"Swish and flick, remember, swish and flick. And saying the magic words properly is very important, too — never forget Wizard Baruffio, who said 's' instead of 'f' and found himself on the floor with a buffalo on his chest."
Filius Flitwick on the importance of incanting correctly[src]

Wizard[1][2] Baruffio was a wizard with a speech impediment.[3] On account of his condition, he did not seem to have been able to perform particularly satisfactory magic, as he would mispronounce the incantations: once he said 's' instead of 'f' and conjured a buffalo on top of him,[1] Baruffio presumably lent his name to Baruffio's Brain Elixir, a brain stimulant.[4]

Behind the scenes

  • Despite the fact that Flitwick mentions Baruffio's incident while teaching Harry and the other first year students Wingardium Leviosa, this could not have been the spell to which he was referring as there is no "f" in the Levitation Charm's incantation.
  • However, he was probably mentioning a line in the introduction of The Standard Book of Spells, Grade 1 which mentions Baruffio.
  • On the French translation of Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone Baruffio's incident with a buffalo is slightly different. It introduces another character: Baruffio's wife. Quoting from the French translation: "N'oubliez jamais le sorcier Baruffio qui avait un défaut de prononciation et dont la femme s'est retrouvée avec un bison sur les épaules au lieu d'un vison". (Loosely translated: "Remember wizard Baruffio who had a speech impediment and whose wife was left with a buffalo on her shoulders instead of a mink".). The translator, Jean-François Ménard, plays with the alliteration "bison"/"vison" ("buffalo"/"mink"). As it is usually women who wear furs, the introduction of a female character was necessary.


Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en)
  2. Pottermore
  3. Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Chapter 10 (Hallowe'en); French translation
  4. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Chapter 31 (O.W.L.s)
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