What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”?
This presentation is the property of its rightful owner.
Sponsored Links
1 / 46

Johanna Katchen ( 柯安娜教授 ) National Tsing Hua University mx.nthu.tw/~katchen PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • 73 Views
  • Uploaded on
  • Presentation posted in: General

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? Video and Digital Media Interest Section contribution to intersection presentation Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings. Johanna Katchen ( 柯安娜教授 ) National Tsing Hua University http://mx.nthu.edu.tw/~katchen

Download Presentation

Johanna Katchen ( 柯安娜教授 ) National Tsing Hua University mx.nthu.tw/~katchen

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Presentation Transcript


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”?Video and Digital Media Interest Sectioncontribution to intersection presentation Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings

Johanna Katchen (柯安娜教授)

National Tsing Hua University

http://mx.nthu.edu.tw/~katchen

[email protected]

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Why use harry potter

Why Use Harry Potter?

  • The stories are popular with all ages from upper primary school through adult

  • Students may read the stories and see the films in their L1

  • Recently I have been teaching listening or listening/speaking classes with university freshmen—and they are, refreshingly, like big children

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • The books contain many cultural elements especially good for speaking and writing activities

  • Halloween and Guy Fawkes Night

  • The education system in the USA and Britain

  • The role of predestination (Harry as hero)

  • Beliefs about the deceased (Harry’s parents, death of Sirius)

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • As a linguist, I have focused on Rowling’s clever use of language; the names are full of cultural meaning that is for the most part lost in translation to the students’ L1

  • In 2005 I published a “popular” book for the Taiwan audience, English and Chinese facing pages—Names in the Harry Potter Books: Etymology and Word Play

  • What I’m talking about comes from the book and materials from the classes I have been teaching

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Advantages of using dvds for language learning

Advantages of Using DVDs for Language Learning

  • Better than VCDs because we can change subtitle/caption options

  • Beginners can use L1 (in my situation Chinese) subtitles to enjoy the film and get general meaning

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Intermediate students can use L2 (English captions) to study and identify the language by reading it

  • We can turn off captions to challenge and quiz ourselves

  • We can turn the English captions back on to check our answers

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Names for women from flowers

Names for Women from Flowers

  • How do you feel about the following names for women? Rose, Lily, Violet?

  • How about Daffodil, Pansy, Petunia, Geranium, Hyacinth (British comedy)?

  • Positive-sounding flower names are Rose, Violet, Lily, Daisy, and perhaps some others popular in the past.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Lily Evans Potter, Harry’s mother, deceased, was killed by Voldemort.

  • Lily is a pleasant and normal name of a flower; it signifies purity. The lily stands tall, proud and beautiful, a noble flower.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Petunia Evans Dursley, Harry’s aunt, is sister to Lily (Potter).

  • Petunia is a name said to denote anger and resentment, and Harry’s aunt resents the idea that she got stuck with the responsibility of providing a home for Harry.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Petunia is a rare name and is considered rather silly. Although a petunia has the same general shape as a lily, it is small and cheap and easily blown over by the wind.

  • In animated cartoons, Porky Pig’s sister was called Petunia Pig.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Moaning Myrtle is the ghost that lives in the first floor girls’ bathroom.

  • Myrtle is said to mean ‘joy’, a description opposite to that of this ghost; it is not a popular name today.

  • A female student of Slytherin House—the bad guys—is named Pansy Parkinson.

  • Also Narcissa Malfoy and Poppy Pomfrey (school nurse).

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Names for pets

Names for Pets

  • How do we name our pets?

  • When I was a child, many dogs, especially those owned by old ladies, were called Princie.

  • Some cultures play on the color, such as Blackie, in Chinese 小黑

  • This comparison of kinds of pet names is a great topic bringing out childhood memories.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Hagrid calls his dog Fang (牙牙), an odd name for this dog because he’s so gentle.

  • A fang is ‘a long tooth of an animal’. In mammals it is used for tearing flesh, in spiders and snakes for injecting poison.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Fluffy(毛毛)is the name Hagrid gives to the three-headed dog guarding the trapdoor leading to where the philosopher’s stone is kept.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • The name Fluffy would normally be given to a friendly pet dog with a lot of hair that is kept clean and well-groomed.

  • However, giving the name Fluffy to a vicious beast is consistent with Hagrid’s habit of adopting monstrous creatures and considering them cute and harmless.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Names of people based on or reminiscent of animal names

Names of People Based on or Reminiscent of Animal Names

  • Ron Weasley, Harry’s good friend, from a poor wizarding family.

  • Weasley reminds us of a weasel, a small and somewhat insignificant mammal that eats rodents and small birds. It is not so beautiful or elegant.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Ron feels rather small and insignificant because he is the sixth child in a family of seven children.

  • Since the weasel can be a clever and tricky animal, there is a verb to weasel out of meaning to get out of doing something, probably by making excuses.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Vincent Crabbe, one of Draco’s cronies, reminds us of the sea creature “crab”, and the Latin word for crab is cancer, as in the astrology sign. Crabby people are also unpleasant.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Gregory Goyle is Draco’s other crony.

  • Goyle reminds us of gargoyle, a sculpted representation of an ugly animal creature put on medieval buildings for protection and to scare away evil spirits. Goyle looks and acts like a gargoyle.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Professor Severus Snape, teacher of Potions, Head of Slytherin House.

  • Snape sounds like snake, and he is head of Slytherin House, whose mascot is the snake. He also quickly snaps at people.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Professor Quirrell, teacher, supports evil Voldemort.

  • His name sounds like squirrel, a meek animal. A person likened to a squirrel is considered small and inconsequential.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Rita Skeeter is the news reporter who gives Harry trouble.

  • Skeeter is a slang word for mosquito, a pesty insect. She can also transform herself into an insect, a beetle.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

Names of People from Mythological Sources

  • Remus Lupin , teacher of Defense Against the Dark Arts during Harry’s third year, has the unfortunate affliction of turning into a werewolf during the full moon. His condition is hinted at by both parts of his name.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • In Roman mythology we read that the city of Rome was founded by the twin brothers Romulus and Remus; Romulus later killed Remus.

  • When they were babies, they were abandoned by their mother but rescued by a she-wolf, who nursed them.

  • The second part of the name, Lupin, comes from “lupis”, the Latin root for wolf.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Sirius Black, the prisoner who escaped from Azkaban, can turn himself into a black dog.

  • The brightest star in the constellation known as Canis Major is called Sirius, and the shape of the constellation is said to resemble a dog. In Latin “canis” means ‘dog’, and we see it in the English word canine.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Minerva McGonagall, head of Griffindor House.Minervawas the Roman goddess of wisdom and the patron of teachers.

  • Sybil Trelawney, divination teacher. In Greek mythology, Sybil was one of ten female prophets, all of whom were called sibyls.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Hermione Granger, Harry’s good friend, from Hermes, messenger god, very quick, and her intelligence is quick.

  • Luna Lovegood, student who helps Harry in the Order of the Phoenix. Luna was the name of the Roman goddess of the moon. Her nickname is Looney, meaning ‘crazy’.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Sound symbolism

Sound Symbolism

  • Sound symbolism has to do with how certain sounds and sequences of sounds are perceived by native speakers as carrying elements of meaning. These perceptions are very specific to individual languages.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Words starting with sn- in English are usually negative, e.g., snafu, snag, snap, snare, snarl, snatch, sneak, sneer, snide, sniff, snigger, snip, snipe, snitch, snivel, snob, snoop, snooty, snort, snot, snub, snuff, perhaps evensnoreand there is often the sense of a quick motion (snap, snatch, sniff, snip, snort) or secret movement (snatch, sneak, snoop).

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Thus Professor Snape as well as snake are negative.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • The sound shwa [ә]tends to imply something negative or unpleasant, e.g., mud, lug, slug, lump, puddle.

  • Other words with this negative connotation of “duh” include dumb, dirt, dull, dump.

  • The “duh” sound is used to indicate a stupid person

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Dudley Dursley, Harry’s cousin, about the same age as Harry

  • Dudley sounds like dud ‘a firecracker or explosive that does not detonate’. Dudley is in one sense a dud, too, because he is not intelligent, not hard-working, not good-tempered, and not even good-looking.

  • Poor Dudley Dursley is twice-cursed linguistically.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Words beginning with sl- , like Slytherin House and the word slither, have a certain wet, slippery, and somewhat negative quality: sleazy, sleek, slick, slide, slimy, slink, slip,slippery, sliver, slob, slobber, slop, sloppy, slosh, slot, sludge, slug, sluice, slump, slur, slurry, slurp, slush, slut, sly.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Slytherin house

Slytherin House

  • The mascot of Slytherin House is the snake, and when snakes move, they slither. Both snakes and the action of slithering can indicate that someone is sneaky, moving from side to side rather than taking a direct and hence honest course. Indeed, many of the members of Slytherin House have these qualities.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Double meanings and word play

Double Meanings and Word Play

  • Professor Binns is the only professor at Hogwarts who is a ghost. His name is a pun on the word been. He had been alive but now he is not. We might also say his boring teaching method is from the past.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Diagon Alley is the wizard street in London where witches and wizards shop and where Hogwarts students get their school supplies.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Diagon Alley obviously means diagonally; the wizard’s world exists at the same time as the world we see, but on another plane or angle or dimension, hence diagonally to our own.

  • An alley is ‘a small street, often narrow’.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Floo Powder is a rapid means of transportation that witches and wizards use; they enter a chimney, take a handful of Floo Powder, announce where they want to go, and they immediately arrive in the nearest chimney.

  • Floo sounds like flew (fly, flew, flown), and they travel very rapidly, even faster than flying.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • A flue is part of a chimney, the part through which the smoke from the fire escapes. Witches and wizards travel through chimneys, too, through the flue.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Knockturn Alley (a seedy place where one could get knocked about, sounds like nocturne, where sinister activities take place under cover of darkness)

  • Grimmauld Place (it’s a grim old place)

  • Kreacher (a house elf, treated like a creature, sub-human)

  • The Knight Bus (comes at night, rescues like a knight)

  • Mrs. Skower’s All Purpose Magical Mess Remover (to scour a sink)

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Boggart, a creature that takes the shape of that which we fear, is based on a term known to children. In the United States it is called the bogeyman.

  • What meaning do you find in the name Igor Karkaroff?

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • Igor Karkaroff, the Headmaster of Durmstrang, has a Slavic name. Igor is a common personal name in Russia.

  • In older American films, the name Igor was often given to a sinister character, usually portrayed as large and strong but somewhat stupid, willing to do anything his master commanded, even quite horrendous things.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • The name Karkaroff sounds like carcass, a dead body, or the sound crows make—Caw-caw!

  • The “–off” (or “-of”, “-ov”) suffix is common in Slavic names.

  • There was an actor with a similar name, Boris Karloff, who was tall and thin and a bit scary-looking, and he played sinister roles. Karkaroff is described as looking and behaving very much like the Karloff roles.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

  • In many dialects of English, including a more Standard British English, the post vocalic [r] is not pronounced too prominently.

  • That would mean that the first [r] would not be pronounced.

  • The second [r] would be pronounced as the first sound of the last syllable.

  • Thus we would get [ka ka rof]

  • Kaka is a children’s word for feces.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


Johanna katchen national tsing hua university mx nthu tw katchen

Rowling uses the English language very cleverly, hiding puns in the names.There is much in the Harry Potter books to stretch the minds of EFL/ESL learners of all ages toward the many nuances of English vocabulary.

What’s hidden behind the names in “Harry Potter”? (VDMIS contribution to Intersection: Stretching Young Learners’ Literature Toward New Understandings)


  • Login