Reader's Guide


See also: the complete list of sources and their abbreviations

Everything on the Lexicon is cited carefully. When information comes from one of the Harry Potter books, the citation gives book and chapter. We don't use page numbers since various editions have different pagination, but we do include chapter numbers whenever possible. PS3, then, refers to the third chapter of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. When the source is not from a numbered chapter of a book, we use a '/' followed by a letter to indicate where we found the information. For example, DH/e refers to the epilogue of the seventh book. QA/i refers to the material found on the cover and in the introduction of that book.

Some of our information comes from interviews with Rowling. All these interviews, along with any other sources, are listed on the "Sources of Lexicon Information" page. That page gives the abbreviations as well.

Here's a bit of Lexicon lore for you. More typically in fan circles, the books are abbreviated SS/PS, CoS, PoA, GoF, OoP, HBP, and DH. Way back when the Lexicon started, Steve made a decision to make the abbreviations a little shorter since at that time, the Lexicon was simply a list of words with definitions, and Steve wanted each entry to fit on one 600-pixel-wide line. Of course, the Lexicon has expanded, oh, just a little since that time, but the shortened abbreviations remain

non-interview sources:

fw - Famous Wizard card by number; these cards appear in more than one video game and in other sources
QA/i - material from the introduction, front cover, and frontispiece of the book
TCG - Harry Potter Trading Card Game
PS/f - filmed version of PS (similar for the other films)
PS/dvd - the DVD version of PS/f (similar for the other DVDs)
CS/g, SS/g - the video games, some of the information for which was created by Rowling
JKR - J. K. Rowling's official web site
DP - Daily Prophet newsletters given out by Bloomsbury in 1998 and 1999 to members of the Official Harry Potter Fan Club (since disbanded)
BFT - Black Family Tree drawn by Rowling for a Book Aid International auction (Feb 2006)
Pre - The Harry Potter prequel, an 800-word short short story written by Rowling May 2008

other abbreviations:

JKR - (when not used as a reference) J. K. Rowling
HPfGU - Harry Potter for Grown Ups (you might find this abbreviated as HP4GU here and there too)
FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

standard indexing abbreviations:

c. - circa (around the date given)
c.f. - compare with
ed. - editor
e.g. - for example
esp. - especially
ff. - and following
i.e. - in other words
L. - Latin (when used in explaining the origins of a word or name)
NSOED - New Shorter Oxford English Dictionary
q.v. - see...

At the end of each page, the latest page update is listed along with the initials of the editor who worked on that change (e.g. MLW forMichele Worley)

Primary section editor: Steve Vander Ark

Original page date 11 September 2004; Last page update 20 November 2009 SVA