Strictly British


airing cupboard
A cupboard for airing linen and clothing (NSOED). Similar to U.S. "linen closet."

  • "Of course, he might have crawled into the airing cupboard and died... but I mustn't get my hopes up..."
    - Sirius Black, speaking of Kreacher (OP23)

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 WEB LINKAlice Through the Looking-Glass.

  • She looked, Harry thought, like somebody's maiden aunt: squat, with short, curly, mouse-brown hair in which she had placed a horrible pink Alice band...
    - Harry Potter, observing Dolores Umbridge (OP11)

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 (NSOED).

  • "Ali thinks there's a niche in the market for a family vehicle," said Mr. Crouch. "I remember my grandfather had an Axminster that could seat twelve - but that was before carpets were banned, of course." (GF7)

  • Before the Prime Minister could ask why he was dripping all over the Axminster, Fudge had started ranting about a prison the Prime Minister had never heard of... (HBP1)

A dialect word for "yes" that in modern usage tends to be used only in nautical contexts and in formal voting. While perfectly understandable in the U.S., this word is worth noting because its use in ordinary conversation may offer clues to the speaker's place of origin. Speakers from various areas in Scotland and Yorkshire, for example, might be more likely to use this word than people elsewhere.

Primary editor: Michele L. Worley.
Original page date 28-October-2005; Last page update 4-August-2007 MLW