In many countries, it is conventional to write a person's full name as [First Name] [Father's Name] [Last Name]. However, in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Ron is referred to in Dumbledore's will as "Ronald Bilius Weasley" rather than "Ronald Arthur Weasley."

To Ronald Bilius Weasley I leave my deluminator.

Is there any specific reason for the name "Bilius" (does it refer to Bill Weasley?) to be used in place of "Arthur"?

  • @Valorum. Name. But I dont think it is metioned so or maybe it has just skipped my reading. could you tell me the where has this been really mentioned. Nov 6, 2016 at 16:14
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    This one doesn't deserve downvotes. It requires an understanding of both UK traditional naming practices and a close reading of the Potter books to work out who Bilius is.
    – Valorum
    Nov 6, 2016 at 16:24
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    "In most countries, it is conventional to write a person's full name as [First Name] [Father's Name] [Last Name]" — Not in English-speaking countries. We don't have patronymics, and middle names can be whatever the parents want.
    – jwodder
    Nov 6, 2016 at 16:24
  • WRT the naming convention: I've got two middle names, they're the first name of each of my godparents. Same for my brother and sister. My niece's middle name is "Paris", because uhm... reasons. Her brother's middle name is "William", a version of my father's first name.
    – BCdotWEB
    Nov 6, 2016 at 17:56
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    "In most countries, it is conventional to write a person's full name as [First Name] [Father's Name] [Last Name]" — Not in English-speaking countries. As well as German, italian, French and much more. Middle names are free to choose (if used at all).
    – deviantfan
    Nov 7, 2016 at 2:43

1 Answer 1


As jwodder has pointed out in a comment, in the UK (and presumably the wizarding community in the UK), it's not a legally binding requirement to give a child the same middle name as their parent. Your parent/s can choose whatever forenames they like, though you're stuck with the surname.

Ron appears to have been named after his relative Uncle Bilius (the one who died 24 hours after seeing a grim in his teacup), presumably his father's brother.

‘Talking about Muriel?’ enquired George, re-emerging from the marquee with Fred. ‘Yeah, she’s just told me my ears are lopsided. Old bat. I wish old Uncle Bilius was still with us, though; he was a right laugh at weddings.’

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

In the UK, it's (semi-)traditional to give children the names of elderly relatives that one hopes to inherit from commemorate after their deaths.

You may wish to note that Arthur Weasley did give his name to his eldest son, William Arthur Weasley (AKA Bill) as did Harry James Potter's father, Albus Percival Dumbledore's father and Ginevra Molly Weasley's mother.

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    FWIW in the US, middle names are often (tho certainly not exclusively) used to remember a beloved relative, honor a famous figure whose traits you wish the child to embody, or just because you like the word- this last an outgrowth of the 60's.
    – Broklynite
    Nov 6, 2016 at 18:35
  • Wonderful answer - although I think Bilius saw a grim (or "grim") in the flesh rather than in his tea leaves, but the conversation about it does come right after Trelawney identified a grim in Harry's cup. </pedantry>
    – Au101
    Nov 6, 2016 at 19:06
  • @Au101 - Actually it's not clear whether the grim actually exists. The only one we see in the books is actually Sirius in disguise.
    – Valorum
    Nov 6, 2016 at 19:30
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    I had no idea there was ever a time when a middle name was anything other than "whatever appeals to the parents". Was "the middle name must be the father's name" an established tradition in the US or UK at any point in history?
    – Hypnosifl
    Nov 6, 2016 at 21:17
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    @Hypnosifl - As far as I'm aware, in the UK there has never been a time when forenames were anything other than parental choice
    – Valorum
    Nov 6, 2016 at 21:31

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