We all know there is the novel called "Harry Potter And The Half-Blood Prince"

"half-blood" is compound adjective modifying Prince.

But, what is difference when we use "half-blooded Prince" instead of "half-blood Prince"? Are they the same?

I hope to receive your advice. Many thanks in advance.

  • Do people actually use half-blooded as opposed to half-blood? It seems a few do. See Ngram. Jun 6, 2017 at 15:07
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    I would interpret a half-blooded prince as being someone who only has half the amount of blood in him that he ought to have, similar to how someone who is half-witted has only half the wits he should have. So very likely a half-blooded prince would be a dead prince. Jun 6, 2017 at 15:31
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    @JanusBahsJacquet If you bleed a prince, but you stop half way, you would have a half-bled prince. But wouldn't that then also be a half-blooded one?
    – oerkelens
    Jun 6, 2017 at 16:49
  • It seems to me it's always mixed-blood, but usually cold-blooded and often full-blooded. "A full-blooded Cherokee, he predicted to me the time and the place that the trouble would start." - Where Are You Tonight? (Journey Through Dark Heat), by Bob Dylan. "They'd turn a full-blooded city boy into a full-blooded city man." – From All The Nasties, by Elton John with lyrics by Bernie Taupin.
    – Chaim
    Jun 6, 2017 at 17:46
  • So I'd say the choice of "half-blood" (rather than "-blooded") was a literary choice between two grammatical possibilities. I'm not a Harry Potter fan, but in the movies (at least) they use "mud-blood" as a derogatory term. Maybe it just sounds a bit more pungent than mud- (or half-) "blooded."
    – Chaim
    Jun 6, 2017 at 17:59

1 Answer 1

  • "Half-blood" in this book's title is a noun adjunct, formed from the slang(?) term in the Harry Potter universe for a witch or wizard who has one non-magical parent. It is derived from the noun "half-blood."

  • "Half-Blooded" is a participle adjective (just like "cold-blooded"), and also derived from this in-universe slang, now in verb form. Being "half-blooded" means "being endowed with half-magical, half-muggle lineage".

Grammatically, both function as adjectives and convey the same meaning. In terms of nuance, the difference is more subtle.

To my ear, "The Half-Blood Prince" sounds like a specific title or honorific given to a particular person, i.e. this prince's identity is entirely defined by his half-blood status, so "Half-Blood Prince" is a proper noun.

However, "The Half-Blooded Prince" seems more like "the prince who happens to be a half-blood," but that detail is of lesser importance and does not define him wholly.

One might call any prince who is a half-blood a "half-blooded prince," but there is only one Half-Blood Prince.

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