J.K. Rowling– She’s a Clever One!

Hey guys! PunnyRabbit here!

So I love Harry Potter. I love everything to do with Harry Potter. When I was in sixth grade, my friends and I made a list of all of the spells in Harry Potter from memory. I do not classify myself as a normal human– I am a witch. I am basically Hermione Granger, except I don’t have bushy hair.

But today I learned something astounding. And for the record, I have read every single HP book at least three times. Yet, I never really picked up on this: wordplay.

Rowling’s entire system for naming things in HP is centered around this sort of brilliant wordplay. As stated in this blog, the wordplay is everywhere if you take the time to notice it.


Grimmauld Place- play on “grim old place.”


The spell Sonorus- play on the word “sonorous” which means “capable of giving out a sound.” (The spell magnifies the wizard or witch’s voice.)


Diagon Alley- literally “diagonally.”


Knockturn Alley- literally “nocturnally.”


Voldemort- derives from the French for “flying from death.” (Vol– flight, de– from, mort– death)


Sirius- play on the star “Sirius” commonly known as the “dog star.” (Sirius Black was an Animagus; he had the ability to transform into a dog, whose fur, ironically, was black.)


Lupin- play on the Latin for “moon.” (He’s a werewolf. He’s a good werewolf, unlike Fenrir Greyback.)


The spell Ridikkulus!– pretty obvious what that is a play on (if you don’t get it you’re being ridiculous).


Mirror of Erised- “Erised” is “desire” spelled backwards. (The inscription on the Mirror, reads “Erised stra ehru oyt ube cafru oyt on wohsi,” which backwards is “ishow no tyo urfac ebu tyo urhe arts desirE.” Fix up the spacing (and add an apostrophe) and you have “I show not your face but your heart’s desire.” Pretty cool, huh?)


So yeah. Those are all the word-plays I can think of right now. If you have any more, please, feel free to leave a comment telling me about it!

That’s all for now! PunnyRabbit out! (GD)


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