British terms used in the Harry Potter series are generally specific to British culture and may seem foreign to readers from other countries. At times, terms may even have been changed in certain translations to more culture-appropriate terms.

List of British terms


  • Afters - Dessert.
  • Airing cupboard - A cupboard for airing linen and clothing. Similar to U.S. "linen closet."
  • Alice band - A hair band of the type worn by a young girl to hold her hair back from her face; from the way Alice wore her hair in Alice Through the Looking-Glass.
  • Arse - Butt or ass.
  • Axminster - Short for "Axminster carpet" or "Axminster rug" - a carpet or rug with a soft tufted pile cut of a type originally (and apparently still) manufactured at Axminster in Devon, England.


  • Bad job - A waste of time, or a futile task.
  • Balaclava - Ski mask. A woolly covering for the head and neck. The name comes from the site of a battle in the Crimean War; soldiers wore this kind of gear.
  • Bandy-legged - (U.S.: bow-legged.). Hermione Granger's cat was described as being "bandy-legged".
  • Banger - A sausage, as in "bangers and mash". It is also slang for an old motorcar in a state of disrepair (US: beater).
  • Barking - Shortened form of "barking mad" ie: insane. Used for emphasis.
  • Barmaid - Also, Barman, a woman or man who serves drinks in a bar. (US: Bartender).
  • Barmy - Crazy, but suggests a silly rather than a dangerous kind of craziness. The word's older sense is "frothy"; "barm" is actually the froth on top of fermenting malt liquor.
  • Barnet - Hair. This is a 19th century British term with origins in Cockney rhyming slang: "barnet fair", "fair" rhymes with "hair", and dropping the middle term, "barnet"="hair." "Barnet Fair" itself was a famous horse fair held in Barnet, Hertfordshire.
  • Bath buns - Sweet bread rolls with crunchy sugar on top.
  • Bathing-costume - US: swimsuit; bathing suit.
  • Battlements - The 'teeth' shaped parts on top of a castle. More broadly, can mean any kind of defensive wall.
  • Bauble - A Christmas tree ornament shaped like a ball and made of coloured glass or similar material.
  • Bedside cabinet - A small chest of drawers for next to the bed (U.S.: nightstand).
  • Bell-pull - A cord inside a house which, when pulled, causes a bell to ring in another part of the house to get someone else's attention.
  • Berk (rhymes with "jerk" and is similar in meaning) - Idiot, objectionable person. The word is actually derived from a very crude and offensive bit of rhyming slang, but in this form is considered to be inoffensive.
  • Besom - A woman or girl, but this term is derogatory (though it can be used in a joking way). When used like this, it often appears in a phrase such as "old besom" (for an older woman) or "little besom" (for a young woman or girl). The word is also an old word for broom.
  • Biscuit - US: cookie.
  • Bin - Also binned, bin bag and dust bin. A bin is a trashcan or garbage can, so if something is "binned" it is thrown away in the trash or garbage. A "bin bag" is a trash bag or garbage bag. In the United States, one would typically only use the term "bin" in association with trash when discussing recycling, as in "recycle bin."
  • Black pudding - A sausage-shaped dish made with blood and suet (animal fat) enclosed in a wrapper made from a floury batter.
  • Bleeder - A stupid, unpleasant, or contemptible person or thing.
  • Blighter - An annoying thing or person.
  • Blimey - A word used to show surprise, the British equivalent of "Oh, man" or "Wow".
  • Bloke - A man.
  • Bloody - A swear word used to give emphasis, as in "bloody hell". Also, bloomin' or blooming.
  • Boater - A flat-topped, hardened straw hat, with a brim. Often worn as part of the uniform of public schools. The name derives from the fact that the hats were worn by some University scholars, who would go boating on the river, but they became more widely popular as adult headgear in Edwardian times.
  • Bogey - Booger. A British slang word for "snot", also bogies.
  • Bog-standard - Common, ordinary, with no frills.
  • Bollocks- Literally refers to testicles but in a slang sense means "nonsense", an expletive following a minor accident or misfortune, or an adjective to mean "poor quality" or "useless". Similarly, the common phrases "Bollocks to this!" or "That's a load of old bollocks " generally indicates contempt for a certain task, subject or opinion.
  • Bonfire Night - On 5th November every year, Britain commemorates the Gunpowder Plot, in which Guy (Guido) Fawkes and other extremist Catholics plotted (but failed) to blow up James I and his Parliament. People have firework parties or attend organised displays, and effigies of Guy Fawkes (known as "the guy") are burned on bonfires. The term bonfire is derived from 'bone fire' because, originally, bones were the primary material burnt.
  • Bonnet - Referring to an automobile hood; it can also mean a hat.
  • Boot - Referring to an automobile trunk.
  • Bottom-of-the-table - Coming in last place in a competition.
  • Bowler - A small hat with a round top (US derby), used to be popular business wear in London.
  • Boxing Day - The first weekday after Christmas day, so called because it used to be traditional to give Christmas-boxes (small presents or tips) on that day to people such as employees of firms providing regular services. (In modern usage the first day rather than the first weekday after Christmas Day is often referred to as Boxing Day instead.)
  • Brace - Braces
  • Brew - Tea; "do me a brew" is to make and serve a cup of tea.
  • Budgie - Also budgerigar, a small parrot-like bird kept as a pet, which in the U.S. is called a parakeet.
  • Bung - Throw or give, often carelessly.
  • Bunk - To 'bunk off' is to skip out on something, usually lessons in school. To take unauthorised absence.


  • Camp-bed - U.S.: cot. The prefix "camp" used in this way means "folding and portable". In the U.K., a "cot" is what people in the U.S. would refer to as a crib - that is, a bed for a baby.
  • Candyfloss - U.S.: cotton candy. A soft confection made of spun sugar.
  • Catapult - U.S.: slingshot. Winged catapults were seen in the Room of Requirement in 1996.
  • Catherine wheel - A firework which, while detonating, rotates like a pinwheel.
  • Cheek - Also cheeked and cheeky. "Cheek" means "insolence", so "cheeked" is "sassed, bad-mouthed".
  • Chipolata - A type of fairly thin, pork sausage. The name is from the Italian for an onion dish (from cipolla = onion). It is one of the components of a traditional English Christmas lunch.
  • Chips - Long cuts of deep fried potato, usually thick cut resembling American steak fries. (org. UK phrase - fish and chips).
  • Christmas cake - A very rich fruitcake, covered in marzipan and white icing (a bit like Wedding Cake) and decorated with holly and berries, silver accessories or snow scenes. Most people make the basic Christmas Cake several months before Christmas and feed it with brandy or sherry until completely soused.
  • Christmas pudding - A Christmas Pudding (Plum Pudding) is a rich dried fruit, suet/cake mixture that is steamed. It is usually served with brandy butter, or doused with brandy and lit at the table (hence the flaming). Traditionally, a sixpence (2.5p) was hidden in the pudding, and whoever got the piece containing it could make a wish. These days, a 5p, 10p or 20p piece may be used.
  • Chuffed - Pleased, happy.
  • Cine-camera - U.S.: Movie camera, specifically one which uses cinefilm (an obsolete film format).
  • Cistern - In general, this means any artificial reservoir for storing water, but the books use it mainly to refer to what in the U.S. would be called a toilet tank.
  • Codswallop - Nonsense. Untruths.
  • Comprehensive - Short for "comprehensive school", what in the U.S. would be called a public school. As opposed to the "public schools" and a few selective, publicly funded "grammar schools", no examination is required for admission. Therefore, this term has a very slightly negative connotation as hinted at in the book.
  • Conk - Slang for "nose".
  • Constable - Officer aka Police Officer
  • Cookery - U.S.: cooking. What in the U.S. is called a "cookbook" is referred to in the U.K. as a "cookery book".
  • Copse - A small stand of trees and undergrowth, particularly if it is grown for periodic cutting.
  • Corking - Excellent or enjoyable.
  • Cosy - A cloth covering (often padded or quilted) for something, usually a teapot.
  • Cotton on - U.S.: "catch on", "get it", understand.
  • Cracker - As in Wizard Crackers or Christmas crackers: A tube of cardboard wrapped in fancy paper and twisted at both ends. Inside the tube is a strip of paper coated in gunpowder, which snaps (cracks) when two people pull the cracker apart. Inside the tube, there would be a paper party hat, a small gift and a very childish joke on a little slip of paper. Crackers are pulled at Christmas dinner or lunch on 25 December.
  • Crack on - Keep going, continue.
  • Crisp - U.S.: potato chip.
  • Crumpet - A sort of yeasty, rubbery bread formed into small, flat circlets and baked. The texture is not only rubbery, but full of holes. The finished product is meant to be grilled or griddled until slightly crunchy and served soaked in butter. Not the same thing as a muffin.
  • Cupboard - Also, cupboardlike, U.S.: closet. "Cupboardlike" means "like a closet".
  • Cuppa - A cup of tea.


  • Dab hand  - Indicates that a person is an expert in a particular activity.
  • Dead - Really; common in certain British dialects, particularly in the Midlands (i.e. around Birmingham). For instance, dead clumsy, dead depressing, dead helpful, dead sure or dead useful.
  • Demob - Short for demobilisation, which means "to take troops out of active service, particularly at the end of a war."
  • Dobbin - A pet name for a farm horse, or for any horse used as a working animal to pull carts and the like.
  • Dodgy - Something or someone that cannot be trusted.
  • Doss - A slang term for a place to sleep; by extension, any easy task offering a lot of opportunity for being lazy.
  • Dozy - While this can be used to mean "drowsy" or lazy, it's often used to mean thick.
  • Draught - U.S.: draft (both in the senses of "air current" and of "a quantity of something to be drunk").
  • Dresser - A cupboard or set of shelves for dishes or kitchen utensils.
  • Dummy - Either a mannequin or a pacifier.


  • Fairy lights - Christmas light strings. This is a play on words, since Flitwick decorates his classroom with Christmas lights - "fairy lights" - that are real, live fairies.
  • Fen - An alkaline marsh, distinguishing it from a bog which is always acidic.
  • Flap - A state of confusion or panic. A colloquialism, probably related to the flapping of the hands like wings.
  • Flat - U.S.: apartment. A block of flats is equivalent to an apartment block.
  • Flutter - (Adj) Excited or trembling, with a fluttering heart, due to some sort of shock.
  • Flutter - (gerund) Bet - "Fancy a flutter" means "Would you care to make a bet"
  • Football - U.S.: soccer.
  • Fortnight - Unit of time equivalent to fourteen nights.
  • Fringe - U.S.: Bangs (hair).
  • Frock-coat - A man's double-breasted long-skirted coat not cut away in front; now worn chiefly on formal occasions.
  • Fug - A thick, stuffy smelly atmosphere.


  • Galumph - To gallop or prance. The word was created by Lewis Carroll in the book Through the Looking Glass; it's a portmanteau word from "gallop" and "triumph".
  • Garden - Equivalent to an American yard or park, and usually includes grassy areas.
  • Gâteau - A large rich layer cake, where some of the layers are made of cream or fruit.
  • Geroff - Colloquial form of "Get off", which in turn means "leave me alone" or "let go."
  • Git - Mildly derogatory, meaning a foolish or contemptible person.
  • Go boil your head - Buzz off; go away.
  • Gorn - Gone. This is regional pronunciation of the word, not a separate term itself.


  • Hamper - A large basket or wickerwork packing-case with a cover used to pack or transport food and/or drink (what in the U.S. would be called a picnic basket). By extension, the term is also used to refer to a present of a consignment of food in any type of case or box.
  • Have a go - U.S.: Have a try.
  • Have done - A shortened version of "have done it," as in, "he couldn't have done it."
  • Haversack - A bag or backpack for carrying food on an outdoor trip.
  • Having kittens - Stressing out. Specifically, Molly Weasley was "having kittens" over her family's welfare.
  • Headlamp - U.S.: headlight.
  • High Street - Generally refers to a street that serves as the main business and shopping district of a town or city. It is frequently, but not always, named High Street. Similar to Main Street in the U.S.
  • Holiday - Any vacation or time off the usual work schedule. In the U.S., this term is only used for specific calendar days, such as Thanksgiving. Otherwise, "vacation" is used.
  • Holidaymaker - Someone on holiday, i.e., on vacation.
  • Hosepipe - Garden hose.
  • Humbug - Hard candy pieces, usually flavoured with peppermint and recognisable by their black and white stripes. They are often round-ended but can be seen as angular lumps. The origin of humbug is unknown. The word also means deceptive talk, an impostor or a hoax. See Peppermint Humbugs.


  • Jacket potato - A potato baked in its skin.
  • Jam - US: Jelly
  • Jelly - a dessert made with sweetened gelatin, US: Jello
  • Joint - A cut of beef, typically sirloin. Similar to a beef roast in the US.
  • Jumper - A warm shirt, sometimes knitted. Specifically, Molly Weasley knits jumpers for her family every Christmas. This was changed to "sweater" in the U.S. version, due to cultural differences (in the US, a jumper is a dress).


  • Keen - Enthusiastic; keen as in hankering to get on with something.
  • Kerfuffle - A commotion or fuss.
  • Kip - Sleep. Derived from kip-house, which is a small, cheap lodging or hostel.
  • Kipper - A salt-cured dried fish (usually a herring), sometimes served for breakfast in parts of the U.K.
  • Knickerbocker Glory - An ice cream dessert (a sundae) served in a tall glass, and consisting of layers of chopped fruit and ice cream in layers, with whipped cream on top. The dessert is eaten with a cocktail spoon (like a teaspoon but with a longer handle). It's possible that 'Knickerbocker' refers to the shape of the glass, which looks rather like the leg of a pair of knickerbockers.
  • Knickerbockers - Short pants.
  • Knickers - Female underwear. Also used as "oh, knickers", which has the same kind of meaning as "oh, rats" and the like.
  • Knobbly - Bumpy.


  • Ladybird - U.S.: ladybug.
  • Leaver - U.S.: Graduate. In the United Kingdom, graduation is only for those who finish a university degree program. An individual who finished a school such as Hogwarts would be called a "leaver" not a graduate, and would have said they "left" rather than "graduated." This is significant for in Deathly Hallows when Ron told the Snatchers that they had "left" Hogwarts, he was not confessing to truancy, but rather saying that they had already "graduated" from Hogwarts.
  • Lie-in - "Having a lie-in" means "sleeping in", sleeping late.
  • Lift - U.S.: An elevator. The meanings of 'lift' and 'elevator' are reversed between the U.S. and the U.K.; 'elevator' in the U.K. refers to what in the U.S. would be called a 'lift' put into a shoe.
  • Loo - U.S.: restroom or toilet.
  • Lurgi or Lurgy - Usually referred to in the phrase "the dreaded lurgy" but which has come to mean any unspecified minor illness. The term comes from a (non-existent) highly infectious disease frequently referred to in the British 1950s - 1960s radio comedy series The Goon Show. The closest American equivalent would likely be "cooties."


  • Mad - Crazy. "Mad as a hatter", refers to the hatter in Alice in Wonderland, because the hatter was crazy.
  • Manky - Bad, inferior, defective, dirty.
  • Market town - A town where a market - what a lot of people in the U.S. would probably think of as a farmer's market - is held regularly. Several surrounding villages would be connected with a market town, so that farmers in the villages would go to the market town to buy and sell produce or livestock. In practise, would refer to a larger town.
  • Marmalade - A clear, jellylike preserve made from the pulp and rind of fruits (especially citrus fruits).
  • Marquee - A very large tent, especially when used for public events like fairs.
  • Mate - Friend. In the U.S., the equal is "man" or "dude."
  • Matron - A woman managing the care of the sick at a school. In a hospital, this title refers to the woman (if she is a woman) in charge of the nursing staff.
  • Mental - U.S.: crazy, insane.
  • Mince - Very finely diced meat, sometimes referred to as mincemeat. Not to be confused with the quite different substance also known as mincemeat that is used in Mince pie.
  • Mince pie - A small round pie filled with mincemeat (in this sense a mixture of sugar, suet, spices, and fruits such as currants, raisins, chopped apples) traditionally eaten at Christmas.
  • Mum - U.S.: Mom/Mother.
  • Musical statues - U.S.: game known as "Freeze" or "Statues" (not the same thing as musical chairs, though similar as both games are played to music). In musical statues players dance around foolishly and must "freeze" like a statue when the music stops.


  • Newsreader - Anchor person of a news show on television.
  • Nicking - Stealing.
  • Nosh - Food; grub. In the U.S., this term means a snack rather than a full meal.
  • Nutter - Crazy person.


  • Oaf - A stupid, uncultured, or clumsy person. Draco Malfoy refers to Rubeus Hagrid as an "oaf".
  • Oi - see Oy.
  • Outhouse - U.S.: outbuilding, such as a garden shed. Not intended to refer to an outdoor latrine!
  • Outta your tree - insane - someone in the U.S. would probably say "Off your rocker," or simply "Out of your mind"
  • Oy - An exclamation, usually used to attract attention (as in "Oy, come and look at this!"). Derived from "Oyez", which is used by town criers to call attention. The origin is the Old French for 'hear'.


  • Pants - Underwear, underpants, briefs. "Pants" as known in the U.S. would be referred to as "trousers". If a non-garment item is said to be "pants", that means that it's rubbish.
  • Pastille - A kind of hard candy; can also be used to refer to something like a cough drop.
  • Pasty - A sort of pie with a crimped, thick short pastry crust, full of chopped and seasoned meat and potatoes. The idea originated in Cornwall (hence, Cornish pasties), where wives of miners would fill the pastry case and make the crust into a handle that could be held in dirty hands, whilst eating. Often, one end of the pie would be filled with fruit, to serve as a dessert. The word 'pasty' is derived from paste/pasta = paste. See also Pumpkin Pasties.
  • Peaky - Peaked, sickly-looking.
  • Peckish - Hungry.
  • Pensioner - Senior Citizen, as in someone receiving a pension.
  • Pepper pot - U.S: pepper shaker.
  • Pillock - A stupid person or a fool.
  • Pipped at the post - Beaten in a competition or race by a very small amount.
  • Pip pip! - A British expression from the early 20th century that is used to say "farewell", "goodbye", or to call attention to what the speaker is saying. It is believed to have originated from the sound of a bike horn.
  • Plaster - A sticking plaster, used to cover minor injuries. US: Band-aid.
  • Points - Railroad Track switches.
  • Post - Mail.
  • Pot plant - Potted plant, a plant grown in a pot as opposed to in the ground.
  • Pouffe - A low, soft, stuffed seat (possibly in the form of a beanbag, ottoman, or couch).
  • Prang - A minor automobile accident.
  • Prat - A person who is an idiot or who does silly annoying things and is disliked for behaving that way. Specifically, Fred and George Weasley maintain only prats become prefects. Probably from the 16th century use meaning "buttocks".
  • Public school - What in the U.S. would be termed a private school; it is "public" in the sense that the kids are attending a school rather than having a private tutor at home. See also: comprehensive.
  • Pudding - A generic term for the dessert course of a meal. "On top of the fridge stood tonight's pudding." In the U.S., this refers specifically to a sweet, custard like dessert. In England, a "pudding" may in fact be a cake, ice cream, or any other sweet (or sometimes savoury) dish.
  • Punt - (noun) A long, narrow, flat-bottomed boat used on inland waterways (like the Isis river that flows through Oxford). It's a kind of pole-boat. As a verb, "to punt" means to push a boat along by a long pole; the punter pushes the pole against the bottom of the river to move the boat. Punt can also be used to mean to ' take a chance' or 'gamble' on something as in " I'll have a punt on that " .


  • Rabbiting - "To rabbit" means to talk incessantly or gossip idly.
  • Revision - Studying or cramming for a test. Hermione says, "I've got loads of revision to do!"
  • Rock cake - A kind of fruitcake. It's supposed to look something like a rock, and even to have a hard surface, but not to resemble a rock quite as closely as Hagrid's version seems to.
  • Row - As a noun, can refer to any loud noise or commotion, but when referring to something people do means a very heated quarrel; the verb sense means "quarrel, argue". It's worth mentioning that "row" used in these senses rhymes with "cow", not with "low".
  • Rubber- U.S.: eraser.
  • Rubbish - Nonsense, craziness, or, in the case of the "I'm rubbish" unskilled or worthless. Also the word used to address disposed items, known in the U.S. as trash or junk and in Canada as garbage. If something is a load of garbage, it is full of BS. Garbage mitts are very warm mitts used to play street hockey with which got their name because they were what garbage men wore to keep their hands warm in the winter.
  • Rucksack - U.S.: backpack.
  • Ruddy - A milder, dialectal variation on the swear word, "bloody," ruddy referring to something being red-coloured (like blood). Similar and slightly more polite version of "bloody" or "damned," (from blood, Old English = rudig).
  • Ruff - A disc-like, starched frilly collar, popular in the 16th century (such as worn by Elizabeth I and Shakespeare in typical portraits).
  • Rumble - To find out or discover something secret or furtive (as in "we've been rumbled!")
  • Runner bean - U.S.: string bean.


  • Sack - Firing someone. Being "sacked" or being "given the sack" refers to losing one's job.
  • Satsuma - A variety of tangerine with a sharp taste, originally from Japan.
  • Scarper - To run away. Rhyming slang from the Scapa Flow.
  • Secateurs - Pruning shears.
  • Sellotape - Cellophane tape. In the U.S., we'd say "Scotch tape". The name of the wizarding equivalent, Spello-tape, is a play on this, a pun that is lost in translation for U.S. readers.
  • Sherbet lemon - A hard lemon-flavoured candy shell filled with effervescent sherbet powder. Not the same thing as Lemonheads or lemon drops! Sherbet powder is not the same thing as an iced sherbet (called Sorbet in the UK).
  • Shifty - Untrustworthy or suspicious. Also, to "get a shifty on" means to get started on something.
  • Shirty - Annoyed; angry. Probably from "to get someone's shirt out," to annoy, or "to keep one's shirt on," to keep from being annoyed.
  • Shufti - British slang originally from Arabic, meaning to have a quick look around at something.
  • Skirting board - U.S.: baseboard. A board placed parallel to the floor at the base of an interior wall, serving as edging.
  • Skive - To avoid doing one's task or duty; to "skive off" is to skip, as in skipping classes at school.
  • Smarmy - Self-satisfied, conceited; ingratiating in an oily way.
  • Snog - To kiss passionately, to make out.
  • Spare - Also "going spare". A colloquial phrase, meaning either going crazy with worry or getting really agitated/angry.
  • Spotted dick - A suet pudding made with currants or raisins.
  • Starkers - Stark naked.
  • Steak and kidney pie - These two ingredients represent a popular British filling for a pie (normally encased in pastry). Steak and kidney pies are often served with chips and appear on the menu of most British fish and chip shops.
  • Suet - Fat. Suet is the fat from around the internal organs of an animal (usually a cow) that is used in British cooking, primarily for pastries. This fat has a higher melting temperature than other sources of fat and when used in pastry is reputed to provide a much flakier crust. While there are workarounds in the U.S., there is no exact equivalent. "Crisco" would be a very rough substitute.
  • Swot - As a verb, "swot" means to study hard; as a noun, "swot" refers to somebody who does this. Hermione and Percy could both be called swots.


  • Take the Mickey - Tease or ridicule (from Mickey Mouse).
  • Taradiddle - Pretentious nonsense.
  • Tea - Aside from the drink, this can mean an afternoon snack. It is important to note that "tea" can also refer to the main meal in the evening in the U.K., and as such would be similar to "supper" or "dinner" in America. This is particularly true for families outside of the upper-class.
  • Tea cosy - A cosy often made from knitted wool to put over a tea pot for insulation, to help keep it hot. See also: Cosy. (Note: U.S. spelling is "cozy")
  • Telephone box - Telephone booth.
  • Term - A division of an academic school year. Synonymous with semesters (or quarters) in the United States. An academic year in England generally consists of three terms.
  • That's Not On - Short for "not on the level". Unacceptable or unfair. An American would probably say "That's not right" or "That's just wrong."
  • Thick - Stupid.
  • Timetable - Schedule. At Hogwarts, each student is given his or her timetable at the beginning of the year, specifying the times of the various classes the student is taking.
  • Tinned - Canned.
  • Titchy - Tiny.
  • Toerag - A worthless, despicable person. This comes from an older sense referring specifically to vagrants, which in turn comes from, well, a person who uses a rag wrapped around the foot instead of a sock.
  • Toilet - Bathroom or restroom, although can also mean the actual toilet. "Loo" is a more posh term, but "toilet" is not considered rude and low class like it would be in the U.S.
  • Torch - A flashlight.
  • Tosh - Nonsense.
  • Tosser - A contemptible person. Similar derivation as wanker, but less severe.
  • Trainers - Running shoes. In Canada, "runners". In the U.S., "sneakers".
  • Treacle - Treacle is a by-product of the sugar refining process and can vary in grade from very light Golden Syrup to Black Treacle (rather like molasses). Treacle Pudding is a plain steamed suet pudding which has warmed treacle poured over it. Treacle tart is a flat pastry case filled with treacle mixed with breadcrumbs and baked. In both dishes, Golden Syrup is usually used, as real treacle is quite strong in taste.
  • Trifle - A layered dessert of sponge cake soaked in sherry, topped with chopped fruit in jelly (jello), topped with custard, topped, in turn, with whipped cream. The top of that may be decorated with angelica, glace cherries, chocolate flakes or hundreds and thousands (tiny rainbow sugar candy pieces).Trifle can also mean to not treat someone or something with the respect it deserves as in " to trifle with someone's emotions. "
  • Tripe - The stomach of a cow or ox, eaten as a dish. Tripe is also used to mean nonsense as well as the food.
  • Trout - A slightly derogatory (or affectionate depending on the usage) term for an older person, particularly an older woman. Used by Elphias Doge to insult Rita Skeeter, who then turned it around as a means to question Doge's sanity (that he thought he was underwater in Lake Windermere.)
  • Tuck in - U.S.: chow down, eat heartily.
  • Turf out - U.S.: throw out, usually of a person from a place ("he was turfed out").


  • Underground - Below-ground train system. In the U.S., "subway". Usually refers specifically to the London Underground (or "the Tube").


  • Video recorder — U.S.: VCR, or more recently DVD/Blu-Ray recorder. (In Britain at least, VCRs are obsolescent, with at least one major chain store no longer stocking them.)


  • Waffle - Originally (when referring to a small dog) to yap or bark - the word "waff"'s sound imitates a puppy's bark. When referring to the noises people make, the word has come to mean empty or aimless talk or writing, and can be used as a noun to describe the sense-free noises themselves or as a verb to mean the act of producing them.
  • Waistcoat - U.S.: vest. Note that this is not just the kind of vest worn with a formal suit, but any kind of vest.
  • Wardrobe - A large piece of furniture with a door, used for storing clothes and fitted with rails, shelves, hooks and the like, sometimes with a mirror on the door. Wardrobes tend to be used in places that don't have built-in closets. Since closets in houses are a relatively recent invention, wardrobes are much more common in the typically older English houses.
  • Wart plasters - A plaster that is medicated to treat warts.
  • Wellington boots - Rubber boots; rain boots. The adjective "wellingtoned" is used to describe someone wearing such boots.
  • Wheeze - A joke or prank, especially one that has been repeated a great deal. Often referred to in the phrase 'old wheeze'. See Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes.
  • Whelk - A type of marine mollusc with a spiral shell, usually eaten with vinegar. The flesh is usually scooped out with a pin, so it's not the sort of thing a sophisticated lady would eat.
  • Whinging - Persistent complaining; similar to "whining".
  • Whisht - A Scots dialect term used to call for silence; similar to "Hush" or "Shut up". Used by Professor McGonagall in Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
  • Windscreen - Windshield (part of an automobile).
  • Wind [someone] up (pronounced as per winding-up a clockwork mechanism) - To tease someone, especially by deliberately misleading the person about something.
  • Wing (of a car) - US "fender". Hence:
  • Wing mirror - A mirror projecting from the side of a motor vehicle. Traditionally mounted on the front wings of the car (hence the name), but in modern times commonly attached to the door.
  • Wireless - A radio.
  • Wizard - (adj) Apart from the obvious (and, in Muggle English, archaic) meaning of "associated with wizards or wizardry", this is also a British slang term for "excellent."
  • Wonky - Unsteady, shaky, unreliable. This might be used to describe something that's so badly put together that it's about to fall down. Also means "not straight".
  • Wotcher - A greeting, shortened form of "what cheer!" Also spelled "Wotcha".

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