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Sorry America, But "Harry Potter And The Sorcerer's Stone" Is Wrong

Put down your pitchforks. I have proof.

We all love Harry Potter. We have been dedicated to the boy who lived for almost 20 years now, since the initial release of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone.

Warner Bros. / Via

"What's that?" I hear you say, if you are an American person. "Philosopher's Stone? Don't you mean Sorcerer's Stone?"

Warner Bros. / Twitter

No, American person, I mean Philosopher's Stone. Don't worry. I'm here to tell you why.

Warner Bros.

Firstly, let's look at the dictionary definitions of the words "philosopher" and "sorcerer".


I think we can all agree that these definitions are not even remotely similar. While, yes, academia is pretty great, it's not really in the same realm as wizardry.

Now, I don't think you're suggesting that celebrated philosophers are real-life wizards with magical powers.

Hulton Archive / BuzzFeed
Hulton Archive / BuzzFeed

Left: Archimedes, mathematician and philosopher, but not wizard.

Right: René Descartes, also mathematician and philosopher, also not wizard.

But that's not the only reason why calling it Sorcerer's Stone is wrong. Because the Philosopher's Stone is an actual real-life legend. And you can't just go around renaming actual real-life legends all willy-nilly.

Warner Bros. / BuzzFeed

According to the internet, the Philosopher's Stone is an "alchemical substance of legend capable of turning base metals such as mercury into gold or silver. It is also able to extend one's life and called the elixir of life, useful for rejuvenation and for achieving immortality."

Mention of the Philosopher's Stone has been traced back to around 300AD, which (believe it or not) was quite a while before the first Harry Potter book was published.


Yes, it's true, there was a time before Harry Potter. I don't remember it either, tbh.

Oh, and sidenote: That guy Nicolas Flamel, the major plot point in the first book? Also real.

Daniel Berehulak / Getty Images / BuzzFeed

He has his own Wikipedia page and everything. He didn't live to see six centuries though, unfortunately. He probably also wasn't mates with Dumbledore.

"So," you might be thinking, "why did they change it to Sorcerer's Stone for us Americans?"

Warner Bros.

It was changed by the American publisher, Scholastic, because it thought American children wouldn't want to read a book with "philosopher" in the title.

  1. So, there we have it. What are you going to call the book from now on?

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So, there we have it. What are you going to call the book from now on?
    vote votes
    I have always called it Philosopher's Stone and I'm not really sure why I read this.
    vote votes
    I have seen the light, and I will of course be calling it Philosopher's Stone from now on.