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Jun. 10th, 2018


Tail over teakettle, or ass (or arse) over teakettle

I saw this expression online when I was looking for British slang Harry might use in 1998, and I absolutely love it.  Does it fit with Harry and the time period, though?  For context, people crowded into a large stadium are pushing and shoving, craning forward for a better vew, and he thinks someone's going to pitch themselves over the railing.  I love the sound of it, but I'm not sure it fits the scene.  I think it sounds too light, where it's a heavy scene and he's very anxious and wants it to be over.  

Jun. 9th, 2018


Cheek by jowl

Hey all!  Can someone tell me whether "cheek by jowl" is an expression Harry would use to describe a very crowded placed in 1998?  Is it outdated or not something an 18-year-old would say?

May. 18th, 2018

drunk, drunk Jian Yi, 19 Days, Jian Yi, Old Xian



Just caught myself putting this in fic, and I wasn't sure: is creep a word that an older person from the UK might use? As in, "I'm such a creep", aka pervert.

If not, what are some similar words they might use in that context?

May. 3rd, 2018

khalulu, kanji


"What's with him?"

Might "What's with him?" be used as a comment on odd behavior in British English (by any kind of British English speaker)? The context is just someone showing up and behaving somewhat oddly and leaving, and then someone else making a comment. Not angry or annoyed, just remarking that it was a strange way to act. If not, do you have any other suggestions? The one making the comment is not a major character so that's why I'm asking if there's anyone who might say it, rather than whether X type of person might.

Thanks, if there's anyone around to answer!

Feb. 28th, 2018


About dating

Hi everyone!
I'm beta-reading a Harry/Draco fic and I'm having some trouble with the differences between the meaning of dating in BrE and AmE.

I know that in BrE date is: A date is an appointment to meet someone or go out with them, especially someone with whom you are having, or may soon have, a romantic relationship. If you have a date with someone with whom you are having, or may soon have, a romantic relationship, you can refer to that person as your date.

In AmE date is: an appointment for a set time, esp. one for a social engagement with a person of the opposite sex (no romantic relationship or sexual interest - or at least not on the first few dates).

And now my question.
In AmE Cho was Harry's date. But there was no romantic involvement between them. They just kissed once and it was awkward at best. So in BrE you can't call Cho Harry's date. What do you call her? How can you call Harry and Cho's .... whatever it was?

Thank you so much for all your help.

Jan. 24th, 2018


Need slang phrase for being played/manipulated

Hello, I am in the process of writing a Harry Potter story and I am looking for a slang phrase for being played or manipulated. I am an American and I'm hoping to avoid as many americanisms as possible. My context is thus: one character is telling another character that they've been manipulated. In the US a slang phrase would be "you've been played like a two-bit fiddle." Two bits refers to a quarter-dollar and is roughly 17p. In other words, someone has been played like a cheap fiddle or violin. Is there a British-English equivalent to this phrase?  Thank you in advance for any help. 

Dec. 7th, 2017



(no subject)

I'm looking for a way to refer to the hem of a skirt, dress, gown etc. that has been accidentally caught up in such a way that it's no longer hanging down freely.

"Hitched up" and "hiked up" are the phrases that occur to me, but as the OED has never heard of either I'm assuming they're exclusively American.

A Scottish word or phrase would be ideal.

Thank you for your help.

Nov. 13th, 2017



Hello all!

I'm beta reading a fic for an upcoming fest, and the writer has George make a comment to Harry that to my ears sounds very American.  Do you think George would say:  "Time's a-wasting"  He is being somewhat teasing/mocking in the scene, if the context makes a difference.  It doesn't just sound American to me, but specifically from the South, and from someone much older than George.  I can't help but think if he did say it, it would be said in fun, the same way an American might say "Oh, bloody hell."  (And definitely no -g at the end of the -ing.  "Time's a-waistin'")

What do you think?

As always, thank you all for your help!


Oct. 18th, 2017

fuck not valid


quit that?

I just had Harry say "Can the attitude?" (Meaning more explicitly "Are you saying you want me to calm down and not act that way anymore?")

And realized, you know, that's probably really American. I could replace that with:

"Drop the attitude?"

"Ditch the attitude?"

"Boot the attitude?"

or whatever else actually sounds British. 

I look forward to reading your opinions. 

Sep. 9th, 2017


(no subject)

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