The phrase He Who Must Not Be Named is a popular expression that originates from the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
It refers to the main antagonist of the series, Lord Voldemort, the dark wizard who is feared by wizards and witches alike. The term is used to avoid saying Voldemort‘s actual name, as it is believed to attract bad luck or even summon the dark wizard himself. So in order to prevent any unwanted encounters or misfortunes, wizards and witches resort to using this euphemism instead.
Interstingly, this works against the idea of Name and Shame, although “He Who Must Not Be Named” must be quite known, so as to obtain such notoriety.
“He Who Must Not Be Named” first appeared in the first book of the “Harry Potter” saga, written by J.K. Rowling and published in 1997, amassing great success among the global youth.
Soon after Harry finds himself in the strange world of wizards, he is told that Lord Voldemort aka. “He Who Must Not Be Named” killed his parents and he is the one who will be able to defeat the villain.
Over the years, Rowling’s books and their movie adaptations gained great popularity, with a large number of fans following the path of Harry Potter as well as writing their own fanfiction stories, involving “He Who Must Not Be Named”.
The phrase would appear in all seven of the books, as well as the “Harry Potter” movies, alternatively in the form of the casual “You Know Who.”
“He Who Must Not Be Named” had become somewhat of a meme in popular culture worldwide, used to allude to characters of dubious judgement. While image macros or GIFs are not so popular with the expression, some may be found among the fans of the “Harry Potter” series.
- Newsweek – How to Make ‘Trump’ Appear as ‘He Who Must Not Be Named’ in Your Chrome Browser
- Mugglenet.com – He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named