I've noticed a few characters in the Harry Potter series who share their names with towns in England:

Is there a list of all Harry Potter characters named after places?

Bonus question: has JK Rowling ever commented on why certain characters were named after places, or what about those places inspired her to use their names?

  • 1
    @Richard Also here. But if you do the work of picking out the place-name characters and turning that list into an answer, there's a bunch of rep and a green tick in it for you :-)
    – Rand al'Thor
    Mar 29, 2016 at 14:21
  • 6
    Being named after the place your family comes from is fairly common across Europe, as is being named after a job (Potter, Smith, Baker etc)
    – Separatrix
    Mar 29, 2016 at 14:25
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    @Randal'Thor - True, but it's a lot of work to prove that quite a lot of her characters, intentionally or not, have names that happen to be places. Was Caradoc Dearborn named after Dearborn, California? Was Daedelus Diggle named after Diggle, Manchester? Who the hell knows and does naming all of the people that are named after places get us any closer to knowing?
    – Valorum
    Mar 29, 2016 at 14:33
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    For the record, the bonus question seems far and away the most interesting part of this question.
    – Valorum
    Mar 29, 2016 at 14:34
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    @Skooba as you implied, the US does things differently. In the UK the place names would generally come first, and lots of people took a place as their surname, when surnames became common. Mar 29, 2016 at 17:21

1 Answer 1


MuggleNet has extensive listing of the characters that appear in the Harry Potter series.

Listed here, the name in bold comes from a known town while the name parenthesis is just for clarification of character.

However, one can easily see this list is not complete, as two of the name the OP mentions (Dawlish and Runcorn) are not listed. Also, she may used a different origin for their name rather than the town itself. All quotes below come JKR's writings on Pottermore.

  1. (Bathilda) Bagshot - town in Surrey, England.

  2. (Vernon, Petunia, Dudley) Dursley - town near J.K. Rowling’s birthplace. JKR specifically mentions the town's name as inspiration;

    The surname ‘Dursley’ was taken from the eponymous town in Gloucestershire, which is not very far from where I was born. I have never visited Dursley, and I expect that it is full of charming people. It was the sound of the word that appealed, rather than any association with the place.

  3. (The Centaur) Firenze – Italian name for the city of Florence.

  4. Filius Flitwick – town in England

  5. (Gilderoy) Lockhart - town in Australia near Wagga Wagga JKR on the origins of Lockhart (note nothing to do with the town)

    I don’t really trawl books. They tend to be things I’ve collected or stumbled across in general reading. The exception was Gilderoy – Gilderoy Lockhart. The name Lockhart, well, I know it’s quite a well-known Scottish surname… …I found on a war memorial. I was looking for quite a glamorous, dashing sort of surname, and Lockhart caught my eye on this war memorial, and that was it.

  6. Olympe (Maxime) - From French. Olympe means “Olympus,” referring to Mount Olympus

  7. (Severus) Snape - town in England

  8. (Sibyll) Trelawney- also an area in Cornwall, England. JKR states she loves old Cornish surnames ;

    I love Cornish surnames, and had never used one until the third book in the series, so that is how Professor Trelawney got her family name. I did not want to call her anything comical, or which suggested chicanery, but something impressive and attractive. 'Trelawney' is a very old name, suggestive of Sybill's over-reliance on her ancestry when seeking to impress.

  • 2
    Firenze's name sounds particularly incongruous to an Italian, as in Italian city names are feminine; in the translation, the centaur is named Fiorenzo, which preserves the connection to the city name but has a masculine ending.
    – lfurini
    Mar 29, 2016 at 18:47
  • For future reference, some other characters are named after constellations.
    – burcu
    Aug 23, 2016 at 5:43

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