I saw all the movies when I was a kid and I just finished book 4 last night and I'm still not getting it. Is there a practical reason everyone is afraid of saying the name "Voldemort" while instead referring to him as You-Know-Who and He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named?

And I'd prefer an answer better than "...because he's so eeeeeevil!"

Dumbledore, Lupin, Fudge, Mad-Eye, Harry, and others all say his name liberally without any adverse effects. Even those that are reluctant to say his name at first like Hagrid and Minerva eventually mutter his name and get on with their day.


Dumbledore and McGonagall touch on this in the first chapter:

"It all gets so confusing if we keep saying 'You-Know-Who.' I have never seen any reason to be frightened of saying Voldemort's name.

"I know you haven 't, said Professor McGonagall, sounding half exasperated, half admiring. "But you're different. Everyone knows you're the only one You-Know- oh, all right, Voldemort, was frightened of."

And Hagrid explained it to Harry quite well a bit later:

"Well -- I don' like sayin' the name if I can help it. No one does."

"Why not?"

"Gulpin' gargoyles, Harry, people are still scared. Blimey, this is difficult. See, there was this wizard who went... bad. As bad as you could go. Worse. Worse than worse.

They're scared. It's pretty stupid, but people are strange. Other than that there seems to be no reason not to say the name.

And it turns out that there did end up being a reason not to say it with the taboo in book 7.


In the First Six books, it was a case of Fear - I think personally it was used as a device to highlight superstitious in the wizarding community as a normal thing, Certainly the Death Eaters were repeatedly named despite being feared as much, as was gellert grindlewald

However, in later books:

In the events of the 7th book, when the death eater puppet Pius Thicknesse was placed in charge, a taboo curse was placed on his name, speaking his name would notify voldemort and the deatheaters - allowing them to apparate directly to their location

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