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Harry Potter Fans Are Just Discovering Why The First Book Has A Completely Different Name In America

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Harry Potter Fans Are Just Discovering Why The First Book Has A Completely Different Name In America

Firstly, we'd like to formally apologise to all American Potterheads. You've been living a lie.

There's a staggering difference in names between the US and UK editions of Harry Potter book one. You might think it impossible to determine the 'correct' version of the title, but - spoiler alert - we were right all along!

Fans from either side of the pond are only just starting to discover the news, but how exactly is the UK version right?

The first book has a totally different title in the US and the UK. (Credit: Alamy)
The first book has a totally different title in the US and the UK. (Credit: Alamy)
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To address the elephant in the room - the UK edition is titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, and the US is called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.

Obviously the two words mean very different things. According to the OED, a philosopher is a 'learned academic' and a sorcerer is a 'wizard'. So, how can the UK version be correct when Harry Potter is - literally - a wizard?

According to Buzzfeed, the Philosopher's Stone is a genuine legend, and the sorcerer's stone is, well... just made up.

The Philosopher's Stone is a real-life legend. Just like Rupert Grint. (Credit: Unsplash)
The Philosopher's Stone is a real-life legend. Just like Rupert Grint. (Credit: Unsplash)
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What Is The Philosopher's Stone?

In the Middle Ages, people believed the Philosopher's Stone was an elixir, which held the key to eternal life. It symbolised 'heavenly bliss' for many.

The reason people thought this was because in mythology, the Philosopher's Stone was apparently capable of turning anything into gold. Even poisonous mercury.

By the way - the stone even doesn't belong to an actual philosopher. The title comes from the magical stone's Latin name, 'philosophorum'.

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Credit: Twitter @Buffy_Ringer
Credit: Twitter @Buffy_Ringer

Fans were absolutely mind-boggled to hear that the two versions of the book were different. Some fans were accepting of the UK version, with one person admitting that calling it "the Sorcerer's Stone feels weird".

Credit: Twitter @ffilthyanimal
Credit: Twitter @ffilthyanimal

One US-based Twitter user even branded the name-change 'ugly'.

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Credit: Twitter @rondasue27
Credit: Twitter @rondasue27

With many fans discussing whether the US version just wanted a more literal, wizardy title, one person thought the transition was "absolutely ridiculous".

Featured Image Credit: Credit: Alamy

Topics: Harry Potter, TV And Film

Hannah Van-de-Peer
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