Name meanings in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them: Esposito


When it comes to names, J.K Rowling is the best in the game. So we’re looking at the meaning of the name Esposito in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

The Fantastic Beasts character of Mrs. Esposito plays hardly any role in the movie, but J.K. Rowling chose this character’s name to symbolize the heart of the movie. The name-meaning of Esposito resonates all through Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

According to, Espositio is an Italian dialect of the Latin verb “Exponere”. It means to be “placed outside” or better yet, “exposed”.

Fantastic Beasts is a story that revolves around outsiders, fear or desire of exposure, and rescue of the physically and emotionally abandoned. This resonance carries real emotional weight with various characters who live outside society in some way. They are abandoning or are abandoned, who expose others or are exposed, and at the heart of the story, who rescue and are rescued.  Newt Scamander is an unabashed rescuer of those who need his help. But most of the characters struggle with these actions – rules and order interfere with their consciences.

Tina, especially, seems to embody this struggle – an inherently kind and compassionate person whose loyalty is twisted towards the laws necessary to keep her magical community hidden. Then, abandoned by her community, she lets go of her brittle grip on these laws while finding where her heart belongs.

Finding a new home

In 1920s America, New York City was filled with first and second generation immigrants, and Fantastic Beasts is bursting with them. Mrs. Esposito, or her husband, would have been one of the thousands of Italians who immigrated to the United States in the late 19th century. By 1926, the year Tina met Newt, Mrs. Esposito ran a boarding house for women.

A lot of young, single women in the early part of 20th century American cities lived in these boarding houses while they worked as maids, factory workers, seamstresses, and other jobs available to females. Many of them were immigrants and other displaced girls who came without family, or who needed to leave family to live close to where they could find work. Others had been orphaned and so needed to live on their own. At a time when most young, unmarried women lived with their parents or other relatives, female boarding houses were there to shelter the women who had nowhere else to stay.

Tina and Queenie, orphaned as children, live at the boarding house together, under the strict protection of Mrs. Esposito. We know of landlady Mrs. Esposito from only two off-camera spoken lines, but these lines carry all the emotional weight of Tina’s quest to belong:

Tina the Outsider among her own people

Tina’s life seems to hang between worlds. She is a skilled witch trained as an Auror with MACUSA. But has a Nomaj landlady and has formed an emotional bond with Credence, a mistreated boy who as far as she knows is a Nomaj. Her interaction with Credence has led to her being severely demoted and treated as an outcast within the completely magical dimension of MACUSA.

She seems to cling to MACUSA rules and laws in order to be taken seriously within the magical world, while what is meaningful to her lies with magical people who live mostly in the Nomaj world and feel like outsiders, even within the magical community. She struggles between exposing rule breakers and helping them, magical and Nomajes alike.

Rescuing the Foundling

The name Esposito also has meaning in the character of Credence, and Tina’s relationship with him. We know a bit of Credence’s history that implies he was not an orphan when Mary Lou took an interest in adopting him. She knew that his mother was a witch, and from her fury in telling him this, she must have known by seeing his mother use magic. What happened to his witch mother? Given the Second Salemers’ blatant calls for murdering witches, did they somehow kill Credence’s mother? The backstory around Credence seems to point less to him having been an orphan in need of a home, and more to having been forcefully taken by Mary Lou to “rescue” him from magic.  She seems to have made it her mission as his new mother to beat the magic out of him.

Tina and the cruelty she sees

Of course, Tina, seeing Mary Lou’s cruelty, could not stand by as a dispassionate Nomaj-watching Auror. She then rescues him, at least from one beating. Credence comes to mean something more to her than wanting to protect him from that one beating. And she risks everything to keep an eye on him, even after being demoted. She is still living in both worlds. She’s protecting a Nomaj while she is no longer allowed to protect the magical community as an Auror. But still wanting to follow every MACUSA rule in order to win back respect and acceptance as an Auror.

American magical law may seem inclusive, fostering all magical people born under it, but it abandons the people whose heart can’t separate the magical from the Nomaj. It’s a family ready to abandon its members who don’t follow the rules. Tina wants, with her whole heart, to be accepted by her community. But she can’t ignore those outside of it. She is wrenched between worlds and can’t let go of either one.

Changing the game

Then Tina abandons any pretense in honoring MACUSA laws when she sees Credence in Obscurial form. She then told Newt, the rule-breaking rescuer of the mistreated and lost, to save him. She embraces both worlds on her own terms. And in the end, it’s what leads to her being accepted back into the Auror family. Tina brings the two worlds together and changes the landscape, for both magical humans and magical creatures. Because of Tina being abandoned and finding her way back, MACUSA is able to find its heart again. And changes its policies on fantastic beasts to let them live.

So from the name of Mrs. Esposito, we are given the conflicted heart that runs all the way through Fantastic Beasts. We are given the idea of finding home throu

Next: Need to know your Hogwarts house? Well, Facebook has the answer!

gh following your own heart.