Dolores Umbridge's Name Has A Hidden Meaning That Makes SO Much Sense
J.K. Rowling has perfected the art of tweeting. Like, that's undeniable. The beloved Harry Potter creator needs only to clicky-clack on her keyboard for a few brief moments, or even just smash that re-tweet button, and the Potterhead Twitter-verse ends up losing it's freakin' mind. There's the annual apology for killing off a character (this year was Dobby the House Elf). There was the recent ~sick burn~ on Trump, in which she referred to him as a, uh *ahem* Boggart. And, most recently, she implied there's a hidden meaning behind a certain Harry Potter character's name. A certain pink-loving, fascist-lite professor.
On Tuesday, Rowling surreptitiously, oh so casually re-tweeted a tweet from Susie Dent, "that woman in the Dictionary Corner," per her Twitter bio. To clarify: the "Dictionary Corner" is not a figurative corner of the world where people discuss the etymology of words and correct one another's grammar; it's a recurring bit on the British game show Countdown, where Susie Dent has appeared every year since 1992.
Dent, who has garnered a pretty serious Twitter following for her English lexicon content, tweeted, "Word-trivia of the day: 'umbrage' looks back to the French 'ombrage', shade from the heat of the sun. To give umbrage was to upset someone/darken their lives by 'throwing shade'; to take it was to be duly offended."
Though Dent did not draw a line from the French word "ombrage" to the dreaded Professor Dolores Umbridge, her followers quickly did, commenting a .GIF of Dolores doing that spooky, satisfied, "I just doled out some undeserved punishments to children and man do I feel good" deep breath.
Dolores Umbridge, for those who do not know, is described on Pottermore as a "sinister Ministry bureaucrat" and "one-time Hogwarts teacher." Umbridge first appeared in the Harry Potter canon in 2003 in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, with her self-invented punishment quill and her horrible, fun-ruining rules (and her penchant for pink frills and bizarre kitten pictures). And it absolutely makes sense that her name, aurally, is identical to a word that means, essentially, "throwing shade." That means "upsetting someone" and "darkening their lives" and being a big ol' rain cloud dumping rain and thunder and lightning on everyone else's parade.
Though Rowling didn't add anything to the message, just by re-tweeting it, it appears that she endorsed the message, and the implication.