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Throughout the Harry Potter novels, Rubeus Hagrid is the only character consistently addressed by his last name in a friendly manner. While the trio do frequently address their enemies by their last names, and constantly refer to their professors by last name, they always address their friends by first name. Harry never calls Ron "Weasley", Neville never calls Hermione "Granger", etc. Even among the staff, most often they address each other directly by first name. McGonagall calls Dumbledore "Albus", Dumbledore calls Snape "Severus", etc.

And yet everyone - staff, student, enemy, or friend - consistently addresses Rubeus Hagrid as simply "Hagrid". Is there any reason for that? Why the change in style of address for this one man alone?

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    my best guess is that when he went to school he didnt have many close friends so the use of his last name stuck since he never left school. I know personally that my last name was used by even my close friends in highschool do to its uniqueness vs my first name which was far to common in our group of friends. – Himarm Jun 3 '16 at 20:13
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    The students seem to address the professors by their surnames as professors seem to address the students in the same manner. the first name is reserved for friends. indeed when dumbledore address snape or mcgonagal as severus or minerva it usually in a more private setting. – Skooba Jun 3 '16 at 20:29
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    Dumbledore calls him Rubeus, doesn't he? – The Dark Lord Jun 3 '16 at 22:14
  • Maybe just because Hagrid is easier to say and a syllable shorter than Rubeus? – Xavon_Wrentaile Jun 4 '16 at 7:04
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    Worth noting that barring a couple of instances, Nymphadora Tonks is almost exclusively called Tonks. In her case, we at least hear her say it is because she hates her first name. – NKCampbell Jul 5 '16 at 15:28
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Hagrid is virtually the only occupant of a 'middle ground' in the Hogwarts hierarchy.

The two principal 'classes' (for want of a better word) at Hogwarts are the pupils and the staff. Within the classes everyone calls each other by their first names - Harry calls Ron 'Ron', and Dumbledore calls Snape 'Severus'. But pupils call staff by their last names, and staff call pupils by their last names (excepting those that are exceptionally close, like Harry and Dumbledore).

Hagrid is lower than staff, but higher than pupils. It's entirely applicable for pupils to call him Hagrid (since he is above them) and same for staff (since he is below them).

Note that Filch is in the same position, and is universally referred to as Filch, not Argus.

You could argue that Harry, Ron and Hermione become close friends with Hagrid, and they could probably get away with calling him by his first name. Probably they don't because old habits die hard, because everyone else calls him Hagrid, and because it's easier to start calling those below you by their first names - Dumbledore calls Harry 'Harry', but Harry never reciprocates.

Some of this is indeed related to the British tradition of school stories, where teachers and pupils both call each other by their last names.

EDIT: Doing a little rethinking here, I believe that while what I've written above is correct, it is only a partial explanation. When pupils address staff, they don't call them just by their name, but with an honorific - "Professor Dumbledore", for example. (though they may just call him 'Dumbledore' when he's not there) If this were the only factor, Hagrid would properly be addressed as "Mr. Hagrid", just as Filch is properly addressed as "Mr Filch." This doesn't happen. So @Valorum 's explanation is at least as significant as mine - Hagrid is addressed as Hagrid because that's what he calls himself.

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    He's universally referred to as "Mr. Filch" in front of the children and as Filch by the children among themselves and by the staff among themselves (except for Dumbledore). – Valorum Jun 3 '16 at 20:38
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    principle --> principal – Hurkyl Jun 5 '16 at 9:27
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    I believe McGonagall (?) calls Filch "Argus" at some point. – Rand al'Thor Jun 6 '16 at 0:28
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    @Randal'Thor that's when his cat is petrified and she wants to comfort him if my memory serves me. – Zikato Jun 6 '16 at 5:48
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    @JoshuaLamusga "virtually the only occupant" means "the only occupant with a small number of exceptions". I would contend that one is a small number of exceptions. – DJClayworth Jun 6 '16 at 18:42
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Those that don't know him from school call him Hagrid because he tells them to.

‘Call me Hagrid,’ he said, ‘everyone does. An’ like I told yeh, I’m Keeper of Keys at Hogwarts – yeh’ll know all about Hogwarts, o’ course.’

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Presumably those that do know him from school call him Hagrid because it's quite common at boarding schools to refer to someone by their surname, hence why Draco and Harry continually refer to each other as Malfoy and Potter or why Wood's friends call him Wood.

Since he's ended up living at the school, pretty much everyone he knows neatly falls into one of those two categories.


You may also wish to note that the sole person we see who doesn't fall into either category (e.g. someone who knew him before he went to school) refers to him by his first name first.

‘Rubeus! Rubeus Hagrid! How nice to see you again … Oak, sixteen inches, rather bendy, wasn’t it?’
‘It was, sir, yes,’ said Hagrid.
‘Good wand, that one. But I suppose they snapped it in half when you got expelled?’ said Mr Ollivander, suddenly stern.

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    I admit I'd forgotten that particular quote. Still, there's a bit of circular logic there, if he tells everyone to calls him Hagrid because everyone call him Hagrid... It may be common at real-life boarding schools, but as I said, none of the students in Hogwarts address each other by surname unless they are antagonistic toward one another. In fact, IIRC, in Riddle's memory, we saw Riddle refer to Hagrid as Hagrid, but Hagrid called Riddle "Tom". – Paul L Jun 3 '16 at 20:26
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    @PaulL - Actually, Tom Riddle calls him Rubeus on more than one occasion; "Evening, Rubeus,’ said Riddle sharply" (CoS), etc – Valorum Jun 3 '16 at 20:33
  • My mistake then. I must have been confusing it with the film's portrayal of that scene. – Paul L Jun 3 '16 at 20:37
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    Wood is always referred to by his last name by his friends. You're right that it's old fashioned and therefore not used by most of the students but it is a school sort of thing. And, after all, Hagrid is pretty old. – ThruGog Jun 4 '16 at 10:50
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    This is exactly the right mix of in- and out-of-universe explanation. – David Richerby Jun 4 '16 at 12:51
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Hagrid is his informal name, while Mr Hagrid is his formal name.

An informal name is a self-chosen name, which usually but not always is the first name of the person. If you remember the television series A-Team, the characters' informal names were Hannibal (John Smith), Face (Templeton Peck), Murdock (H.M. Murdock), and B.A. (Bosco Albert Baracus). While the informal name is commonly the first name, it doesn't have to be. Some people use their middle name as their informal name, others use a variant of their first name, such as Bob or Dick for Robert or Richard. Others use a completely made up name. Using your last name as your informal name is uncommon, but not unheard of.

As @Valorum says, Rubeus Hagrid usually introduces himself by his informal name Hagrid, thus allowing people to use his informal name.

Informal names can change over the lifetime of the person. Also, in a setting where calling each other by informal name is the default, less close friends will occasionally call someone by their first name instead of their informal name, which explains Tom Riddle calling Hagrid Rubeus.

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    I think MacGyver would agree. – Dubu Jun 7 '16 at 8:10
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I have noticed that following British tradition, people tend to call each other by last names....I grew up in Trinidad in the Caribbean, and even in high school, we tended to call each other by last names, informally, and put Sir or Miss for formality. In the series, Harry is called Potter by Snape (last name), and Malfoy (last name)..Hermione is called Granger, and well everybody says Dumbeldor (last name)....It's cultural. So calling Hagrid by his last name is normal, unlike in the US where the first name is used more often

  • As has been pointed out, in the Harry Potter series, professors address students by last name, students address professors by [Professor] last name, students address each other by first name, and professors address each other by first name. Hagrid is the only one addressed by last name by both professors and students. – Paul L Jun 7 '16 at 12:34
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Well I think it is an old fashioned (respect?) sort of thing that stuck around with pure blood families, Hogwarts and the like. For example you'll notice Malfoy nearly always calls everyone by their last name even his two friends Crabbe and Goyle. Malfoy also calls Harry 'Potter', Ron 'Weasley' and Hermione 'Granger' as well as everyone else. I think he calls them by their last names (as people have said) because he thinks they are below him. Professor Snape also calls Harry 'Potter' because he dislikes him and thus thinks Harry is below him. Also a weird fact, they call Draco Malfoy 'Malfoy' and Lucius Malfoy 'Lucius' (Hmm?). But in the second movie (Harry Potter and the Chambrr of Secrets) at the end Harry calls Lucius Malfoy 'Mr Malfoy' which just sounds weird! There are many odd things about what everyone calls each other I could go on and on but I think after reading everyone else's answers as well as mine you'll have a pretty good idea on why they call Hagrid 'Hagrid'.

  • (Vincent) Crabbe and (Gregory) Goyle. – Valorum Nov 1 '16 at 11:26
  • Also, if you have additional questions, you should use the "ask" button – Valorum Nov 1 '16 at 11:27

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