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  1. #1
    Harry Potter: Provenance of "Death Eater"?
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    Harry Potter: Provenance of "Death Eater"?
    I have just finished reading the last of the Harry Potter books, and one thing has always "confunded" me - where did the term Death Eater originate and what is its meaning?

    It occurs to me that "mort", part of "Voldemort" is the French word for dead/death, and so I wondered if there was a French word like "volde" that had some association with eating. I can't find one though.

    I am aware of the lines in the books around the idea that death is the last enemy to be vanquished, but it doesn't seem to me to tie in strongly enough.

    Anyone? Where does "Death Eater" come from?
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  2. #2
    Harry Potter: Provenance of "Death Eater"?
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    Errr...Dumbledore's gay?

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  3. #3
    Harry Potter: Provenance of "Death Eater"?
    mac57's Avatar
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    I have been working on my limited knowledge of French. "Mort" = "Death", so if the "Volde" part somehow meant anything related to "Eat", you could translate Voldemort as "Death Eater".

    Well, that was my theory. It is almost close.

    "Vol de mort" in French can be loosely translated as "thief of death" or "flight from death" depending on whose translation you go with. How about a bit of a stretch here... "cheater of death"? Then given Rowling's love of having fun with words might jump in, and "Death Cheater" becomes "Death Eater"?

    Just a thought...

    I have googled and googled and googled, and am amazed at how few people have even thought to ask this question!
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  4. #4
    Harry Potter: Provenance of "Death Eater"?

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    Quote Originally Posted by mac57 View Post
    I have been working on my limited knowledge of French. "Mort" = "Death", so if the "Volde" part somehow meant anything related to "Eat", you could translate Voldemort as "Death Eater".

    Well, that was my theory. It is almost close.

    "Vol de mort" in French can be loosely translated as "thief of death" or "flight from death" depending on whose translation you go with. How about a bit of a stretch here... "cheater of death"? Then given Rowling's love of having fun with words might jump in, and "Death Cheater" becomes "Death Eater"?

    Just a thought...

    I have googled and googled and googled, and am amazed at how few people have even thought to ask this question!
    Cool idea Mac57, you've really done a lot of research!

  5. #5
    Harry Potter: Provenance of "Death Eater"?
    Shannonb's Avatar
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    Well I checked the Harry Potter Lexicon and they didnt have information on it besides that they were once called the Knights of Walpurgis.

  6. #6
    Harry Potter: Provenance of "Death Eater"?
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    I don't have a clue why voldermort, could possibly be just a name she thought of, She did an interview over here in UK on a kids news show, saying she loved making up words, So i guess that =].

    Although your ideas are awesome too.

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  7. #7
    Harry Potter: Provenance of "Death Eater"?
    Shannonb's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hotdog182@mac.c View Post
    I don't have a clue why voldermort, could possibly be just a name she thought of, She did an interview over here in UK on a kids news show, saying she loved making up words, So i guess that =].

    Although your ideas are awesome too.

    P.S. How hot is emma watson
    P.S. Very.

  8. #8
    Harry Potter: Provenance of "Death Eater"?
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    She said in an interview that her meaning behind Voldemort was "flight from death". Anyway, if you eat something, you destroy it or conquer it. Voldemort's goal was to overcome death.
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  9. #9
    Harry Potter: Provenance of "Death Eater"?
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  10. #10
    Harry Potter: Provenance of "Death Eater"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thundermoon1994 View Post
    She said in an interview that her meaning behind Voldemort was "flight from death". Anyway, if you eat something, you destroy it or conquer it. Voldemort's goal was to overcome death.
    This pretty much sums it up. Voldemort split his soul into different pieces so he could never be killed and would never die. I guess he named his followers the Death Eaters because he was egotistical and narcissitic and thought that they would never die or could never be defeated.

    That or the name was created by some one with the same view, just from the victim perspective.
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  11. #11
    Harry Potter: Provenance of "Death Eater"?
    Mac_OS's Avatar
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    mort comes form the french infinitive of the verb mourir meaning to die, then the word death is mort, for example to die = pour mourir which literally translated means 'for to die' - the word, i don't know about the eating thing but the infinitive of the verb to eat en francais is manger.

  12. #12
    Harry Potter: Provenance of "Death Eater"?
    Mac_OS's Avatar
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    if you were to conjugate the verb manger it would look like this, (excuse the Uk keyboard)
    je manges
    tu mange
    il/elle mange
    nous mangons
    vous mangez
    ils/elles mangent

    i dont think voldemort is connected to the french for eating i do think however its connected to the latin verb for eating, i believe i read this somewhere.

  13. #13
    Harry Potter: Provenance of "Death Eater"?
    ambivalent's Avatar
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    im glad you guys brought up this question, I always forget that I have questions like this.

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  14. #14
    Harry Potter: Provenance of "Death Eater"?
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    The term "death eaters" means what Thundermoon said. Now the origin of the term may actually come from what were known as "sin eaters," those who would take upon the sins of the dying through ritual means.
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