According to one of the theories, that the name of a spell is derived from the action of the spell, would it be possible to create new spells by saying a descriptive word explaining the desired action?
Also is there any reference to this in the books/movies?


There is reference to the spells being created, but only after they are in existence, nothing about how to create them (Other than crossed out versions in the margins of the book, thanks to @mithrandir).

From The Half Blood Prince:

“Sectum — !” Snape flicked his wand and the curse was repelled yet again; but Harry was mere feet away now and he could see Snape’s face clearly at last: He was no longer sneering or jeering; the blazing flames showed a face full of rage. Mustering all his powers of concentration, Harry thought, Levi —

“No, Potter!” [...] Snape’s pale face, illuminated by the flaming cabin, was suffused with hatred just as it had been before he had cursed Dumbledore.

“You dare use my own spells against me, Potter? It was I who invented them — I, the Half-Blood Prince! And you’d turn my inventions on me, like your filthy father, would you? I don’t think so . . . no!”

As evidenced, Levicorpus and Sectumsempra are inventions of Severus. The names are in fact descriptions of what the spell does, as the Latin levitas and corpus translate to levitate body (And the counter spell liberacorpus, libera = free), and sectum (to cut), sempra (permanently/always).

Also, existing magic can be improved, also as evidenced by Snape improving the textbook instructions (Still in use 40+ years later) on how to make potions.

  • Awesome someone more familiar with the last couple of books than me, it has been way too long for me to try to find quotes.
    – Ash
    Feb 13 '18 at 14:25
  • "spells/magic" is not supported by the text? Potions are not described as "spells" as far as I know?
    – Yakk
    Feb 13 '18 at 14:41
  • @Yakk - I suppose I could remove the word "spells" leaving 'existing magic can be improved'.
    – JohnP
    Feb 13 '18 at 14:46
  • but only after they are in existence, nothing about how to create them. - this is not entirely correct; we see Snape's previous attempts to make this spell written in the margins as well, trying to figure out what the best incantation would be.
    – Mithical
    Feb 13 '18 at 16:15
  • @Mithrandir - Duly noted. Amended.
    – JohnP
    Feb 13 '18 at 16:17

There's no reference that I can remember to the process(es) involved in creating new spells but they do get invented from time to time, in the books Luna's mother is said to have died while experimenting with a new spell and I always understood that Snape created Sectumsempra.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.