in some way linked to Lily and Petunia, because of the flower theme, but I can put that rumour to rest here: she isn't related to them."
Mandrake - restorative used to return people who have been transfigured or cursed back to their original state.
- Regarded as a plant with special powers because the root roughly resembles the human figure. It was supposed to grow under the feet of a hanged man and could only be pulled from the ground after performing the necessary rituals. It was advisable to put wax in the ears before one attempted to do this: the mandrake would scream when pulled free and this could cause deafness. The mandrake root was used for invulnerability, for discovering treasures, and as a charm for pregnancy.
Manticore - a Greek beast with the head of a man, the body of a lion, and the tail of a scorpion.
- The Manticore is a monstrous creature which inhabits the forests in Asia, especially in Indonesia, Malaysia and India. The manticore, considered to be the most dangerous predator in these regions, has the body of a lion and a head with human resemblance. The mouth is filled with three rows of razor-sharp teeth and the scaled tail ends in a ball with poisonous darts. The monster stalks through the forest in search of humans. Upon an encounter with a human, the manticore fires a volley of darts at the victim, who dies immediately. This unfortunate person is devoured completely, even the bones and clothing, as well as the possessions this person carried, vanish. When a villager has completely disappeared, this is considered proof of the presence of a manticore. (Encyclopedia Mythica)
Marcus Flint - See "Flint, Marcus"
Marjoribanks, Beaumont - A pioneer in Herbology.
- "Marjoram" is a type of plant, frequently used as a seasoning.
Maxime, Madame Olympe - Half-giant headmistress at Beauxbatons.
- "Olympian" can mean "surpassing all others in scope". Mount Olympus is the largest mountain in Greece, and supposedly the home of the gods.
- "Maxima" is Latin for "greatest". "Maxima" is Latin for "greatest". There's also a bilingual pun in her name. "Maxime" is French for "principle", and Madame Maxime is the "principal" of Beauxbatons.
McDonald, Natalie - a student sorted into Gryffindor in GoF
- Natalie was a 9-year-old Canadian Harry Potter fan diagnosed with with a fatal case of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. She knew she wouldn't live to see book 4, so she wrote to JKR and asked her to tell her what would happen in the next four books. JKR responded with a very lengthy letter, but it arrived two days after Natalie died. Natalie now lives on, immortalized as a student brave enough to be sorted into Gryffindor.
McGonagall, Professor Minerva - strict leader of Gryffindor house and assistant Headmistress at Hogwarts.
- Minerva is the Roman goddess of wisdom and war. As Minerva Medica she is the patroness of physicians. She was equated with the Greek Athena. (From Encyclopedia Mythica).
- "McGonagall" is named after William Topaz McGonagall, widely held as the worst poet in the English language.
Merlin - the most famous wizard of all time
- Enchanter, wizard, and prophet who oversees Arthur's conception and birth, enables his ascension, and acts as high counsel to the King in the early phase of his reign. More at Encyclopedia Mythica
Merpeople - water-dwelling people
- Mermaids are marine creatures with the head and upper body of a beautiful young maiden and with the lower body of a fish. The belief in mermaids is not limited to a few countries, but there are tales from all over the world. The idea of mermaids and mermen, the male equivalent, could be based on creatures from Greek and Babylonian mythology: Sirens and Tritons of the Greeks, and the fish gods, who were half human and half fish, from the Babylonians. (Encyclopedia Mythica)
Merrythought, Professor Galatea - Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor
- Galatea: Creation of the sculptor Pygmalion. A statue of a beautiful woman, brought to life by Aphrodite. No apparent etymological connection.
- Merrythought: apparent enough. Probably an upbeat personality.
Metamorphmagus - a wizard with the ability to change his or her appearance at will
- This one's rather straightforward! "Metamorph", relating to physical change of form or structure, and "magus", meaning "wizard."
Mirror of Erised - Mirror that shows what you want most.
- Its inscription is "I show not your face but your hearts desire" backwards.
Moaning Myrtle - Ghost that haunts the girl's toilet. Killed by a basilisk.
- Rachel on harrypotteranonymous says "The Myrtle plants are a kind of tree. They are often called Crepe Myrtle because their flowers are wrinkled like crepe paper. There is one species of it, Eugenia Ventenatii, or Weeping Myrtle, called so because its branches hang so much.
- Steve Vander Ark continues: Okay, so maybe JKR researched the myrtle plant to that extent. Another perfectly reasonable explanation, however, is that Moaning Myrtle is simply a play on words, paralleling "weeping willow."
Mobiliarbus - Spell used by Hermione to move a tree in Three Broomsticks.
- Mobile (capable of movement) + arbor (Latin, "tree").
Mobilicorpus - Spell used by Black to move Snape when he was unconsious.
- Mobile (capable of movement) + corpus (Latin, "body").
Moke - shrinking lizard creature
- "Moko" is the Polynesian lizard-god. (thanks to Elizabeth Quest)
Molly Weasley - See Weasley, Molly
Mollywobbles - Arthur's pet name for Molly
- Pun on "collywobbles", meaning "a state of nervousness, usually accompanied by a rumbling stomach." --The Phrase Finder. Also most likely a reference to Molly's figure.
Monkshood - See "Aconite"
Moody, Alastor "Mad Eye" - slightly mad ex-Auror, DAtDA teacher during Harry's 4th year.
- "Alastor" means "avenger". In Greek mythology, Alastor is an avenging demon, associated with blood feuds between families, and the Greek term for an avenging power that visits the sins of the fathers on their children. It is also an evil genius of a house that leads a man to commit crimes and sin. He was originally a mortal, the son of Neleus, king of Pylos. He became a (minor) demon when he and his brothers were slain by Heracles. (Encyclopedia Mythica)
According to Fallen Angels...and Spirits of the Dark, "Alastor" was the name of a demon that executed court decrees in Hell, which is rather appropriate in comparison with Mad-Eye, since he could be seen carrying out Ministry decrees by capturing Death Eaters. (Thanks to CobraGirl)
- "Moody" means "given to changeable moods; temperamental".
Mooncalf - grey-skinned creature that comes out at the full moon to walk on its hindlegs
- A nod to traditional "grey" aliens. The patterns they leave in fields are what we muggles call Crop Circles.
Mopsus - Ancient Greek soothsayer.
- As he appears in mythology. More at Encyclopedia Mythica.
Moran - player on the Irish Quidditch team
- Moran, Troy, and Quigley are all close friends of JK Rowling.
Morgana - bird Animagus and dark sorceress. Appears on Harry's first chocolate frog card.
- Magical figure from Celtic, Arthurian, and medieval Christian legend. Read more at Encyclopedia Mythica.
Morsmodre - conjures the Dark Mark: a skull with a serpent protruding from its mouth
- A combination of "Mors" (Latin for "death") and "modere" (Latin for "to bite"). Therefore, "death eaters".
Mr. Mason - perspective client of Mr. Dursley
- A mason is someone who builds using stone or brick, and Mr. Mason was described as a "rich builder". (thanks to Kate C.)
Mrs. Norris - Filch's cat
- According to Kate C., Mrs. Norris was named after a nosy preacher's wife in Jane Austen's Mansfield Park.
Muffliato - spell to fill the ears of those around you with a soft buzzing
- Derived from muffle, "to repress; stifle" or "to make vague or obscure".
Muggle - someone without wizarding talent
- J.K. Rowling derived it from "mug", a British slang word for "fool". However, unbeknownst to J.K., it has been used several times before; the most noteworthy being a slang term for marijuana. Oops! She comments: "I was looking for a word that suggested both foolishness and loveability. The word 'mug' came to mind, for somebody gullible, and then I softened it. I think 'muggle' sounds quite cuddly. I didn't know that the word 'muggle' had been used as drug slang at that point... ah well."
Mulciber - A Death Eater
- "The Softener." A surname of Vulcan, Roman god of fire and the forge. (Encyclopedia Mythica)
Mundungus Fletcher - See "Fletcher, Mundungus"
Musidora Barkwith - See "Barkwith, Musidora"
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