Harry Potter Names: Beyond Harry & Hermione

The Harry Potter books are a name lover’s dream, author J. K. Rowling being probably the most prolific and creative character namer since Charles Dickens.  Her seven Harry Potter books have an enormous cast of magical wizards and wizards-in-training, witches, ghosts, Hogwarts School professors and students–most of them named with great gusto, humor, and a genius for witty wordplay and cleverly engineered misspellings, interweaving Greek and Latin roots with skill and panache.  Like Dickens, Rowling takes delight in matching name to nature and employs symbolism as well, as for instance calling Harry‘s good and pure mother Lily.

A favorite trick of hers is drawing characters’ names from the realm of astronomy, thus producing such celestial names as:

ANDROMEDA –a constellation in the Northern sky

BELLATRIX — a star in the constellation Orion

CASSIOPEIA — another constellation in the Northern sky

DRACO  — a constellation known as Draco the Dragon

LUNA  —  the moon

POLLUX  — one of the twin stars of Gemini

SCORPIUS —  a constellation representing a scorpion

SIRIUS   — the brightest star in the night sky

Beyond these–and certainly less extreme than such fanciful inventions as Mundungus, Nymphadora and Gwenog– are many perfectly usable, interesting and attractive name from the standard lexicon–several of them already nameberry faves.  Be warned though that some of them might be attached to some pretty unsavory characters:

GIRLS

APOLLINE

ARAMINTA

ARTEMISIA

ASTORIA

AURORA

BEATRIX

CELESTINA

CHARIS

CHARITY

DILYS

DRUELLA

ELLADORA

EMMELINE

FLEUR

GINEVRA

HERMIONE

HONORIA

ISLA

LAURENTIA

LAVENDER

LUCRETIA

MAGENTA

MAISIE

MILLICENT

MIRABELLA

MODESTY

ORLA

PANSY

PENELOPE

PETUNIA

PHYLLIDA

URSULA

VICTOIRE

BOYS

ABRAXAS

ARMANDO

ARCHIBALD

AVERY

BARTEMIUS

CADMUS

CONNOLLY

CORNELIUS

CRISPIN

DEDALUS

DEXTER

DUDLEY

DUNBAR

ELLERBY

EUAN

FALCO

FLAVIUS

GIDEON

GULLIVER

GUTHRIE

HAMISH

HUMPHREY

IGNATIUS

INIGO

IVOR

LORCAN

LYSANDER

MAGNUS

MARIUS

OCTAVIUS

ORSINO

OTTO

PHINEAS

SEPTIMUS

SEVERUS

TARQUIN

THADDEUS

TIBERIUS

TILDEN

ZACHARIASHarry Potter

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29 Responses to “Harry Potter Names: Beyond Harry & Hermione”

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Barbara Says:

August 10th, 2009 at 3:12 am

What, you missed Regulus? Remus? ;p

Other ones:
Godric
Salazar
Rowena
Helga
Minerva
Albus

Lots of them.

And if you just want to use it as inspiration for a star name, try here: http://www.obliquity.com/skyeye/misc/name.html

I personally like Adhara.

namefan Says:

August 10th, 2009 at 8:51 am

Even though she managed to come up with all those wonderful character names, she was much more ordinary and trendy when she named her daughter Mackenzie. (I remember someone on another board making a similar comment when she was born in 2005.)

namefan Says:

August 10th, 2009 at 8:52 am

Forgot to mention this in the last comment, but the reason that was brought up on that other forum I mentioned is that apparently she was so knowledgable on the elements that made up names but yet she named her daughter a name that has a “son of” meaning.

Nephele Says:

August 10th, 2009 at 10:05 am

An excellent list, Linda! Even though I know you had many more names from the Potter universe in your collection, I think the ones you chose to list here are a good representation of the most likely names for parents’ consideration.

— Nephele

Lauren Says:

August 10th, 2009 at 10:31 am

I am so excited this list came out! I have a little Lucy Ginevra due to arrive in just about 5 weeks!

esperrosa Says:

August 10th, 2009 at 1:50 pm

i think many of these names were a bit “old” or different than trendy names because many of them were, after all, wizards, who seemed to have slightly different naming styles. a very interesting list!

Gigi Says:

August 10th, 2009 at 5:40 pm

All three of Rowling’s children have quite normal names.
Jessica, David and Mackenzie

AmyM Says:

August 10th, 2009 at 5:40 pm

I’ve always adored the names in Harry Potter, and I was really excited to see this blog. When reading the books I was always looking forward to new characters to find out their names! I love the Astonomical theme, and many character’s names have a floral theme too. (:

Tracey Says:

August 10th, 2009 at 6:31 pm

I LOVE the names in Harry Potter (although I’ve never been fond of “Ron” and “Harry” as names–both seemed pretty outdated but not enough so to be remotely in when she started the series, but maybe that was the point?). My daughter Arabella often gets called Bellatrix.

I know those deatheater twins were awful, but their names were pretty cool: Alecto and Amycus Carrow.

I also like Victoire.

Katy Says:

August 10th, 2009 at 7:06 pm

I love that you have this list! It combines two of my passions: names and Harry Potter 🙂

Here are a couple more Potter names that I like:

Arabella
Bane
Poppy
Pomona
Godric
Felix
Remus
Hugo
Marietta
Cedric
Cormac
Cho
Seamus
Sybil
Verity

Charlotte Vera Says:

August 10th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

I love how much though Rowling put into naming her characters. Both my husband and I wanted to use Hermione for our daughter but were withheld from doing so due to the popularity of the novels. It’s really too bad, because they have some absolutely fantastic names.

Erin Says:

August 10th, 2009 at 8:06 pm

My son, Ronan, was born in Sept. 2003. I remember sitting in the recliner nursing and reading her latest book just after he was born, and coming across a centaur named Ronan. I breathed a sigh of relief when I realized he was only mentioned once. Whew!

Sebastiane Says:

August 11th, 2009 at 12:57 pm

I adore these,

APOLLINE

ARAMINTA

ARTEMISIA

ASTORIA

AURORA

BEATRIX

CELESTINA

CHARIS

DRUELLA

ELLADORA

EMMELINE

FLEUR

GINEVRA

HERMIONE

HONORIA

ISLA-already popular in Great Britain

LAVENDER-another cool colour name

LUCRETIA

MAGENTA-such a cool name!

MIRABELLA

PANSY

PENELOPE

PHYLLIDA

URSULA

CADMUS

CRISPIN

DEDALUS

DEXTER-this has, surprisingly, gotten trendy in Sweden. I can see it rising here in the States, thanks to the Showtime Series of the same name

FALCO

FLAVIUS-adore the feminine versions of Flavia and Flaviana as well

GIDEON

HAMISH

IGNATIUS

INIGO

IVOR

LORCAN

MAGNUS-a Scandinavian classic that never goes out of style way up North

MARIUS-this is quite popular in Europe at the moment, especially in Scandinavia and Poland

OCTAVIUS

ORSINO-I also love the feminine version of Orsina

OTTO

PHINEAS

TARQUIN

THADDEUS

TIBERIUS

Mookie Says:

August 11th, 2009 at 7:14 pm

I’ve read and reread and reread the series, and I love them to death, and I’m a stickler for details, but I don’t remember half of these names!

Marissa Says:

August 11th, 2009 at 9:15 pm

I love Bellatrix – it’s perfectly accessible with “Bella” but also reminiscent of Beatrix…
It’s just a shame that not only is she such an evil villain in the series, but since it’s not even a real name it will always and forever be associated with her.

Clare Spinney Says:

August 12th, 2009 at 3:51 pm

Love love Harry Potter names! We also considered Hermione for one of our daughters, but also discounted it be cause of perceived popularity and people saying ‘oh you named her after the character’
Also please stop mentioning Inigo in virtually every boys name list I come across as we have just named our son this and I really don’t want it to become popular(in the UK)!! All our children have unusual names – 3 DD’s Halcyon, Octavia and Ariadne – and I’m a bit put out that Ariane seems to be gaining popularity as its a bit close to Ariadne! So enough, keep Inigo secret.

Emz Says:

August 13th, 2009 at 9:44 pm

I’m pretty sure Gwennog’s a real Welsh name but it’s proper fug nevertheless. I saw a BA for a little Gwenno recently, which I kind of liked except that it makes me think of guano.

I love Falco but I think it’s more of a name for a horse than a boy.

LinaRose Says:

August 14th, 2009 at 7:46 pm

i would just like to put, though i love the harry potter series as well, J.K. Rowling did not “make up” these names. She did not make up the creatures, and many of the background stories were from actually mythological stories. She has merely researched the hell out of Mideval and Norse stories.

Kate Says:

September 1st, 2009 at 11:42 am

I love the Harry Potter names!

I am considering using the name Lavender and/or Luna as my daughter’s name

Malia Says:

September 24th, 2009 at 5:24 pm

I am learning latin and one of the interesting things I noticed was most of J.K. Rowling’s characters had latin based names. Lupus means wolf in latin, Servus means servant, bella means war (bellatrix).

Tabatha Says:

November 21st, 2009 at 10:25 pm

This is awesome, though they left out a lot of names. And, agreeing with LinaRose, she didn’t exactly make them up. A lot aren’t actually real names — but she didn’t just pick them out of the sky. Research, research, research!!!!

Amy Says:

December 15th, 2009 at 8:11 pm

To be quite fair – JK Rowling is clever at naming everything – just think of the “pensieve”. That one really impressed me. She really is quite brilliant at looking at things just a little bit differently.

Lauren Says:

February 23rd, 2010 at 11:39 pm

The list is awesome and so are the comments. I’m learning alot, I especially love TABITHA , and the meanings behind the names. Its true, their are many astronomical and flower names

Somhair Says:

April 4th, 2010 at 8:04 pm

Not that long ago, I decided when there are 6 kids (though I’m sure the eldest 2 would not apreciate the lable kid) in you’re home I thought I should really see what the fuss wa about so started reading them to my 8 year old Blaise ( I read it in French and he followed in English) and I’m not sure which book but in one of them his name cropped up once and now he introces himself ‘My names blaise, like in Harry Potter’

meg Says:

October 25th, 2010 at 2:56 pm

I agree that a little latin background and classics, goes a long way in understanding that her choice of characters’ names was not random:

Dolores Umbridge (Dolores, tears or sadness. Umbrage: ill feelings)
Albus=white (with connotations of white magic=good not evil)
Minerva=goddess of knowledge
Severus=stern, harsh (severe)
Sirius= dog connotation (Sirius’ patronus was a dog)
Lupin=wolf
Sybil=soothsayer

and so on.
You can see the reason for each name chosen in most cases, with a little latin and or classical background knowledge.

Elizabeth Says:

January 6th, 2011 at 7:18 pm

I absolutely love Harry Potter names…I would seriously consider naming my children Hermione, Severus, and Archibald, and I also adore Lysander, Sirius, Godric, and just about every other unusual name in the series (except for maybe Mundungus)!
I wanted to convey some information about the name Nymphadora: it’s not entirely made up. Nymphadora is J.K. Rowling’s English version of the old and extremely rare Quebecois French name Nymphadore. It means “golden nymph.” Whether she actually has ever seen Nymphadore is uncertain, but that’s too much of a coincidence to be otherwise.

Nora Says:

February 27th, 2011 at 12:41 pm

I’m having a bit of a dilemma in my head, because I love the name Bellatrix SO much, but the character is attached to is awful! Yikes! There really are some gems in Harry Potter though, like Emmeline.

Anonymous Says:

April 12th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

Nobody mentioned the one I named my dog after.. Dobie! Or they might spell it as Dobby. So cute. 🙂

baileystar Says:

June 2nd, 2012 at 9:19 pm

Ever since I read Harry Potter the first time, I fell absolutely in love and decided that all of my children would be named after Harry Potter. I was thinking Dobby Patronus Draco and Nymphadora Bellatrix Alohomora. Then I realized that what I had planned would totally screw my future kids, so I rethought it. I decided that I’ll try to work in some HP names in the middle spot. So…

I’m very far from having kids, but high on my list are Cadence Hermione and Juliet Luna. When someone finds a good way to work in Ginny or Ginevra (Love the character, hate the name) please let me know!

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