What does Hungarian Horntail mean in English? It is one creature (a dragon) from the Harry Potter book series.

I'm from Slovakia and for me Hungarian or Hungary isn't just the country Hungary. In the past Hungary built many nations - there lived Slovak, Polish, Czech, Ukrainian etc.. In Slovak we have one special noun 'Uhorsko' and adjective 'Uhorský'.

What did the author mean? The Hungary that we have now or Hungary that was before ('Uhorsko')? What does the noun Hungary and adjective Hungarian mean?

In Slovak translation it's 'Uhorský', but in Czech translation it's Hungarian. I'm very confused.

Thanks for your help.

  • 2
    The problem is that you can't really use the translations to decide the meaning with Harry Potter. Even the official translations were not overseen by JK Rowling, so it was up to the translator to decide what is meant, which is why there are differences, I'm guessing. And, it really doesn't matter. I'll bet you that the average reader is barely aware that Hungary is a country, let alone its past.
    – Catija
    Mar 1, 2017 at 20:01
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    It doesn't mean two different things in English. Hungary is just what it is... the country and nothing more nothing less.
    – Catija
    Mar 1, 2017 at 20:02
  • But ...in Sovak books (you can buy the books in bookstore) we have not Hungary - country what is now. :) We have Hungary from past. I'm confused. I'm lost. Mar 1, 2017 at 20:04
  • 1
    Sovak books? Anyway, this might be an interesting question for the Science Fiction & Fantasy site. I'm not really sure it's about learning English.
    – Catija
    Mar 1, 2017 at 20:08
  • 1
    One could make the argument that, since the dragons were likely named over a century ago, that the old meaning of "Hungary" is what is meant... but we don't really have any way to know this for certain. And, I would tend to agree, in the grand scheme of things, it probably doesn't really matter.
    – Catija
    Mar 1, 2017 at 20:15

1 Answer 1


Even in the real world, when a word is used in a name for something, it often takes on a new meaning which may have little to do with the original word. For example, Bombay Duck has nothing to do with Bombay or with ducks: it is type of fish.

When you start considering the etymology of words in a work of fiction, all bets are definitely off.


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