Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language Learners Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for speakers of other languages learning English. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Malfoy certainly did talk about flying a lot. He complained loudly about first years never getting on the house Quidditch teams . . .

"He's just the build for a Seeker, too," said Wood, now walking around Harry and staring at him. "Light - speedy - we'll have to get him a decent broom, Professor - a Nimbus Two Thousand or a Cleansweep Seven, I'd say."
I shall speak to Professor Dumbledore and see if we can't bend the first-year rule. Heaven knows, we need a better team than last year. Flattened in that last match by Slytherin, I couldn't look Severus Snape in the face for weeks...."

"Seeker?" he [Ron] said. "But first years never - you must be the youngest house player in about –“
“- a century, said Harry, shoveling pie into his mouth.
(Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone)

What does bend the rule mean? Does it mean change, adjust, amend?

share|improve this question
1  
NOAD meaning #3, for bend: interpret or modify (a rule) to suit oneself or somebody else. Bend the rules is also listed as an idiom in Collins. I like Macmillan's definition as well, which is listed along with other idioms under rule: to allow something that is not normally allowed. –  J.R. Jun 1 '13 at 8:49
add comment

1 Answer

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Bend the rule means to make an exception to the rule. It means that the rule will still be the rule, but it won't apply to Harry-he can play on the Quidditch team even though he's a first year, but no other first years will be allowed (the rule will still apply to them). I think this phrase comes from the idea that the rule can be 'flexible' and change in certain situations when necessary (and if it is flexible, it can bend).

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.