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Sooo, J.K. Rowling made up another word.

Eagle-eared listeners caught a new five-Galleon word coined by the Harry Potter author upon last November’s release of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, the 1920s-set prequel that follows magizoologist Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his escaped magical creatures in New York City.

Among said beasts is the occamy, a bird-snake-thing introduced in Rowling’s 2001 companion book but first realized onscreen in the 2016 film, when the foursome (Redmayne, Katherine Waterston, Dan Fogler, and Alison Sudol) track it into a department store and discover it’s grown to fit the size of the massive stockroom it’s in.

So, as it turns out, there’s no real word for this phenomenal characteristic in nature, unless you picked up the film’s script and discovered the term for yourself: Choranaptyxic.


Even though the sound of it is something quite atrocious, Rowling explains how she was essentially backed into a corner to coin it after creating the occamy, having hilariously based the animal’s trait of shrinking-‘til-satisfaction on an innocent piece of playground misinformation passed on to her in her youth. (I feel the need to stand up for Rowling here and admit that I frequently heard this goldfish legend, too, and am frankly shocked to learn it’s not true. I hate nature.)

Hear Rowling explain the origin of a choranaptyxic (and Redmayne pronounce it) in this exclusive clip from the home release of Fantastic Beasts, available digitally on March 7 or Blu-ray March 28.

The as-yet-untitled first sequel to the film is due for release on November 16, 2018; the second sequel will arrive on November 20, 2020.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (film)
  • Movie
  • 132 minutes