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Theories about Pottermore, part 2

on June 18, 2011
(Click here for part one)

The Engineer: Pottermore? That’s a rubbish name.
Me: Oh?
TE: Potter and more? Rubbish. She must have some reason for picking that ending.
Me: Hmm…..

Two minutes later, I had discovered that Google unhelpfully does not allow you to put a * before a syllable to indicate all words ending in that syllable. It must have some other way of doing this. But Wikipedia does! And typing in “*more” brings up various interesting things.

The first interesting thing I found was Canmore.

Canmore is an online database maintained by the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland. It contains information on 240,000 archaeological sites, monuments, and buildings in Scotland.

The words in bold are my theories there. No, I don’t think JKR is going to provide us with a Harry Potter database. But an encyclopedia is kind of like a database, right? And JKR has been known to refer to her encyclopedia as “the Scottish book” on her website (look under FAQs to find it)

Now, why is Canmore called that? Well, I couldn’t find out for sure (leave a comment if you know!) but a strong likelihood is that it is named after two kings of Scotland, and their descendants. The name means Big Head in Gaelic. Evidently in Gaelic you put adjectives second, because it’s actually cenn that means head, while mór means big (as in claymore, big sword). Shame, because the name Potterhead (in Gaelic) would be very appropriate for a fansite. However, the name is actually Big Potter – if I’m right that the reference is to Scottish Gaelic, of course. Big Potter could mean just about anything but it would definitely be appropriate for an encyclopedia.

So that’s Theory One.

Theory Two is simpler (I think). Lots of towns in the English-speaking world are called something-more. Aviemore, for instance. (Here, the more is still often from the same Gaelic root as before) So Pottermore is Pottertown, so it’s a forum-type thing, or possibly an RPG. I would like it to be this because it’s more fun for the kids who missed out on the amazing and sadly now-defunct Godric’s Hollow rpg, but I would prefer it to be the Encyclopedia because that would be way more interesting for me. And would also mean that maybe the reasoning behind my first theory – a reasoning I haven’t seen anywhere else yet – was right.

But whatever it ends up being, I’m grateful to JKR for giving us all the excitement of the wait and the chance to theorise one more time. Thanks Jo!

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