Strictly British

Bad, inferior, defective, dirty (NSOED).

  • manky old boot (GF6)

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.

Compare with village.

  • the outskirts of a small market town (DH15)

A clear, jellylike preserve made from the pulp and rind of fruits (especially citrus fruits). (AHD)

  • "No post on Sundays," he reminded them happily as he spread marmalade on his newspapers...
    - Vernon Dursley (PS3)

A very large tent, especially when used for public events like fairs (NSOED).

  • The coat was so big for him that it looked as though he was draped in a furry black marquee.
    - introducing Dennis Creevey (GF12)

A teacher; a person qualified to teach (NSOED). This is often used in compound form with the name of the subject the person teaches. For a woman, "mistress" would be used in the same way, e.g., "Headmistress".


  • "We told Dumbledore we wanted to tell you what was going on," said Ron. "We did, mate."

  • "Listen - Ron - well done, mate."

  • "Have we ever come off better for mixing with any of Hagrid's monster mates?"
    - Ron (OP31)

  • "We'll just have to wing it, mate."
    - Ron (DH26)

  • "It hasn't exactly been a picnic, mate."
    - Ron (DH26)

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.

U.S.: crazy, insane.

  • "Yeah, we'll call you," muttered Ron, as the knight disappeared, "if we ever need someone mental."
    - meeting Sir Cadogan (PA6)

  • "Sounds like the sort of mental thing Dumbledore would say" (HBP5)

  • "...Dad found us. He went mental"
    - Ron (HBP16)

See take the Mickey.

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 (see).

  • "Would you say it was nothing if one of us turned up with a pound of mince instead of a face?"
    - Ron to Hagrid (OP20)

mince pie
A small round pie filled with mincemeat (in this sense a mixture of sweet stuff - sugar, suet, and/or spices - and fruits such as currants, raisins, chopped apples) traditionally eaten at Christmas (NSOED). Not to be confused with mince.

Used as a form of address when speaking to an older woman, especially one who is a stranger to the speaker (NSOED).

Something that makes a lot of money. While the word can be used to apply to a person rather than a thing, that's less common. (NSOED).

A moor is a broad tract of open land, often high but poorly drained, with patches of heath and peat bogs. Of the heather moorland in the United Kingdom, most of it lies in North Yorkshire, Wales, Cumbria and Dartmoor (with some moorlands in the far West Country in the county of Cornwall). For further information about moors, see: WEB LINK Famous fictional works largely set in such moorland regions include Frances Hodgson Burnett's WEB LINKThe Secret Garden (Yorkshire) and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's WEB LINKThe Hound of the Baskervilles (Dartmoor).

mum, mummy
Diminutive of Mother; US: Mom.

  • "And if you'd heard your mum screaming like that, just about to be killed, you wouldn't forget it in a hurry."
    - Harry on the subject of dementors (PA11)

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.

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