Name etymology

I propose we make "Name etymology" its own section, instead of being a subsection of "Behind the scenes". Most articles already do this anyway. Also, instead of using "Name etymology", I think we should just use "Etymology", because most articles do this anyway. Like I just said, most articles do this anyway, but it says differently in the layout guide. I think we should remain consistent with the wiki's layout. Either we change so many pages that use "Etymology" as its own section, or we change the layout guide. I think it would be much easier to just change the guide. --Texthawm (Owl Me) 14:29, January 30, 2011 (UTC)

As you pointed out, this is already standard. I've tweaked the "clean" template to be more in-line with how our articles are now formatted, though work still needs to be done on this guide. ProfessorTofty (talk) 02:08, January 6, 2013 (UTC)


The "clean" appearances section was well out-of-date. I've updated it as best possible, but I have a nagging feeling I probably left off a thing or few, which was why I edited to no longer say that it was complete. If anyone knows any I've left out, feel free to add them, and restore that it's complete if you're sure nothing has been left out. I'm also not sure if the order I used was entirely satisfactory, but then again, I'm a bit confused as to that anyway. For example, The Tales of Beedle the Bard (real) is often listed in the Appearances in articles after both of the LEGO Harry Potter games, but it was actually released well before either of them. ProfessorTofty 02:34, January 17, 2012 (UTC)

Clean appearances

Not all sources are mentioned in this section - intentionally?  Harry granger   Talk   contribs 21:12, January 25, 2014 (UTC)


This section should be removed from pages imo. Etymology is generally unreferenced and is mostly speculation, neither does it directly improve articles. The "Behind the scenes" section should be used for notable instances where J.K. Rowling took inspiration for the name of a character or location. Thoughts? --Sajuuk 11:25, April 30, 2016 (UTC)

Given that the story is told first and foremost through the written word, and that JKR has a demonstrated love of word play for names of people, places, spells, & more, I think the Etymology section adds a lot to most articles. Unfortunately, JKR only explains her reasoning behind names on occasion, so having users familiar with Latin, Russian, Arabic, and other languages help explain possible meanings seems like a good use of an uncommon skill IMHO. --Ironyak1 (talk) 03:21, May 5, 2016 (UTC)
But anything other than Rowling's description or meaning behind a word would be speculative. We should only be including factual data, not just speculation. Additionally, a lot of these so-called translations in other languages are probably Google Translate, not from people who actually know the language, or just that they looked up some website that gives meanings of words. It's happened on other wiki's I've edited on and it usually got out of control with irrelevant etymologies being added that could never be verified.
I don't mind adding referenced and official name meanings to pages under the "Behind the scenes" section. However, they should all be verified and official: ie, they must only be name meanings that have been provided by Rowling. Anything else should be removed because they're likely not official. --Sajuuk 09:02, May 5, 2016 (UTC)


There are a variety of inconsistencies between the Layout Guide text and the Clean Template at the bottom such as:

  • Order of See also, External links, Notes and references
  • Etymology as subsection of the Article body, a subsection of Behind the scenes, (or at its own level 2 header as seems most commonly used)
  • Recommending <br /> between infobox item lists instead of a bulleted list (which seems more commonly used?)

Are these things that need discussion, an admin's attention to reconcile, or should I just make the Guide text conform with the Clean Template format (as that seems to be actually used in most articles)? Thanks --Ironyak1 (talk) 04:00, May 5, 2016 (UTC)

If the order of some pages is wrong, then it's fine to correct them. As for br, those should not be used in infoboxes, a bullet point list is better (where possible, sometimes a br is better). Shame there is no way of automating the listings in infoboxes. --Sajuuk 09:05, May 5, 2016 (UTC)

Updating Guide

As a bump to the Inconsistencies section above, I would like to start to update this Guideline to bring it closer in line with current practices and capture some of the unwritten practices that have developed over time. As it is part of Harry Potter Wiki:Policy, I don't want to change anything unilaterally, but do want to fix some clear shortcomings and out of date information. Is it ok for me to edit this and have admins review for accuracy, or should I make suggestions on the Talk page and have an admin make the changes, or draft something for wider review, or...? Thoughts on how to proceed? --Ironyak1 (talk) 17:42, June 8, 2016 (UTC)