“Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I” is now in theaters. The newest movie in the series promises to be packed with magic spells. There are dozens of spells that are used by the characters in Harry Potter’s fictional world of wizardry. But are any of them real words?
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.”
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.
Do you have a favorite spell? Let us know about it below.
For me, my favourite will always be Wingardium Leviosa. It just rolls off the tongue nicely
[...] J.K.ROWLING does the spelling. The well read genius she must be. — She got so many children hooked on reading again. — That’s the magic that we see. — We’ve learned there are British versions of her books, — using the proper King’s English. — They dumb it down for Mercans and the movies – “RIDDIKULUS” or “MUFFIALTO” he may shout in some imagination and help the adventurous through the reading wells. — But Harry Potter never spells. –>>Rupert L.T.Rhyme [...]
Waddiwasi, it shoots gum out of a keyhole and into anyones nose.
I love the sound of the three unforviable curses. They just sound evil, but that’s just what they are.
The spell is likely derived from the Latin—what word?—- and means “to break in pieces, to bring to naught.”
Oh, and also expelliarmus and Expecto Patronum. Highly doubt I spelt those right.
I’ve always loved how “avada kedavra” sounds suspiciously like “abracadabra”
Expelliarmus, Stupefy, and Impedimenta.
My spell check doesn’t recognize any of these.
What happened to the post and blog about Prince William and Kate Middleton? The Hot Word for November 19- I was reading it, tried to post, and it was suddenly gone!
What ever happened to the previous post Will Kate Middleton become a “duchess,” a “princess,” or what when she marries William? And what do those words mean? Looks like they took it off. Did the Windsors threaten a law suit or something?
@ chelsey It’s CONFRINGO. IT SAYS IT ….
I like the spell protego and mortmorda (to make the dark mark appear) also expecto patronum. and fera verto to turn a rat into a goblet (in 3rd movie)
my favorite spell will be lumos
Selinceo is spanish for silent. J.K. Rowling uses that word in the books for the Silencing charm.
Chelsey – re-read the paragraph. “Confringo” is the word to which the sentence refers.
I think the best is the house-elf Kreacher (creature). The family Black weren’t that kind to their house-elves, no…
I just like the spell STUPIFY! It sounds funny!:p
There are 2 spells that intrigue me: “Rictusempra” (the Tickling Charm) and “Sectumsempra” (a Dark curse that cuts like a sword). “Rictus” and “Sectum” are both Latin words. “Rictus” means “smile”, “grimace”, maybe also “laugh”. “Sectum” means either “cut” or “to cut, to sever”. But what does “Sempra” mean? Is it Latin, too? Did JKR make it up? I would love to find out.
what does avadakadabra mean?
The word “confringo” is Latin itself, and it means “I break (something) down”. The infinitive form of the verb is “confringere”.
my dad told me that it was latin the when the first movie came out
I love Wingardium Leviosa……It’s awesome!
My favorite has too be EXPELLIAMUS. I just like the 2 l’s in the spell.
I think the spell Ridiculous means ridiculous in english
My favorite sounding spell–or rather, curse is Sectumsempra. I especially love it because Snape is defiantly one of my favourite characters. What words is this cruse derived from? Thanks!
I always loved the spell “Accio” to bring things to you. Im such a couch potato, so go figure
Have you ever thought of “Voldemort”? In French, “vol” means “theif” and “mort” means “death”… wow. I’m surprised I actually figured that out. But yeah, J.K Rowling really has a genius mind and an extremely magical imagination with her creation! So it’s no wonder how she got practically the whole world hooked onto her book. =D
I’ve always had a special love for Expecto Patronum
SO FAR NEVER – Interested with spell word, but after reading your article about it which is eloquently explained the objective of Alohomora, Aparecium, Densuageo, Episkey, Protego Horribilis, Scourgify, and Tarantallegra; sparked an idea for me to select one from the list for my liking.
FOR MY DECISION MAKING – To select for which one, I prioritize the objective of using the respective spell word. In this case, it’s much better for me to select “Alohomora”, which is used to open and unlock doors.
IN MY OPINION – “Alohomora” also can be a symbolic mantra to open and unlock one’s mind or heart. A strategic point to use it once surrounded by culprits in my daily life, if any. May be my idea more on thinking about having high level of personal safety and security.
Focus on a peripheral taste issue. Harry Potter fails in every way.
to chelsey regarding “confringo”:
The author of this article, by omitting mention of the Latin word, meant to imply that the Latin word is identical to “confringo”.
According to the Oxford Latin Dictionary:
1. to break, to destroy
2. to ruin, to undo, to subvert
Note regarding “Densuageo”:
The author of this article misspelled this spell (probably just a typographical error.) Corrected, it’s “Densaugeo”.
Although it’s not my favorite of spells, there is another one that is “Finite!” In Book 5, Remus Lupin uses it to counter-act the “Tarantallegra” curse cast by a Death Eater on one of his friends during the battle at/of the Ministry of Magic. My guess is that it is derived from the Latin (I think) word “fini”, meaning “finish”. There is also the spell “Accio ____” and then the object one wishes to summon. I think that one’s really cool. Posibly, it came from the word “attract”.
And wasn’t there yet another, something like “Repelo Muggle”? A spell to repel Muggles, I’d wager. And, of course, how could I forget, “Lumos”. Maybe it comes from the word “light”. I like that one too!
I’m only 11 and I’ve read and LOVE all of her books. I would choose Avada Kedavra as my favorite spell,not because its evil, but because it kind of sounds like Abra Kadabra!
And there is the oh-so-obvious Silencio, which derives from the Spanish word ’silencio’ (though as Spanish is a Romance language, the word may come directly from Latin without any alteration).
wingadium leviosa because it really does roll off the tongue, and it reminds me of that cute little short teacher who teaches the spell to them when they have to make the feather fly. It’s so cute and innocent compared to all those other mean spells
“Expecto Patronum” sounds really good, especially the way the actors have executed the feel of it.
I liked Crucio the best — it’s seemed very ultimate.
But I have to say I was disappointed with “Avada Kedavra”. It sounded too much like ‘Abracadabra’. I expected something a bit more creative from J.K Rowling.
“The spell is likely derived from the Latin [confringo] …”
I had been spellbound by charm and grace of god.
I love the spells. They sound so fantastic, with so much “science fiction” and “fantasy” weaved into them!
This would be a 9.5 out of 10, Hot Word. Only drawback is that it gets annoying when people have to keep clicking links to find out answers to questions. Then, they have to go back to the previous page to find the next link. It would be much better and much more convenient for the blog readers if all the answers were already on the article.
i just love the patronus charm- EXPECTO PATRONUM! and confringo…it sounds so cool, when you say it!
Hurry, pota. Hairy Porto. The first spell is quaff it off; the second is I carry all hairy.
Actually, I disagree with Nathan, the Avada Kedavra or the killing curse as it’s commonly known. Is actually a very kind curse. If you think about it, it causes instant death, no pain. Almost a wizard form of euthanasia.
My favourite, must be Sectusempra.
What sane and sensible person would listen to or repeat such nonsense? One has to read it to find out that it is nonsense but after that……………
AVADACADAVRA is creepy
I just watched “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows PART 1!” It’s the most amazing, entertaining, and magical movie ever dreamed of!
i have several favorites, accio (brings an object to you) Stupefy (Knocks back opponent) Flipendo (Knocks an object backwards) or the famous Expelliarmus (Disarms your opponent)
What *isn’t* there to love? I minored in linguistics, and that’s why I loved the books.
A phoenix named Fawkes? Americans – go look up Guy Fawkes.
A bad guy named Lucius? (reference to Lucifer)
A dog Animagus named Sirius? Sirius is the Dogstar.
Then there are some of the professors’ names – Minerva, Sprout, Vector, Severus (severe) etc.
My favorite spell names would be Expelliarmus, Protego, Sectumsempra, Levicorpus/Liberacorpus, Crucio, and Avada Kedavra. Muffliato is terribly useful, too.
Everyone knows that wizards can spell, but they can’t spell.
I love harry potter and the BIGGEST FAN! It was nice to know some of the meaning. The ones i didnt already know ;P
EXPELLIARMUS My all time – fave. And of coz, Wingardium Leviosa. Sounds just perfect
i love the spell Riddikulus! it is so fun to say, and has the funniest results. :]
I definitely agree with Amelie…its by far the best
It comes from frango, frangere. The best has to be the macabre mors modre, when the death eater conjure up the dark mark. Its just so latiny!
i don’t love harry potter, but that is a funny word!!
(sorry i have not posted till…. (shrugs)
Oh like when hermione says “oblivion”‘to make her parents and the death eaters forget about her I knew they were derived from Latin!
My favorite Harry Potter spell is “Wingardium Leviosa” (:
My favorite is “periculum”, which Harry uses in the goblet of fire in the third task. He casts it when Fleur is getting taken by the vines. Dumbledore said “If anyone wishes to disqualify themselves from the task, they should shoot red sprks with their wand.” “Periculum” shoots red sparks out of your wand. Since Fleur couldn’t cast a spell, Harry did it for her.
fave is definitely incendio
It’s levi OH sa, not levio SAH.
I really like the spell Expecto Patronum. I took a test online to see what my patronus was, and it was an owl. MY FAV ANIMAL!
I like repulso because it’s almost like using the force! LOLZ
I love the spell expecto patronum. i dont know why i love it, i just do. maybe its because it gives me a sense of ease, since its supposed to block away dementors… i dont know i just love it.
My favorite would probably have to be Execto Patronum. I like the way you have to think happy thoughts.
My favourite spell will forever be ‘expecto patronum!’
second best is ‘petrificus totalus!’
my favourite has to be rictusempra I just love the sound of it!
my fav. is Expecto Patronum… or that is what i think it it… or is it Expecto Patronas… not sure… expecto patronam in Latin mean………..
I EXPECT A PROTECTOR.
which is nice as the the patronas protects the wizard/witch from dementors
constringo! It targets at the persons wand, the spell will snap and destroy the opponents wand for 6 hours. It can also be targeted at the person, the effect is gruesome, the persons body will be torn and mangled for 3 hours in such a manner the sight is likely to make someone watching extremely distraught.
some times when i try to say the spells it just dosents come out rite
Expecto Patronum — Harry always yells it with such force and passion.
I would have to say that “Levicorpus” is one of my favorites–because it’s amusing and because I have a soft spot for Half-Blood Prince spells. It’s amazing how much research and detail Rowling put into such things.
duhh i knew that they were real because magic ROCKS
what about Imperio, Crucio, and Avada Kedavra?
I love Harry Potter to death I did just go and see Deathly Hallows part 1 in theaters1 It was amazing. JK is an amazing writer, she really gripped the minds of young readers today. My favorite curse? Reparo!
“Imperio” comes from the Latin root for “control, authority” (it’s also the origin of the English word “imperial”).
“Crucio” comes from the Latin root for “pain, torture”, and is also the origin of the word “crucifix” (as hanging on the cross was a punishment for certain crimes in the Roman Empire).
You are wrong on the first one. First of all, it is alohamora, not alohomora. Alohamora comes from “aloha,” which is Hawaiian for both “hello” and “goodbye,” and “mora,” which is (Latin?) for “obstacle.”
She’s amazing right- in 12th grade i learned the phrase- Homo Homini Lupus which means “man is wolf to man”- It made me think of professor Lupin- or Remus Lupin who happens to be a wereworlf in the book/movie- I swear I friggin love harry potter
For me it’s got to be Riddikulus because it destroys a boggart
i am a huge fan of all Harry Potter books and movies and wish that J.K. rowling could write more books.
i especially like all the spells including the three unforgivable because it makes me feel that i am a witch from harry potter too. OBLIVIATE- A MEMORY WIPE
my favorite spell will always be stupify….I just love the way that it clicks with what it does so that readers can understand it. i also like when the can apparate because if i was able to do that…. i could just pop into my grandmother’s house over the weekends…. the only setback is that you can only do that when you are 17……and i’m 13:(….. I havent read the books in a while…. I read the whole series in under a few short months in 5th grade….I’m in 8th grade now and still probably the biggest Harry Potter nerd that there is and ever will be on the planet……I just need to figure out why i hate hermoine and cho and ginny……well ginnny i have a reason because i used to have this HUGE crush on daniel radcliffe but whatever…..that was……..5th grade…..
I totally agree. Whenever I see the spell “Wingardium Leviosa” in print, I can’t help but imagine it being said in Emma Watson’s pedantic voice from the first movie.
“It’s not ‘levi-OOOh-sa’… it’s ‘levi-o-SAH!’”
i love the word-avada kedavara.
i like EXPELLIARMUS and WINGARDIUM LEVIOSA. sry idk if i spelled those right.
My personal favorite is “Expecto Patronum” and I’m very interested in the meaning of this word. Does anyone happen to know it? (Funny, I’m usually one of those who answers questions!)
At any rate, the reason it’s my favorite is because when I went to see The Half-Blood Prince with a few friends at the midnight premiere, we were all dressed up in wands and robes and the like. There was also a person dressed up like a dementor. So when this person walked in the theater, I stood up, pointed my wand at him/her and yelled, “EXPECTO PATRONUM!….DANGIT!” and threw my wand down when it didn’t work.
I like alohamora(Sorry if it’s spelled wrong)and stupify:)
incendio is my favorite spell, it’s used to like things on fire
i love the spell episkey and i love luna shes awesome
Wow, JK Rowling certainly did her research =).
I have to say i still love “Alohamora” and “Wingardium Leviosa”
They were some of the first spells Harry learnt, and the ones i have grown up with (i read the first book when i was 6, and the last came out when i was 13- im 16 now).
i like ABARACADABARA IT SOUNDS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO cool. anyway i just want to tell ya something not about this but….. i broke ok its more like sprained ankle and have crutches and a wheelchair and a cast. how will i go to school im in yr 5. please reply.
SEE YA AND BEG YA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
oh yea, BLOGCHI@mayopia.com, one more thing. you need to get a life and put down you Milton’s Paradise Lost analysis and see read the good stuff. you are a lowlife. get a grip of yourself woman! . . .no pressure
i watched the deathly hallows last thursday when it came out and today me and my friend where going around saying spells from harry potter but the one i said most was ” brakyarm emendo” so i guess its my favorite it realy funny and it was also a terrible result when the prefessor used it on harrys arm lol
my favorite is “petrificus totalus”
I LOVE the spell ‘Riddikulus’!!
Harry Potter Rocks!!!!! Although im 11, I already read harry potter series seven times!!!!!!! As for my fave spell, i like ‘reparo’ because it can repare anything.(i often break things and my mom says im a pain in the head…..)
Yay i like WINGARDIUM LEVIOSA because it can take anything from far far away………..(the farfar away kingdom…Shreik…)
Actually, Avada Kedavra sounds like a complex spell, coming from two different languages (apart from resembling “Abracadabra”). The word “kedavra” has a Latin root meaning “dead body”, in Spanish plain “cadaver”, and it exists also in English as “cadaver” (check the Theaurus!). “Avada” has a Hebrew root meaning “work”. So it would come to mean something like “work dead”; or “become dead”
I assume that all the comments on this page are made by people who are under ten years old and that they can spell such big words.
Yes, Sectumsempra is one of my dear favourites too. I remember reading it and the effect it had on Malfoy. It just bewildered me!
Okay, maybe this is cool…I like the title: did anyone notice the “Ridiculus!”?
@ Cyberquill: Haha
my favorite spell is wingardium leviosa
I think that they should be real words.
“Expecto Patronum,” taken directly from Latin, would mean “Await(/hope for) my patron (mentor/protector).”
However, I would assume that Rowling meant “Expecto,” in this sense, to be a truncated version of expectorāre, which means to project or expel from the chest. The basic (implied) meaning of the final phrase is, “To call forth my patron from within.” Patron animals/saints/deities are a fairly omnipresent facet of magic (and non-magic) ritual across many cultures and practices. Hope that helps.
Oh, and @asdg: You are a very weak troll.
sepmra is latin for always, i think… my favorite spell is lumos. curiosly, nox is latin for darkness, and lumos is very similar to lux, meaning light.
I don’t think that sempra actually has a Latin meaning. If I were to take a guess, I’d say that it’s chopshopped from the Latin words semper (always) and separa (to split/divide).
Meh…not a big fan of the Harry Potter series.
My Friend Loves The Harry Potter Books, so I’m Gonna tell her about it.
i started reading harry potter books when i was six i love them and have read all of them more than once my favorite spell is expelliarmus as it disarms your opponent and expecto patronum because you need so much happiness to conjure it
for me there is not such magic words better than bend my knee and say father almighty god have mercy on us help me not only to me but to the whole world . there is not other satisfaction better than saying [senor bos saves ]what i need. thanks
In the 2nd movie they were learning how 2 duel and Harry and Draco were dueling as a demo, but the only spell i remember from that was Serpentsorcius or something like that. what were the other spells?
Avada kedavra is Aramaic for “done like the word”.
Avada kerdavera, crucio, imperio, expecto patronum, wingardium leviosa, accio, impidenta, sectumsempera, levicorpus, incarcerous, petrificus totalus,aguamenti, expelliarmus, stupefy, alohamorah and many more speels. i wish these spells were all real. i ish i was part of harry potter. much much more. i love harry potter.
WHO DOESN’T LIKE HARRY POTTER. PROBABLY WEIRDOS.
MUFLIATO WHAT AN AMAZING SPELL. WHEN YOU WANT TO DISCUSS SOMETHING PRIVATE ALL YOU HAVE TO DO IS WAVE YOUR WAND SAY MUFLIATO AND HAVE A PRIVATE CONVERSATION OR GOSSIP. OH SO COOL ARE HARRY POTTER SPELLS.
imm not going to write this again ok ok kepieesh ☺
does anyone not know how to do smilie faces on the computer cause i can teach u guys ONLY GUYS ok
Semper is Latin; siempre is Spanish. It means “always” or maybe “perpetual.”
CYBER QUILL U A GIRL OR BOY
Harry potter yay! I read book so awsome my favorite spell is espeliearmus the spell that takes the wand from competiter also i like the one called expecto patronam that was scares the dementors shoots a blue ball of lifght so they go away well you all now i love Harry Potter so thats it for now signed $haan
Harry potter yay! I read all the book so awsome my favorite spell is espeliearmus the spell that takes the wand away from the competiter also i like the one called expecto patronam that was scares the dementors away and shoots a blue ball of light so they go away well you all now i love Harry Potter so thats it for now signed $haan
[...] UNLESS YOU’RE RICH! Are a nation of spoiled drunkards and cowards. — What’s the RIDDIKULUS “HOLDUP”. –>>Rupert [...]
All Harry potter fanatics are imbecile and infantile
is that real???????
I suspected they might be Latin. I’m not a huge fan of Harry Potter, but I’ve heard the spells plenty.
Avada Kedavra sounds like something in a language I invented:
Avade Keldava. It’s a name meaning ‘one who climbs mountains.’ Ade keld means tall rock or mountain, ava is a special word like ‘tel’ (in) that you put around other words. Ava means climber. To say the climber only climbs or is known for climbing certain things, put those certain things in between two avas.
Ava keldava (Rock climber)
Avaklef ava (Rope climber; klef=rope)
Avade vlejava (Tall things climber; vleja=object)
Sorry, it’s ava klefava.
Also, since everyone seems to adore Wingardium Leviosa, I suppose it’s worth mentioning that Leviosa sounds like:
Lervioser. It means ‘to pull down a visor, as on a helmet.’
Lervia: Lower, drop, pull down.
er: Suffix indicating that the previous words should be combined at their common letter(s) (if they have them). Vi, in this case.
Normally lervioser is altered during speech and writing to better become part of the sentence:
‘She dropped to the ground, lowering the visor silently.’
‘Lena eflervi klenju ef, lerviosilanier.’
The last word, lerviosilani, is a combination of lervioser and silanis (quietly). It has, of course, the er suffix.
But why would anyone be interested in this? I don’t think they will.
” Vipera Evanesca “…
It’s fun and funny …
Like “Ridikulus ”
i like the spell Locomotor Mortis it Locks opponents legs like the curse spell
mine favorite spell is Engorgio
i love waddiwasi, frula , riddikkulus , and reppello muggletum i also like hufflepuff b cuz they sound funny, =p so does voldemort =^D and u-no-poo
My favorite spell is Serpensortia because im a snake lover AND because it was used by my favorite character in the Movie ‘The Chamber of Secrets’. It was when Draco and Harry were duling and then Draco shot out the word “Serpensortia!” and a snake flew from his wand out onto the floor. ^.^” Heh thats my favorite Chara and Spell i guess
Ancient Latin Spell to vanish the evil spirit.!
Dios tona amahan incristotis,impactotis ispiritus amotaradres
oleon pactorem micetar icerto. Amen.
i love avada kadavra and crucio conjunctivitis
some of you people are crazy
My favourite Harry Potter spell is WINGARDIUM LEVIOSA .
Sorry for my language ,I’m French.