Potterheads: Do you know how to pronounce the spell Amortentia? Are you sure? According to Pottermore’s post about the most commonly mispronounced Harry Potter terms, the name of the love potion Amortentia ranks up as a wizarding term often said incorrectly — along with a few other words and character names which might surprise you!
Knuts, Wizengamot, and bezoar also make Pottermore‘s list. Unlike most words beginning with “kn,” Knuts — a currency Hogwarts kids use — is actually pronounced “Ca-nuts.” The Wizengamot — an intimidating word for the high court of wizarding law — is correctly uttered “We-zen-gaa-mought.” Based on the trickiness of these and other wizarding words, it makes sense readers would be unable to guess that “bezoar,” an ingredient Harry uses in Potions class, is said exactly how it’s spelled.
It’s a good thing most Muggles don’t own wands, because readers have also struggled with pronouncing pesky spells, such as the evil-sounding Morsmordre (“Mores-more-druh”), the incantation used by Death Eaters to conjure the Dark Mark in the sky. And, as noted above, you might have been pronouncing the love potion Amortentia wrong in your head all these years if you haven’t put a sharp emphasis on each “t.”
Names of characters have certainly not been left out of things we’ve mispronounced. You might be unsurprised to learn that before the first film was released, some readers weren’t sure how to say Hermione. (If you’re still in the dark, it’s “Her-my-oh-nee.”) The name of the centaur Firenze also proves tricky, which is properly pronounced like the word “frenzy.”
And finally, there’s the Dark Lord himself. Lord Voldemort seemed easy to pronounce, until J.K. Rowling tweeted that we shouldn’t pronounce the “t” at the end of the evil wizard’s name. In the words of Pottermore: “When J.K. Rowling tweeted that the ‘t’ is meant to be silent, we realized our entire lives had been a lie.”
Which of these Harry Potter words and names have you been mispronouncing? Let us know in the comments!