Learning Spanish from Harry Potter: A Vocabulary List

I am an unapologetic Harry Potter fan. I have read the entire series in English (several times). I have read books 1- 4 in French, and today I finished book 1 in Spanish. I have learned in my literature courses not to look up every single word that I don’t know, but I started reading this book part-time over a year ago. Since then, as I read a few pages here and there, I have jotted down in my Spanish journal a list of words I have learned from only one book of Harry Potter. Below are my favorites, and anyone learning Spanish can appreciate the usefulness of words such as pecoso (freckly), and destartalado (ramshackle). Most of these words would probably not come up in my courses, so I encourage you to read literature or young adult fiction to increase your fun vocabulary.  The fun part is working ‘mazmorra’ (dungeon) into everyday conversation. Enjoy!


Estirar las piernas: To stretch your legs

Cuchichear: To whisper

Susurrar: To whisper/mumble

Murmurar: To mumble

Tartamudear: To stammer; to mutter

Hallagar- To flatter

Mirar de reojo: To look out of the corner of one’s eye

Ahuyentar: To shoo; to chase away


Asombroso: Amazing

Descuidado: Careless

Destartalado: ramshackle

Flacucho: Skinny

Pecoso: Freckly

Bondadoso: Good-natured

Polvoriento: Dusty; Powdery

Saltón: Bulging (prominent), as in eyes or teeth

Hirviendo: Boiling

Jactanciosa: Boastful

Ceñudo: Grim; frowning


Las Lechuzas: Barn owls

Las Estrellas Fugaces: Shooting stars

El Torbellino: Whirlwind

La mazmorra: dungeon

El Ajenjo: Absinthe

La Varita: Wand

El Pergamino: Parchment; Scroll