What is the origin of using the term "voldy" to refer to Voldemort? Where was the first usage of it found? Did anyone use it in canon?

What is the origin of the "Voldy" nickname?

To be clear, I'm ideally looking for an out-of-universe explanation as to where the term came from. Quoting an occurrence in the books written after the nickname became popular doesn't answer the question.

  • What's with the blatant downvoting?
    – Adamant
    Mar 25, 2016 at 2:40
  • @Jonah - People dislike the question. Or the the topic. Or me. Who knows?
    – ibid
    Mar 25, 2016 at 3:59
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    @ibid I'm not one of the downvoters, however... It's contradictory. You ask "did anyone use it in canon, where was the first usage" and then you say you want an out of universe answer only? basically, it sounds like you are predisposed towards a particular answer and would not accept in-universe answers, even though canon is obviously in-universe. Mar 25, 2016 at 12:34
  • @TheGiantofLannister - I was asking for the where the source of the nickname among fandom is. I proposed canon, as a possible solution, but unless someone can find an example from an earlier book, it clearly can't be the source. People using a nickname they found in canon is clearly out-of-universe. I've mildly edited to clarify.
    – ibid
    Mar 30, 2016 at 0:11
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    @Jonah - I ask questions to get answers, not rep.
    – ibid
    Apr 5, 2016 at 7:17

2 Answers 2


As Au101 mentions, the first canon usage is in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, where Peeves employs the sobriquet in an improvised bit of doggerel.

As for the first attested non-canon usage? Well, clearly it was in 1999, to judge from this paper. It says very clearly, on page 8, vol D_y = 1: Voldy is the one. :)

But in all seriousness, the name is actually quite old. Here it is in 2002, from cosforums.com user LewsTherin:

Here's the factual part. We know that Voldy went to the Potters to kill Harry and James. We also know that he did not need to kill Lily but did so because she resisted him. She then sacrificed herself and Voldemort's powers were broken when his AK curse failed. Run of the mill stuff.

But here's a suggestion. We've always assumed that what happened was that Lily's sacrifice created a counter charm that simply acted as a shield and bounced the AK back at Voldemort, not involving Harry at all. Here's where my theory starts going crazy. What if, this was in fact, not the case? What if, it didn't bounce the curse back, but rather absorbed it, using Harry's own power? Let me explain.

We know Harry is very powerful, and it is my opinion that he's the most powerful wizard in terms of sheer magical power that has ever lived. He outstrips Voldemort by a comfortable margin, and Dumbledore as well. So, maybe Lily knew this. Maybe she knew that she, in her own power, could not stop an AK curse no matter what the power of the counter charm, but she knew about Harry's power, knew that it was even greater than Voldemort's. She also probably knew that Voldy would come for them, and thus started to prepare long before he came.

This page also has a 2002 date, although its timestamp says it was last modified in 2006. However, it does not reference events from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2003) which would be quite relevant, so I think we can assume that 2002 is when it was written.

PREDICTION; The last of the line of Gryffindor will be the downfall of the last of the Last heir of Slytherin"; So Voldy wants to protect his own hide from Harry, so he tries to kill him.

Here is another page from March 2002, in Italian. It is about one of the age-old questions, Sauron vs. Voldemort:

Indubbiamente Voldy è più "cattivo" ..hehe diciamo che Sauron è un "Chaos".. mentre Voldy è più un "Evil" :muhehe: :bapho:

"Undoubtedly Voldy is more 'bad'...hehe I say that Sauron is a 'Chaos'...while Voldy is more of an Evil'". (mwahaha Baphomet? maybe?)

And another reference here.

I can find no solid evidence from before 2001.

So the best evidence I can find indicates that the word "Voldy," used to refer to Voldemort, showed up on the Internet in 2002.

Why 2002? Well, it was during the long wait between Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix. Voldemort had first appeared as an embodied character in Book 4. Maybe this had something to do with it. We shall probably never know.


Somewhere in the distance they could hear Peeves zooming through the corridors singing a victory song of his own composition:

We did it, we bashed them, wee Potter's the One,

And Voldy's gone mouldy, so now let's have fun!

'Really gives a feeling for the scope and tragedy of the thing, doesn't it?' said Ron, pushing open a door to let Harry and Hermione through.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - pp.557-8 - Bloomsbury - Chapter 36, The Flaw in the Plan

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    Not sure how I forgot that line. But then the name appeared in popular culture prior to 2007, (e.g. Potter Puppet Pals).
    – ibid
    Mar 24, 2016 at 19:12
  • Also, Urban Dictionary has had the word listed close to a year before Deathly Hallows came out, and I can find it in fanfiction from as far back as 2003. Pretty sure it doesn't come from Peeves.
    – ibid
    Mar 25, 2016 at 0:39
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    @ibid Excuse me, but in fairness, you asked three questions at a time pre-edit. One of those was Did anyone use it in canon? which I answered, and a second, following on from that question, was Where was the first usage of it found? Especially as it follows on from the canon question, it is perfectly fair to read that as asking for the first canon usage, or, at least, both the first canon usage and any earlier usage elsewhere. In which case I answer at least 1½, if not 2 of your 3 questions in 1
    – Au101
    Mar 25, 2016 at 1:03
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    Personally I neither know nor care what the first recorded usage was I don't think it really matters, I doubt JKR reads fanfic or watches Potter Puppet Pals. The canon usage of the term comes from it being a nice, fun rhyme with mouldy. Let's speak frankly, Voldy is hardly an imaginative name, I'm sure kids have been calling him that from day 1 during their bed time story. Its use in the books comes, I think, from Jo Rowling wanting a nice rhyme that contrasts with the horror because that's funny, it's gallows humour. I don't assert that the fanfictioners got it from DH
    – Au101
    Mar 25, 2016 at 1:06
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    @Au101, your point that Voldy isn't imaginative and would probably have been used has always been one of my questions about the books. Every teenager I know comes up with nicknames to mock people. Why didn't Harry start mocking "He who shall not be named" as "Tommy Boy". Certainly would have prevented the Death Eaters from finding them when Harry inadvertently said Voldermort...
    – KevinO
    Mar 25, 2016 at 4:04

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