Bookish Corner

Magical Theory: Spells

Hullo Potterheads!!

Welcome to my Magical Theory lesson! If spells from Harry Potter sound like Greek and Latin to you, never fear (they’re more Latin than Greek, though). So read on, it’s time to brush up those rusty languages!

Harry, Ron and Hermione learning magic



One of the first spells in the series,  the word is supposedly from the West African Sidiki dialect and means “friendly to thieves.”

What it does-

Alohomora unlocks locked doors and windows. Very handy for thieves, it’s also called Thief’s Friend. It is very effective against Colloportus, the locking charm.

Wingardium Leviosa


Wingardium is a composite word, with the “wing” from English and the “ardus” meaning high, or proudly elevated.”Leviosa” is derived from the latin word “levo” which means ‘to rise up.’

What it does-

This is the Levitation Charm, so it’s used to levitate objects, like a troll’s club, for example. It can also prove to be fatal if said club falls on the troll’s head.

Expecto Patronum


This spell literally means ‘I await a patron’. A Patronum in ancient Rome was a rich, powerful man who would defend his clients in lawsuits, assist them in business transactions, find them good jobs, and pay them a small daily allowance in exchange for certain services.

What it does-

This ancient and mysterious charm conjures a magical guardian, a projection of all your most positive feelings. Used as a defence against Dementors, creatures who feed on fear and negative emotions.



This spell means exactly what it sounds like: ridiculous. How preposterous.

What it does-

This spell dispels Boggarts, although laughing at one will also do the trick. It is quite difficult to laugh at one’s greatest fears, though.

Vera Verto


Vera Verto is a Latin phrase that can be taken to mean “I truly exchange”.

What it does-

It transforms animals into water goblets. Extremely convenient when you want to hide your pet rat or lizard.



The incantation is derived from the Latin “protego”, meaning “I defend”, or “I protect”.

What it does-

Acting as a protective shield, this spell protects the caster from most harmful spells, Dark and Unforgivable spells excluded.



The word ‘lumos’ is Latin for ‘light’.

What it does-

This spell produces a sphere of light at the top of the wand. It’s used to light up dark places. It’s also quite a handy defence against the Devil’s Snare.

The Imperius Curse (Imperio)


The roots of this spell can be seen in Latin words such as imperator (ruler), imperatum (command or instruction), and impero (`I demand’).

What it does-

This is one of the three Unforgivable Curses, and it allows the caster to control the victim’s mind (*shudder*). The caster can make the victim do anything like tap dancing, drowning in the sea and jumping off the edge of a cliff.

The Cruciatus Curse (Crucio)


Crucio, meaning ‘I torture’ or ‘I torment’, is derived from the Latin word cruciare, which is related to the Latin word crux.

What it does-

This is the most cruel of the Unforgivable Curses, and it causes intense, agonizing and excruciating pain to the victim. The catch is, one really has to feel hatred and loathing towards a person for this curse to work properly.

The Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra)


It is an ancient spell in Aramaic, and it is the original of abracadabra, which means ‘let the thing be destroyed.’

What it does-

This is the final Unforgivable Curse, and it gives people the gift of death (even when they don’t want it). Thankfully, it is painless and as easy as falling asleep.

That’s it for today!! I hope you all enjoyed this post. If you liked this post or have any suggestions, please comment!



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