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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)

Aug. 27th, 2017



Hi all!  I'm in need of your help once again.  I've just started working on a fic where Harry has settled in France after the war.  When he felt the need to get away for a while after the war and from everyone wanting a piece of him, the Delacour's offered him a place with them.  Draco is living and working in Muggle England.  His work has him cross paths unexpectedly with Harry.  Draco is in France for work with a British co-worker, the co-worker tells him about a meeting he's set up for the next day.  In telling Draco the person they'll be meeting with is British, would his co-worker refer to Harry as a Brit or an expat?  Or is it an either/or thing?  I seem to rememember hearing the term expat used, but I can't remember where, when, or in exactly what context.

Thanks in advance!  This community really is always such a great help.

Aug. 4th, 2017

- - Cello Cat - default


brit vs amvsign language/gestures `i love you` (alt options: 'tust me', or 'ignore what I say' etc)

in the usa, `i love you` can be signed multiple ways, but the best known, even to the non-Deaf is to hold up the pinky and pointing fingers and the thumb, with the 2 middle fingers down; palm is to the person you are signing to.

did this sign become cliched enough to be known across the great pond (by non-Deaf people)? if not, is there another british sign that would be universally recognised- iow that even harry would know it (around the age of 18 in the fic). i know of brit sign websites, just dont know what the average hearing person would recognise without ever studying sign.

An alternative second best, would be a universally understood sign by hearing people that would convey something along the lines of `i dont mean what i am saying; i mean the opposite` (aurors harry needs to act like he hates someone even more than the other aurora he is paired with, so that the person they have in custody realises harry will take them to safety, while the the other aurors think harry, as the newest auror is simply asserting its turn, and he has reason to want to, torture the person to near death. (Legilemency isnt an option)

Jul. 30th, 2017



How do you say in BrE? Both forms are accepted?

The meeting is scheduled at 3 pm today.
The meeting is scheduled for 3 pm today.

Thank you.

Jul. 27th, 2017


Complimentary term you'd call a friend in 1981

Can anyone help me out with words you’d call your mates to express how good they are (e.g., in the current day I would say “you’re a ledge”) if you were British and in 1981? (it’s Sirius Black and Remus Lupin, so regionalisms don’t matter so much what with the extreme slang melting pot that hogwarts must be). the more specific context being that Remus has done Sirius a favour.

Mostly I really want to express the sentiment of “you’re an absolute brick” without making anyone sound like they’d taken a wrong turn from an Enid Blyton. (I know that ledge and brick don't exactly match up, but brick tragically doesn't have a modern translation at all, which is a shame.)

Apr. 23rd, 2017

h/d black&grey pencil


men's clothing question

Would a 21 or so year old Harry wear a "shirt" or a "top" for a first date? It's not a jumper/sweater, they are going out to lunch in June. It's green and Draco thinks it looks nice on him and I realized I don't know if Draco would think of it as a shirt, a top, or some other word.


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