Category: Harry Potter names
By Abby Sandel
Are you ready to go back to Hogwarts?
On July 31st, the eighth installment in the Harry Potter series, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, will be released. A two-part stage play based on the story debuted in London’s West End earlier this summer.
Thanks to a successful #KeeptheSecrets campaign, there’s been little coverage of the new adventures for Harry, Hermione, and Ron, but we do know that all three characters return – along with many of our other favorites.
We’ll meet their children, too. The next generation was introduced briefly in Book Seven’s epilogue, so no spoilers here.
By Emily Cardoza
As a bookworm, I find that some of the most fun in reading comes after I finish the book – imagining the characters’ worlds, thinking up possible new storylines – and even new names! I’ve been giving the name treatment to a few works of fiction in my Literary Names series on Nothing Like a Name. My last post for Nameberry, New Names for The Secret Garden, prompted a couple of requests to give the same treatment to Harry Potter characters. But since the cast is so enormous, I’ve decided to try it out with just a select subset – the Defense Against the Dark Arts professors.
Back in the days when being an octomom –as in mother of eight– was no rarity, babies were often given a name that indicated their place in the birth order. This began in the Roman Era, and was revived by the Victorians.
Now that ancient names (eg Atticus, Maximus), are coming back– partly influenced by the Septimus-type names heard in Harry Potter—and starting to be seen as fresh rather than fusty, I thought we’d take a look at some of those long dormant number names—both Latin and others.
Prima — Perfectly plausible–and ego-boosting– name for a first girl, though rarely heard in this country other than as a surname (as in Louis P.) or terms like prima ballerina. Connie Sellecca and John Tesh used it for their now grown daughter, named after her maternal grandfather.
Primo —Historically, Primo has been among the most frequently used of the birth-order names, with its jaunty ‘o’ ending and Italianate flavor. It was the name of a Spanish saint, and author Primo Levi was a famous bearer.
Primus —The original form of the prime names; more appropriate to a Hybrid model car than a modern baby.
Una —Though this is an Irish name (Oonagh/Oona) with a different meaning, Una can also be thought of as a number one name and could be used for a first child. In literature, Una personifies the singleness of religion and the quintessence of truth and beauty in Edmund Spenser’s The Faerie Queene, and it was a favorite character name of Rudyard Kipling.
Novelist Joanne Lessner guest blogs about the family nicknaming tradition that can turn any upstanding name into something much more ridiculous.
My family loves words. We make them up, we pun incessantly, and we number several lyricists among us. We’re really rather annoying. But possibly the most vexing trait we exhibit, at least to those on the receiving end, is the generations-long tradition of an older sibling blighting a younger one with a ridiculous and, to the uninitiated, mystifying nickname.
We are nothing if not consistent in our weirdness. Our nicknames are all preceded by the definite article. For example, long before there was Rupert, there was my mother, nicknamed The Grint by her older brother. How, you may reasonably ask, did my Uncle John get The Grint from Helen? Apparently, she grinned a lot, and my uncle, misunderstanding the word, started calling her The Grinter, which he then shortened. My mother hated it, but as Helen was the 24th most popular name for girls born in 1941, my grandmother found it useful for getting her attention in a crowded store.