I found these fascinating, thought you guys might too, :)
And yeah, it's not ALL Death Eaters, but they're all Slytherins, :P
Bellatrix - “Bella” is a construct of the word “bellum” meaning “war” and “trix” refers to “a woman in power.” Bellatrix is therefore known as the “Female Warrior” and is also the pale yellow star indicating the left shoulder of the constellation Orion, the Great Hunter.
Blaise - Blaise was the teacher of Merlin. From the Roman name Blasius, which means “lisping.” From the Latin “blaesus.” A famous bearer was Blaise Pascal, a French mathematician and philosopher.
Draco - Draco is a constellation that looks like a dragon but is a snake. In Latin, Draco means “dragon.” There was also a Greek ruler named Draco who developed a system of severe punishments for the smallest of crimes. “Draconian” means “harsh or cruel.” In Romanian, “drac” means “devil.”
Gaunt - To be very skinny especially because of hunger or disease or cold; to have a bony body.
Horace - English and French form of Horatius, a Roman family name possibly derived from Latin “hora,” meaning “hour, time, and season.” A famous bearer was Quintus Horatius Flaccus, a Roman lyric poet in the first Century B.C. Horace’s poems often celebrated the pleasure found in good food, drink, and spending time with congenial companions - sounds like Slughorn.
Lestrange - To be “estranged” means to be “removed from society.” In French, “etrange” means “strange” or “weird.”
Lucius - A Latin male first name. A character in Shakespeare’s play Julius Casesar, Lucius is the servant of Brutus, the leader of the conspirators who plot against and assassinate Caesar. Possible connection to the similar sounding “Lucifer” (the devil). Lucifer means “light-bearer.” In Romanian, “lucios” means “shiny,” a possible connection to his desire for the extravagant and valuable. A Roman General named Lucius Cornelius Sulla was usurped by the people of Rome, but defeated them and seized control as a dictator. After doing so, he removed most of the popular say in the government and returned it to the Senate of Rome, which controlled the people, and founded a firm Republic.
Malfoy - In Latin, “malus” means “bad” and “mal” means “pale.” “Mal foi” means “bad faith, an act with bad intentions, or a malicious act” in French. “Mal de foi” means a “loss of faith.” The similar French phrase “Mal fait” can be interpeted as “badly made” or “evil deeds.” In Portuguese, (J.K. Rowling taught English in Portugal for a few years) “Mal foi” means “was bad” or “is bad.” In Arthurian legends, Lancelot (King Arthur’s greatest knight and his betrayor) is sometimes called “Le Chevallier Mal Fait” (the “mal fait” knight). “Foy” means “a farewell feast, drink, or gift, as at a wedding.”
Marvolo - Implies “marvelous,” but also contains the Latin root “volo” meaning ” I wish, want, will, ordain, suppose, maintain that, be willing, to mean, signify, or denote.” “Volo” also means “to fly, speed, or move rapidly.” Tom Riddle can be seen as a character who wants to achieve greatness very quickly. Perhaps from Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night character Malviolo. He was a Puritan who could not have fun and sought to stop the other servants from enjoying themselves. He is “sick with self love” and dreams of getting power. He thinks he is better than the others because he believes he is “pure.” He is constantly the subject of practical jokes. It is here where the quote “Some are born great, some acheive greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them” comes from. At the end of the play, he swears revenge on the lot of them.
Merope - Means “bee-eater” and also translates to “eloquent” and “mortal.” Meropia is a condition of partial blindess. The name Merope is used numerous times in Greek mythology. Additionally, Merope was a member of the Pleiades sisters (nymphs) and was shamed eternally for marrying a mortal (Sisyphus). Since her parents were angered they made her star, Merope, weakest in the Pleiades constellation. Compare this to Merope Gaunt, a witch shamed for marrying a Muggle. A third Merope in Greek mythology, is one of the Heliades, or daughters of Helios. The Heliades were turned into poplar trees and their tears turned to amber by Helios himself. A fourth Merope was the daughter of King Oenopion who was wooed by Orion, apparently with little success.
Morfin (Gaunt) - Probably taken from Celtic myth. Morfan was the son of the Celtic Fertility God Ceridwen and was a fearsome warrior. Morfan fought with King Arthur in his last battle with Carlan. At first, none of Sir Mordred’s men would fight against Morfan, because he was so ugly that they believed he might be the devil.
Nagini - “Naga” is “snake” in Sanskrit and “Nagin” means “female snake” in Urdu. A reference to Rudyard Kipling’s cobra character Nagina, referred to as Nagini in some translations?
Narcissa- “Narcissism” means “the excessive love of oneself.” In Greek mythology, Narcissus was a man who believed himself to be the most handsome man on the planet. He died of grief, because he could not get love from his reflection in the water. When he was buried, a flower bloomed on his grave - a narcissus. Narcissa is often described as having a look like a nasty smell has been placed under her nose. Is this due to the nasty smell of the narcissus flower?
Nigellus - Nigellus might be derived from the Latin word “niger” which means “black, dark, and unlucky.” “Nigellus” is preclassical and medieval Latin, meaning “somewhat black.”
Pansy - Type of flower. Derived from the Old French “pensee,” which means “thought.”
Pettigrew - Pettigrew could be interpreted two ways: “petty-grew” meaning he grew into a petty (narrow-minded) person or “pet-I-grew” foreshadowing the incident where Peter grew out of his rat form and back into a man in the Shrieking Shack. Also, from the French “petit gros” or “little, fat person.”
Phineas - In Hebrew, means “serpent’s mouth” or “loudmouth.” In the Old Testament, Phineas kills an Israelite man for being in love with a woman who belongs to another ethnical group. For more, see Andromeda.
Quirrell - Perhaps derived from the word “quarrel,” which means “an angry dispute or argument.” Also sounds like squirrel, for a nervous, nut-eating rodent that lives in trees. The professor was a scared, shaky man who behaved a lot like one, later an act to cover up his allegiance to Voldemort. Possibly from “querulous” meaning full of “doubts and questions.”
Regulus (Sirius’ brother) - The name of the brightest star in the Alpha Leo (lion) constellation. Although this might seem odd at first, considering he was not a Gryffindor - lions in mythology are often used to symbolize those fierce or pure of heart (Pureblood?). Means “prince” and “heart of the lion.” During the First Punic War (264-242 B.C.) the Roman general Regulus was captured by the Carthaginians. He travelled to Rome with a party of Carthaginian ambassadors to help secure terms of peace, agreeing to return to Carthage to face death if he failed to gain acceptance of the Carthaginian terms. Once in Rome, however, Regulus urged the Senate to reject those terms; he returned to Carthage where he was tortured and executed. Regulus Black quite possibly suffered a similar fate at the hands of Voldemort after trying to back out of being a Death Eater.
Riddle - A “riddle” is “a form of word puzzle designed to test someone’s ingenuity in arriving at its solution.” Riddles were used as a way to both puzzle the audience and teach them to understand poetic language.
Salazar - António de Oliveira Salazar was the Fascist dictator in Portugal at the same time that Mussolini, Franco and Hitler. He had the same extremist right-wing ideology as the others, exercised great prejudice, and ruled using fear.
Scorpius (Malfoy) – Like Draco, Scorpius is a star constellation in the Southern Hemisphere.
Severus - Sever means “to cut off.” Snape appears to have “cut off” his ties with the Dark Lord through the first five books, and then with Dumbledore and the Order in Half-Blood Prince. “Severe” means “cruel, strict” - two characteristics that accurately describe the Potions Professor. Sounds very similiar to the Latin word “servus,” meaning “servant.” Is he still a servant of Voldemort’s? In ancient history, Lucius Septimius Severus restored stability to the Roman Empire after the tumultuous reign of Emperor Commodus and the civil wars that erupted in the wake of Commodus’ murder. The name Severus is also mentioned inMansfield Park by Jane Austen, a favorite book of J.K. Rowling. Additionally, a Saint Severus of Alexandria (Egypt) was martyred along with a Saint Peter and a Saint Leucius for publicly proclaiming the faith around 309 C.E. Severus, Peter, and Lucius - quite a coincidence!
Slytherin - Sounds like “slither,” as in to slither like a snake. No coincidence the Slytherin House is represented by a snake. Salazar Slytherin was also a Parselmouth (name for those who can speak to snakes). Slytherins are known to be “sly” individuals and snakes are known to be very “sly” creatures.
Snape - A town in England. Also based after a person J.K. Rowling knew.
Tom Marvolo Riddle - If you rearrange the letters, it spells: “I am Lord Voldemort.” The name “Tom” means “twin.”
Voldemort, Lord - There was a dark wizard in medieval times named Voldermortist. In another language, Voldermortist means “Lord of Evil” or “Dark Lord.” Legend has it that Voldermortist once tried to destroy Merlin before the time of King Arthur (Mr. Weasley?) by bewitching good people and simply bribing those who already were evil. Legend has it that Merlin destroyed Voldermortist by using a simple Paralyzing Charm (full body bind?), fed him to the many-headed-beast (Fluffy?) of the lake, the Lady of the Lake’s pet (Giant Squid?), freed the bewitched people, and destroyed the evil men. That was maybe twelve, thirteen years before Arthur (how long it was from Voldemort’s destruction until Harry started Hogwarts). In many European languages, “mort” or “mord” refer to “death or evil.” In French, “vol-de-mort” means “flight from death” (meaning escaping death). Also in French, “vol” translates as “the act of stealing,” giving Voldemort’s name the alternate meaning to “steal from death.” In Norwegian and Danish, “vold” means “violence.” In Danish, “volde” means “to cause” and could be derived from the Latin “valde,” meaning “great, exceedingly, strongly, powerfully.” Using these defintions Lord Voldemort’s name would then mean “excessive, great, or extreme death.”