7

"She's only Stunned," said Professor McGonagall impatiently, who had stooped down to examine Alecto. "She'll be perfectly all right."

"No she bludgering well won't!" bellowed Amycus. "Not after the Dark Lord gets hold of her! She's gorn and sent for him, I felt me Mark burn, and he thinks we've got Potter!"

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

I feel Amycus spoke a dialect here because I saw the use of 'gorn' and "me Mark", which I think should be 'gone' and "my Mark" in standard English. (Correct?)

However, I can't figure out how "No she bludgering well won't!" works here. How should we understand it?

27

No she bludgering well won't!

From what I understand, a bludger is a kind of ball in the wizarding world. However, here, bludgering looks like a euphemism/minced oath for bloody:

→ No she bloody well won't!

Bloody well is an idiom:

bloody well idiom
Definition of bloody well

British, informal + sometimes offensive —used before a verb to stress anger, annoyance, or disapproval
// I'm your father and you'll bloody well do as you're told!
(M-W)

In other words, the speaker is emphatically exclaiming "No she won't!"

I think you're right about "gone" and "my" being the standard English.

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  • 3
    "Gorn" and "me" are misspelled to describe the way that Amycus saying it, I think. – Cranberry48 Dec 19 '19 at 3:40
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    Thank you. Yes, I agree. I believe it's called eye dialect. – Em. Dec 19 '19 at 3:56
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Although I agree with Em as to the meaning of the phrase, I would slightly amend the reasoning.

A bludger is (of course) a black iron ball used in the wizarding sport of Quidditch.

I would put forward to you that, rather than being a euphemism for the word "bloody", the word bludger is a swear word in itself (in the Wizarding world). Just like you might use anything negative as a curse word with the correct context and inflection.

Now, I can't find any sources to back this next bit up so you'll have to take my word as an experienced BrE swear-er.

You can essentially add the world "well" to the end of any swear - editing the swear so it sounds appropriately correct - and it will emphasise it.

Therefore:

No she bludgering well won't!

Can be taken to mean the same as:

No she f*cking well won't!

No she bloody well won't!

No she definitely won't!

(etc.)


Just as an aside and an attempt to source this - I found someone who came to the same conclusion/reasoning as me here.

For the record, “bludgering” seems like a version of “bludgeon”, which is to strike with a club or bludgeon (which could turn rather gory, hence why it was used as a variant of a profanity). It may also be a (somewhat humorous) referance to the Quidditch Bludger (the balls flying about being clubbed by the beaters towards other players).

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  • It's a minced oath out of universe, even if not one in universe. I've seen a few authors do this, replace a real swear word by another similar word in their books aimed for kids. In the Harry Potter series, the more common substitution for "bloody" is ruddy, used a lot by Hagrid in particular. – Rand al'Thor Dec 20 '19 at 7:14
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    @Randal'Thor "ruddy" is a common mincing of "bloody" in British English. It is absolutely not an invention of JKR. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Dec 20 '19 at 14:06
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    @Martin Oh, huh. I'm a native speaker of British English and never heard it IRL. Maybe it's a regional thing? – Rand al'Thor Dec 20 '19 at 14:24
  • @Randal'Thor Ah! Sorry about that. Maybe regional, maybe age (I'm 7 years older than JKR), maybe class? Who knows? My Shorter OED dates it (in that meaning) to 1914 though. – Martin Bonner supports Monica Dec 20 '19 at 21:02
  • @Randal'Thor Famously, when the Guns of Navarone (1961) was filmed, Richard Harris (as Squadron Leader Barnsby) had a line in which he spoke the word "bloody" eight times. ("First, you've got that bloody old fortress on top of that bloody cliff. ...") For the original theatrical release in the UK, to get a U certificate they dubbed the word "ruddy" over "bloody" all eight times. It was an obvious change in the dialogue since "ruddy" was well known to be an expletive, although less offensive than "bloody." – David K Dec 20 '19 at 22:44

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