Spells… List I.

In my quest to know every inch of the Harry Potter world I have been thinking about the spells used in the books and the fact that even now, a made up word ‘Stupify’ can mean exactly the same thing to you (if you have ever read the books which I am sure many millions of people have; with at least 400 million copies of the whole series having been printed) as it does to me.

I found a wonderful quote many months ago that I printed out and stuck on my fridge-

‘Wishing you could just Accio something when you can’t find it…’

With that one made up word with it’s fictitious meaning, you can say quite a bit. I’m sure many millions of fantasy fans have their own versions of what I might call ‘The Shakespeare Effect’ and hopefully we may find these delightful new words (or old words with new meanings) working their way into our fabulous Oxford English Dictionary. This first grabbed my attention when Rick Stein (of all people) mentioned the Latin meaning for ‘baggage’- Impedimenta. What a wonderfully intelligent author to use old words and give them new light, life and meanings whilst still being tightly connected to their roots.

Don’t get me wrong. I have no idea of the complexities of our modern English language, let alone Latin or anything else but I just find the level of obsession, determination and the sheer amount of research and background in the Harry Potter world to be absolutely fascinating. Think also of the language Professor J.R.R. Tolkien (I do apologise if I am incorrect in any way) who went as far as to design/manufacture/craft a whole new set of languages both lingual and written. Now that is a whole new level of obsession I really admire…

So for this post I am trying to remember (with a little research) spells and their meanings although I will not list the Unforgivable Curses here.

Lumos- light much like a torch

Lumos Maxima- a huge amount of light

Lumos Solem- an imitation of sunlight

Nox- to extinguish the Lumos spell

Reparo- to repair inanimate objects

Impedimenta- to impede an opponent

Confringo- a blasting curse with explosive power (offensive spell)

Wingardium Leviosa (Levi-o-sa not Levio-sar ;p )- to levitate an inanimate object

Impervious- to make an inanimate object impervious to substances

Alohomora- an unlocking spell

Colloportus- a locking spell

Furnuculous- to cover an opponent with boils

Stupefy- to knock a person unconscious (offensive spell)

Rennervate- to wake an unconscious person

Duro- to solidify an inanimate object

Salvio Hexia- used to shield against minor hexes, can be used on dwellings

Finite Incantatem- to extinguish a spell

Priori Incantatem- to call forth a previous spell from a wand

Deletrius- to delete a previous spell from a wand

Repello Muggletum- to literally repel Muggles with gentle influence

Episkey- to heal minor injuries

Diffindo- a severing charm

Piortotum Locomotor- to animate normally inanimate objects to do casters bidding

Aguamenti- water jet

Obliviate- an extremely powerful charm to remove memory

Specialis Revelio- used to reveal any hidden spells on an inanimate object

Homenum Revelio- used to reveal the presence of living beings in an area

Incendio- to produce flames

Petrificus Totalus- the full body-bind curse

Liberacorpus- counter-curse to below, to drop levitated person

Levicorpus- to levitate a person by the ankles (offensive spell)

Protego- a personal shield charm to protect against minor jinxes

Protego Totalum- a larger more powerful shield charm for houses/dwellings

Expelliarmus- to disarm and opponent

Muffliato- to effectively ‘muffle’ and sound you might make in the immediate vicinity

Accio- to call an inanimate object to you

Incarcerous- to bind an opponent in ropes

Engorgio- to cause an object to grow in size

Reducio- counter-jinx to the above, to reduce any grown object

Oppugno- used to set conjured animals on another person (offensive spell)

Avis- to conjure canaries

Cave Inimicum- a spell to strengthen defenses on a building/set area

Descendo- causes inanimate objects to sink or lower

Priori Incantatem- to call forth previous spells from a wand

Finite Incantatem- to finish/cancel/void any spell and it’s effects

Locomotor Mortis- the leg-locker curse

Locomotor- to move any inanimate object to the casters will

Anapneo- to stop someone choking

Expulso- used to explode inanimate objects

Aparecium- reveals invisible ink

Geminio- used to replicate an inanimate object

Glisseo- used to turn stairs flat and glassy

Confundo- to confuse an opponent

Defodio- used to carve away heavy/thick/dangerous materials

Evanesco- to vanish something

Expecto Patronum- produces a life like representation of the caster’s innermost positive feelings, such as joy or hope

Unfortunately the only people I can use these wonderful words with in normal conversation would be my fabulously open minded parents who ‘get’ me, even when the rest of the world doesn’t. If anyone would like to add suggestions to this list I’d be very happy to hear them!

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2 thoughts on “Spells… List I.

    • I don’t know a word of Latin but I know what you mean. You almost know what the words mean as our modern English is derived from these very starting blocks so they seem very similar!

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