Distaff can refer to "women's work" (an archaic term) or a spinning wheel, but it can also refer to the female side of a family. That is, the maternal side. Most families, at least in the West, are patrilineal, meaning they trace families through the father (like with surname). Severus Snape is a Prince on his mother's side, hence a distaff member of the family. You can see here[1] and here [2] for a discussion of the term. Oread 16:11, 17 March 2008 (UTC)

Why would that need to be specified? 20:14, 17 March 2008 (UTC)
A previous edit asked for clarification, which is why I explained the term here. I just think it's strange to list Severus Snape as a Prince when he's not really - he's a Snape. We don't list Draco Malfoy as a Black, or Ron and Ginny as Prewetts, and so on. Why should this be an exception? Oread 01:27, 18 March 2008 (UTC)
A valid point. However, exception could be made since Snape felt strongly enough to identify himself with the Prince family through the use of his moniker, the Half-Blood Prince. - Cavalier One(Wizarding Wireless Network) 08:32, 18 March 2008 (UTC)


In my opinion, the Snape family and Prince family articles should not be merged. For one, the Princes were a pure-blood family. The Snapes were a Muggle family that now has some magical blood (Severus Snape). Also, they are distinct families, even if they are related to one another (e.g. like the Blacks and the Malfoys). Lastly, what would the merged article be called? The "Prince-Snape family"? I can't think of anything else, and it's far from a canon term. Oread 22:29, 27 July 2008 (UTC)


I don't think it was ever clearly stated that Eileen Prince and therefore her family, were pure-blood. She could be half-blood, which would still make Snape one as well. Harry assumes that Eileen must be pure-blood in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Chapter 30 (The White Tomb), but Hermione was reading the article, and just says Tobias was a muggle. Would she have corrected him if he was wrong, or since Harry went on a bit of a rant and Ron started talking about something else, moved on? I see Eileen's page makes note of the distinction. Should we do the same here, or is Harry's claim enough to say to say they were definitely pure-blood? -- Kates39 (talk) 20:24, May 30, 2017 (UTC)