In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004) movie, Hagrid is pelting stones on the surface of the river, and says about Malfoy:

Hagrid: He said Buckbeak was a deadly and dangerous creature...who would kill you as soon as look at you.

Hermoine: And then?

Hagrid: And then he asked for the worst, did old Lucius.

What does "did" refer to?

  • 1
    It's a quaint dialectal / rustic "verbal flourish" that doesn't really mean anything (except maybe a slight touch of emphasis). Hagrid probably uses lots of "unusual" expressions like this. Centuries ago, even mainstream Anglophones would include extraneous did in contexts like And Adam did eat the apple that Eve offered to him (as opposed to today's standard Adam ate the apple). Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 14:15
  • Compare John hit me = He hit me, John = He hit me, did John. Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 14:21
  • @FumbleFingers - Urban people in places like Liverpool and Manchester talk like that now. Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 15:07
  • @MichaelHarvey: This is a site for learners. They won't be well-served by being encouraged to speak like (city) yokels. I'm sure Rowling would never have had Harry or Hermione speak like that - it's specifically a "Hagrid" usage in context. Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 15:12
  • In explaining what people see in books, we are not at all encouraging them to speak like that! Please don't get me started on the merits (or lack of them) of Rowling. Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 15:26

1 Answer 1


It can be best described as Old World English. I hesitate to imply it is specifically a British way of speaking. A modern rephrasing would be:

" And then old Lucius did ask for the worst "

  • 1
    Not 'Old World', whatever that may mean. Using a pronoun to start a statement about someone or something, and repeating the verb is very common in some modern regional UK dialects - she was very pretty, was Mary; he'll be very angry, will Dad; he's very tall, is John; it's very slow, is my car. Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 14:51
  • 1
    " And then old Lucius did ask for the worst " sounds more quaint and 'Olde Worlde' to me! Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 14:54
  • Sorry,Old World is a euphemism for the difference in the grammar of spoken language. Modern vs. distant past. And not being British I don't know the current dialects, but the statement does have a British English feel to it. And based on current or fictional dialect, seeing how the setting is in Great Britain it lends credence to having it spoken that way.
    – user19179
    Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 17:24
  • It's not 'Old world' in that sense; people talk like that right now. Commented Apr 18, 2021 at 19:03

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