It's common enough for a type of magic to be described in fantasy as *-mancy: Arithmancy in Harry Potter, Astromancy in Warhammer 40k, etc. that picking a Greek or Latin root and adding -mancy is generally understandable as a magical discipline - dendromancy would be some type of magic related to trees, just as necromancy is death magic

The suffix -ology, to me at least, carries connotations of a more mundane, scientific approach to the study of the field.

Are there other suffixes that carry magical connotations?

  • Hello, Jon. Please show evidence of research (even if non-productive); you can look up lists giving the associations of suffixes, for instance this one at Learnthat.org. Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 1:01
  • Wow, that’s quite a useful list.
    – Jon Takagi
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 1:07

2 Answers 2


There is a Wikipedia article which is very extensive that lists methods of divination. There are three main suffixes I can discern from these

-mancy // From Latin mantia or Greek manteia, meaning either prophesy or divination

-oscopy // From Greek skopein (to look at)

-spicy. // From Latin specere (to look at)

For example:

haruspicy a form of divination by natural phenomena, especially from inspection of the entrails of animal sacrifices.

hepatoscopy (a particular form of haruspicy by observing the liver)

extispicy (another term for haruspicy)

auspicy (another term for augury)

orniscopy (another term for ornithomancy and augury) the practice of reading omens from the actions of birds

hieroscopy (another term for hieromancy)

horoscopy Divination by celestial bodies

anemoscopy (another term for aeromancy) Divination by behaviour of wind

ceraunoscopy or brontoscopy Divination by thunder and lighting

astroscopy (same as astromancy or astrology) Divination by stars

Source: Wikipedia

It seems to me that the original terms have been expanded in popular fantasy novels, video games and films. For example a pyromancer practices pyromancy, which is divination by fire. However in popular fiction a pyromancer would usually be a mage/wizard/warlock/witch who can summon fire and hurl fireballs at you. An aeromancer, who practices aeromancy (divination by actions of the wind) might be able to cast attack spells that blow their opponents away or encase them in ice.

But I'll just add, you'll unlikely find either -oscopy or -spicy satisfactory if you want to describe a magic user, because, unlike the suffix -mancy, these do not have the connotations given to -mancy by probably centuries of use in fiction to describe sorcerers.

  • Please don't use the code format for regular text. It doesn't wrap.
    – KarlG
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 2:28
  • @KarlG I'll try to fix it, but I have real trouble with the quotation format, I can never seem to get a new line when I want, and I keep trying enter, shift + enter, or deleting the > character
    – Zebrafish
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 2:30
  • If you want single-spaced lines, start with the >, then stick a "<br>" after lines you want to keep together. For your definitions, you could also use the bullet list format.
    – KarlG
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 2:34

The suffix '-magi' or '-magus' would refer to a practitioner of a magical art. Wiktionary

  • pyromagus: A fire magician
  • animagus: In Potterdom, a shapeshifter.

It is not as commonly-used as the '-mancer' suffix though. For example, there aren't many references to 'necromagus' as there are to 'necromancer'

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