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Harry Potter: hidden meanings revealed!

Have you heard people talk about "hidden meanings" in the Harry Potter books? Have you guessed some of them yourself? Here kidsworld reveals some of the hidden meanings from the first four stories. Once you start to look, you'll notice a lot more.

What's in a Name?

Albus Dumbledore Albus means white and bright in Latin, and the headmaster has silvery white hair and is very smart or "bright." Dumbledore is the Old English word for bumblebee bumblebee: see bee.

Any member of two genera constituting the insect tribe Bombini (family Apidae, order Hymenoptera), found almost worldwide but most common in temperate climates. Bumblebees are robust and hairy, average about 0.
. And bumblebees only sting when they need to --just like Dumbledore!

Draco Malfoy Draco means dragon in Latin. In French, mal means bad and foi means faith, so Malfoy translates into "bad faith." A nasty name for a nasty guy.

Hermione Granger Hermione is the name of a mythical character who was loved by two men. (Could the same thing happen between Ron and Krum?) There is also a character called Miss Granger in a book titled Frindle. Miss Granger is prim and proper, and forces people to obey the rules -- much like Hermione.

Lord Voldemort The words "I am Lord Voldemort" are an anagram anagram [Gr.,=something read backward], rearrangement of the letters of a word or words to make another word or other words. A famous Latin anagram was an answer made out of a question asked by Pilate.  (a phrase formed by rearranging the letters of another phrase) of his real name: Tom Marvolo Riddle. Vol de mort is French for "wish of death." Scary stuff.

Lucius Malfoy "Lucius" sounds a lot like "Lucifer," also known as the Devil. What does this tell you about Mr. Malfoy's character?

Peeves Another word for "peeve peeve  
tr.v. peeved, peev·ing, peeves
To cause to be annoyed or resentful. See Synonyms at annoy.

1. A vexation; a grievance.

" is "annoy," and this pesky poltergeist poltergeist (pōl`tərgīst) [Ger.,=knocking ghost], in spiritism, certain phenomena, such as rapping, movement of furniture, and breaking of crockery, for which there is no apparent scientific explanation.  definitely likes to annoy (or bug) people.

Professor Sprout A sprout is a young plant and Professor Sprout is the herbology teacher. Get it?

Ruebus Hagrid Hagrid Ruebus was a Greek god whose name meant "The Giant of Jewels." He was the kindest of the gods, but when the god Hades Hades (hā`dēz), in Greek and Roman religion and mythology.

1 The ruler of the underworld: see Pluto.

2 The world of the dead, ruled by Pluto and Persephone, located either underground or in the far west beyond the
 framed him, the god Zeus took pity on the poor giant and gave him a job as the keeper of godly god·ly  
adj. god·li·er, god·li·est
1. Having great reverence for God; pious.

2. Divine.

 beasts on Olympus. Doesn't this sound like what happens in the second book? (Voldemort frames Hagrid for opening the Chamber of Secrets, and Dumbledore makes him gamekeeper at Hogwarts.)

Animal Antics

Crookshanks Author J.K. Rowling described Crookshanks as "bowlegged bow·leg·ged  
Having bowlegs.

Adj. 1. bowlegged - have legs that curve outward at the knees
bandy, bandy-legged, bowleg, bowed
." Perhaps she gave him the name because "crooked shanks" means "crooked legs."

Hermes Hermes is the name of Percy's owl. In Greek mythology, Hermes was the messenger of the gods and Percy does think highly of himself.

Rita Skeeter skee·ter  
n. Chiefly Southern U.S.
See mosquito. See Regional Note at possum.

[Shortening and alteration of mosquito.]
 A "rita" is a type of beetle or bug. Another bug, a mosquito, is sometimes called a "skeeter." This is the perfect name for someone who bugs the heck out of people!

Ron Weasley A weasel weasel, name for certain small, lithe, carnivorous mammals of the family Mustelidae (weasel family). Members of this family are generally characterized by long bodies and necks, short legs, small rounded ears, and medium to long tails.  is a small mammal with reddish brown fur and a long body. Ron is tall with red hair. Hmmm.

Word Foolery

Diagon Alley and Knockturn Alley If you say either of these as one word, you get diagonally and nocturnally. Nocturnal means "of the night" and Knockturn Alley is a dark, scary place. A diagonal angle is also known as an oblique angle. Oblique can also mean obscure, which describes the hidden alley where young wizards shop for school supplies.

Crabbe and Goyle If you switch the first letters, you get what a snake does to its prey -- grab (grabbe) and coil (coyle). Great names for Draco Malfoy's slithery slith·er  
v. slith·ered, slith·er·ing, slith·ers

1. To glide or slide like a reptile. See Synonyms at slide.

2. To walk with a sliding or shuffling gait.


The Mirror of Erised "Erised" spelled backwards is "desire." If you read the whole inscription backwards, it says: "I show not your face but your heart's desire."
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Copyright 2001 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.
Adell Doghaimat (Member): Pretty cool 10/24/2010 2:24 PM
Make sense why she would pick those names...its very befitting of the characters lolz

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Author:Green, Judy
Publication:Kidsworld Magazine
Date:Sep 1, 2001
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