Strictly British

Enthusiastic; keen as in hankering to get on with something.

A commotion or fuss.

  • In all the kerfuffle, nobody seemed to have noticed Harry... (OP2)

See steak and kidney pie.

Sleep. Derived from kip-house, which is a small, cheap lodging or hostel.

  • "You can kip under that" (PS4)

  • "I could kip on a camp-bed" (GF16)

  • "He wants a kip, and his bar's turned into a railway station." (DH29)

A salt-cured dried fish (usually a herring), sometimes served for breakfast in parts of the U.K.

  • The four long House tables were laden with tureens of porridge, plates of kippers, mountains of toast and dishes of eggs and bacon... (CS6)

  • "Because you'll keep bleeding until you shrivel up, we haven't got an antidote yet," said George, helping himself to a kipper (OP12)

  • Ron gagged on a piece of kipper (HBP11)

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 thin, long-handled spoon. It's possible that 'Knickerbocker' refers to the shape of the glass, which looks rather like the leg of a pair of knickerbockers.

  • They ate in the zoo restaurant, and when Dudley had a tantrum because his knickerbocker glory didn't have enough ice cream on top, Uncle Vernon bought him another one and Harry was allowed to finish the first. (PS2).

Loose-fitting pants gathered at the knee or calf. Knickerbocker was a nickname for the early Dutch settlers in New Amsterdam (present day New York), who used to wear these fairly racy trousers. Related: New York Knicks, knickers. See also plus-fours.

Female undergarments; panties.

  • "D'you want to be showing off your knickers in midair? Because if you do, hang around...they're moving this way, and it would give us all a laugh."
    - Draco to Hermione (GF9)

Knight Bus
Play on words: "Night Bus," buses which run in London during the night. See full essay. Also suggests the concept of "knight in shining armour" coming to the rescue of a person in need, in this case a stranded witch or wizard.


  • Harry had a thin face, knobbly knees...

  • knobbly sticks (Dudley's Smeltings' stick) (PS3)

    This last is probably something JKR made up, although public schools in Britain have some very strange customs.

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