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  1. #1
    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    Centaurs

    Centaurs are going to be playing a fairly big role in the upcoming chapter of one of my stories, so I have a few questions that I need cleared up on the subject of the centaurs that reside in the forests around Hogwarts.

    Where do the centaur names in the Harry Potter books come from? Has anyone noticed any naming patterns that J.K. has been using in her books?

    Does anyone have any theories as to how the Hogwarts centaurs even got there? I believed the originated in Greece, am I right?

    I'm sure I will think of more questions to add later, but for now, I will settle for these.

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  2. #2
    Seventh Year Ravenclaw
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    Centaurs are going to be playing a fairly big role in the upcoming chapter of one of my stories, so I have a few questions that I need cleared up on the subject of the centaurs that reside in the forests around Hogwarts.

    Where do the centaur names in the Harry Potter books come from? Has anyone noticed any naming patterns that J.K. has been using in her books?

    Does anyone have any theories as to how the Hogwarts centaurs even got there? I believed the originated in Greece, am I right?

    I'm sure I will think of more questions to add later, but for now, I will settle for these.
    I don't really see any regular naming convention for centaurs. 'Firenze' is Italian for Florence, Bane's name simply refers to a scourge or annoyance or whatever, Ronan is an Irish Celtic name, and Magorian doesn't seem to mean anything.

    So, for centaur names, pick whatever you want, because in canon there are no naming patterns.

    As for how the centaurs got from Greece to Britain, there could be any number of explanations. Horses can swim, so centaurs should be able to do the same. But centaurs have things called arms and opposable thumbs, so they could have possibly made some boats to get across the Channel to the island. Or maybe centaurs from the continent crossed the Channel a few tens of thousands of years ago during the Pleistocene, when Britain was still connected to the continent.

    Tim the Enchanter

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    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    Hmm, but all the different names do make me wonder certain things. With all these different origins for their names, where are they learning them from? If they had old Greek names, that would be easier to understand, but where are they learning all these different names from?

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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    Hmm, but all the different names do make me wonder certain things. With all these different origins for their names, where are they learning them from? If they had old Greek names, that would be easier to understand, but where are they learning all these different names from?
    Rowling didn't really think about that when assigning names, probably. Personally, I wouldn't worry to much about this and just make up whatever names strike your fancy.

    Also, why should centaurs have Greek names? Just because their species originated there, doesn't mean the centaurs in Britain speak Greek, or have Greek names. That would be like saying all humans should speak some African language just because our species originated there.

    Tim the Enchanter

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    Wizengamot Ravenclaw
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    What do you think could be some limits in nationalities of a centaur's name. I remember once seeing a character thread for a centaur that had a Japanese name. I don't mean just a name that the author thought they had made up and then just later turned out to be a Japanese name; both the author and the character knew that their name was Japanese in origin. This, I felt, was just a little to farfetched to believe.

    What do you feel like some limitations there could be in naming a centaur?

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by OliveOil_Med
    What do you feel like some limitations there could be in naming a centaur?
    I'd say "Mr. Ed" and "Seabiscuit" are out.

    Seriously, Rowling seemed to choose names that were vaguely imposing and/or ominous. Since Centaurs, as far as we know, don't have their own language, apparently they speak the local human tongue, which means in Britain they'll pick vaguely English names.

    It's also possible they do have their own language, and "Firenze," "Bane," "Magorian," etc., are just English names they chose as approximations of their Centaur names.

    It doesn't seem likely a Centaur in Britain would have a Japanese name unless for some reason his parents were fond of Japanese culture. (And I can't really see Centaurs becoming otaku.) But they might easily choose names from various European languages -- they've been around for a long time, so they are certainly aware of English, Celtic, French, Italian, Greek, etc.

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