"Venomous Tentacula seeds," said George. "We need them for the Skiving Snackboxes but they're a Class C Non-Tradeable Substance so we've been having a bit of trouble getting hold of them."

"Ten Galleons the lot, then, Dung?" said Fred.

"Wiv all the trouble I went to to get 'em?" said Mundungus, his saggy, bloodshot eyes stretching even wider. "I'm sorry, lads, but I'm not taking a Knut under twenty."

"Dung likes his little joke," Fred said to Harry.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix

I think "I'm not taking a Knut under twenty" here means I would only accept your money if you paid me above twenty Galleons. But I'm not sure if my understanding is correct. Does the sentence content any idiom?


2 Answers 2


Yes, your understanding of the sentence is correct. In Harry Potter, a Knut is the smallest form of currency. When Mundungus says "I'm not taking a Knut under twenty [Galleons]", he does mean that he will go absolutely no lower than 20 Galleons.

It's the same as saying "I want 20 dollars and not a penny less," just with fictional currency instead of a real one.


It's an inclusive range, not an exclusive one. "A Knut under twenty" means 20 Galleons minus a Knut. Thus it means that he will not accept 19.99 Galleons (I forget how much a Knut comes to exactly, but it's essentially the penny of the wizarding world); the minimum price he will accept is 20 Galleons.

It's not an idiom; the words are all literal.

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