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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.)

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

cherries by shalowater



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!

Dec. 8th, 2014



Britpicky rant

Not my usual pre-Christmas 'no eggnog' post, but one about drinking ages, inspired by two stories in succession getting it wrong.

The age at which it becomes legal to buy alcohol in the UK is 18. It is also usually illegal for someone of 18 or over to buy alcohol for an under-eighteen to drink in a pub, bar or public place. BUT it is legal for someone aged 16 or 17 to drink (and therefore to be bought) beer, cider or wine for consumption with a meal in the dining-room of a pub or restaurant. The age at which it becomes legal to drink alcohol on private premises is FIVE.

So, most of the 'you can't give me a drink because I'm under-age' lines are wrong. It's perfectly legal to give your child a glass of wine on a special occasion, say, though giving more than a moderate amount of alcohol to a child is likely to constitute an offence of a different sort.

Oh, and I refer everyone to my previous remarks on eggnog. The sort we have is lethally alcoholic and, though definitely a winter drink, not a part of your average family Christmas celebration. Just because our children can drink at home, it doesn't mean we routinely get them drunk.

Nov. 2nd, 2014

khalulu, kanji


turn (someone) on/ on to (something)

Just checking to see if this idiom is used in either or both sense in British English (fic is set about 10 years ago, Harry and Draco speaking). Someone turns you on: you are sexually attracted to them. Someone turns you on to something: they awaken your interest in it or point you toward something useful that you hadn't been aware or appreciative of previously.


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