5

... “In the end, he(Bagman) turned pretty nasty,” said Fred. “Told us we were too young to gamble, and he wasn't giving us anything.”

“So we asked for our money back,” said George glowering.

“He didn't refuse!” gasped Hermione.

Right in one,” said Fred.

“But that was all your savings!” said Ron.

“Tell me about it,” said George. ...

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

What does "right in one" mean? Is it short for something? Maybe Fred meant Bagman just gave them one Galleon(the money in wizarding world)?

11

It's short for "you got it right after only one guess."

It's the equivalent of the phrase "a hole in one" in golf, meaning that you managed to get the ball into the hole after only one shot.

Fred could also have said:

"You guessed it."
"That's what happened."


In other words, Hermione was "right" in that she was indignant about the possibility that Bagman would have refused to give the money back.

This bit is tricky because the conversation reverses the literal meaning of her words.

Her response could also have been phrased as:

"Surely he didn't refuse!"
"Don't tell me he refused!"


The extended dialogue could have gone like this:

“So we asked for our money back,” said George glowering.
“Don't tell me he refused!” gasped Hermione.
"You guessed it,” said Fred.

  • So, you meant Bagman didn't refuse to give the money back. But according to the context, they didn't get their money back at all. Your paraphrase ""Don't tell me he didn't refuse!"" sounds like "he did refuse", does it? Then Ron should reply: "Surely he did refuse!" Does it make sense? – dan Jan 1 at 10:45
  • @dan You're right, that was the paraphrase I got wrong. As with double negatives, this can be tricky. (It's actually trickier than the right in one expression.) – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Jan 1 at 11:00
  • I'm thinking maybe Fred is being sarcastic by “Right in one,” and he actually wanted to make a reverse assertion instead. – dan Jan 1 at 13:15
  • 1
    @dan No, Fred isn't being sarcastic. Hermione's statement is not literal. "He didn't ____!" is a common type of exclamation used to express a sudden realization that someone did something utterly unexpected. It expresses incredulity. Hermione's meaning is actually closer to "I just had a realization! I did not expect him to refuse. But he did refuse, didn't he?" – trlkly Jan 1 at 20:04
  • 1
    @dan Using negation to express incredulity is quite common in English. In fact, I had difficulty rewriting Hermione's dialog to convey her meaning without using this feature. You may want to ask a separate question about that to learn more, as it will help your English comprehension immensely. – trlkly Jan 1 at 20:11
4

Further to Jason's very accurate paraphrases...

Let's look at the text: "He didn't refuse!" gasped Hermione.

The exclamation point alone might make you think that Hermione was making an emphatic assertion. However, when characters "gasp" their words (if they're not struggling for breath because of some physical ordeal) it signals that they're in shock and disbelief.

Hermione is shocked to find that anyone could be as nasty and dastardly as Bagman had been.

Another colloquial variant would be:

No way he refused!

A more refined variant, something that could be said in a drawing room, would be

Surely he didn't refuse?

  • Can “Right in one,” be sarcastic? Hermione didn't get it right actually. – dan Jan 1 at 13:57
  • 1
    @dan: It's not impossible to find a context for a sarcastic RIght in one! But it would have to be followed up with Not! or some other admission from the speaker that it had been meant sarcastically. Here, however, that reading is not possible. Ron says "But that was all your savings!" and George replies "Tell me about it" which means "Don't I know!" that is, "I'm painfully aware of that fact". – Tᴚoɯɐuo Jan 1 at 14:01
-1

I believe it's the first half of a common idiom: "In one ear, out the other" which means "to be ignored."

Because the phrase is so common, George only needs to say the first half. The rest is understood: that his request for their money back was ignored.

  • This is definitely wrong, I'm afraid. – TonyK Jan 1 at 21:15
  • @Tony Makes sense. I wasn't sure about the British/American phraseology. "Right in one" isn't something we say in the US. Thanks for the help! – rpeinhardt Jan 1 at 22:11

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