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"Harry had already attempted a few of the Prince's self-invented spells. There had been a hex that caused toenails to grow alarmingly fast."
—The Toenail-growing hex[src]
A hex is one of the seven known spell types. They are affiliated with Dark Magic, darker than a jinx but not as dark as a curse,[1] and generally causes moderate suffering to the victim.

Usage

Hexes can be used in a defensive capacity. For instance, in 1996, Ginny Weasley gained a reputation for being an accomplished caster of the Bat-Bogey Hex after using it to free herself from Dolores Umbridge's Inquisitorial Squad and also for casting it on Zacharias Smith from her carriage on the Hogwarts Express.[2]

According to The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1written by Miranda Goshawk hexes are actually Dark Charms.

List of Hexes

Name Incantation Effect
B Bat-Bogey Hex Causes the target's bogeys to turn into large, black bats and fly out their nose.
Bedazzling Hex Disguises things[3]
D Densaugeo Grotesquely elongates teeth[4]
E Engorgio Skullus Swells head
Entomorphis Turns target into insect[5]
H Horn-growing hex Anteoculatia Causes the victim to sprout antlers or horns
Horn tongue hex Turns the target's tongue into a horn
Hurling Hex Unclear, possibly causes a broomstick to attempt to hurl its rider off
I Illegal growth hex Head grows
Instant scalping hex Shaves all the hair off a target's scalp
K Knee-Reversal Hex Switches knees from front of legs to back.
M Mutatio Skullus Mutation
O Orange hex
P Pepper breath hex Inflicts fiery hot breath
Pus-squirting hex Causes yellowish goo to squirt from one's nose
R Redactum Skullus Shrinks head
S Sardine Hex Causes sardines to come out the victim's nose
Steleus Makes target sneeze
Stinging Hex Stings flesh[6]
Stickfast Hex Colloshoo Makes target's shoes stick to ground
T Tail-growing hex Gives the victim a tail
Tickling Hex Titillando Tickles target and weakens[7]
Toenail-growing hex Causes its victim's toenails to grow alarmingly fast
Twitchy-Ears Hex Makes victim's ears twitch[8]

Etymology

The word "hex" may derive from Pensylvania German hexe meaning "to practise witchcraft" or German hexen "to hex"[9], a meaning that the word still retains today when used as a verb. Its usage as a noun in contemporary English may refer to "a magic spell" or "a charm" and usually carries an connotation of ill will (though it used to refer to a an evil witch—such as a Hag—as well)[9][10].

Behind the scenes

  • Although there is no known class that teaches hexes at Hogwarts, it is probable that—if they are taught—they are included in the Defence Against the Dark Arts syllabus, but presumably only theoretically before students have to practise Hex-deflection spells, Salvio Hexia and counter-hexes to defend themselves against them. It is also highly likely that students learn some hexes from each other.
  • The Hex-Breaker and Hex Zapper can counter the effects of these types of spells. Probably, these are general counter-hexes.

Appearances

See also

Notes and references