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 Post subject: Are the Spells From Harry Potter Real Words?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:55 am 
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Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 5:01 pm
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Just a fun link I found today!

The names of many of the spells are indeed derived from other languages, especially Latin. However, for the most part, they aren’t proper words. Author J.K. Rowling created words that resemble other words with real meanings.

Here’s a closer look at some of them:

The spell “Alohomora” is used to open and unlock doors. The word is supposedly from the West African Sidiki dialect and means “friendly to thieves.”

Need to make invisible ink appear? Try the spell “Aparecium,” which supposedly derives from the Latin appareo, meaning “to become visible or to appear.”

Here’s one that you’re likely to hear in “Deathly Hallows:” Confringo. It causes something to explode in flames. The spell is likely derived from the Latin and means “to break in pieces, to bring to naught.”

Densuageo is derived from two Latin words: dens, which means “tooth,” and augeo, which means “to enlarge.” The spell causes the victim’s teeth to grow quickly.

The spell “Episkey” is derived from the Greek episkeu, which means “repair, restoration.” It’s used to heal minor injuries, such as Harry Potter’s broken nose in “Half-Blood Prince.”

Protego Horribilis is also used in “Deathly Hallows.” It provides protection against Dark Magic and comes from the Latin protego, meaning “to protect,” and horribilis, meaning “horrible.”

(What is the fantastic origin of the real-life spell word “hocus-pocus?” Read the tale, here.)

Scourgify, which is a spell used to get something clean, such as Hedwig’s cage, is likely a play on the word “scour.”

The spell “Tarantallegra” makes a victim’s legs dance uncontrollably. It’s likely that it combines the Italian allegra, which means “joyful,” and tarantella, which is a Southern Italian folk dance with rapid movements.

"I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen."
~John Steinbeck

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 Post subject: Re: Are the Spells From Harry Potter Real Words?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 10:13 am 
The Scribe of Athero
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Joined: Tue Mar 27, 2007 3:20 pm
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Location: FantasyFic HQ
Yayyyy, I love these words and the take off of real Latin words. My favorite is EXPECTO PATRONUS. Partly because HP says it with such vigor and expectation.

I do believe in magic, quite deeply as a matter of fact, but I also believe that the magic is in us and not outside of us, if that makes any sense. We tap into great reserves that we don't even know we have. Thus we can do things we can't normally do, and people call it magic.


Don't let aging get you down. It's too hard to get back * up. ~Maxine

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 Post subject: Re: Are the Spells From Harry Potter Real Words?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 11:34 am 
Prince - Princess
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Joined: Fri May 28, 2010 7:25 pm
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Hehe nifty! I appreciate the reinvention of words with or based on Latin derivatives. The dead language is...enticing. :P Well, so are other (any) alternative languages out there...The diversity in sounds and syntax is whimsical in of itself.

"I've become the simple souvenir of someone's kiss. Like the sea, I'm constantly changing from calm to hell. Madness fills my heart and soul, as if the great divide could swallow me whole - Oh, how I'm breakin' down."
- Sleeping Sickness, City and Colour

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