UnknowableWiki:Capitalisation Guide

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Mrs_Muggle's Capitalisation Guide is a list originally posted here. It has been published and updated here, with permission, in order to help us at UnknowableWiki with in-article capitalisation.

Remember: article titles do not follow these rules, but those in the page titles guideline list.

Note: regular linking rules are not followed in this article, i.e. articles are often linked twice on this page, so that redirects are thorough.


To start with the obvious, names of people and individual animals (e.g. Crookshanks) are always capitalised. So are names of places (e.g. Godric's Hollow).

NB Colin’s surname is usually spelt ‘Creevey’ but is also ‘Creevy’ in early editions of CS. (We use 'Creevey' at UW)

Ernie the Hufflepuff is both Macmillan (CS, OP) and McMillan (PA). (We use 'Macmillan' at UW)


These are usually lower-case. Most of the exceptions are related to spells:

but banish

Other capitalised verbs:

Capitalised adjectives

The wizarding world

  • witch, wizard
  • witchcraft, wizardry
  • ‘wizard’ and ‘wizarding’ are both used as adjectives:
  • wizard crackers (but Cribbages Wizarding Crackers)
  • wizard prison
  • wizard banking
  • wizard law
  • wizard photograph
  • wizard picture
  • wizard tourists
  • wizarding friends
  • a wizarding family
  • a wizarding game

NB it’s always the 'wizarding world' in the UK edition, but 'Wizarding world' also occurs in the US books.


Light and Dark

Harry is referred to as:

Euphemisms for Voldemort can have either hyphens or spaces:

  • Dark Mark or Dark mark
  • Dark Arts
  • Dark Forces
  • Dark Order
  • Dark attacks
  • Dark creature
  • Dark curse
  • Dark detector
  • Dark object
  • Dark portents
  • Dark spell
  • Dark stuff
  • Dark Magic or Dark magic
  • Dark wizard, dark wizard and Dark Wizard all occur in canon.
  • Similarly, the Dark Side, the Dark side or the dark side.
  • Voldemort’s inner circle
  • Death Eater
  • 'branded with the Dark Mark' (not marked/Marked)

The Mark is also described as being 'burnt into' the Death Eaters' arms.

Luna believes in: the Rotfang Conspiracy



JKR uses both ‘Gryffindor House’ and ‘Gryffindor house’.



NB The UK and US editions differ here. The UK edition almost always uses an initial capital when talking about people, whereas the headmasters and headmistresses in the portraits are usually in lower case. The US edition only uses a capital only when Headmaster is being used as a title, as in ‘Headmaster Dumbledore’.

NB ‘Professor’ is only used as an address, either alone or with the name attached. JKR refers to 'the teachers' or (sometimes) 'the staff', but never ‘the professors’.


Yet another UK/US difference here – it is always first-year in the UK edition but in the US edition the noun is 'first year' etc. and it is only hyphenated as an adjective.


NB Bathroom and toilet(s) seem to be used interchangeably (e.g. for Moaning Myrtle’s place)

Extracurricular Activities




  • Ordinary Wizarding Levels: O.W.L.s (three full stops: PS, HBP), O.W.Ls (only two full stops: PoA, GoF) or OWLs
  • Nastily Exhausting Wizarding Tests: N.E.W.Ts (PoA), N.E.W.T.s (HBP) or NEWTs
  • New editions of the older books will have O.W.L.s and N.E.W.T.s
  • Wizarding Examinations Authority
  • anti-cheating charm

Objects that are forbidden in exams:

  • Auto-Answer Quill
  • Detachable Cribbing Cuff
  • Remembrall
  • Self-Correcting Ink
  • Paperwork


  • Approval for Whipping
  • Educational Decree Number Twenty-three etc.
  • Ministry Decree
  • Order of Dismissal (Trelawney in OotP)
  • Order of Suspension (Dumbledore in CoS)

Shops and other businesses

(Note the apostrophes – or lack of them):

  • Borgin and Burkes (Knockturn Alley – Dark stuff)
  • Dervish and Banges (Hogsmeade - wizarding equipment)
  • Flourish and Blotts (Diagon Alley - books)
  • Kwikspell (correspondence course in magic)
  • Gringotts [Wizarding Bank] (Diagon Alley)
  • Ollivanders (Diagon Alley – 'makers of fine wands since 382 BC')
  • Post Office or Owl Office
  • Quality Quidditch Supplies (Diagon Alley)
  • Scrivenshaft’s Quill Shop (Hogsmeade)


  • Eeylops Owl Emporium (Diagon Alley)
  • Magical Menagerie (Diagon Alley)


  • Gladrags Wizardwear (London, Paris and Hogsmeade)
  • Madam Malkin’s Robes for All Occasions (Diagon Alley)
  • Twilfitt and Tatting’s

Food and Drink

  • Honeydukes [Sweetshop] (Hogsmeade)
  • Florean Fortescue’s Ice-Cream Parlour (Diagon Alley)
  • Madam Puddifoot’s (Hogsmeade)
  • Hog’s Head (Hogsmeade)
  • Leaky Cauldron (London, at the entrance to Diagon Alley)
  • Three Broomsticks (Hogsmeade)

Joke shops

  • Gambol and Japes Wizarding Joke Shop (Diagon Alley)
  • Weasleys’ Wizard or Wizarding Wheezes (the first version is in GoF and HBP, the second in OotP) (93 Diagon Alley)
  • Zonko’s [Joke Shop] (Hogsmeade)


  • Dust & Mildewe
  • Little Red Books
  • Obscurus Books (18a Diagon Alley)
  • Whizz Hard Books (129b Diagon Alley)


This very much tends towards capitals (as you might expect):

International bodies

  • International Confederation of Wizards or Warlocks
  • Supreme Mugwump/Chairman
  • International Statute of [Wizarding] Secrecy/International Confederation of Warlocks’ Statute of Secrecy (1692)
  • Section 1
  • Clause 73
  • Department of International Magical Co-operation (on Level Five of the Ministry of Magic)
  • International Magical Trading Standards Body
  • International Magical Office of Law
  • International Confederation of Wizards (British Seats)
  • International Task Force
  • International Warlock Convention of 1289
  • Warlocks’ Convention [of 1709]
  • International Ban on Duelling

Ministries in other countries

  • Andorran Minister for Magic
  • Ministry of Magic in Burkina Faso
  • New Zealand Ministry of Magic (Wellington)
  • Norwegian Ministry of Magic

The Ministry of Magic

  • Wizards’ Council (predecessor of the Ministry)
  • Chief [of the Council]
  • Ministry [of Magic]
  • Minister [of or for Magic] (generally ‘of’ in CoS; ‘for’ in PoA and later)
  • Senior Undersecretary to the Minister
  • Junior Assistant to the Minister
  • Junior Minister (in a department)

Wizarding Law

  • Wizengamot/Wizard High Court
  • Wizengamot Charter of Rights
  • Chief Warlock
  • Court Scribe
  • Council of Magical Law
  • Department of Magical Law Enforcement (on Level Two of the Ministry)
  • Improper Use of Magic Office
  • Auror Headquarters or Office
  • Wizengamot Administration Services
  • Magical Law Enforcement Squad or Patrol
  • Auror/Dark-wizard-catcher
  • Hit Wizard
  • Code of Wand Use
  • Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Under-Age Sorcery (1875) or Decree for the Restriction of Under-age Wizardry or Decree for the Restriction of *Underage Wizardry
  • Clause Seven
  • Paragraph C
  • Department of Magical [Accidents and] Catastrophes (on Level Three)
  • Accidental Magic Reversal Squad or Department
  • Obliviator Headquarters
  • Muggle-Worthy Excuse Committee
  • Muggle Liaison Office
  • Committee on Experimental Charms
  • Misuse of Muggle Artefacts Office
  • Office of Misinformation
  • Registry of Proscribed Charmable Objects
  • Obliviator
  • Muggle Protection Act

Office for the Detection and Confiscation of Counterfeit Defensive Spells and Protective Objects

  • Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures (on Level Four)
  • Beast Division
  • Being Division
  • Spirit Division
  • Goblin Liaison Office
  • Pest Advisory Bureau/Pest Sub-Division
  • Committee for the Disposal of Dangerous Creatures
  • Dragon Research and Restraint Bureau
  • Centaur [Liaison] Office
  • Ghoul Task Force
  • Office for House-Elf Relocation
  • Werewolf Capture Unit
  • Werewolf Register or Registry (1947)
  • Werewolf Support Services
  • Vampire Hunter
  • Ban on Experimental Breeding (1965)
  • Guidelines for the Treatment of Non-Wizard Part-Humans
  • Law Fifteen "B"
  • 1637 Werewolf Code of Conduct
  • Department of Magical Transportation (on Level Six)
  • Floo Network Office or Authority
  • Broom Regulatory Council
  • Portkey Office
  • Apparation Test Centre
  • Department of Magical Games and Sports (founded 1750 - on Level Seven)
  • British and Irish Quidditch League Headquarters
  • Ludicrous Patents Office
  • Official Gobstones Club
  • Department of Mysteries (on Level Nine)
  • Hall of Prophecy
  • prophecy
  • Brain Room
  • Death Room or Chamber
  • Time Room
  • Unspeakable
  • Atrium (by implication, on Level Eight)
  • Fountain of Magical Brethren
  • watchwizard

Magical Maintenance

Courtroom Ten (by implication, on Level Ten)

Titles and awards

  • Chief [of the Council] (head of the Wizards’ Council)
  • Chief Warlock (head of the Wizengamot)
  • Gurg (chief giant)
  • Heir or heir of Slytherin
  • Honorary Member of the Dark Force Defence League
  • Minister [of or for Magic] (generally ‘of’ in CoS; ‘for’ in PoA and later)
  • spokesgoblin
  • spokeswizard
  • Supreme Mugwump/Chairman (head of the International Confederation of Wizards or Warlocks)
  • Dangerous Dai Commemorative Medal (for exciting and foolhardy risks in League Quidditch)
  • Medal for Magical Merit
  • Order of Merlin, First/Second/Third Class
  • Special Award for Services to the School (Hogwarts)
  • Witch Weekly’s Most-Charming-Smile Award

Wizarding Medicine

St Mungo's

St Mungo’s Hospital for Magical Maladies [and Injuries] – or just St Mungo’s

  • Creature-Induced Injuries
  • Spell Damage

The remaining departments are only written in an all-caps font, but seem likely to follow the same pattern:

  • Artefact Accidents
  • Magical Bugs
  • Potion and Plant Poisoning

Medical jobs

  • Healer
  • Healer-in-Charge
  • mediwizard (NB 'mediwitch' does not occur in canon, although it seems a reasonable extrapolation)
  • Trainee Healer
  • welcomewitch


  • dragon pox (infectious)
  • scrofungulus (infectious)
  • spattergroit
  • vanishing sickness (infectious)

Luna believes in:

  • Loser’s Lurgy


  • Dr Ubbly’s Oblivious Unction (removes scars)
  • Skele-Gro

Miscellaneous magical institutions

  • Beauxbatons Academy [of Magic] – or just Beauxbatons. Fleur also refers to the ‘Palace of Beauxbatons’.
  • Durmstrang Institute
  • Most Extraordinary Society of Potioneers
  • Museum of Quidditch (London)
  • The Salem Witches’ Institute
  • Wizarding Wireless Network (WWN)
  • The Witching Hour


  • fortune-telling, Seeing, Knowing
  • Inner Eye, Seeing Eye
  • Second Sight
  • the superconscious
  • the Gift
  • the Sight
  • the Signs
  • Object (of Seeing)
  • crystal ball/the Orb
  • crystal-gazing

Professor Trelawney describes Hermione’s mind as ‘Mundane’

Spells and their incantations

These are usually capitalised. Incantations are also usually, but by no means always, italicised - expecto patronum is frequently in normal text, especially in PA.



  • Accio: Summoning Charm - usually used with the name of the object summoned e.g. Accio Firebolt
  • Aguamenti (conjures water)
  • Alohomora: Alohomora Charm (unlocks doors etc.)
  • Anapneo (stops someone choking)
  • Aparecium (revealing spell)
  • Avada Kedavra: Avada Kedavra [Curse]/Killing Curse or killing curse (Unforgivable)
  • Avis (conjures birds – one of Mr Ollivander's wand-testing spells)
  • Colloportus (sticks doors shut)
  • Crucio: Cruciatus Curse (causes extreme pain - Unforgivable)
  • Diffindo (severs/splits)
  • Dissendium (opens witch statue’s hump)
  • Engorgio: Engorgement Charm
  • Enervate (wakes an unconscious person)
  • Episkey (repairs injuries – broken nose and cut lip)
  • Evanesco: Vanishing Spell
  • Expecto Patronum or Expecto patronum or expecto patronum: Patronus Charm (conjures a Patronus)
  • Expelliarmus: Disarming Charm or spell
  • Ferula (Lupin uses this to splint Ron’s broken leg)
  • Finite Incantatem/Finite (ends spells)
  • Flagrate (Hermione’s spell for marking doors with a fiery cross)
  • Impedimenta: Impediment Jinx or Hex (stops a person or creature from moving temporarily)
  • Imperio: Imperius Curse (forces obedience - Unforgivable)
  • Impervius: Impervius Charm (deflects rain)
  • Incarcerous (conjures ropes to bind someone)
  • Incendio (sets something alight)
  • Langlock (glues tongue to roof of mouth)
  • Locomotor Mortis: Leg-Locker Curse
  • Levicorpus (the HBP’s unspoken spell for lifting someone by the ankle)
  • Liberacorpus (the counter-spell for Levicorpus - also unspoken)
  • Locomotor: Locomotion Charm (moves something – used with the name of the object to be moved e.g. Locomotor trunk)
  • Lumos or lumos: lights the end of a wand
  • Mobiliarbus (Hermione uses this to move a Christmas tree)
  • Mobilicorpus (moves an unconscious body)
  • Morsmordre (conjures the Dark Mark)
  • Muffliato (the HBP’s white-noise spell)
  • Obliviate: Memory Charm
  • Oppugno (Hermione’s bird attack)
  • Orchideous (conjures flowers – one of Mr Ollivander's wand-testing spells)
  • pack! (NB This may not be an incantation. Tonks also uses this spell silently.)
  • Peskipiksi Pesternomi (Lockhart’s useless pixie-banishing spell)
  • Petrificus Totalus: Body-Bind Curse
  • Point me: Four-Point Spell – makes wand point due north
  • Portus (makes a Portkey)
  • Prior Incantato (reveals the last spell cast by a wand – not to be confused with Priori Incantatem, which is the reverse-spell effect when brother wands meet.)
  • Protego: Shield Charm
  • Quietus (reverses Sonorus)
  • Reducio (makes things smaller)
  • Reducto: Reductor Curse (pulverises an object)
  • Relashio (produces sparks from a wand – or hot water when cast underwater by Harry during the second task of the Triwizard Tournament)
  • Rennervate (Harry uses this to revive Dumbledore in HBP)
  • Reparo (repairs an object)
  • Rictusempra: Tickling Charm
  • Riddikulus: Boggart banishing spell or charm
  • Scourgify (cleans)
  • Sectumsempra (the HBP's spell 'for enemies' – cuts)
  • Serpensortia (conjures a snake)
  • Silencio: Silencing Charm
  • Sonorus (megaphone spell)
  • Specialis revelio (UK)/Specialis Revelio (US) (revealing spell)
  • Stupefy: Stupefying Charm or Stunning Spell or Stunner
  • Tarantallegra (makes someone's legs dance uncontrollably)
  • Tergeo (used by Hermione to clean blood off Harry’s face)
  • Waddiwasi (Lupin's spell for making chewing gum shoot up Peeves's nose)
  • Wingardium Leviosa: Levitation Charm


Books, newspapers and magazines

Wizarding books

Harry’s textbooks

Spell books

NB Miranda Goshawk's books aren't all that standardised, at least in their titles:

spell books

Newspapers and magazines


Plants known to Muggles are in lower case (e.g. scurvy-grass). Magical ones are generally capitalised:

Magical creatures

A good rule of thumb is: magical creatures known from legends/mythology are generally not capitalised, creatures invented by Rowling herself generally are. There are exceptions, of course.

Subdivisions are not capitalised:

It's Dark creatures and demons.

Capitalised creatures

Uncapitalised creatures

Tricky cases

In some cases, the general word is in lower case but more specific ones have a capital:

Fire crab, salamander and manticore appear both with and without capitals. Nundu only appears as a heading and so remains ambiguous.

Terms related to creatures

Creatures Luna believes in

Ghosts and other spirits

  • Deathday or deathday
  • Deathday Party or Deathday party


Like ordinary languages, all magical languages are capitalised.

General terms

  • anti-jinx
  • counter-curse
  • counter-jinx
  • defensive spell
  • hex
  • jinx
  • the Unforgivable Curses



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