Mrs Weasley did not seem entirely satisfied with Mr Weasley's answer. As her husband leaned over to shake Harry's hand, she peered at the bandaging under his nightshirt.

"Arthur," she said, with a snap in her voice like a mousetrap, "you've had your bandages changed. ..."

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

I don't quite get the idea of "with a snap in her voice like a mousetrap" in this context. How should we understand it?

1 Answer 1


See this definition for snappish (1b below) - Mrs. Weasley is using an irritated tone with Mr. Weasley, basically. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/snappish

1a : given to curt irritable speech

b : arising from annoyance or irascibility

a snappish remark

  • what about the part "like a mousetrap"?
    – dan
    Mar 8, 2019 at 13:22
  • 1
    A typical mousetrap has a mechanism where it snaps shut if a mouse walks into it. So Rowling is using simile here; the snappishness in Mrs. Weasley’s voice is like a mousetrap snapping shut. ”To snap shut” means to close abruptly and forcefully. Her speech is likewise forceful and abrupt (rude tone, not saying a lot).
    – Mixolydian
    Mar 8, 2019 at 13:42

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