Sunday, July 15, 2007

Wizarding Words Day 1

With the seventh and last Harry Potter book arriving in stores this Saturday I thought it would be fun to post some words from Rowling's books and their possible origins.

Accio- Used to summon objects from a distance. Accio is Latin for "I receive."

Avada Kedavra- One of the Unforgivable Curses, used to murder someone. The Aramaic avada means "Be destroyed" whereas kedavra means "as I speak". Ergo Avada Kedavra: "Be destroyed as I speak". Stage magicians often use "abracadabra" as a magic word.

Beauxbatons Academy of Magic- Presumably located in France, since its members all speak French. Beaux bâtons is French for "fine sticks," possibly meaning wands.

Borgin and Burkes- The name of this magic shop in Knockturn Alley recalls the Borgias, an Italian family who were rumored to poison their enemies during the Renaissance. Burkes may be a reference to Burke, a 19th-century murderer. He was so notorious that in slang, "to burke someone" meant to smother him.


Splotchy said...

I just would like to comment to say I like Harry Potter. There, I said it.

And, am I the only person who hears "Hakuna Matata" from The Lion King, with the words replaced with "Avada Kedavra"?

Becca said...

Harry Potter is indeed awesome. Damn the fools who don't get it!

Oh and from here on out whenever I think "avada kedavra" I'll see Pumba saying it. I think I just died a little inside.