"- and Gryffindor back in possession and it's Katie Bell tanking up the pitch -" cried Lee valiantly, though the singing was now so deafening that he could hardly make himself heard above it.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I've looked up "tank up", but none of definitions listed seems to make sense. What does "tank up" mean in this context?

1 Answer 1


It's not an idiom I'm familiar with, so it might be a British sports expression -- much like they say "pitch", whereas Americans would only use "field".

But if I had to guess, "tanking" would mean "moving like a tank" -- which is to say, in a powerful way that seems difficult to stop. "Up" refers to the direction of the goal, while "down" would be away from the goal.

Of course, I could be completely wrong and it might be an expression Rowling made up to fit the dialogue. She doesn't normally do that with the more "mundane" aspects of her stories (she seems to prefer common British expressions), but it's possible.

  • 3
    It's a British idiom and it means exactly what you guessed it means.
    – fred2
    Commented Feb 23, 2019 at 2:25

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