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Why is Harry potter and the Philosopher's stone called Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in America? I think Americans know and use the word philosopher so why did they change the name for the american version of the book?

asked Jul 28 '10 at 19:57

Feras's gravatar image


It was a marketing reason, after short discussions, Scholastic came to the conclusion that children may not want to read a book with the word "Philosopher" in it (they thought it may be too dull) and instead choose "Sorcerer" as a more enticing title. This sadly breaks the connection to the myth of the philosopher stone.

answered Jul 29 '10 at 01:10

Granit's gravatar image


  • h8 2 say this but 'sell out'
  • just because americans h8 something/ a word doesn't mean that the title had to be changed
  • a sorcerer is a wizard/mage and a philosopher is normally someone who theorizes and makes their own philosophies (deep thoughts and judgments on life and why things are etc) however in this case it is an alchemist
  • wizardry involves magic = conjure or charm something
  • alchemy involves science = mix elements to create something.
  • the philosopher's stone is indicated as such to be made from non magical means hence it is difficult (possibly impossible) to recreate
  • a socerer's stone indicates that it can be instantly created with the wave of a wand and hence would be easy to produce.
  • the stone is meant to be a combination of different elements from the periodic table combined to make a stone that causes wonderous reactions on the human body (expanding lifespan) and metals (setting the electron shells of a metal and its protons and nuerons to immitate the Au shells and cores/ lamen's term = turn to gold).
(Jul 06 '11 at 20:06) esperingan esperingan's gravatar image

I've never understood this myself. I think I read somewhere that JKR's American publishers, when "translating" her books so us yanks could understand the crazy language, suggested that they change "philosopher's" to "sorcerer's" because the legend of the philosopher's stone was not popular in the US and we wouldn't get the reference. Also, I heard that they thought readers would react more positively to a title with the word "sorcerer" in it rather than "philosopher" because you know how much we hate philosophers. lol

answered Jul 28 '10 at 20:07

TechRob's gravatar image



The term "philosopher's stone" is popular in America... anyone who watched the anime Fullmetal Alchemists are aware of the legend of the philosopher's stone. The anime renewed the legend in todays youth.

(Jul 29 '10 at 01:32) refrwfrwgrfd refrwfrwgrfd's gravatar image

Sorry, not everyone has seen Fullmetal Alchemists. Including myself.

(Aug 01 '10 at 11:34) TechRob TechRob's gravatar image

Sadly, the average American could probably better describe what a sorcerer is than they could describe what a philosopher is/does.

answered Jul 28 '10 at 20:56

ageekmom's gravatar image

ageekmom ♦

Yeah, we Americans just hate philosophers lol. I think it's a bit sad that Philosopher was too dull for Americans, but no matter, it is still the same book. (Or at least mostly).

answered Jul 20 '11 at 12:01

dracofusco's gravatar image


Most Americans hate philosophers but not all, just the religious majority.

(Jul 21 '11 at 02:21) zman zman's gravatar image

The same reason Americans changed 'Where's Wally' to 'Where's Waldo'. Not sure what that reason is but I bet its the same! Just joking :)

answered Jul 20 '11 at 14:42

Fish's gravatar image



It probably is.

(Jul 21 '11 at 11:58) Feras Feras's gravatar image

Huh, I didn't know that it wasn't called the sorcerer's stone everywhere, and as the previous person said we don't like philosophers here :)

answered Jul 28 '10 at 20:41

boba0420's gravatar image


Really, I thought everyone knew that the american name is different to the original.

(Jul 29 '10 at 15:08) Feras Feras's gravatar image

i seriously didn't know this. i thought it was just called the sorcer's stone everywhere. you learn something new every day. lulz.

answered Jul 29 '10 at 01:06

Longhorn's gravatar image


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Asked: Jul 28 '10 at 19:57

Seen: 12,647 times

Last updated: Jul 21 '11 at 11:58