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"Scan Shunpike," said Ron.

"Like 'ell you are," said the man called Scabior. "We know Stan Shunpike, 'e's put a bit of work our way."

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

"'e's put a bit of work our way" is probably He has put a bit of work our way, but I'm not sure what it's supposed to mean?

A side: is "Like 'ell you are" Like hell you are?

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    "He has given us some opportunities for employment." "Like hell you are" = Ron is definitely not Stan, whom the man knows. – Kate Bunting Dec 9 '19 at 17:24
  • @KateBunting How should we understand "our way" in the sentence? – dan Dec 10 '19 at 14:57
  • It means 'in our direction'. – Kate Bunting Dec 10 '19 at 15:59
  • @KateBunting Can you help to explain the sentence in details? I really have a hard time to understand it. The sentence doesn't seem to make sense to me. Is it a common one? Thanks in advance! – dan Dec 10 '19 at 22:53
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    'He has sent some work (that is, opportunities for paid jobs) in our direction.' He could have told them of available jobs, or recommended them to potential employers. – Kate Bunting Dec 11 '19 at 9:38
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From Collins, like hell is a phrase that some people say "to emphasize that they strongly disagree with you or are strongly opposed to what you say."

In your case, Ron says he is Scan Shunpike. Scabior does not believe him and does not agree with that statement. Scabior replies with "Like hell you are".

Greyback and Scabior knows who Scan Shunpike is (perhaps because Shunpike works for them).

"He has put a bit of work our way" suggests that Shunpike has brought some business to these Snatchers.

This phrase essentially means that someone has arranged some work for you. They have informed you of some opportunity.

In this case, I imagine Shunpike was reporting the whereabouts of Muggle-borns and Hogwarts truants (= victims) to Greyback and Scabior. It is possible that Shunpike was 'Imperiused' into doing their dirty work.

Follow up questions from the comments*: How should we understand "our way" then? Why does it not have a preposition? E.g. He has put a bit of work 'on' our way? Is "our way" a common sentence in speech?

*I am incorporating them in my answer so the information there is not lost if for some reason the comments are removed.

How should we understand "our way" then?

(1) You can think of "put a bit of work our way" as "brought us some business" or "made us aware of the location of possible targets".

(2) Another possible interpretation is that Shunpike may have literally made arrangements to set/get potential 'victims' on a path that would eventually bring them face to face with the Snatchers.


"... put a bit of work 'on' our way" is not natural/idiomatic.

The addition of "on" as in "on our way" (ignoring the adjacent words in the sentence) would imply that the 'victims' are placed on route (they have been tricked/deceived) where they would come face to face with the Snatchers.

"He has put a bit of work (= victims) on our way [to destination name]"

... would be interpreted in the following way:

The Snatchers are going from point A to point C (destination), and Shunpike arranged to somehow put the victims at point B (leading them into a trap). Shunpike has put the victims somewhere on their (= the Snatchers') way to Point C.

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Having said that, there are two reasons why the "on" in "on our way" does not work here. First, this is not the intended meaning here.

Second, it would not be idiomatic, as Eddie Kal pointed out to me in the comments. As a whole, the phrase "put a bit of work (i.e., meaning Shunpike got us some Muggle-borns and Hogwarts truants) on our way" would make the sentence very unnatural and even more difficult to understand.

Without the "on" it is a general statement saying that Shunpike have done something for them. In the past, he has informed them of some victims or something of that sort.


Is "our way" a common sentence in speech?

A much better explanation of "put [something] our way" is provided by userr2684291 in the comments.

Have you heard of the expression Send it our way, or The hurricane is heading your way, or We're sending help your way, or, even more commonly, The man you're looking for went this way (here the speaker points in some direction), Go that way (same thing here)? These are all the same construction as concerns this/our/that/my/your way. Unlike this/that way, where there's still some ambiguity and you sometimes have to point (or look/move your head in a certain direction), with our/my/your way it's clear you mean "in our/my/your direction". - userr2684291

An answer to this question What does “we sent his way” mean in this sentence? in ELL says such a construct is "an informal idiomatic expression ..."

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  • How should we understand "our way" then? That's the very point confused me. – dan Dec 9 '19 at 22:47
  • @dan You can think of it as "brought us some business" or "made us aware of possible targets". Shunpike might have literally made arrangements to get 'victims' on a path where they would eventually come face to face with the Snatchers. – AIQ Dec 9 '19 at 22:57
  • Why does it have a preposition? E.g. He has put a bit of work 'on' our way? – dan Dec 10 '19 at 10:34
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    @dan Have you heard of the expression Send it our way, or The hurricane is heading your way, or We're sending help your way, or, even more commonly, The man you're looking for went this way (here the speaker points in some direction), Go that way (same thing here)? These are all the same construction as concerns this/our/that/my/your way. Unlike this/that way, where there's still some ambiguity and you sometimes have to point (or look/move your head in a certain direction), with our/my/your way it's clear you mean "in our/my/your direction". – user3395 Dec 11 '19 at 9:36
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    +1 for the details. But I think the paragraph starting with "The addition of "on" as in "on our way" would imply the 'victims' are on route to coming face to face with the Snatchers at that very moment" needs some tweaking. If you put someone "on their way", you send them off (in a certain direction/to their destination). But "put person A on person B's way" sounds confused at best and makes no sense without explanation/context. I don't know the story, but from the little I've read in Dan's quoted lines and your answer, Scabior is one of the Snatchers? "put work on their way" is nonsensical. – Eddie Kal Dec 11 '19 at 23:36

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