You are viewing hp_britglish

Previous 10

May. 22nd, 2015



(no subject)

It seems to me that people -- at least journalists -- sometimes refer to the center of the British government as "Westminster," which I understand to mean the borough of London that contains 10 Downing Street and the Houses of Parliament. I've seen "Whitehall" used in the same way. Do the expressions differ in meaning or nuance? Would Hermione be more likely to use one or the other?

Thanks for your help.

ETA: Thanks, everyone. This is a wonderfully informative community.

Hermione is talking about a group of neo-Deatheater and their desire to blow up the government. "Westminster" it is.

May. 18th, 2015


Fairy tales and pumpkins

Hi folks! Two quick questions:

In British English, when you talk about "Cinderella," "Sleeping Beauty," etc., do you refer to them as "fairy tales" or "fairy stories"? As an American (who grew up with "fairy tales") I vaguely got it in my head that British English uses a different term than I do, but maybe this is one of those instances where I'm overcorrecting!

Second question, are pumpkins native to/traditionally grown in the UK? And are they strongly associated as a symbol of autumn the way they are the US? I tend to think of pumpkins as a more North American thing, but then again the HP books are full of pumpkin juice and pumpkin pasties and Hagrid's pumpkin patch... Does that mean pumpkins are in fact widely grown in the UK (and thus would work as a symbol of autumn in a fic where the time of year is important to the story)? Or is the prevalence of pumpkins in the HP world more about JKR kind of borrowing American Halloween/witchy images to populate in her wizarding world, even though they're not traditionally much of a British thing?

Thank you!

Apr. 15th, 2015

shadow frog


Inviting a non-relative over during the winter holidays

Would a British person invite a non-relative to a Christmas meal? (And if so, what would the meal be called?) Or would Boxing Day be more likely? Is there another more likely day near that? It would have to be a day when a festive family meal was likely.

If it's unlikely for this to occur, I'd like to get a feel for how surprising or unlikely it would be. (I know wizarding culture might be different, but I wanted to get a feel for the possibilities.)

ETA: Thank you so much for all the replies.

Mar. 18th, 2015

khalulu, kanji


"real" for really (sarcastically) as in "real bright idea"?

I realized I may have been using an Americanism and want to check. Is "real" used in spoken, informal speech for "really" (as an intensifier), as in "real cool", "real scary", etc? I used it as a sarcastic remark, meaning the opposite (that was not cool at all, not scary at all, etc). It's teenage Harry talking. If that doesn't work, should I use "really", or something else?

Mar. 2nd, 2015



(no subject)

Do "barman," "bartender," and "pint-puller" mean exactly the same thing (other than "barman" being, I assume, gender-specific)?

Under what circumstances can "punter" be used to mean "customer"?

Thanks in advance!

ETA: For the purposes of my story I'll be sticking to "barman" and avoiding "punter," though I can easily imagine Ron Weasley saying it.

Thanks very much, everyone, for your helpful and interesting responses. This community is so much fun!

ETA: Since we're speaking of library patrons, as library staff call them in the US, I should mention that most of them don't know that's what we call them. At least, long-time library denizen though I was, I'd never heard the term until I went to library school, and none of my friends had either.

Feb. 13th, 2015



Would a British woman in her forties or fifties every use the word 'beau' to refer to a boy one of her children was dating?

As in, "You must be Cynthia's new beau."

If not, is there another word with similar connotations? I'm trying to avoid using 'boyfriend'.

Feb. 9th, 2015


"That's wizard."

Hello, everyone!  I'm back with yet another question.  I'm working on a scene in which Teddy will say, "That's wizard." There will be large group of people there, including Narcissa, who will be totally confused by the expression.  Teddy is 14 in the scene, so the year is about 2012.  Is that still something a teenage boy would be likely to say, or is it outdated? 

Feb. 1st, 2015


Is looking for a beta for a Harry Potter fic permitted?

I'm in need of a beta, but if thats' not allowed here, I apologize.  I looked through the rules and didn't see anything that said no, but I didn't see any posts asking for one when I looked either.  I'm writing a fic for the hd-familyfest and have a deadline of March 1st.  The beta service I've always used has said they are unable to accept new stories at this time.  Do you say "up shit's creek" in the UK?  I've posted a couple places trying to find one, but I've never seen any site have the number of responses I've seen here, so I thought I'd try.

The story is currently about 9,000 words, and I expect to have it wrapped up in about a week and a half at 15,000ish.  It's Harry/Draco slash and probably about a boarderline PG13/R rating.  One issue that might be a deal breaker for some is that it refers back to the death of a very premature infant which happened five years before the story begins.  It is also Mpreg, which may not  be everyone's cup of tea.  It's definately hurt/comfort, but I'm working to keep it from being a full-box-of-tissues read.  It begins on a sad note, but it'll end on a high one.

If you're interested, please let me know and also let me know the best way to contact you. Or if you know of any beta services I could try, that'd be great too.  If beta requests are a no-no, I apoligze again.

Jan. 29th, 2015


Legos or Mega Blocks or Building Blocks?

Hello all!

I have a question regarding a scene I'm writing.  In the scene, Harry's children are playing with Legos.  I wanted to check and see if they would be called Legos or if they would be more likely to be called something else.  Is a different brand of building blocks more popular in the UK?  Or would they not be called by the brand name at all?  It's Al specifically who is playing with them, and he's about five years old in the fic, so he'd be playing with the larger version Duplo blocks as opposed to the traditional smaller Legos.  It's got to be the same sort of block though--interlocking plastic brick-shaped blocks as opposed to blocks that just stack one on top of another--because I need Draco to be fascinated by them.

Thanks in advance!

Jan. 27th, 2015

h/d black&grey pencil


"loose leaf" paper?

In the states we sell, and use, a lot of loose leaf paper in schools. It also gets called filler paper. It has three holes already punched in it, and lines.

Like this:

I can't find any for sale online at Tesco's, WH-Smith or Boots, so I figure I must have the name wrong. What do you folks call this stuff?

Thank you in advance for any assistance!

Previous 10


May 2015



RSS Atom
Powered by